The Holley Ford Festival 2021: HUGE Saturday Photo Gallery

Ford fans turned it up a notch at Beech Bend Raceway as guests’ attendance ramped up with record breaking numbers. Everyone was excited to see their beloved brand on display and in action! The grassy hills became cloaked in beautiful show cars for the FordMuscle.com show and shine. The drag strip stayed loud and proud with mind numbingly fast NMRA cars. Behind the drag strip the circle track provided ample room for the drift cars to entertain fans with clouds of smoke. Even the Ultra 4 buggies took part in the action! Between rounds of drift exhibition you could find some of the most talented AutoX drivers battling against the clock while dodging cones. Fans lucked out as the rain held out until almost dusk. 

Wrong Turn

Sometimes making a wrong turn can be a positive thing. In the case of Josh Mitchell asking for directions to the Holley Ford Festival entrance resulted in an impromptu photo shoot of his beautiful 1985 Mustang GT! Mitchell’s Mustang made a 2 hour trek to be with good Ford friends during the car show event. Don’t let the car’s good looks fool you, this one is far from just a show car as a 410 cubic inch small block with 605 horsepower resides below the cowl hood.

Black ford foxbody

Knowing he needed to be able to put the power to the ground meant the suspension would have to be handled. Coilovers, UPR k-member and control arms were all installed. Completing the build is a set of RC Component’s Hammer wheels. We look forward to having this Mustang grace the FordMuscle.com website.

 

Snake Venom

There are only a few cars that come close to how photogenic Spencer’s Terminator Cobra is. The bright blue paint is offset only by black Weld bead lock wheels on the rear. A pair of BBS forged wheels fill in the front fender well. Six piston Wilwood brakes bring the car to a halt.

With a plate like “SNK VNM” you know this car is packing serious horsepower. Thanks to a Gen 5 3.0 Whipple this car is seeing close to four-digit horsepower!

Silver Fox

Yet another eye caching 4-Eyed Mustang got our attention. How could it not with an engine bay like this! Jamey Mattingly’s 1986 Mustang GT is rocking a 2016 Gen 2 Coyote mated to a T56. While a Coyote motor in a fox is a great power to weight ratio, Mattingly took it a step further adding a D1SC Procharger. Making sure exhaust gases have a clear escape path are BBK headers, x-pipe and Flowmaster mufflers. 

Keeping traction are Nitto tires wrapped around a clean set of CCW wheels. Wilwood brakes bring this foxbody to a halt with great force. A mix of QA1 and Maximum Motorsport components round off the handling department.

Photo gallery

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Twenty-three year old Autumn Schwalbe was racing this weekend in bracket competition to earn her license and get more familiarized with her Fox body Mustang that was built for the NMRA’s Modular Muscle class. But the Yipsilanti, Michigan native is no stranger to drag racing — she’s owned the self-built car for three years and has spent the last couple of seasons getting accustomed to its nuances.

The ’89 Fox features a unique “Smoke Grey” hue (a rare Mercury-coded color that’s a modern cross of white and grey) with a Gen 2 Coyote swap that Autumn and her father completed at home in their garage, topped with a Gen 5 3.0L Whipple supercharger. Behind it is a Turbo 400 transmission that, without an air shifter, is rowed manually.

“Last year we got it done as just a stock Coyote with no tune and went out to the track to get used to it. We then got it fully put together in April of this year, right before the NMRA St. Louis race. So, that was my first race in this car with the Whipple supercharger and the full combination. Getting used to it and working the kinks out has been the main priority this year,” she says.

With her competition license secured over the weekend, Autumn progressed from the 10’s into the consistent 9.70 range — “we’ve got a very conservative tune, so once we mess with a few things, we’re definitely hoping to go faster,” she adds.

NMRA Race Results

Courtesy NMRA/RacePages Magazine

The 23nd Annual Whipple Superchargers NMRA All-Ford World Finals presented by Competition Clutch & Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, wrapped up the 2021 racing season with a weather-shortened event that was not short on spectacular racing. Event winners drove to the NMRA Winner’s Circle and NMRA Champions collected their hard-earned Edelbrock Victor awards and Nitto Tire Diamond Tree rings.

This event marked the third year that Holley injected its infectious Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival into the event. Attendees were treated to asphalt-ripping drifting that included Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa, auto-crossing, burnout mayhem, a Grand Champion competition, and new for 2021, an off-road course that featured Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Loren Healy and their Ultra 4 Ford Broncos tearing it up.

VP Racing Madditives Street Outlaw driver Alan Felts set the pace in qualifying with a 4.315 elapsed time, and was followed closely by John Urist with a 4.331 and Earl Stanley with a 4.353. Points leader Steve Halprin had a broke bye in round one, but went out in round two, leaving the door open for Urist to take a swing at the championship. Urist dispatched Felts in the third round en route to the final, where he ultimately lost to Stanley, 4.46 to 4.48.

Eric Bardekoff led defending Edelbrock Renegade champion Joel Greathouse final race of the season, but it was Haley James who targeted the event win after qualifying number one with a 4.554. James would bow out in round two, and Bardekoff and Greathouse met in round three, with Bardekoff taking the victory. In the final round, Chris Holbrook took the win over Bardekoff in an all-Whipple-supercharged final battle.

Samantha Moore set the pace in JDM Engineering Limited Street with an 8.15 elapsed time and cut through the field until she reached the final round. There, she met points leader and defending champion, Bill Putnam. Putnam took the starting line advantage, which earned him the win at the stripe after both drivers recorded identical 8.332 runs.

G-Force Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Shane Stymiest came out swinging, and took the number one qualifier spot with a 9.733. From there, he charged through the field until he met Charlie Booze Jr. in the final round. Both reactions times were close, but Stymiest raced ahead to the win with a 9.83 over Booze’s 11.84 run.

In another dominating performance, Mike Bowen topped the qualifying sheets in Richmond Gear Factory Stock with a 10.08 run. After taking a bye run and defeating Damien Stephens and Justin Fogelsonger, Bowen met Mark Anderson in the final round of competition. There, Anderson got a slight jump at the start, but slowed, allowing Bowen to take the victory with a 10.21 pass.

The ARP Open Comp class is always full of tough competitors and anyone can win at any time. At Beech Bend Raceway, the final round came down to Brayden Creamer and Woody Pack. Both drivers did their jobs well off the line, but it was Creamer who was victorious, pushing Pack to break out at the finish.

Perhaps it was the fact that the Capri Swarm gathers here at Beech Bend Raceway Park for the event that brought good luck to 1973 Ford Capri owner and Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle driver James Meredith. Not only did the Coyote-powered classic log a .002-second reaction time in the final round, but it also took Meredith to the winner’s circle, with Meredith going 9.675 on a 9.61 to Adam Cox’s 10.176 on a 10.11 (.042 RT).

In HP Tuners Super Stang action, 2020 champion Kevin McKenna took the top qualifying spot, but as eliminations kicked off, he bowed out in the first round. The final round of competition featured frequent True Street winner Rodney Ward, who was victorious over Mike Moistner.

A tough field of Ford trucks in Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning hauled the mail in qualifying and eliminations. Mike Roup was leading the points chase coming into the event and qualified number one to put everyone on notice. After taking a bye in round one, Roup fell to Robert Chuhran in the second. Chuhran, meanwhile drove to the final round where he fouled at the start against Amanda Saad, who as .002 on the tree and 10.209 on a 10.14 dial in.

Fastest Street Car Magazine Ford Muscle brings a wide variety of vehicles to the class, and it was an all-classic matchup in the final round of competition. Mark Schiffner in his 1970 Ford Torino fought hard to get there, but took the easy win when Matthew Keiser in his 1968 Mustang went -.102 red at the start.

Mickey Thompson Street Car Challenge was a new class at select 2021 events and the heads-up eliminator featured fast Fords that didn’t quite fit into a particular category. Leading the qualifying field was 2020 King of the Street Donato Sierchio who clocked a 7.51. He would drive to the final round of competition to face Dave Liechty. While Liechty’s 2006 Mustang was impressive in its own right, clocking an 8.42 elapsed time, it was Sierchio who drove to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with a 7.637 run.

QA1 True Street at Beech Bend Raceway is always exciting, as some of the quickest street-legal cars turn out in droves at the NMRA finals. This year, 126 cars teched, 118 were able to take the requisite cruise around Bowling Green, and 99 cars survived for the back-to-back passes. Scott Barker took the overall win in his 1966 Mustang with an 8.78 average, followed by True Street veteran Troy Eaton in the runner up spot with an 8.801. Matthew Ballard grabbed the 9-second award with a perfect 9.000 average, Jason Wolf collected the 10-second prize at 10.029 and Kevin McCotter was the 11-second winner with an 11.118 average. The 12-second win had to be decided by MPH, as Both Wade Whicker and John Cole averaged 12.004. Whicker had the speed to secure the win. Rodney Ward averaged 13.007 for the 13-second award, Darleen Simmons was the 14-second winner with a 14.042 average, and Belinda Moore, one of the winningest True Street drivers, took home the 15-second plaque with a 15.095 average.

TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout pits the eight quickest manually shifted cars from True Street against each other in their own speed contest. In the final round, Bob Myers in his turbocharged, four-cylinder Mercury Capri was victorious over Andrew Lukanov in his 2003 Mustang Cobra.

The Capri Club of North America returned to the NMRA All-Ford World Finals. In the final round of competition, Chris Rolls grabbed the win after James Meredith broke out with a 9.609 on a 9.60 dial in at the top end.

The NMRA Finals played host to the RacePagesDigital.com Bracket Open. As the day came to a close, the final three racers, Bill Feckley, Stephen O’Neal, and Danny Scheele all opted to split the payout.

Article Sources

About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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