Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
September 20, 2018

Now in it’s 64th year, the US Nationals is the granddaddy of all NHRA drag races. For quarter milers, Indy is akin to the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500. The US Nationals, affectionately called “The Big Go” attracts the best of the best and this year that was a field of over 800 racers vying for a chance to take home a coveted Wally trophy.

Indy takes place over six days, with final eliminations being completed on Labor day. There is truly something for everyone, as the schedule is filled with everything from Stock Eliminator to Top Fuel. As much as it is a race, Indy is an experience. And over that week of racing, fans will experience the very best in sportsman racing with the backbone NHRA categories, plus a variety of specialty exhibition classes that ramp up your adrenaline.

In addition to the variety of NHRA categories, the US Nationals is packed with attractions including a massive manufacturer midway and this year NHRA included Mountain Motor Pro Stock and old-school Gassers that thrilled the crowd with long burnouts and on-the-edge runs.

Of all the classes, the vast majority of Ford can be found in Stock, Super Stock and the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology Factory Stock Showdown. Stockers and Super Stockers are factored by their horsepower and weight, and we found everything from a four-cylinder Ford Tempo and a 302 2-barrel Mercury Comet to the supercharged Cobra Jet Mustangs that runs deep in the 8s. As you can see, there’s a class for just about everything.

Ford Stock and Super Stock racers spent the early part of the event running heads-up in Class Eliminations. This is the chance for racers to go head to head within their own category for a NHRA Wally trophy. Ford racers took home a total of 18 of these coveted trophies in a wide range of categories.

In addition to the great racing action, NHRA paid tribute to the legendary Bob Glidden with a special ceremony to honor the 10-time champion. Glidden’s wife Etta, along with sons Bill and Rusty were on hand, along with other Glidden family members. Following Friday night Pro Stock qualifying, NHRA stopped racing to show a video and present Etta with a special award. Bob Tasca III and his team then unveiled a special wrap “Motorcraft” on the Ford Funny Car to honor Glidden.

Blue Oval Performance continued on in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown with the Fords of Chris Holbrook, Kevin Skinner, Chuck Watson and Carl Tasca qualifying for the 16-car field.

Ford Stock Class Winners

Driver, hometown, (car/engine)  R.T.  E.T.  MPH

K/S (2)
W: 3074 Tommy Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky. ('85 Mustang/302)  .087  11.518  113.69
L: 3608 Bill Sempsrott, Franklin, Ohio ('66 Nova/283)  -.013  11.581  113.42

P/SA (2)
W: 7022 Nanette Stein, Brentwood, Calif. ('86 Thunderbird/302)  .037  12.377  105.37
L: 3657 Marty Buth, Freeport, Ill. ('84 Mustang/140)  NT-No Show

EF/S (2)
W: 3139 Ron Seibenick, Perry, Ohio ('86 Tempo/140)  .574  16.038  82.20
L: 3520 Steve Polhill, London, Ont. ('81 Escort/97)  .065  16.580  78.90

FS/A (7)
W: 728 Brent Calvert, Lancaster, Calif. ('14 Mustang/302)  .039  8.696  156.14
L: 1656 Kenneth Miele, Egg Harbor Twp, N.J. ('08 Mustang/330)  DQ-Centerline

FS/B (5)
W: 6 Brett Candies, Thibodaux, La. ('10 Mustang/330)  .038  8.958  150.03
L: 242 K J Nowling, Lake St. Louis, Mo. ('12 Mustang/331)  .054  8.963  154.35

FS/E (4)
W: 1204 Don Carson, Ridgewood, N.J. ('14 Mustang/302)  .004  9.738  136.59
L: 3559 Mike Pustelny, Almont, Mich. ('14 Mustang/302)  .056  9.824  131.74

FS/H (2)
W: 353C Jeff Blanchard, Lowell, Ind. ('13 Mustang/363)  .057  10.358  127.17
L: 4909 Dempsey Pendarvis, Gonzales, La. ('09 Challenger/360)  .109  10.531  123.24

Driver, hometown, (car/engine)  R.T.  E.T.  MPH  Class  Index  Over/Under

Combo-Stick (7)
W: 3499 Gary Summers, Franklin, Ky. ('75 Mustang/302)  .152  12.865  102.28  U/S  14.65  -1.785
L: 3746 Jack Larsen, Cropsey, Ill. ('72 Comet/302)  .000  13.048  98.73  T/S  14.40  -1.352

Combo-FS (1)
W: 3077 Bill Dyer, Port Byron, Ill. ('10 Mustang/352)  .035  10.209  131.84  FS/K  11.90  -1.691
L: Bye

Super Stock Ford Class Winners

Driver, hometown, (car/engine)  R.T.  E.T.  MPH

SS/A (2)
W: 315 Ray Paquet, Holt, Mich. ('64 Fairlane/427)  .094  8.578  155.15
L: 3002 A.H. Adkins, Ravenswood, W.V. ('69 AMX/390)  .022  8.879  148.99

SS/B (2)
W: 3253 Dallas Kelly, Cleves, Ohio ('64 Fairlane/427)  .420  9.014  148.67
L: 324 Brandon Wilkinson, Bowling Green, Ky. ('68 Corvette/427)  .102  10.549  98.64

SS/FA (3)
W: 796 Tony Hewes, Las Vegas, Nev. ('69 Mustang/428)  .081  9.314  142.06
L: 3026 Ryan Wilson, Carrollton, Ky. ('67 Camaro/350)  -.011  9.712  133.70

SS/CS (2)
W: 3041 Venice Perno, Hamilton, Ont. ('10 Mustang/312)  .033  9.501  136.91
L: 1235 Peter D'Agnolo, Rochester, N.Y. ('67 Camaro/311)  .011  9.664  135.93

FSS/B (3)
W: 373 Bill Skillman, Greenwood, Ind. ('16 Mustang/302)  .031  8.288  162.57
L: 3782 Kim Fritts, Greenup, Ill. ('12 Mustang/330)  .063  9.093  134.91

FSS/C (6)
W: 303N Mike Skinner, Key West, Fla. ('13 Mustang/302)  .025  8.573  158.48
L: 1759 Anthony Bongiovanni, Hopatcong, N.J. ('14 Mustang/302)  -.001  8.744  155.97

FSS/D (4)
W: 1990 David Barton, Robesonia, Pa. ('14 Mustang/429)  .080  8.877  152.09
L: 3443 Mike Wagner, Lapeer, Mich. ('15 Challenger/426)  .022  9.036  147.01

FGT/B (3)
W: 4102 Jack Hodge, Muskogee, Okla. ('12 Mustang/330)  .016  8.077  169.25
L: 4312 Paul Candies, Des Allemands, La. ('12 Mustang/330)  .108  10.854  90.19

Combo-FS (8)
W: 62 Darrell Dietz, Medicine Hat, Alb. ('12 Mustang/330)  .059  8.757  153.58  FGT/C  9.80  -1.043
L: 3718 Nick Morris, Louisville, Ky. ('98 Mustang/352)  .015  9.511  139.82  FGT/I  10.50  -0.989

John Calvert made the most of his trip to Indy from his home in California. The West Coast runner lasted four rounds in Super Stock.
Gary Summers took home a Class Wally with his 1975 Mustang II King Cobra. Summers ran 12.86 at 102 in U/Stock.
Bob Tasca III sported this Bob Glidden-themed wrap on his Ford Mustang Funny Car. The Motorcraft wrap was part of a tribute to the 10-time NHRA champion racer.
Tony Hewes of Las Vegas, NV was a Class winner with his beautiful 1969 Shelby GT500.
Paul Candies dipped in the 7s with his awesome Cobra Jet Mustang. Candies qualified 8th with his Mustang running in FGT/B.
Dallas Kelly, rowed the gears to a Class win with his 1964 Thunderbolt. Kelley ran 9.014 at 148.67 to defeat the Corvette of Brandon Wilkinson in the final.
Etta Glidden watches a tribute video to her late husband, the legendary Bob Glidden. She’s wearing the fire jacket that Bob used to cover his induction system after rolling over and destroying his Thunderbird at the 1986 NHRA race in Atlanta.
Jeff Covert made the show with his FE-poweed Fox-body Mustang. Covert ran 8.92 with his four-speed Ford.
This is the beautiful 1998 Mustang o Nick Morris. Morris runs a 352ci pushrod Cobra Jet engine that propels the Ford to mid-9s. Morris fouled in the second round ending his run for an Indy title.
Bill Skillman went wheels up with his 2016 Super Stock Cobra Jet.
Rusty Glidden checks out the Bob Glidden recreation Ford Fairmont of Mike Ruth.
Recent NHRA winner Anthony Bongiovanni ran well with his 2014 Cobra Jet.
In addition to running Stock, Gary Summers brought out his 2014 convertible CJ to compete in Super Stock. Summers ran low 9s with the all-motor, stick-shift combination.
Kevin Skinner ran 8.10 to secure a spot in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown.
Engine builder Chris Holbrook had the best-qualified Ford in Factory Stock. The Michigan runner ran 8.09 at 167 mph to slip into the 3rd slot. Holbrook fell in the Second round when he spun off the line.
Muskogee, OK runner Jack Hodge won the FGT/B Class title with his 2012 CJ Mustang. Hodge ran at nearly 170 mph, defeating Paul Candies in the final.
David Barton had a great weekend in the Cook Brothers 2014 Mustang. Barton won Class Eliminations and then lasted until the Semi-finals in Super Stock before being defeated. Barton runs the Ninja 429 pushrod combo to run consistent 8.80s at 152.09 mph.
Carl Tasca has been a strong runner in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. Tasca made the tough field running 8.18 at 164 mph.
Indy saw a Ford back in Pro Stock. Charlie Westcott ran his Mustang but was unable to crack into the field.
Teardown is no joke at Indy. Don Carson ran 9.73 to win Class Eliminations in FS/F with his 302 Cobra Jet. Carson was then protested, so he had to pulled off a cylinder head, along with a rod and piston to prove legality. The Ford passed with flying colors.

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