Paul Rosner
March 13, 2012
Photos By: Steve Turner, Paul Rosner

Put up those snow shovels, ice scrapers, and rock salt. Stow away the ice skates, skis, and even snowmobiles! Get those car covers off and rolled up, and move the junk that's migrated around your steed over the winter month. Get her dusted off and put back together—because it's time! Quarter-mile, pavement-pounding, gear-slamming, tire-smoking fun is just around the corner, and it's scheduled to appear at a dragstrip near you!

The folks from Promedia have stepped up their automotive enthusiast curriculum with new budget-minded classes, new event venues, and even an entirely new racing series out West for all makes and models!

The popular NMRA Ford Nationals Series will host eight events and bring its Blue Oval spectacle to the Maryland International Raceway for the first time ever. Whether you're a fan or racer, you must come and behold the most magnificent array of Ford hot rods both old and new, on and off the track.

Competition will be intense, with the usual 200-mph behemoths, bumper-dragging gear-jammers, Coyote 5.0 crate-engine-powered ponies, and several index-style alternatives to bracket racing. Participants will face off against the hottest racers from around the country. If you can conquer all and capture a win in the NMRA, be assured that you have beaten the nation's best!

Aside from the racing, there's plenty to see at the track. The UPR Products All-Ford Auto Show & Shine commonly showcases over 300 of the most rare and gorgeous Mustangs and Fords in the country. The tire-melting maniacs in the burnout contest are always a crowd favorite, as are the 300-plus mph exhibition jet car runs!

It's a bargain-shoppers' paradise as each event assembles one of the largest manufacturers' midways, where hot show-only deals are common and tech support is plentiful, from manufacturers, shops, and racers alike. Oodles of swappers are also on the property. negotiating hot deals on an extensive array of used parts.

Gather your family and friends, and come experience the hottest spectacle in motorsports! To whet your appetite, here is an overview of some of the cars and stars of the biggest and most popular all-Ford drag racing festivals in the country.

Horse Sense: If you're out West, you might want to check out the NMRA's sister series, the NMCA West, which will field three California races and one in Arizona. Each race will feature an open-comp-style Mustang Maddness clase. For more info, hit www.nmcadigital.com.

Pro Outlaw 10.5

The world's quickest and fastest Mustang and Ford-bodied streetcars in the country will amaze you when they line up at the starting gate, focused on hooking over 2,300 hp on a set of 10.5Wx33-inch drag slicks. That ride will last just over 6 seconds en route to the stripe.

Pro Outlaw 10.5W cars retain the stock quarter-panels, pillar posts, door jams, roof, and floorpan to keep their stock appearance. All contestants even have working taillights. The class allows up to 865ci nitrous oxide injected powerplants, 650ci supercharged, and 550ci single 106mm or twin 88mm turbocharger combos. All combos have different weight breaks with smaller cube combos running a bit lighter across the scales.

It won't matter which combination your favorite racer is sporting, the competition will be fast and furious right to the finish line as the quickest and fastest street cars in the country square off.

2011 Class Quickest & Fastest

E.T.: Mike Murillo, 6.62 seconds

MPH: Mike Murillo, 217.45 mph

Watch List

• Last season, 12-time-champ Mike Murillo's sick big-block, twin-turbo '93 Fox coupe took runner-up in the second race and never looked back. They ran the table, winning the last three events, resetting the record in the last two.

• Tim Essick ended last season on a high note. He won Bradenton in his 430ci, twin-turbo '03 Cobra, meeting the Murillo freight train in a couple finals. He and his team have been making huge strides in the past few years, and they could surprise some folks in 2012.