By Nikki Frost
Ah summer, the height of the car season! Whether you are into car shows, racing, or your local car meets, warmer weather always equates to busy evenings and weekends. For a Mustang enthusiast, there are an abundance of options of specialized shows and events that cater to pony car owners. With so many options, the hardest part of the car season is determining which events you want to go to so you can pack your days full of Ford fun. Let’s take a quick recap of this year’s season thus far!
The events that I have attended this year include the NMRA (National Mustang Racers Association) races in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, Mustang Week in South Carolina and most recently the American Muscle show in Pennsylvania. There are distinct differences between these events so let’s break it down further by comparing NMRA racing to Mustang Week and the American Muscle show.
The NMRA takes the best of both worlds by blending Ford only racing with a car show and offers 6 different locations to appease all geographical demographics. NMRA is a fantastic series for racers and enthusiasts alike thanks to the phenomenal team that runs these events. The events run from Thursday through Sunday. Eliminations for the racing classes usually take place on Saturday and Sunday which are the same days that the car shows take place so you don’t have to miss work if you’re coming just for the weekend. If you are interested in trying your hand at racing, the True Street class is perfect for you. True Street runs on Saturday only with the option to bracket race on Sunday. There are few restrictions for your car and you aren’t running on a points system so there is less stress. The All Female Shootout is an excellent event that runs on the True Street format but is restricted to female drivers only. This was the first sanctioned event that I raced in and it is still my favorite event to this day thanks to the amazing women I have had the honor to race with. Regardless of your choice, the NMRA events are a great time and a perfect blend of show and go.
Mustang Week is different from most standard car shows as it takes place over a week in sunny Myrtle Beach, SC. This is truly one of my favorite events of the year as it allows the best of both worlds – the beach and cars. There are meet & greets, track days, drag racing nights and more that culminate in one of the largest Mustang shows you could attend. It is a week of low stress with great like-minded enthusiasts. Mustang Week has received some bad press based on accidents that have occurred at past events and cars that are not modified the way that individuals would mod their own personal cars. This bad press is mostly from people on the internet that do not attend MW and base their opinions on hearsay. If you have the opportunity to go – do it! At least once. It’s a great time and allows you to meet individuals in the community that you might not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
The American Muscle show is one of the most organized events of the year. American Muscle is a great company with excellent customer service and their show reflects that. The judging takes place by actual judges instead of being based on popularity which is a benefit to the owners that may not be part of a club or group. The weather this year was hot as Hades but it was worth it. Attending the AM show is like your last day of summer camp – it’s exciting to see all of your friends in one place before you have to go back to reality. It is one of the largest shows every year. Even with the threat of thunderstorms and other shows booked for the same day, the turnout was enough to almost fill Maple Grove Raceway to capacity.
Each of these events has something for enthusiasts and for racers. It is fun to see both sides intermingling. There are still a number of great events that are coming up – NMRA in Kentucky, Imports vs. Domestics in Maryland, SEMA and PRI. As another great car season begins winding down, it reminds us of how great the Mustang community is and why we have the passion for these cars, regardless of whether you prefer to race or wax your car!
For more information on the events described in this article, check them out at: