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Bench Racer—Blast From The Fast

Posted By: Steve Turner
Bench Racer—Blast From The Fast
Written by Steve Turner
Photography by Keith Keplinger
By the time you see these words, we'll already be deep into the racing season. Like letting go of the transbrake button, once the season starts it is a sprint to the finish line. At the midpoint of the NMRA season, however, the focus turns to the 3rd Annual Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
With the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals series celebrating its silver anniversary all season long, this event will bring together the modern NMRA with the cars and people that built the foundation of the series back in the day. While a select few of those racers still compete today, many have moved on to other endeavors.
As someone who fell in love with Mustangs and racing during the heyday of the 5.0 Mustang, it was NMRA that grabbed the baton and kept the movement going. Over the years the cars, classes, and racers have evolved, but I will always have a soft spot for the cars and competitors of that early era.
Not only did I simply love the cars and the racing back then, but I was intimately involved in covering what happened back then as a member of the staff of two magazines — Super Ford and 5.0 Mustang, which eventually merged into 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. Back in the pre-internet era, magazines were the only way to learn what was going on with these cars all over the country, so I was at the forefront of what was happening, so I am pretty excited about looking back on those days with some of the old guard.
With the NMRA Reunion event features welcoming racers from the early years of the series and the Ford racing movement in general, it will be fun to see what people and vehicles turnout at the event. While I will be pretty busy working the event, I hope to catch up with some familiar faces at the Sticker Dude NMRA Reunion Bash Presented by Edelbrock which should be an old-school extravaganza.
Moreover, this event plays host to the second of two Fox-Body Reunion events. This one is sponsored by Harland Sharp & Foxy Events, and it could bring out some cool old-school hardware. That alone could keep me busy geeking out over the '79-'93 Mustangs that so influenced my formative years.
I will have to spread myself out though because a series of events within the event will draw out some historic hardware. With the Cobra Jet Reunion, Saleen Reunion, and the SVT Reunion, there will be something for every Blue Oval fan to drool over. Since I am a fan of them all, dividing time between each display is my goal.
If that weren't enough, there will also be a group of four-wheel-drive machines in the Ford Off-Road Alley, while an autocross exhibition will offer participants another option beyond the drag strip to kick the tires and light the fires.
While all roads lead to Bowling Green, if you are into the history of the Ford movement, our Norwalk event is a must-see gathering. I hope that I will see you out there, and if you have some cool memories from the old days, this will help bring them back to life while making new memories for the future.

Despite some questionable fashion choices, I have been staring through a camera at race cars for a long time, but it was nostalgic to return to Orlando Speed World some 22 years later for an NMRA race. A lot has changed since this photo was taken, but I’ve been up close and personal with NMRA for its entire existence.

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