March 2, 2012

It's no wonder enthusiasts are excited about the 2012 NMRA Keystone Ford Nationals race and show season. For over 14 years, one of the hottest places to show off your Ford is the NMRA series. Just like in years past, the 2012 event season kicks off with the popular NMRA Spring Break Shootout in Bradenton, Florida.

The NMRA offers the largest all-Ford motorsport show in the U.S., and features awesome heads-up and bracket-style drag racing, with classes that feature a wide variety of fast Fords, including the ever-popular MM&FF/Tremec True Street Challenge. Of course, there is also much more to see and do as each event is packed with show cars, swap meet, and a huge manufacturer's midway.

In fact, there are many exciting changes coming in 2012, including new sponsors, new classes, such as Strange Engineering Coyote Stock, and some rule changes as well.

"Every year the NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationals get bigger, better, and more exciting. And next year is no exception," said Charlie Harmon, president of NMRA. "NMRA fans will see all of their favorite featured items like Spring Break Shootout, All-Star Nationals, Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, King of the Street, and many other great events. The 2012 season will also showcase an all-new event at Maryland International Raceway (MIR) in Mechanicsville, Maryland, along with the introduction of Strange Engineering Coyote Stock, a new heads-up race class with cars featuring Ford Racing's new Coyote power plant," he added.

The NMRA isn't just about hardcore racing, as there is plenty to do off track. UPR Products will be sponsoring the huge all-Ford Auto Show and Shine at each event, where you can enter your car into competition and win some cool prizes and awards. With a large number of show classes, there's sure to be one that fits your ride. This is where the editors of MM&FF roam in search of those hot feature cars!

Between the racing and the car show, you can breeze through a huge manufacturers midway or find that smoking deal on a used part in the swap meet area. We've seen some great deals on new and used parts, hard-to-find, must-have items. Of course, every NMRA events features a 300-mph jet car to put a final blaze on the action.

This past season produced True Street fields with some of the meanest and nastiest street-legal Mustangs and Fords, some running as quick as 8.0s at 170-plus mph. But you don't need a 1,000hp Mustang to be a winner. As always, there are multiple winners in True Street with a variety of elapsed-time brackets. With that, True Street is a great class for the dedicated racer/street enthusiast to the beginner, since the format is oh-so simple. Just complete the 30-mile road tour, make the three consecutive runs and you could be a winner.

MM&FF and the NMRA have tweaked the True Street rules for 2012 to better maintain the original spirit of the class, which is to race your car in "true" street trim. Starting in 2012, participants will no longer be able to service the car once it leaves for the road tour (save for packing your parachute and dropping tire pressure between runs). Prior to leaving the track on the road tour, all nitrous bottles must be installed, and you will no longer be able to pack the intercooler with ice after returning from the road tour or prior to each run.

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