It all comes down to this. For Holley NMRA Ford Nationals racers, every late night, every burnout, and every round of eliminations led up to this weekend at the 24th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented By Competition Clutch Featuring The Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.
Today the index and heads-up classes move into elimination rounds that will settle not only this weekend’s winners but the coveted Top 10 points standings and championships. Today also sees the quickest eight True Street machines squaring off in the Circle D Specialties King of the Street class, while the eight quickest manual-trans machines battle in the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout.
That‘s not all though. The Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival action continues today on the circle track and in the Off-Road Experience with Autocross, Drifting, and a Dyno Challenge, as well as Broncos, Hoopties, and Raptors slinging mud and flying through the air. Plus, today UPR Products Car Show contestants will take home awards.
To see how it all shakes out, stay tuned to this page and our social channels throughout the day for updates on today’s action.
FOR QUALIFYING RESULTS, CLICK HERE.
Here is a look at today’s racing schedule during the 24th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented By Competition Clutch Featuring The Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.
Last night the afterparty transported us back in time in a cloud of smoke as Retro Meet took over the circle track. The brainchild of Harris Lue, this event rounded up a radical group of 1979-1998 Fords for a cruise-in, costume contest, and a burnout box smoke show. Vaughn Gittin Jr. kicked off the show by slaying tires in his Mustang RTR and the old-school Ford fans kept the fun going into the night.
Frank Paultanis carries an G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock championship under his belt, but this season proved more difficult. The car is running strong so far this weekend, however, and Paulanis attributes the big improvements to small changes in gearing and chassis improvements. His 9.73-second rip was good enough to secure the second spot on the qualifying sheet leading into today’s eliminations. He also has the benefit of spending more time analyzing data after a run, as his crew members Andy Ransford and Matt Harget are always up to help him out with the car between rounds.
It is a true three-ring circus this weekend with automotive adrenaline pumping on the drag strip, in the mud, and on the circle track. The drifting exhibitions are flat-out insane this weekend. Where else are you going to see three Mustang RTRs sliding around the original bigfoot or Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Loren Healy doing tandem drifts in a Mustang RTR and an Ultra 4 race Bronco? If you like slaying tires, Bowling Green is the spot this weekend.
Paul Svinicki cut a perfect light to top the qualifying charts in ARP Open Comp this weekend, but more importantly, his Godzilla-powered Cobra Jet is running well. Prior to the event, he installed a fresh engine fitted with Molnar rods and MAHLE pistons developed specifically for this application. He also spent a fruitful weekend working with the team at Nitrous Outlet to dial in his combination, and they tightened up a lot of little things. The result is more consistent passes with the same nitrous jet size he has run all season. He also swapped to a 4.10 gear for better reaction times and more rpm. Svinicki ran a best of 8.86 seconds in qualifying and had a plan in place for today’s eliminations.
Fresh off her starring role at Ford’s seventh-generation Mustang reveal, Autumn Schwalbe was happy to be back at the track drag racing. She dual-enrolled in both the Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle and SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race categories, and she felt really good about the latter class. Her car was running consistent mid-eights in qualifying, just a tick quicker than the limit in the class, so she felt confident in reeling the Whipple-boosted Fox Mustang in to run the number in eliminations today.
Multi-time winner in TorqStorm True Street, Randy Thomas is once again contesting that class as well as Suncoast Performance 8.60. Thomas also qualified for Sunday's Circle D Specialties King of the Street, and right before round one of eliminations, his friend Shawn Stafford noticed that one of Thomas' front wheels had a significant crack in it. Thomas noted it likely happened during the True Street cruise, as they had to go off-road at one point, and thankfully it didn't not cause an issue during True Street. Stafford promptly pulled the wheels off his own car so Thomas can proceed with class eliminations today.
Matt Foist of Columbus, Indiana, qualfied 4th with an 8.611 in the Suncoast Performance 8.60 Street Race class in his beautiful Bright Atlantic Blue Mustang Cobra, but eliminations today didn't go his way. Shortly after launching the car on the hard-hooking track surface, it broke the driver's front control arm bolt, and thankfully he was able to bring it to a quick and safe halt. The 8.60 Street Race class was featured at three events this year, and with 26 cars in attendance here at Beech Bend Raceway Park, we may just see class at six races in 2023.
Justin Peachey carved his name into the history books this weekend by winning the Mustang Hub Magazine Grand Champion Challenge Late Model class in a borrowed 2021 Mustang. He placed third in the Hurst/Grassroots Motorsports Autocross, MSD Ignition/Pro-Touring.com 3S Challenge, and Drag Race events to collect the win. While that is an impressive accomplishment, his victory also earned the Triple Crown award, as he also won the same class at LS Fest and MoParty this year, which is the first time anyone achieved this feat.
Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star and 5.0 Mustang racing legend Mike Murillo experienced a run of bad luck this week. His tried-and-true Fox Mustang race car, affectionately known as LawFawnduh, caught fire during competition. His life was spared as the safety team pulled him from the flaming Mustang. The front of the car experienced extensive damage, but his team is already planning a new Mustang build for next season. He also suffered a burned hand in the incident but still planned to appear this weekend at Beech Bend Raceway Park. However, his motorhome broke down on the way. His team fixed the hauler and Murillo arrived today to catch the final day of NMRA action.