The National Mustang Racers Association (NMRA) concluded its 2019 season with its All-Ford World Finals, held September 26-29, at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky alongside Holley’s inaugural Intergalactic Ford Festival. The NMRA series is regarded as the largest and longest operating performance series in the world. Each race event features true street and bracket drag racing, a car show, manufacturers midway, and a burnout contest.
Domenic DiDonato in the C&D Autotech ’08 Shelby GT500 finished first with a 4.482 at 164.09 mph in the 1/8-mile of the final run of the Street Outlaw class
During the Street Outlaw eliminations, a 275 radial category for vehicles with a single power-adder, DiDonato took on Phil Hines and his ProCharged ’01 Mustang which couldn’t hold off DiDonato’s turbocharged ‘stang in the opposing lane.
Joel Greathouse won the NMRA Edelbrock Renegade class with a 4.695 at 156.41 mph pass. Renegade is a heads-up class designed for single power adder small-block engines with street racing roots that have evolved into high-tech powerplants.
During eliminations, the event’s number-two qualifier, Tim Knieriem came out on top with his ’95 Mustang against Alton Clements’ ’89. Knieriem took the win posting a 4.754 at 152.68 mph.
Brad Schehr from Ft. Myers, Florida, qualified number one for the in ProCharger Modified Street class, with his ’89 Mustang, running 7.701 at 177.84 mph pass. During eliminations, Schehr met with the number-two qualifier, Martin Connelley and his ’86 Mustang. Modified Street is designed to push street-type powerplants and power adders to the brink of the 7s.
Connelley took off quicker with a 0.006-second reaction time compared to Schehr’s 0.014-seconds. Schehr caught up quickly and finished with 7.740 at 177.59 mph which allowed him to capture the championship title as well.
Bill Putnam qualified number one in Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street class when he drove his UPR Products ’94 Mustang through the beams in 8.621-seconds at 159.59 mph.Limited Street was born from popular street combinations in order to form an 8-second heads-up category.
Putnam battled Mike Ciborowski, who had qualified third and captured his second consecutive championship for the category along the way, for the finals. Putnam finished with 8.674 at 158.32 mph while Ciborowski finished at to 9.358 at 127.50 mph.
Charlie Booze Jr. drove Justin Fogelsonger’s Fox Mustang and went 10.307 at 129.47 mph, qualifying first in the Richmond Gear Factory Stock class, a heads-up class designed for Ford vehicles that are powered by highly restricted 4.6 and 5.0 powerplants using mostly stock induction components. Folgelsonger then qualified second with a 10.353 at 128.90 mph pass in the driver’s seat of his ’03 Mach 1. Ultimately, Fogelsonger won with 10.356 at 128.05 mph pass. Additionally, Dan Ryntz won the 2019 Richmond Gear Factory Stock championship title.
Frank Paultanis ran 10.185 at 130.38 mph qualified first in the G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock class, a naturally aspirated category designed for 1954 and newer Ford bodied vehicles and was joined by Nathan Stymiest in his ’92 Mustang. The overall championship went to Clair Stewart II.
Terry “Beefcake” Reeves won the McLeod by Raybestos 10R80 Throwdown – and a free McLeod by Raybestos 10R80 rebuild kit – by defeating Heinz Stock with a run of 9.183 at 126.55 mph in his 2018 Mustang.
Dwayne Hickman owned both of the GT500’s in the final battle of the Cobra/Terminator vs. GT500 Shootout. Hickman drove his white 2010 GT500 against London Chassis Dyno’s Chad Epperson, the events top qualifier, in his 2010 “Blacksnake” Mustang. Epperson ran 7.694 at 181.15 mph which gave him the win.
The Stick Shift Shootout put eight of the quickest manually shifted Mustangs against one another in an index class and saw Mike Niehaus come out on top in his 1986 Mustang. Niehaus got the overall win in a double-breakout scenario over Clint Derango in the finals of the “Chicago-style” eliminations.
Alongside drag racing, spectators could enjoy the manufacturers midway, a swap meet and car show, autocross, 3S Challenge, and Grand Champion competitions in between drifting exhibitions from Formula Drift drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa.
Other event highlights included a burnout contest with Cleetus McFarland, a Dyno Shootout organized by Redline Performance, and the Bigfoot monster truck was on site.
The 2020 season kicks off with the 26th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, February 27-March 1.
For more and information, visit www.NMRAdigital.com.
Photography by Nicole Ellan James.