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Ford enthusiasts wasted little time unleashing copious amounts of horsepower as the 2020 Holley Ford Festival launched into action with high-g cornering on the autocross, wheels-up racing on the famed Beech Bend Raceway Park quarter-mile and tons of other attractions. Racers took to the track under cool, clear skies and began warming up for the points battles that will play out in the Grand Champion and the NMRA drag racing series categories.
Ford Fest offers endless fun with competition classes along with a giant all-Ford car show, swap meet, and special vehicles and guests like Big Foot, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa and Cleetus McFarland. And let’s not forget the burnout contest. Frankly, with Blue Oval power being laid down in every direction, we didn’t know where to look first.
Simultaneous racing is never a bad thing, so headed to the drag strip, then to the oval track to watch turnin’ and burnin’ on the autocross. It was amazing to see the variety of Fords being tossed around, as seemingly every type of Ford was represented, from stock to full rock.
The drag race portion of Holley Ford Fest is handled by the National Mustang Racers Association, which offers classes for every level, from novice to traveling pro. We headed there first a caught some sick wheelies and smoky burnout, then we watched autocrossers dice through the cones with amazing speed and agility.
True Street is another favorite, because anyone with a street-legal Ford can jump in on the fun. True Street racers get a bunch of time trials on Friday, and on Saturday they do a 30-mile cruise and make a trio of runs to determine the winners. Family and friends can ride along during the cruise, which is always a big hit. Awards are handed out in variety of performance levels, so you don’t need the fastest car to be a winner.
The main attraction of the NMRA series is the wild Outlaw, Renegade and other heads-up racing like Factory Stock and Coyote Stock. These guys push Ford power to the max, and thrill fans with wild wheelies and door-to-door racing. For those who place a premium on consistency, NMRA also has a variety of Index and bracket classes.
In addition to the tire frying, fans enjoy rows and rows of swap meet and the cleanest Ford, Mercs and Lincolns in the car show. And now that Ford Fest is cranked up, we’ve got an awesome gallery to send your way. Scroll through the pictures and make plans to attend in the future.
The 3S Challenge puts your ability to Speed, Stop, and Steer your Blue Oval to the test! Drivers had better be proficient at all three if they hope to be competitive in this event segment. The format pits both drivers side-by-side in a low-speed drag race, a 180-degree turnaround at the end, a slalom on the return, and a stop box to complete the run. The course layout will be dependent on available space. Each “run” will be a total of left side course time added to the right side course time. The winner is determined by the fastest combined left side and right side run. All runs must be clean – any contact with course markers, cones, or stop box cones will result in a DNF. Click HERE to see the gallery.
Holley’s Intergalactic Ford Festival kicked off in grand fashion with a multitude of Mustangs blasting through the autocross, down the drag strip and shined to perfection in the show field. One commonality was the amount of interesting engines, including many with Coyote power under the hood. Click HERE to see them!
Rather than simply using the powertrain from the 2011 Mustang he acquired, Abrell cut the entire body off the Mustang and fitted the AMC skin to the S197 unibody. Learn more about it HERE.
Smith has owned his 1980 Stang for over 21 years. It retains the factory look, but has been upgraded with a strong small-block that’s topped with Holley carburetion. Roughly 5,500 1980 Cobras were produced, and this one sees regular drag strip action. Read more about it HERE.
Cleetus McFarland (Garrett Mitchell), Vaughn Gittin Jr, and Chelsea DeNofa are putting on a drift demo all weekend long at Ford Festival 2020. Check out the gallery HERE.
Extremely popular in Europe, Ford sold about half a million Capris from 1970 to 1977. Norm's Capri sports a mechanically-injected Essex-Westlake V6 engine displacing three liters and revving to 7,500 RPM. To learn more Norm's RS2600 click HERE.
The early fox body Mustang sports tricks Mike made himself via trial and error. Inspired by the DTM Mustangs of the early 1990's, the wide body fenders and hood are carbon fiber--Trenkle's first foray into composites. Check out the mini feature and gallery HERE.
The drag race portion of Holley Ford Fest is handled by the National Mustang Racers Association, which offers classes for every level, from novice to traveling pro. The main attraction of the NMRA series is the wild Outlaw, Renegade and other heads-up racing like Factory Stock and Coyote Stock. These guys push Ford power to the max, and thrill fans with wild wheelies and door-to-door racing. For those who place a premium on consistency, NMRA also has a variety of Index and bracket classes. For drag racing coverage click HERE.
We were fortunate enough to shoot the electric Cobra Jet on track at the 2020 Ford Festival. Check out a few sneak peaks of our future feature.
While the lack of noise emitted from a low 8-second vehicle on its way to a near 170 mph trap speed might an uncomfortable concept for enthusiasts to get used to, Ford Performance has made great strides when it comes to staying with the times. Weighing more then an F150 SuperCrew is a challenge that's hard to overcome when carrying a slew XALT Energy’s high-power, lithium-ion cells. Check out a few of our sneak peek shots here!
The NMRA Finals is no longer just for drag racing! Holley's Ford Festival adds other activities, including autocross. Check out our gallery HERE.
Vaughn Gittin Jr, Chelsea DeNofa, Cleetus, and crew are back at it with their NOS nitrous-assisted Crown Vics at Ford Festival 2020! Friday night was the warm up with the second heat and finale coming mid-day Saturday. We will also have a full race recap video next week. Check out the coverage HERE.
No Ford Festival would be complete without a dose of tire shredding on a Saturday night! For the gallery, click HERE.