by Ron DiPaola- email@example.com
photography by the author
Click on image to see larger version.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
and let us know so we can add you to the attendance list and/or the Winners list.