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It takes a special eye to look at a well-used and worn out Ford Police Interceptor and think, "You know, that'd make a killer race car." Sure, they're full-framed and have the strength for abuse and they're rear drive with beefy driveline components. But this is a car on a platform that dates back to 1979 and at best, is rocking 250 mildly irritated horsepower out of a two-valve 4.6 V8. It's the kind of car you want to go do donuts in a grass field or snowy parking lot in, but a full-on oval track racer it is not. Unless, of course, you have a way to make one of the final examples of the classic Yank Tank move out or a place where a bunch of buddies can get together and race each other without the law showing up to break up the fun.
Hey, we know of someone who has such a place....
Painted up and pretty, ready for action. Each of the twenty Ford Crown Victorias that are racing in the Freedom 500 are equipped with NOS nitrous systems. Every time that the driver hits the scramble button, that's an additional 100 horsepower on tap. The amber light mounted on the trunk will show when the driver is hitting the bottle.
Cleetus McFarland's Freedom Factory track in Florida is once again hosting the Freedom 500, a celebration of hot, nasty speed in cars that never knew what that was. Twenty drivers will be hitting the track for the competition, and the list includes some usual suspects, such as Cleet and James, Brent from PFI Speed, fellow YouTubers Adam LZ, Derek Bieri (Vice Grip Garage) Sous from SXS Blog.com and Cody Detwiler (Whistlin Diesel). But it's not just an internet clique race...there's some stout competition here.
"This year we got as many top drivers as we could from every discipline," said Cleetus. "Pro drivers from circle track, rally cross, drifting and more!" That's good...or bad, depending on who is in the rear-view mirror at the moment. Ryan Tuerck and Chelsea DeNofa are drifters with resumes as long as their tire marks, Tanner Foust and Randy Pobst are road-course extraordinaires, Alex Bowman and Hailie Deegan have the stock-car angle covered, and as then there's Murder Nova, a man who is not afraid of speed, and Travis Pastrana, a man who simply lives without fear (and has the X-ray catalog to prove it).
Drivers Shawn "Murder Nova" Ellington and Blake Wilkey arrived early to make sure their Fords were prepared and ready for the 100 laps inside of the Freedom Factory.
As it has been in the past, the Freedom 500 is a pay-per-view event. If you pay for the Freedom 500, you will also have access to coverage of the Cleetus And Cars event the next day. It's a weekend full of automotive fun, screaming engines, melted tires and all sorts of extras, so be sure to check it out! You can check it out at www.cleetusmcfarland.com or by CLICKING HERE. In the meantime, check out some of the behind-the-scenes shots from the Freedom Factory!