Prev Article Next Article

Friday Coverage: NMRA World Finals + Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival

Posted By: Steve Turner & Ainsley Jacobs

While the weather didn’t cooperate yesterday morning, it’s a completely different story today at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. With the facility dried out and the racing surface thoroughly prepped, it’s time to shift into high gear at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival as testing quickly moves into qualifying in the full range of heads-up and index categories on the drag strip.


Meanwhile, on the oval track behind the control tower, the corner-carving action heats up as Autocross and Grand Champion competitors get some laps on the course. Over at the Off-Road Experience the Average Joes, Hooptie-X, and TORR Raptor competitors are slinging mud, while vehicles are testing their mettle in the Dyno Competition. Later in the day, the Drift Exhibition will see slideways tire slaying take over the oval, while the Grand Champion competitors hit the drag strip. The car show is in full swing today and Jet Dragsters are shooting for a land-speed record as well.


There is something for every kind of Ford fan this weekend at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Stay tuned to this page and our social media for updates throughout the weekend from the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.

In Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, Adam Cox’s 1999 Ford Mustang is running strong and its driver is cutting good 0.02X-second lights, but there was a little issue with the brakes locking up due to a stuck piston and holding the rear tires on his first qualifying run. Quick to adapt and overcome, the Kentuckian wasted no time in locating a set of used Strange brakes for sale in the pits. Thanks to the help of some good friends, including Kevin Garret (pictured), Adam got the replacements bolted on so he would be ready when the call came for the second session.

Competitors in the Hurst/Grassroots Motorsports Autocross, MSD/ 3S Challenge, and the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center/Mustang Hub Magazine Grand Champion classes carved up the cones on the autocross course inside the oval track at Beech Bend Raceway. There were plenty of Mustangs between the cones and a sampling of other Fords from classics to more modern machines.


Longtime Ford racer Jay Misener decided to get back in on the NMRA action and threw a mild Ford Performance Aluminator engine between the frame rails of his beloved hatchback 1988 Ford Mustang LX. Running in a naturally aspirated configuration with Ford GT350 heads, custom-ground MMR camshafts, and a Cobra Jet intake, Misener took to the track at Beech Bend Raceway Park with the Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts Limited Street group during Friday morning’s test session and was rapidly rewarded with a new personal best in all-motor trim. Previously, the Misener Motorsports entry had run 9.39 at 147 mph while weighing 2,580-pounds, but Misener was thrilled to collect a timeslip showing 9.38 at 143 mph even though he’s since added nearly 200-pounds to the equation. He’s hoping the Fox body will pick up even further as the day cools off and the air improves.

After a slightly delayed start this morning (due to the track’s timing system having been struck by lightning and needing to be rewired), Matt Harget had a lot to celebrate as he ran a new personal best in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle trim for the 2023 season. Matt had only swapped to a new set of Brisk spark plugs and added some VP Racing C10 fuel before running the 10.31-second pass in his Woodside Motorsports-supported 1979 Mercury Capri RS, and he’s toying with the idea of replacing his Gen 1 Coyote engine with a newer version over the off-season to see if he can get down into the 9-second zone next.

After purchasing Greg Phillips’s 2016 Ford Mustang just one short month ago, Tom Mueller only changed the oil and let Brandon Alsept at BA Motorsports check the tune-up and give the new toy his blessing before hauling it out to Beech Bend Raceway Park to run in the SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race category this weekend instead of Mueller’s usual Factory Stock. Previously equipped with a Fathouse roll cage welded by Brett Reckart, a sleeved engine built by Barker Machine, potent Comp turbo upgrade, Turbo 400 transmission from Extreme Automatics, and a ProTorque converter, the S550 also still has its factory air conditioning as well as heated and cooled seats. This morning on its maiden voyage, the car gave Mueller a cool 9.218 at 152.22 mph pass. Next, the driver plans to ramp in some more boost and join the rest of the group in the 8.60-second zone. Unfortunately, SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race and Richmond Gear Factory Stock are back-to-back on the NMRA schedule so Mueller couldn’t run both of his cars, but he’s hoping that will change for 2024 and he will be able to bring both entries in his fleet.

When his Factory Stock entry’s Coyote engine gave up the ghost over Labor Day weekend and couldn’t run in the new Street Bandit 10.10 category this weekend, Chris Lee turned a joke into a personal mission. Together with his daughter Daniella, Chris spent the two weeks prior to the NMRA All-Ford World Finals in full-blown thrash mode trying to get what was previously a stripped-down Fox body shell ready to run in Circle D Specialties True Street. He grabbed an old pushrod powerplant from his TooSlo86 Racing’s dyno test car, found a TREMEC T5 transmission and a McLeod clutch, and installed almost all that UPR Products had to offer from the tubular K-member to the adjustable upper and lower control arms, torque boxes, anti-roll bar, and more. For everything else, Chris used whatever he had handy. With a truncated timeline (hence the Sharpie’d “Two Weeks’ Notice” moniker on the door, as Christened by Daniella) and a week of rain, Chris has only been able to accumulate roughly six miles on the setup to test the Mustang’s roadworthiness. One thing’s for sure: the 30-mile True Street cruise this weekend will be the true litmus test of whether or not his hard work paid off.

It’s only Friday, but the UPR Products Car Show is already brimming with beautiful rides, including Ray Patterson’s ex-Kentucky State Trooper Fox Mustang. The car is in great shape, including all the law-enforcement add-ons and the gun rack in the trunk gives new meaning to riding shotgun.

The Swap Meet is in full swing at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival. We spotted everything from fenders to intakes and interior pieces to wheels. There are plenty of collectibles, custom signs, and more up for sale. We even saw a T-top Fox roof panel with the tops if you are eyeing a conversion.

Harris Lue and Emily Butler of Lue Creative are in the house prepping for the return of Retro Meet on Saturday night. Celebrating the ’80s and early ’90s with retro clothes, cars, and plenty of burnouts, is a great way to cap off the festivities tomorrow evening.

Potent pickups have a long history of showing out in the UPR Products Car Show. Louis Guzzo’s slammed ’67 F-100 is one of the standouts. The patina’d exterior and stance are attention grabbers, but under the hood lurks a swapped Coyote 5.0-liter engine. Even more impressive, the truck made the trip out from California.

Pat Topolinski, host of PowerNation’s Engine Power television series, and his co-host Frankie Forman brought out their Spicy Sleeper Granada project to Beech Bend Raceway, and it lives up to its name. This 1977 model looks like a pure time capsule, but its luxo-barge image hides plenty of performance. The show upgraded the car with a 347 stroker topped by AFR heads and breathing through a 950-cfm carb. A solid-roller cam controls the valve movements, and a PA street/strip automatic channels the power back to a Currie 9-inch rear. It churns out 531 all-natural horsepower on the engine dyno and 530 horsepower at the tire with a 125-shot of nitrous. You can catch up with the full build over at 

Here is how the action will go down today at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.

join our

email list

You’ll be first to know about NMRA events, race results and so much more!