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Super Coupe Club of America > Events > World Ford Challenge 1998

by Ron DiPaola-
photography by the author

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Late Model Thunderbirds Show Their Stuff at 1998's Biggest All-Ford Racing Event

Mobil 1 World Ford Challenge 1998 at Beech Bend Raceway
Bowling Green, Kentucky

May 15-17, 1998

Late model Thunderbird owners from across the country traveled to southwestern Kentucky May 15, 16 & 17th to attend what was billed as the largest All-Ford Racing Event ever.

Roughly 10 SCCoA members and a few MN12s owners from as far as New York and Wisconsin traveled many hours to attend the first of was is sure to be an even larger event in years to come.

Unlike the majority of All-Ford events I have attended, the focus of the World Ford Challenge was mainly on drag racing with less priority being put on the "Auto Show Spectacular". Still, the Auto Show was quite impressive with most Ford makes and models represented.

As with an event this large being staged for the first time, there were some difficulties. One of which was waiting a few hours on line just to get in on Saturday morning, but the organizers fixed this problem for Sunday.

Most of Friday and Saturday was spent watching races, browsing literally hundreds of vendor products and services, checking out the "Auto Show Spectacular" participants, having our cars judged and swapping stories and tips with one another.

Saturday night a large group of us ate at a northwestern style restaurant called "Toots" and got to know one another. Afterwards many of us headed for our hotels but got side-tracked watching hundreds of old and late model Fords drag racing or performing burnouts on the streets of Bowling Green. Burnouts were quite popular the entire weekend with "Toots" being no exception. Saturday night must have been a tire-manufacturer's dream with a tractor-trailer's worth of tires being used up. Most SCCoA members stayed at the Greenwood Executive Inn which was situated next to a hotel where a spur-of-the-moment burnout contest took place for more than 2 hours.

Apparently, the World Ford Challenge weekend was also the graduation weekend for Western Kentucky University. This made an interesting weekend for those in town for graduation. There were not enough hotel rooms for all the people in town either, and many people were forced to stay over 25 miles away.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Chevrolet Corvettes are only made in Bowling Green. Many members went on a tour of the Corvette plant or visited the Corvette museum. Tractor trailers full with Corvettes were parked in the hotel parking lot and many of us got to check them out up close.

Sunday morning we met up at a local Cracker Barrel for a nice breakfast and most of us hit the road. Others went back to attend the "Auto Show Spectacular" awards ceremony.

The 1999 Mobil 1 World Ford Challenge will move to the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois from May 13-16, 1999 with four days of racing excitement.

Check the official World Ford Challenge web site for more information:

List of Attendees:
"Auto Show Spectacular"

  • Tom Wilheim of Columbus, Ohio
  • Bill Hull of Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Dick Adams of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
  • Bill Evanoff of Loveland, Ohio
  • Ron DiPaola of Endicott, New York
  • Joe Baldazzi of Brodhead, Wisconsin
  • Bill Wheeler of Mountain Home, Arkansas
  • Mark Sayers of Lexington, Kentucky
  • Keith King of Xenia, Ohio
  • Kurt Krietz of St. Louis, Missouri

  • If you were there and are not listed here, please email and let us know so we can add you to the attendance list and/or the Winners list.

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    Document Last Modified: 07/29/04 01:51 PM
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