Michael Galimi
June 22, 2016
Photos By: Paul Rosner

The third stop on the NMRA 2016 tour was a facility familiar to long-time NMRA racers and fans: Maple Grove Raceway. This scenic NHRA-sanctioned dragstrip nestled in the rolling green hills of Mohnton, Pennsylvania, was the location of the very first NMRA event in 1999. This year NMRA officials brought back the historic Ford Motorsport Nationals, an event rich in the history books of Mustang Shootouts and all-Ford events. Hailed as one of the original national-event-caliber, single-branded drag racing events, it has come home to Maple Grove Raceway, and even the cold and rainy weather couldn’t dampen the excitement of its return.

After battling on-and-off rain showers for the better part of two days, the NMRA officials powershifted the program into high gear and shortened qualifying to just two rounds and went right into eliminations on Saturday. Event director Rollie Miller knew the racing portion of the event wasn’t going to be concluded in just one day, but with three more races on the schedule he settled into the decision to get as far into eliminations a possible before the next round of rain showers arrived Saturday evening. Winners were declared in five categories, including QA1 True Street, and all of the NMRA championship eliminators (except one) got a few rounds of competition in before the plug was pulled. Racing will resume during the qualifying rounds of the next event, the 13th annual NMRA Super Nationals, to be held at National Trails Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

Rain or shine, the action was still wild and crazy. Here are the highlights from the 22nd annual WyoTech Ford Motorsport Nationals, presented by Juggernaut Power.

John Kauderer didn’t even think about lifting in the heat of competition as his Cobra Jet went sky-high in Round 1 of ProCharger Coyote Modified. The turbocharged 5.0 operates out of the JPC Racing camp, and Kauderer pedaled it to try and bring the front-end down easy.

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Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords All-Female Shootout, Presented by American Muscle
Several times a year NMRA officials host a race within a race. For Pennsylvania it was the All-Female Shootout, which is in its fourth year of competition. The shootout began in Ohio and moved to Maple Grove Raceway this year. Nine ladies came to duke it out at on the dragstrip. NMRA officials break the class into two segments. The first is the traditional QA1 True Street that ranks the female competitors by elapsed time and rewards the winners of several timed categories. The second segment is an eight-car, heads-up competition where the quickest survive. Leslie Upole took both the Overall win in the True Street portion of the event as well as the Quick 8 shootout win.

Leslie Upole drove her Maverick to a best average of 10.79 to capture the Overall win in the All-Female True Street competition. A few hours after completing the True Street challenge she went on to score a win in the heads-up competition as well.

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