Modified Mustangs & Fords
35th annual Mid America Ford Performance and Team Shelby Nationals - Tulsa Time!
It was a hot time in Tulsa for the 35th annual Mid America Ford Performance and Team Shelby Nationals June 24-28, 2009.
Let's get it over with right now - It was unseasonably HOT Thursday, Friday and Saturday with temperatures over 100o in the shade. Track temperature at the Saturday drag races was 134 degrees at 2:00 pm. Then a weather front moved through early Sunday morning and typical nice summer weather greeted us for the Car Show. The next week, Tulsa had temps in the mid 80s - Go figure.
Thursday began with 4 different groups taking the track at Baer Brakes Day at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, plus the qualifying sessions for the CVAR-sponsored Vintage Exhibition Race and the MRT-sponsored Late Model Race. Vendors were set up and everyone was getting an eye full of all of the new Mustangs and Shelbys that were on display. Registration went smooth, as usual, thanks to Jim Wicks' talented team of volunteers.
As the racing wound down at Hallett, things were heating up at Brookside, the old town section of downtown Tulsa. Over 700 Mustangs and Ford Powered performance cars took to the streets and were escorted to the mile long stretch of road for the Hurley Ford "Cruise Tulsa" event. With "old fashioned" burger/dog joints like Webber's and Claud's, plus the newbie, Sonic, and several other restaurants, everyone had a good time. Shelby Automobiles used local television channel 2's location to unveil their latest creation, the '05-'09 Shelby SR--a post-dealer package that promises 550hp, cool graphics and an upgraded interior. This was the 4th year in a row that Shelby unveiled a new product at Mid America; wonder what they'll show up with next year?
Friday dawned with a bright blue sky and the promise of exciting racing at Quantum Performance day at Hallett. Charlie Jones took the top honors in the CVAR Vintage Exhibition and the sound of race-tuned 289s was music to the ears. The MRT Late Model Race saw numerous lead changes with Classic Design Concepts' Travis Huisman finally coming out in the lead and grabbing the checkered flag.
Back at the Marriott, there was a special "Meet & Greet" exclusively for Team Shelby members with questions and answers being handled by Austin Craig (noted Shelby Historian), Tom Yeager (Original Team Shelby Driver), and by Mr. Carroll Shelby himself. Then it was off to the main room for an evening saluting Shelby on the 50th anniversary of his historic win at Le Mans.
If it's Saturday at Mid America, it must be Shelby Performance Parts Drag Racing day! Over 250 cars came out for a shot at the 1,320 and in short order, tire smoke filled the air. The final test/tune pass featured a rare pairing of an original '68 1/2 Cobra Jet with a new '09 Cobra Jet, both owned by the same family! The '09 took an early lead and blistered the track with a 10.89. The '68 wasn't as fortunate as a rod said "goodbye" about half track and the car spun around twice while miraculously missing the wall! Other than a new window in the block, the car and driver were OK, and both got cleaned up made it to the Car Show on Sunday. After the lunch/worker cool down break, racing began with an FE challenge bracket event and a Ladies race. The day continued with more brackets and excitement, and drinking a lot of water!
Back at "Mid America Central", the Marriott, it was time to get cleaned up for an evening with Shelby and Ford. Guest speakers included Ford's Mike Crowley who excited the crowd with news of future Ford vehicles; Radio personality and Ford Driver Rick Titus; Shelby Automobiles president Amy Boylan; and a rousing speech from Carroll Shelby. Many items were auctioned off to benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation (www.CarrollShelbyFoundation.org), and a huge table of door prizes was eagerly grabbed up by the lucky ones called. Austin Craig was awarded a "Lifetime Achievement" award from the Ford Motor Company, in recognition of his many years of Ford enthusiasm.
Rain drops were everyone's alarm clock Sunday morning, and it was a great sound to hear, because it meant a break in the weather! By 8:00 am, blue skies and a cool breeze greeted over 1,200 of the most beautiful cars, each worthy of a full magazine feature for the Classic Design Concepts' Car Show. Everything from a '26 Model T to the '10 Shelby Super Snake was present. Classic Design Concepts and MRT were installing products while you waited, and ChrisCakes (www.ChrisCakes.com) was flipping flapjacks. The judges tallied up the sheets and by 3:00 pm, the winners were announced. Rob Camp took the Best in Show with "Boss 540"-a '70 SportsRoof stuffed full of Shelby Super Snake horsepower and too many trick parts to name.
Next year's event is already being planned, with a move to a week earlier, so, hopefully, the weather will cooperate. Make your plans to attend the 36th annual event today - www.midamericafordmeet.com - This is THE one event you don't want to miss!