Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
May 2, 2016
Photos By: John Raphel, Jennifer Awad

The northeast has forever been a hot bed for late-model Ford action, and 2016 marked the return of a premier event, the NMRA WyoTech Ford Motorsport Nationals to Maple Grove Raceway. The excitement built for months, and even cold and some rain couldn’t keep us from burning rubber at The Grove. The NMRA included cool classes from NHRA Stocker and Super Stockers, to GT500s, Terminators, Turbo Coyote machines, plus we saw all the shootout cars flying to new records.

There was a huge turnout in the show area and the manufacturer’s midway was packed with everything a Ford or Mustang fan could dream of.

In addition to the stars of the NMRA series, enthusiasts saw, for the first time in over a decade, the Racin’ Jason Betwarda convertible twin-turbo Mustang, as it was unveiled after a complete restoration. Joe Caldwell located the car a few years ago and he painstakingly updated and restored the legendary Mustang. His plan is to put Mike Ragusa back behind the wheel for exhibition passes and to display the famous Ford at select events.

As for Mustang racing pioneers, we spotted many walking the pits and racing on track. Fans got up close with the likes of our own “Ask” Bernie Golick, who drove out in his one-owner 1972 Pantera, “Yo” Ken Miele, Ed Smith, Jimmy Larocca, Joe Amato, Barry Shepard, Tommy Annunziata, Ray Scardelli, and many, many more.

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