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.
Pro Outlaw 10.5
NMRA's all-out, 6-second, 200-mph class showcases the ultimate level of Ford speed and power. With 2,500-plus horsepower from a combination of available power adders and a 10.5W tire, these land rockets always put on an exciting show.
2011 Pro Outlaw 10.5 Champion – Mike Murillo
Blow-By-Racing EFI Renegade
Electronic fuel injection combined with nitrous oxide injection or a supercharger and a small tire is a recipe for great racing. These mid-8-seconds Mustangs make up Blow-By Racing EFI Renegade. With a cubic-inch limit of 410, automatic transmission, and a single power adder, racers are given weight breaks based on their combination to keep the playing field even.
2011 Blow-By Racing EFI Renegade Champion – Brian Mitchell
Afco Drag Radial
Huge power, DOT-legal radials, and no wheelie bars make for exciting, unpredictable racing no matter where you go. These '79-newer Mustang and Fox-chassis Fords run DOT-legal radial tires from Mickey Thompson, Hoosier, and Goodyear, with a wide selection of power adders to choose from in the name of big power. If you're looking for wheels-up, mid-7-second street tire action, then Afco Drag Radial is for you.
2011 Afco Drag Radial Champion – Jason Lee
ProCharger Super Street Outlaw
The 10.5-inch-tire freak show that is ProCharger Super Street Outlaw is one of the most popular classes in the NMRA. Teams use '64-newer Mustang or Fox chassis-based vehicles with the most technologically advance power adders available today to make upwards of 2,000 hp. Forced induction and nitrous cars go head to head on true 10.5-inch slicks with quarter-mile times in the low 7-second zone at 200 mph. Big horsepower and small tires always make for an exciting show.
2011 ProCharger Super Street Outlaw Champion – John Urist
Edelbrock Hot Street
The sound of naturally aspirated small-block Fords spinning to over 10,000 rpm will certainly grab your attention. Restricted to 302-, 351-, and 4.6/5.4L-based engines limited to 480 ci in '55-newer Ford vehicles, Edelbrock Hot Street showcases the talent of some of the best engine builders and drivers in the country. Don't miss the high-revving excitement!
2011 Edelbrock Hot Street Champion – Robbie Blankenship
Designed as beginner class for heads-up racers, Factory Stock is an affordable way to be part of the action. Drivers can run '79-newer Mustangs and Fords with a 302- and 4.6L-based bullet no larger than 313 ci. The naturally aspirated class runs heads up with a 0.400 pro Tree on an NHRA Sportsman ladder. With high-10-second performance at an affordable cost, Factory Stock is a great way to get into heads-up racing.
2011 Factory Stock Champion – Carlos Sobrino
Strange Engineering Coyote Stock
Equalizing the competition with sealed create engines and electronics is what Strange Engineering Coyote Stock is all about. Open to any Ford body '54 and newer, competitors must use a specific Ford Racing Performance Parts 5.0-liter Coyote create engine. Each racer will be given a sealed, pre-calibrated ECU at the start of each race, and engine modifications are kept to a minimum. The hype surrounding this class has been growing, and Coyote Stock's inaugural season promises to be ultra exciting.
Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp
Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp is open to any year make or model Ford-powered vehicle. Qualifying is based on reaction time, and dial-ins are set one tenth quicker than your best qualifying time. If you've bracket raced in the past and are looking to compete at an NMRA event, Open Comp may be the perfect fit.
2011 Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp Champion – Jon M. Pickering
Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle
Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle is a bracket-style class for Ford vehicles running a 4.6/5.4L or V-10 modular engine. Qualifying is based on reaction time, and the field is based on an NHRA Sportsman ladder. This all-run field is automatically dialed in one tenth quicker than their fastest qualifying run, and only e.t.'s between 8.80 and 15.70 are allowed to compete.
2011 Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle Champion – Reggie Burnette
Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning
Because not everyone races a car, the Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning class is quickly growing in popularity. It's open to any Ford truck or SUV running a Ford powerplant. Qualifying is based on reaction time and dial-ins are set one tenth quicker than your best qualifying run.
2011 Detroit Truck and Lightning Champion – Steve Martin
Roush Performance Parts Super Stang
If you have an '05-newer Mustang, Roush Performance Parts Super Stang is for you. This bracket-style class is only for S197 Mustangs powered by 4.6/5.4L and V-6 engines. Qualifying is based on reaction time, and dial-ins are set a tenth quicker than your best qualifying run. With a variety of combination and modifications allowed, Super Stang offers a wide range of performance levels.
Race Pages Bracket Showdown
Race Pages Bracket Showdown is open to all Ford-powered or Ford-bodied vehicles. It's broken up into BI, BII, and BIII, giving racers three levels of competition ranging from all-out racecars to streetcars, which compete Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at all NMRA events.
Tremec True Street is the ultimate street car class. Any '64-newer Ford vehicle in full street trim with any Ford engine and combination of power adders is eligible for competition. Vehicles must be registered, licensed, and insured, and capable of completing a 30-mile cruise before running three back-to-back passes. Final positions are determined based on a three-run average, and winners are named in each bracket—overall, 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-second groups.
Word On the Street
MM&FF Presents Tremec Transmissions True Street
True Street star Randy Seward...
True Street star Randy Seward hangs the fronts during the Spring Break Shootout in Bradenton, Florida.
True Street was created by the MM&FF staff to represent true street/strip Ford vehicles, and the NMRA has worked diligently to ensure this. Though not a points-based or championship-eligible class, it has been gaining popularity in recent years. And although tech has become increasingly demanding and stringent, True Street cars just seem to get faster every race. In fact, lately it is common to see some competitors in the 8s.
True Street is geared toward attracting local drivers and is open to non- members of NMRA. The class is open to '64-to-present Ford vehicles powered by Ford-based engines, and each vehicle must be street-certified and able to drive over 30 miles on the street. All vehicles must me registered, licensed, and insured, any number or type of power adders are permitted. Tires must be DOT-approved, and windows must be functional.
After all the cars are checked for eligibility and pass tech inspection, the class gathers for a brief meeting to discuss rules. Once all the cars are lined up and the hoods are closed, they are led on a 30-mile cruise on highway and city streets. After the cruise begins, competitors are prohibited from opening their hoods until after the competition is complete. The cruise ends back at the track, where the cars are lined up in the staging lanes for a cool-down period. No refueling or tire changing is allowed, but competitors adjust tire pressures after the cruise during cool-down.
New True Street Director Gene...
New True Street Director Gene Bergstrom addresses the competitors at the NMRA Houston race.
Once racing begins, each competitor makes three back-to-back timed runs. Tire pressure may be lowered, but drivers cannot add air once they have made their first pass. Though both lanes are usually used, drivers are only scored based on the average of the three runs. The fastest average is the winner, second fastest is the runner-up. There are also awards presented to the fastest 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-second averages.
There were big hopes for a 7-second average in 2011, but Texas' Angel Padilla fell just short in Joel Cura's LX coupe in Bradenton with an 8.04 average. The 7-second- capable car was sold shortly after and hasn't made another appearance—and so the record still stands. However, there are rumors flying of nearly a half-dozen 7-second True Street cars showing up at the season opener in March.
So come out and compete this season in the True Street competition when NMRA comes to your town. And as always, check out MM&FF for full True Street coverage.
2012 NMRA Keystone Event Schedule
March 1-4, 2012
18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Break Shootout, presented by Steeda
Bradenton Motorsports Park
April 12-15, 2012
4th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals
Atlanta Dragway – Commerce, Georgia
May 4-6, 2012
11th Annual NMRA Ford Nationals, presented by Downs Ford Motorsport
Maryland Int'l Raceway – Mechanicsville, Maryland
June 15-16, 2012
9th Annual NMRA Ford Nationals
Milan Dragway – Milan, Michigan
July 12-15, 2012
7th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, presented by Miller Welders
Route 66 Raceway - Joliet, Illinois
August 31 - September 2, 2012
34th Annual NMRA Ford Expo
National Trail Raceway – Columbus, Ohio
October 4-7, 2012
14th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals
Beech Bend Raceway – Bowling Green, Kentucky
November 9-11, 2012
3rd Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Lone Star Shootout
Royal Purple Raceway – Houston, Texas
For more info on the NMRA Ford Nationals, visit www.nmradigital.com or call 714/444-2426.