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Sunday Coverage: NMRA World Finals + Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival

Today, we'll be crowning not only our event winners, but also our 2023 Holley NMRA Drag Racing season champions as we wrap up the final day of competition at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival at Beech Bend Raceway Park in beautiful Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Eliminations are scheduled to kick off at 8:45 AM Central, and we’ll run through each of the NMRA’s eleven championship classes until a winner is determined for each, while exciting specialty categories such as King of the Street and the Stick Shift Shootout will be contested as well.
Additionally, there’s plenty of action outside of the dragstrip all day long featuring the finest and fastest Fords in events such as the MSD/ 3S Challenge, Hurst/Grassroots Motorsports Autocross, Nitto/RTR Off-Road Experience, and the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center/Mustang Hub Magazine Grand Champion competition. An afternoon drift demonstration, too, will heat things up further as the baddest tire shredders in the region show off their daring side-by-side sliding maneuvers.

Check back here throughout the day to see more coverage of the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival and find out who will head home with a coveted Victor award riding shotgun.

With a corral full of Byerly Ford-backed horsepower, Brody Daugherty’s prized possessions made for a fine display this weekend. On the left, his black 2007 Shelby GT features a supercharged Cobra Jet powerplant and the car earned both a win and the top qualifier honors last weekend at the NMCA World Finals in Indy in Micro Strategies Super Stock. In the middle, the Gulf-themed “Gulf Jet” 2012 model Cobra Jet is packing a 5.4-liter engine with a massive 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger attached and runs easily on an 8.55 dial in. On the right is Brody’s late grandfather Willard Daughterty’s 1-of-1 2018 Cobra Jet, specially built by Ford Performance and Watson Engineering as the only Super Stocker made with big tires. The latter has been painstakingly gone over in fine detail, down to every nut and bolt being either chromed or polished, and the result is a show-stopping stunner that sits on display in honor of Willard’s legacy.

Attitude Street Cars’ owner Brandon Conner has wanted to run in Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts Limited Street for years, but life always got in the way. As this weekend marked the final outing of the class, he was determined to make it to the race. Conner and his crew outfitted their Georgia-based 2011 Ford Mustang with a new combination including a Gen 1 Coyote engine that’s been sleeved, fortified with Manley rods and pistons, and boosted by a single 7675 turbocharger. Stock heads were outfitted with Comp camshafts, an FTI Powerglide transmission was bolted on, and a BigStuff EFI system was wired in to control it all. Given that ASC specializes in building solid street cars, it’s no surprise to see Conner qualified second overall with a 9.511 at 138.47 mph hit. He made it through the first round of eliminations on Saturday night but his long-awaited participation in Limited Street ended in Sunday’s semi-finals despite a valiant effort by Conner who ran his quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, 9.423 at 144.24 mph.

After nearly five years of patience and persistence, Indiana-based Kevin Schweizer finished up his wicked Godzilla-swapped 1980 Mercury Zephyr and ran it this weekend in
SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race. Kevin worked with Derek Bivins from Bivins Race Cars to do the chassis work and the men used a UPR Products outlaw K-member to cram the massive V8 engine between the frame rails. Other than the front mount intercooler and wastegate dump pipes peeking out from under the fenders, the station wagon is a full-on sleeper. Mike Jovanis was a key player in helping spec out components, and Brian “Freezy” Friedentag tuned the Holley EFI system so that the twin 72mm turbochargers could easily take the behemoth into the low 8-second zone. With less than two dozen passes on the combination and only three weeks since Schweizer got his competition license, he qualified thirteenth and already picked up a first-round win when he went dead-on 8.600 at 148.04 mph at the start of eliminations. He picked up a round win on Friday, but wasn’t able to hang on in round two this morning. Regardless, his wagon is still a winner in the coolness department and Schweizer plans to tackle drag-and-drive events like Hot Rod Drag Week and Sick Week with his wife, Jaime, their daughter, Lynnsie, and a friend along for the ride.

VP Racing Madditives Renegade racer Travis Burkett spent the past year enjoying some much-needed time off with his family and rebuilding after a brush with the wall banged up the driver’s side of his 1992 Ford Mustang. His cousins at Webb & Sons Auto Repair handled erasing the damage and a new set of RC Components 12” wheels were added once everything was shined up. Next, Mike Curcio of Mike Curcio Race Engines stepped up and helped out a ton by going through the engine to make sure everything was copacetic and he discovered an issue that needed immediate fixing; if it hadn’t been for the wreck, Travis would’ve wound up losing the entire engine – a silver lining to an unfortunate situation. One month ago at the YellowBullet Nationals, he put the first few shakedown runs on the resurrected Fox body and sent a new personal best of 4.68 at 155 mph thanks to Brian Friedentag and Eric Williams on-site to help with tuning and suspension. This weekend, Travis is still getting a few things sorted out but qualified sixth in his class with a 4.932 at 149.02 mph hit, then advanced in round one of eliminations on Saturday night. In round two on Sunday morning, Travis pulled off an upset when he took down the number one qualifier, Shawn Pevlor, and moved on to round number three.

Street cars streaked down the racetrack in Circle D Specialties True Street and the eight fastest cars earned their way into the King of the Street class, while the eight quickest manual-transmission machines moved on to today’s TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout. Competitors in the latter class registered the quickest average qualifying times in class history with Mike Neihaus headlining with an 8.71 average and Jeffery McCool bookending the entries with. 10.12 average. Neihaus also qualified in the second spot of the KOTS class.

The competition was tough in the TorqStorm SuperChargers/Motor Life Burnout Challenge, but Josh Dillon saved the best for last. He pulled his 1972 Ford Pinto Yellow into the Beech Bend Oval, lit the tires up, and didn’t stop until the airhorn signaled his time was up. He left a huge cloud of smoke, and a bit of carnage in his wake, but he took home $500 of Holley’s money for his troubles.

Last chance to grab some NMRA gear and goodies! The ProMedia PowerMall is located on the vendor midway near the circle track and has plenty of awesome apparel and accessories in stock for men, women, and children. Score a souvenir to remember your weekend here at Beech Bend Raceway Park or get a head start on your holiday shopping – there’s something for everyone and plenty of great deals!

Jason Riley had been hard at work dialing in his KBX-prepped 1987 Mustang’s suspension over the weekend, and improved from last on the list to eighth overall in the VP Racing Madditives Renegade qualifying ranks. The 4.757 at 153.07 mph trip showed that the AFCO by Menscer Motorsports shocks and Strange Engineering suspension components were working correctly, but Riley’s weekend was cut short on Saturday night as traction troubles plagued him once again and the ProCharger-supercharged entry failed to turn on the win light for its Tennessean driver.

One ultra-rare Cobra R is enough to stop a Ford Special Vehicle Team fan in their tracks, but Alan Dale and his sons Nathan and Steven are SVT fanatics. They own this 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra R and the 1995 SVT Mustang Cobra R next to it in the UPR Products show field. Nathan says that attending the NMRA World Finals back in 2001 sent his family down the rabbit hole of collecting SVT Mustangs. Now they have several, but the ’00 R-model is truly special, and they drive the car to the tune of more than 40,000 miles on the odometer, which is a rarer sight than the car itself.

Retro Meet kicked it old school last night to wrap up Saturday’s festivities in Bowling Green. Harris Lue, Emily Butler, Cobra Sam, and crew got some help from Vaughn Gittin Jr. to start the party as he drifted around Lue’s Calypso Fox. Then the costume contest took the festivities straight back to the ’80s before the burnout box hosted a wide range of retro rides that just sent it. 


Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea Denofa, and a merry band of Funhavers slayed tires and put on a show for a huge crowd of drifting fans on Saturday evening at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals Presented by Scott's Trailer Sales Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival. After the action wound down, Vaughn handed out a s series of awards to participants who traveled from near and far to show the fans what Ready to Rock is all about.

Here is Sunday’s schedule for the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals presented by Scott’s Trailer Sales, LLC featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.


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