As the 2011 season came to a close, the wild fraternity that is John Sears’ X275 brainchild turned into a virtual free-for-all assault on the record books, carried out by Rich Bruder, Kevin Neal, and others. Those performances set the stage for a long winter of internet chatter regarding just how quick this category may get, its effect on future car counts, and whether or not someone can actually put a 4.6X on the scoreboard this season.

Image credit: Chris Ellington/Facebook

The feasibility of 4.60’s this season remains to be known, but long before racing even begins in many regions and a full month before the first major X275 race at Redemption III the South Georgia Motorsports Park, the barrage on the record books has already begun.

As confirmed by Sears himself on Tuesday, X275 competitor Barry Mitchell uncorked a killer 4.78 during what’s believed to have been a new tire test at the Bradenton Motorsports Park ahead of this weekends U.S. Street Nationals. Mitchell this year is campaigning the gorgeous and state-of-the-art Fox body Mustang built by Racecraft Inc. and driven last season by Chris Ellington. Mitchell accomplished the feat utilizing the supposedly disadvantageous nitrous small block – albeit rumored as a rather large small block – combination.

After Rich Bruder set the official mark at 4.80 during the Shakedown at E’Town last fall, Ohio native Kevin Neal ripped off a 4.785 with during qualifying at the Outlaw Radial Revolution last fall on his way to victory, setting the mark for everyone to chase when the 2012 season begins. Will that number fall this weekend at Bradenton?