We welcome you back to scenic Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, just in time for the 2018 NMCA Bluegrass Nationals…and Kentucky’s unpredictable early summer weather patterns. Don’t give me the “don’t say the R-word” speech, it’s on everybody’s mind this weekend as the trailers pull in, the cars get unloaded and the test hits commence. But give a hand to the racers that came out early for tuning and preparations, because otherwise it would’ve been pretty quiet and boring just getting everything that I needed to check in.
Wait…”check in”? McTag, you’re just the photographer this weekend, right? WRONG! The NMCA has two classes this weekend that are out of the normal, and in the best way possible: the Chevrolet Performance Street Car Challenge, which is for LS/modern LT powered GM products, and the Dodge/Mopar Hemi Shootout, which is a Gen III Hemi playground. Both Chevrolet Performance and Dodge/Mopar are covering the costs for a limited number of entrants per event (for one event only, of course) and I decided that one race out of a whole year isn’t going to strain the Angry Grandpa Chrysler all that much. So if you are going to be in the area on Saturday, you can watch as every Hellcat in a five-state radius proceeds to stomp me into the ground! And if a random Viper shows up, it’s allowed in too…whatever, I’ll put that gold brick up against whatever lines up, since it’s a three-run average format.
We will be bringing you plenty of action as well, so look for the galleries to come in over the next few days. Meanwhile, you can get a quick look at some of the determined ones who came out to test the surface, including six-time NMCA Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren and his monster 1971 Caprice, Brenda Blair and her 1977 Chevrolet Caprice, fresh from some cleanup work, and Doug Duell, the driver of the high-rising Plymouth wagon in Nostalgia Super Stock. If Mother Nature can keep her you-know-what in check for the weekend, this will be fun. If not…well, the track crew will bust their hides trying to dry the place out!
Click on a photo below to check out the first signs of life at the Bluegrass Nationals!