- Saturday 15 June, 2013
Fields qualified tight leading into Championship Sunday at the Ford Nationals.
NORWALK, Ohio – They're tuned. They're ready for Championship Sunday on June 16, 2013 at the McLeod NMRA Ford Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
When the difference between the fastest and slowest elapsed times in a class dips lower than 0.8 seconds, the class crests the top edge of performance at the same time.
What a set up for a great day of racing!
At the end of three rounds of qualifying, two classes narrowed the field to within a fraction of a second: AFCO Street Outlaw, from 7.303 seconds to 8.071 seconds, for a difference of 0.768 seconds; Strange Engineering Coyote Stock, from 10.605 to 11.213, 0.608 seconds.
Except for a lone Mustang crossing the stripe two seconds slower than the others, Edelbrock Renegade clumped the field for fast and furious racing with eleven best times between 8.365 seconds and 8.980 seconds, for a difference of 0.615 seconds.
And unless he suffered a break, the lone Mustang remains within striking distance.
The competition in those heads up classes even gives spectators the racing butterflies.
On Saturday the manufacturer's midway displayed gleaming auto parts and groupings of sponsored vehicles.
Crews wrenched with other crews, and hammered out problems together.
Dads lined up for a pound of delicious Velvet Ice Cream for a buck.
On the Summit side of the race track, a car show staged glistening beauties, many from days simpler, but no less proud.
In the swap meet, Nate Inbody, 29, Painesville, Ohio displayed items from Nate's Mustang Parts, specializing in model years 1987 through 1993.
“I've been messing with this stuff since I was 15,” Nate Inbody said, adding he started the parts business about three years ago. “My dad owns a machine shop, Automotive Machine Shop in Findlay, Ohio. Both of my grandfathers are mechanics, so I grew up around gearheads.
“This is part time,” Nate Inbody said. “I teach high school shop in Wyckliffe, Ohio, near Cleveland. I do this; I work construction; anything I can do to make a buck. I'm a busy body. I keep moving.
“All this funds my addiction to drag racing,” Nate Inbody said. “I'm building a car now, a '91 Mustang. I need money to finish it up.”
Shopping in the swap meet – the Summit Motorsports Park man mall – Thomas Hank and Jeff Peterson, Warren, Ohio, and Scott Hank, Liberty, Ohio, confessed ties to the General (Motors) in spite of their true feelings.
“We love Mustangs,” said Thomas Hank, a creative director and designer. “I had an '06 GT supercharged. I had a '97 Cobra, and a '94 GT Mustang, supercharged. I don't want to mess up the event, but I have a Corvette now.”
“I've grown up around Mustangs,” said Jeff Peterson, an assembly line worker. “I'm on my seventh Mustang. I'm extra backwards, because I work for General Motors, but I love Mustangs.”
Scott Hank, Thomas's brother, studies electro utility power plant technology at Youngstown State University.
“I had two Mustangs, a '94 Cobra with nitrous, and an '88 GT Mustang,” Scott Hank said. “Now I drive a 2000 Camaro SS. I'm going to go back to a Mustang.”
What's the best thing about Championship Sunday at the McLeod NMRA Ford Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio?
We've met fabulous people; enjoyed the rich, blazing colors on their metal mashing hot rods; and witnessed hard-core, E.T. slamming racing. That's all good.
Personally, there's something about the timbre of a finely tuned Cobra Jet engine – when they kick it and it roars down the track – that steals the show.
Maybe the best piece of equipment for capturing Championship Sunday is a tape recorder. During visits with my grandbaby, she can fall asleep listening to Cobra Jet smokey burnouts. That beats baby monitor sounds of “vacuum cleaner” and “rain on the outhouse roof” or whatever.
But that's just this grandma's opinion.