Paul Rosner
April 1, 2013

Put away that winter gear, dig out your T-shirt with the catchy racing slogan, and prepare for the 15th NMRA Anniversary Tour! Get out to the racetrack this season and you'll behold the most magnificent array of Ford hot rods in the country, on-track and in the UPR Products All-Ford Auto Show & Shine.

Four of this season's events will cater exclusively to Blue Oval contestants, while an additional pair of venues feature the NMRA and NMCA running concurrently. At the July Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, the two programs will run their programs separately. Then the champions will clash at the end for bragging rights and Nitto Tire Diamond Tree rings.

In addition to a freshened group of heads-up and open-comp classes, there's also a new venue on the roster. Of the four pure NMRA events, one stands out as it marks the first visit to America's Racetrack—Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. So new Ford racing history will go down there this season.

In addition to the traditional classes, sideshows will include burnout contests, 300-plus-mph jet cars, and other exhibitionist fun. Specialty classes will punctuate the season with exciting highlights. Factory Cobra Jet drag cars will push the 7-second envelope, while Terminators and GT500s will battle for SVT supremacy, and our own King of the Street will end the season in high-powered style. The NMRA has a few other surprises up its sleeve, so stay tuned as the season thunders on.

As the races pass by, competitors will jockey for position in the season-long points chase. All hope to wear the sparkling Diamond Tree ring that adorns a champion's hand, but only one in each class earns that honor. Even those that miss the top have a motivation, as season survivors ranked in the Top 10 will earn a jacket at the 2013 NMRA Awards Ceremony at the Performance Racing Industry trade show this December in Indianapolis, Indiana.

To give you an idea of what they are up against and who might be there in the end, we've put together this preview.


Horse Sense: Beyond its standard classes, the NMRA will continue with specialty classes at certain venues. For example, the Bradenton season opener will feature a Ford Racing Cobra Jet class. The SVT 20th Anniversary Shootout at Maryland International Raceway will feature several SVT-centric categories, including the Terminator vs. GT500 Shootout, sponsored by VMP Superchargers.

Street Outlaw
There is something about drag-radial racing that captivates racers across the nation. With the tire as the weak link, horsepower and cash do not guarantee you a trip to the winner's circle. It's as fair a fight as you can get on the quarter-mile, but what if racers could run slicks or radials? Which combo would prevail?

In celebration of 15 years of the wildest and most unpredictable street-car-style drag racing, the NMRA will fuse the 10.5-Inch-Tire Super Street Outlaw Freak show with the outrageously popular Extreme Drag Radial classes. It will be a winner-takes-all brawl for the ages.

Combatants will choose either a 28x10.5-inch slick or 275/60-15 drag radial, while the engine and power-adder combos are virtually unlimited, and any rear suspension is permissible as long as the stock frame is retained. All boosted applications must use small-block power, while nitrous-oxide combos can choose small- or big-block combos. Turbocharged setups are limited to one 94mm unit.

With the right conditions, we may see 6s at over 200 mph in this wild new class!


Renegade
It will be standing room only, ‘cause no wheelie bars are allowed in Renegade. At this power level, at least one or two players usually ends up dragging the bumper cover on the way to an 8-second pass.

Historically Renegade was reserved for non-intercooled, fuel-injected, automatic-transmission rides. Last season, the NMRA allowed manual transmissions and carburetors for giggle-gas combos. In 2013, the sanction takes things one step further by allowing intercooling for the first time in 15 years. However, if racers opt to cool the boost, they must carry an additional 200 pounds of baggage in trade.

The changes in rules should bring new faces and new cars out of the shadows to hunt down the recurring champ, who has more championship rings than fingers!

2012 Class Record
E.T.: Brian Mitchell, 8.26 seconds
MPH: Brian Mitchell, 168.56 mph

2012 Winner: Brian Mitchell
2012 R/U: Alton Clements


Coyote Stock
Bracket racing and heads-up racing have been around for ages. Some have a passion to excel at what it takes to win in bracket racing, and most believe they can't afford heads-up racing. We were all in when rumblings started about creating a budget-minded heads-up class that could guarantee simple combos and even playing fields.

In the resulting class, Coyote Stock racers are required to utilize a factory-sealed Coyote crate engine and unmolested engine control module, which can be confiscated or swapped at anytime during competition to prove its as-delivered condition. Acceptable transmissions include several Tremec options or a C4 automatic. While major modifications aren't allowed, the typical bolt-ons, such as headers, K-members, control arms, and gears are permitted on any '54 and newer Ford.

Coyote Stock is the class for those with the passion for heads-up competition, but not for spending every last dime they have! As a result of the limited combos, racers will run neck and neck down the 1,320, which makes it exciting for the fans.

2012 Class Record
E.T.: Shame Stymiest, 10.55 seconds
MPH: Shane Stymiest, 124.66 mph

2012 Winner: Joe Charles
2012 R/U: Justin Burcham


Factory Stock
This entry-level class started out as a venue for beginners' running bolt-on, fuel-injected cars. It has since evolved into one of the most contested classes in the NMRA. Competitors must study the rulebook well, as the class has matured to the point that go-fast secrets are closely guarded. Onlookers have a hard time understanding how such outrageous performance levels are extracted from these seemingly simple combos. To keep things even, competitors must run BFG Comp/G-force TA or Nitto NT555R street drag radials and launch on a 0.400 Pro Tree.

2012 Class Record
E.T.: Louis Sylvester, 10.73 seconds
MPH: Louis Sylvester, 125.33 mph

2012 Winner: Carlos Sobrino
2012 R/U: Louis Sylvester


Modular Muscle
Center-stage for showcasing the performance potential of the Ford overhead camshaft modular engines is Modular Muscle. Competitors in this class can transplant a modular engine in any Ford body with any transmission and race on a Pro Tree. This class offers handicap-style index-style racing, so racers must qualify in an e.t. index with a 0.10 breakout allowance on raceday. A combination of bracket and index racing means weather and track conditions can play havoc on competitors.

The quickest qualifying e.t. permitted in Modular Muscle is an 8.60, while the slowest is a 15.70. Keeping the competition among humans, no electronics are allowed, and all racing leaves on a 0.500 Pro Tree!

2012 Winner: Donnie Bowles
2012 R/U: Randy Mounce


Open Comp
All Ford-bodied and -powered cars can compete in this all-run, 0.500 Pro Tree qualifying racing known as an Open Comp format. It offers handicapped index-style racing, so racers must qualify on an e.t. index with a 0.10 breakout allowance on raceday. The quickest qualifying e.t. permitted in this class is 8.60, and the slowest qualifying e.t. permitted is a 15.70. Any pass quicker than 8.599 or slower than 15.701 will be disqualified, and no electronics are allowed.

2012 Winner: Rodney Ward
2012 R/U: Randy Conway


Truck & Lightning
Ford-bodied and -powered trucks and Lightnings battle for supremacy in this Pro-tree, handicap index-style class. Racers must qualify for your e.t. with a 0.10 breakout allowance on race day, making it a combination of bracket and index racing where weather and track conditions can play havoc on competitors. Any pass quicker than 8.599 or slower than 15.701 will be disqualified, and no electronics are allowed.

2012 Winner: Johnny Lightning
2012 R/U: Jim Roberts


Super 'Stang
The Super 'Stang class highlights the capabilities of all '05-and-newer Mustangs with 4.6, 5.0, or 5.4 and V-6 engines in 0.500 Pro Tree dial-in–style racing. Power-adder Steeds must weigh 3,400 pounds, while naturally aspirated cars have to clock in at 3,200 pounds. All participants must run quicker than 14.50s and launch on a foot brake only! Sit back and be amazed at the level of human and machine competition, as no transbrakes, two-steps, or electronics are allowed!

2012 Winner: Chad Wendel
2012 R/U: Allan Miller

2013 Schedule

March 7-10
Spring Break Shootout
Bradenton Motorsports Park,
Bradenton, FL

April 11-14
All-Star Nationals
Atlanta Dragway, Atlanta, GA

May 3-5
SVT 20th Anniversary Shootout
Maryland International,
Mechanicsville, MD

June 14-16, 2013
Summit Raceway Park
Norwalk, OH

July 11-14
Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing
Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, IL

October 3-6
All-Ford World Finals
Beech Bend Raceway,
Bowling Green, KY

Special Nostalgia Drag Racing Event:
August 30-Sept. 1
35th Annual Ford Expo
Summit Motorsports Park,
Norwalk, OH


SVT 20th Anniversary Shootout
SVT was born to build high-performance Ford vehicles and the NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationals will be celebrating SVT's 20th anniversary by hosting a special SVT Shootout at Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Maryland, the weekend of May 3-5, 2013. It's only fitting that the number one all-Ford Motorsport show in the U.S. plays host to this speed-infused celebration. SVT Shootout participants will join NMRA's community of racers and car show enthusiasts for one of the largest and baddest all-Ford events of the year. And as a bonus, certain SVT racing classes include a free secondary race class entry!

VMP Superchargers has stepped up once again to sponsor the Terminator/GT500 Shootout class that brings together some of the quickest Cobras and GT500s in the U.S. for a winner-take-all format at this special SVT event. Mingle with the hottest tuners and car builders for dragstrip fun and a Shootout to decide which model is better—Terminator or Shelby GT500. Watch the Internet forums come alive for a real-world slugfest. Each Terminator/GT500 Shootout participant will also receive a free entry into Saturday's SVT Muscle True Street class (must fit True Street rules) for even more chances to win.

The SVT Lightning truck community is one of the most exciting SVT brands as evident by the sheer number of trucks still being modified and turned into dragstrip haulers. If you are a Lightning enthusiast then you won't want to miss this event. The biggest Lightning shops, including Johnny Lightning Performance, will be hitting the strip with 8-second performances. Lightning racers are invited to join the popular Truck & Lightning category or the SVT Lightning True Street segment to do battle exclusively against other Lightnings for cash and prizes. Racers in SVT Lightning True Street will receive a free entry into Sunday's SVT Index Rumble class.

Tremec True Street is always one of the largest classes run on Saturday at each NMRA event. There will be a separate SVT Muscle True Street class ('93-'13 SVT cars only) and a SVT Lightning True Street class ('93-'95 and '99-'04 Lightning trucks only), each with its own cash and prizes—exclusively for SVT racers! SVT Muscle and Lightning True Street racers will make three consecutive passes down the quarter-mile, and $250 and a 6-foot trophy will be awarded to the overall fastest car and truck; $100 and a plaque will be awarded to each car and truck racer with the closest average to 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 seconds! SVT Muscle and Lightning True Street racers will receive a free entry into Sunday's SVT Index Rumble class.

If showing your car or truck is more your style then look no further than the UPR Products All-Ford Auto Show with over 100 awards given away at this event. Show off your ride for a chance to get featured in 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, or NMRA's own Race Pages magazine. There will be special SVT-only auto show classes and awards, so come out with your ride for a chance to bring some home!