Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
October 17, 2016

Not even Hurricane Matthew could stop the 2016 Ford vs. Mopar Series from thundering into the Palm Beach International Raceway, just a week after 140-plus mph winds and rain tore up the east coast of the United States. Thankfully, Palm Beach International Raceway was spared of any major damage and racing resumed less than a week later with the traveling Ford vs. Mopar Series event.

Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), is located just east of West Palm Beach, Florida, and is one of our favorite race facilities. The track regularly hosts drag racing, road course racing, and there’s a super fun go-kart track as well, however on Saturday, October 12, it was all about Fords and Mopars competing in drag racing and show action.

All type of Ford engines were found in Florida, ranging from big-blocks like this to nitrous-gulping small-blocks.
This clean-looking 1970 Mustang ran strong in the foot-brake bracket class.

This was the third stop on the Ford vs. Mopar series tour, and the Florida track was packed with new and old Ford and Mopar cars and trucks featuring serious power plants and flashy paint. Dragstrip action consisted of three bracket classes and we saw a wide variety of muscle in the show area. There was also a swap meet, where we found loads of collectibles, from old cast-iron signs to hot rod parts and diecast cars.

The morning consisted of time trials and this gave us a chance to scope out the runners. We saw everything from a mint-condition 1979 Mercury Zeypher Box Top with a basic 302 and a shot of nitrous, to the latest Shelby GT350 tearing up the quarter-mile. We also had our eye on the competition, as the Hellcats and old-school Mopars warmed up with some impressive runs.

One of the highlights was seeing a slightly modded GT350 run. The Shelbywas hooking hard on drag radials and running low 12s in the heat.

In the show field, the Ford contingent out-muscled the Mopar brigade. Ford was represented from the 1930s, right up to the present times with Deuce Coupes, 1950s street machines and a multitude of Mustangs.

Unfortunately for the Blue Oval crowd, the only Ford drag race winner was Jonis Fraker, who took his Mustang to the Bracket II championship, beating Renee Allen’s 1969 GTX in a tight race. In the show, however, Fords scored big time, taking numerous awards and Best of Show.

David Lindsay brought out his real 1995 SVT Cobra R that runs in IHRA Super Stock. Here he puts it to a Dodge Dart with a holeshot off the line.

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Show Winners
Best of Show
Doug Curry 1957 Ford
Best Engine
George Denya 1989 Mustang
Best Paint
Melvyn Lipschitz 1941 Ford
Best Interior
Roger Zielke 1932 Ford
Best Shelby
Jimmy Marrero 2010 GT500
Stock ’64-93 Mustang
Ryan Payne 1990 GT
Modified ’64-93 Mustang
George Denya 1989 Mustang
Stock ’05-up Mustang
Jenna Cornibe 2014 GT
Modified ’05-up
Bryan Pearson 2005 Mustang
Specialty Ford
Harry Reid 1962 Ranchero
Best Mercury
Jerry Maurer 1969 Cougar
Classic Ford
Doug Curry 1957 Ford
Truck/SUV
Omar Borroto 2016 F-150
Traditional Hot Rod
Rudy Dapaeiro 1957 Mercury Wagon

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