Guest Instructor - Peter Biondo
Peter Biondo was born in 1971 in Queens, New York. While growing up, playing hockey in local leagues around the neighborhood was how Peter spent a lot of his afternoons. On the weekends, Peter would go with his family to the drag races. It didn't take him long to figure out that drag racing was his passion.
Like any sport, drag racing gets in family bloodlines and passes down from one generation to the next. The Biondo family is a prime example of this. In the late 1960's Peter's father, Sam, competed regularly at the dragstrips. Since then Sam has won 8 track championships in the super pro ranks. Peter's older brother, Sal was the next to take the wheel. In 1984 Sal began competing and shortly thereafter Peter started his racing career.
"My 16th birthday couldn't come soon enough, I've been watching my father since I was 2 years old and I was eager to take a shot at it!" - Peter Biondo
It was 1987 when Peter started racing in nothing other than with the family station wagon in the entry level class. Peter and his family spent many weekends traveling together to racetracks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to Peter it was time well spent.
"Sal and I would alternate driving the station wagon and we would watch my father compete in super pro. It kept us together on the weekends and was a lot of fun. I just knew it was something I wanted to be involved with for a long time."
Peter finished his education at St. Johns University with a bachelors degree in business management and a 3.2 GPA. Within those 4 years Peter was competing at the local bracket tracks and enjoyed a great deal of success, winning 3 consecutive super pro track championships at local tracks in New Jersey. It was then that he realized that he didn't just want to drag race as a hobby, he wanted to make it a way of life.
In the years since, Biondo has become one of the most accomplished competitors in all of sportsman racing. He has driven several different style vehicles and has essentially dominated the sportsman landscape in various classes and categories throughout the last two decades. He won his first NHRA World Championship in 1996 at the wheel of Phil Monteith’s familiar “Hatari” Firebird. He went on to add Super Stock titles in 2000, 2003, and 2006, as well as a Stock Eliminator Championship in 2005. His total of 5 sportsman championships puts him in elite company within the NHRA landscape (only Frank Manzo has more sportsman titles, and Biondo matches sportsman greats Scotty Richardson, Rick Santos, and Dave Boertman with 5 titles each). In addition, Peter has claimed a whopping 13 NHRA Division titles in 5 separate categories (Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Street, and Super Pro). Only Manzo, Vern Moats, and Mike Ferderer have more division championships to their credit.
He ranks 11th among sportsman competitors in all-time national event wins with 35. He has appeared in 54 NHRA national event final rounds. In addition to his well documented championship campaigns, Biondo has also finished 2nd in NHRA national points standings on an incredible five occasions. He is a six-time winner of the NHRA U.S. Nationals, the biggest event in all of drag racing.
Away from the NHRA tour, Biondo has had incredible success in bracket competition as well. In his early career, he claimed track championships for five consecutive seasons from 1989 to 1993 (first in Street Eliminator; ‘89 & ‘90, then in Super Pro ‘91-’93). Over one stretch in 1990, he won 30 consecutive rounds en route to his first Super Pro title.
He claimed the Division 1 Race Of Champions title in 1992, and backed it up five years later with the Division 1 Super Pro crown in 1997. 2000 was a banner season for Biondo. In addition to claiming (at the time) his second NHRA Super Stock World Championship, he also enjoyed two of the richest paydays sportsman racing has to offer. That May, he earned a $50,000 windfall by winning a big dollar bracket event at Cecil County Dragway. Three short months later he duplicated the feat, winning the $50,000 main event at Tom Stalba’s AA Auto Salvage Shootout at Atco Raceway. Biondo joins only Scotty Richardson, Gary Williams, and Jason Lynch as sportsman competitors to have won multiple $50,000+ events (and only he and Lynch have claimed two in the same season).
In 2001 Biondo was the Moroso 5-Day points champion, setting a record at the time for the most points accumulated throughout the event. In years since, he has been a constant force in the annual Florida “Winter Series,” having claimed multiple victories throughout the myriad of November events.
In 2006, he won the weekend points championship at the annual AA Auto Salvage Megabucks Weekend at Atco Dragway. Biondo has also ventured West to close out his last two seasons, and earned a substantial payday with each trip. In 2007, he took runner-up honors in the “Ultimate Gambler” event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, losing a close final round match up to his good friend Kyle Siepel. He then one-upped himself in 2008, claiming a $42,000 victory in the shootout over 2-time Super Comp World Champion Shawn Langdon.
Although Biondo’s class racing success has been well documented, he’s proven himself on the bracket scene time and time again. In a very limited bracket schedule, he’s had incredible success over the last two seasons. In 2007, he won a “Race for a Dragster” event at Atco’s Megabucks weekend, claimed a $10,000 triumph at the Bradenton 5-day, and become one of just a handful of drivers to ever finish in the top 5 of the weekend points in both the Moroso 5-Day Bracket Championships and Bradenton 5-Day Bracket Championships in the same season.
Photo Credit: DragRaceQuebec.com
In limited appearances in 2008, Biondo seemingly won every event he entered in his 4-link Race Tech Dragster. At the JEGS U.S. Open Bracket Championships, he scored a $10,000 victory on the opening day, then followed it up with a runner-up in the $20,000 event to Jeg Coughlin, Jr. Two months later, he claimed a $25,000 windfall at Atco Raceway’s annual Megabucks event. He made an appearance at the Million Dollar Drag Race, and won a new American Dragster, Shafiroff 565 Engine, Trans & Converter in the 64-car shootout on the events first day. He then advanced to the split in the main event, dragging in another large payday. He made a handful of late round appearances in limited action at the Bradenton 5-day before winning the Ultimate Gambler in Las Vegas (he also took runner-up honors in the Race Tech/Madcap shootout at that event, claiming another competition engine for his prize).
Away from the race track, Peter works in his family owned racing business, Biondo Racing Products. ThisIsBracketRacing.com is thrilled to have Peter in our all-star lineup of guest instructors. Through his years of on-track experience and unmatched success, in addition to his candor and passion for the sport, there is no doubt he can share several tips and secrets that will benefit all facets of our member base.