Saturday Coverage—19th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals

It’s going to be a fantastic day here at Beech Bend Raceway, and if you’re in driving distance, you’ll want to be here. The pits are packed and we welcomed a record 97 cars to the QA1 True Street ranks with even more expected today—we just might eclipse the all-time record of 145 and break that 150 mark, which will trigger the True Street double purse option that the NMRA has up for grabs this weekend.

Championships are on the line this weekend as well, and racers will be pulling out all of the stops as they hope to hoist the Victor trophy in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle on Sunday.

A fuel pump failure during yesterday’s action gave VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw points leader Manny Buginga the unwanted gift of four fried pistons. Quick to act, as always, Buginga and crew spared no time yanking the hurt DiSomma Racing Engines-built 400 ci engine. Next, they prepped the spare and worked into the night loading the new bullet into its home in Buginga’s MJM Construction Corp-backed ’03 Mustang Cobra.

Investigations were underway in Race Pages Factory Stock racer Mike Bowen’s pit last night, as his Grabber Blue ’71 Maverick’s C4 transmission had a problem that could only be described as “stanky”. The guys knew from the smell that something was up, and given that the ATF fluid looked strangely like latte art, they decided to take a look and do some diagnosing.

Jason Riley of Eagleville, Kentucky, has been working on creeping up on the tune in his 1987 Mustang coupe, and has been carefully checking the spark plugs to chart his progress. The Mustang packs a 438ci Windsor engine with an F1A ProCharger blower, Holley EFI, and has been as quick as 5.63 with “a lot left in it.” Running in ididit Outlaw True Street this weekend, Riley hopes to improve upon that time and maybe take home a Victor trophy as well.

The Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals plays host to a spectacular UPR Products car show, and Mustang fans can sample all sorts of Mustangs on the beautiful grounds here at Beech Bend Raceway.

Gary “Hollywood” Parker is doing double duty this weekend driving two cars, and he is having SO. MUCH. FUN! He hasn’t run his blue Exedy Mod Muscle ’02 Mustang (background) since the NMRA/NMCA race in Atlanta earlier this year and was ready to focus on it this weekend, but when Tim Matherly offered up the seat in his G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock burgundy fastback (foreground), Parker jumped at the chance. “I haven’t driven a stick car on the track in about 15 years, and this is my first experience with a G-Force G101A four-speed,” noted Parker, who was all smiles this morning as he prepped to start the day. “I pull up to the line, pre-stage, and by the time I stage, all hell breaks loose and the tree comes on and I let go of the clutch and have to pull second almost instantly. It feels like I don’t take a breath until the finish line, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had racing! I’m yelling ‘hell yeah!’ in my helmet as I cross through the stripe!”

Edelbrock Renegade racer Eric Kenward was behind the wheel of his purple Mustang which tops this post today, and as he told us in the pits, the car works the front half of the track quite well. He retarded the camshaft two degrees in a bid to get it to work the back half (1/8-mile to 1/4-mile) better and hopefully stay close if not surpass the number-one qualifier after round one, Bart Tobener.

While it may not boast a big tower at the head of the dragstrip, Beech Bend Raceway does have something most tracks don’t have, and that’s covered spectator stands. Not that the weather isn’t perfect as it is, but the roof funnels in the cool breeze while you kick back and enjoy the racing action.

Here’s a dramatic reenactment of what it looked like in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Carlos Sobrino’s pit area the past two nights. The jovial joker from New Jersey has busted up two clutches so far due to “bad adjustments” – one on Thursday night and one on Friday – and is currently on his third and final spare. Hopefully it holds.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how world records happen. Race Part Solutions’ Bart Tobener of Winder, Georgia clicked off an impressive 7.360 at 183.34 mph pass during Edelbrock Renegade qualifying last night to take the number one spot and reset the elapsed time record as well. How does he do it? Well, other than selling parts in the swap meet to pay for his racing habit, Tobener cites hard work and attention to details that have allowed him to slowly chip away at it – oh, and the excellent weather last night sure didn’t hurt.

This is the face of a number one qualifier. Dwayne Barbaree was well on his was to being the first in the 4.20s last night, but had to pedal it when his ’94 Mustang SVT Cobra, owned by Russell Stone, made a move towards the wall. Despite the wiggle, Barbaree ran 4.358 at 165.42 mph and was undeniably the quickest of the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw category by two-hundredths of a second. Together with Stone, who owns Kuntz and Co., the two went back to the drawing board and got series with track rentals and focus. As a result, they have found a few extra horses in the car’s Kuntz engine and have the tune up on point. Meanwhile, Stone’s own car is running well but hurt a ring and pinion while testing in Memphis earlier this week. Fortunately, a center section on loan from John Urist has got him back in the game, although the focus is mostly on Barbaree’s entry for the time being.

Crew chief Camden Crosby was overseeing a repair on his dad, Chris’ Mustang GT this morning, as a small puddle of water under the car led to a leaking coolant line from the recently installed ice tank in the trunk. Jordan Performance in Riverview, Florida, sewed up the details on the nitrous installation just days before Crosby and crew arrived in Bowling Green, and the recent upgrades have improved elapsed times from a best of 9.68 to a 9.51 at 149 mph this morning. Camden will have his hands full with his driver, Chris, who will be competing in QA1 True Street, and plans to partake in the Stick Shift Shootout Quick 8 tomorrow.

We’ve got fabulous Fords as far as the eye can see. The UPR Products All-Ford Car Show is absolutely huge and we might have set a record for the number of cars on the property! Catch some of the finest examples of classic and contemporary Fords in the region, and get some inspiration for your next build along the way.

Discovery’s “Street Outlaws: New Orleans” star Bobby “Lil’ Legend” Ducote is on the property and he’s having a blast meeting fans, taking photos, and signing autographs. Stop by his pit area this weekend for your chance to meet Bobby, and go behind the scenes by getting an up-close and personal look at his nitrous huffing ’86 Ford Mustang!

The vendor midway is buzzing with great deals as racers and fans alike scour the booths for bargains. Take a walk through the aisle to talk with experts from your favorite brands, get your questions answered, and finally pick up those parts you’ve had on your wish list for way too long.

Need parts? Our swap meet has got ‘em – and at great prices, too. It’s as simple as that.

We stumbled across Mike Smith’s super clean 1980 Mustang Cobra in the pits while he was waiting for his bracket class to be called.  The early Cobra’s are pretty rare, and Mike told us his is one of just a few that came in the rare blue color. Gone is the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, replaced with 363 cubic inches of Bischoff Engine Service Windsor power based on  an equally rare RDI aluminum block. Smith picked the car up for just $150, after owning a ’79 Pace car and another early Cobra. He’s going on 17 years of ownership with this one, though he’s only made 8 passes on it with this engine. The small-block has pushed it to 6.40s in the eighth-mile.

 

QA1 True Street presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine knocked down its cruise portion of the contest this afternoon. Well over one hundred Mustangs and Fords took part in the 30-mile cruise, which encountered a true street situation where a car crash ahead of the parade had knocked over a power pole. With power lines strewn across the road, the parade of high-horsepower muscle had to turn around and re-route back to the track.

Speaking of QA1 True Street, yesterday’s >>>results are located here<<<.

Qualifying has been completed. Get the results HERE

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