Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
October 7, 2015

NHRA’s Division 1, which encompasses the Northeastern part of the United States, is rich with drag racing history, and one of the favorite strips amongst racers and fans is the 1,320 located in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, better known as Maple Grove Raceway. “The Grove” has played host to quarter-mile madness for decades—in addition to being a hot spot for NHRA racers, it hosted the ever-popular Stormin’ Norman Shootout held in conjunction with the track’s own Ford Motorsport Nationals.

Those who attended the Stormin’ Norman Shootout saw the very best in heads-up Mustang racing for the time. Those events were drama-filled and action-packed with all the top characters laying it down for 5.0 Mustang supremacy.

Bobby Fazio goes wheels up with his 1988 5.0 Ford Mustang in L/SA. Fazio ran a best of 11.98 on a 12.70 index.
Rowin’ Ray Scardelli rammed his four-speed, small-block Ford Probe into the 14th slot with an impressive 9.97. Scardelli won the heads-up Class competition and also made it four rounds before bowing out.
Anthony Bongiovanni qualified his immaculate Arrow 5 Years Out-backed 5.0 Cobra Jet in the 5th spot in the tough Super Stock field. Bongiovanni ran in the 8.50s and made it to the third round of competition.

With that, we’ve returned for back-to-back weekends of NHRA competition. First we’re checking out the action at the NHRA Keystone Nationals—then we’ll get behind the wheel of Bongiovanni Racing’s Cobra Jet Mustang at the NHRA Dutch Classic the following weekend.

Since 2008, Cobra Jet Mustangs been winning races, and each weekend, racers continue to write a new chapter in the Ford Performance history books. And while we love the CJs, we’re not overlooking the mass of classic and modern Fords and Mercs pounding the pavement at The Grove. In fact, the NHRA Sportsman ranks are filled with a variety of cool classes including the .90 index classes, Stock and Super Stock and Competition Eliminator.

While many of today’s Stocker are high-tech, you can still find classic muscle cars including your favorites from the 1960’s, 1970s and 1980s. Stock and Super Stock has always been big in this part of the country, as the class offers a mix of bracket and heads-up action. Qualifying is based on performance and at any time a racer may encounter a heads-up race. It’s still a big deal to set a national record, or compete heads-up in Class Eliminations. In addition, NHRA has created the Factory Showdown for the Cobra Jet, Dodge Drag Pak, and Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

We intended to get you this blog last Friday, but persistent rain delayed the entire event. Finally, after four long days the sun returned and on Monday the NHRA wrapped it up. We’re proud of all the Ford racers who stuck it out and we wish good luck to those who will be back at Maple Grove later this week. We’ll be there competing and when we’re not behind the wheel, we’ll have our camera’s blazing to capture the action.

Don Belles took the 3rd spot in Super Stock qualifying with his 2008 CJ. He ran an impressive 8.74.
Don Fezel, in the far late put his 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang atop the Stock Eliminator field with a quick 8.47.
Former Factory Showdown winner Bo Butner went rounds with his latest CJ.
Don Belles Jr. took home the FSS/C Class championship with his 8.58-second Cobra Jet Mustang.
Steve Ficacci drove the Micro Strategies CJ Mustang to an 8.75 which was good enough to lock down the 7th qualified spot in the field.
We were digging the cool 1972 Maverick of Jamie Schoenly, which runs in SS/MA with a small-block Ford engine. Schoenly’s Ford ran 11.31 and lasted two rounds.
Robert Costantin rows the gears in his little 1985 Mustang coupe. The Stang fits in M/S and went 12.04 in qualifying, good enough for the 24th spot.
The 1972 Mustang of Carroll Morris ran 10.16 in Super Stock/IA.
Ricky Hertzog gets ready to load the Bongiovnni Racing CJ’s intercooler tank with ice.

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