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Danny Towe Drives to His Fourth NMRA Ford Muscle Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA Staff
Danny Towe feels a connection to NMRA Ford Muscle.
It offers him all of his favorite things, including quarter-mile racing, index racing, footbrake racing, competitive racing and time to judge the finish line in his 1970 Mustang with a 393 cubic-inch Windsor engine and a Powerglide.
It also suits him, as he was the first racer to earn a championship in the category in the year it debuted, 2016, and he followed that with championships in 2021 and 2022 before going after another one in 2023.
While Towe, of Westminster, South Carolina and his fan-favorite Mustang were ready for the first race of the year, the Ryno Classifieds NMRA Spring Break Shootout presented by Nitto in March at Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida, his tow vehicle broke down on the way to the track.
“I was sad that I couldn’t get to the race, but thankfully, I was only an hour away from home when my truck broke down, and I was able to call a good friend for help getting it to the shop,” said Towe.
After the disappointing start to the race season, Towe headed to the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. He qualified in the seventh spot with an 11.80 on an 11.75 index, and won the first round with a good reaction time and an 11.83, and the second round, a double break out race, with another good reaction time and an 11.72. He had a solo pass in the third round before exiting eliminations in the semifinal with a break out time of 11.73.

At the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, Towe qualified in the fourth spot with an 11.79 on an 11.75, and won the first round with an 11.76. He scooted past the second round when his opponent turned on the red light, and he went -.005 red in the third round.
“I was there to win the round, so I was pushing the tree,” said Towe.

Amped up as he arrived at the 3rd Annual Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming in June at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, Towe qualified in the third spot with an 11.76 on an 11.75, and won the first round when the racer in the lane next to him went red. He won the second and third rounds with an 11.79 and went all the way to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with an 11.78 against John Butsko.
Getting closer to the end of the championship chase, Towe took on the TorqStorm NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Paul’s High Performance in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. He led qualifying with an 11.754 on an 11.75, and made a solo pass in the first round of eliminations. He won the second round with a better reaction time than his opponent and room to lift to an 11.87, and he won the third round courtesy of a red light in the other lane. Then, he wrapped up his second win in a row, this time with an 11.78 against Clyde Dunphy, who broke out.
Saving the best for last, Towe had a successful weekend at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. He qualified in the seventh spot with an 11.81 on an 11.75, and won the first round, a double break out, with an 11.74, and the second round, another double break out with an 11.74. He ran right on his 11.75 to win the third round, and went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle, for his first time at this storied track, by breaking out by less than Donald Fotti, with an 11.70.

As icing on the cake, Towe was crowned the 2023 NMRA Ford Muscle champion.
“I only had a 70-point lead going into the last race, and I was going to have to go as many rounds as Lloyd Mikeska to win the championship, and I definitely felt the pressure,” said Towe. “It doesn’t matter who you line up next to in Ford Muscle. All of the competitors are tough, and any one of them could beat me at any time, so earning this championship is very exhilarating. I want to thank my wife, Suzanne, who believe it or not, never changed the locks on the door when I went racing. I also want to thank my three best racing pals, David Mormann, Shane Williams and Mike Moistner, and my major sponsor, Harland Sharp. It was a very good year.”
The NMRA looks forward to celebrating Towe at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 8, 2023, at the Indiana Convention Center, and in the upcoming Champions Issue of Fastest Street Car.

Amazingly, the talented Towe also earned the 2023 NMCA Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle presented by World Products championship, and a separate story about that will be posted and published on the NMCA side.


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