What Is NMRA?

What Is NMRA?

Last Updated September 18, 2023 | Bill Tumas
Learn All About NMRA

The NMRA Nationals Series is the #1 all-Ford motorsports show in the US. It's popularity is due in part to some of the most action-packed Mustang heads-up drag racing out there. However, there are plenty of other activities such as an all-Ford car show hosted at every event, manufacturer booths, a burnout contest, and more.

Much like the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), there are specific classes in NMRA Drag Racing that a vehicle can fall into. They include everything from a lightly-modified 2015 GT running mid-12s to a gutted-out single turbo Fox Body on 10.5" slicks running 8s.

Multiple Ford vehicles lined up before a drag race

The best part is, no matter what kind of enthusiast you are, there is a home for you at an NMRA Drag Event. If your Mustang is a show car and will never see the strip, you can enter the car show. Looking to lay down a time in your weekend cruiser? Enter the True Street class and enjoy a 30-mile cruise and 3 passes down the 1320.

Are you more interested in the hottest parts from the top aftermarket manufacturers? Ford Performance and many other vendors are lined up on the Midway showing off the latest and greatest when it comes to Ford vehicles, parts, and more.

Whether you're a hardcore drag racer who can't wait to hit the track, a casual fan and Mustang owner, or a lover of car culture, you're sure to find something for you at an NMRA event.

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What Does NMRA Stand For?

This is the first question many interested enthusiasts have about NMRA. NMRA stands for the National Mustang Racers Association. It's been around since 1999. NMRA is considered the leader in Ford motorsports events and home to the longest running street car category in history - QA1 True Street.


Every year, NMRA has multiple events alongside the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA). These two organizations have very similar names and acronyms, but they're completely different series.

The NMRA consists of strictly Ford-powered vehicles. So, you won't see any Camaros or Challengers on the strip at an NMRA event. The NMCA, on the other hand, features every muscle car make, model, or manufacturer you can think of.

If you're a die-hard Ford fan, then NMRA is the series for you.

NMRA 2023

Every year, it seems NMRA events get bigger and bigger. Drag racing is alive and well in the Mustang culture, and rightfully so. Some of these cars are insanely fast, breaking 8 seconds in the quarter mile and crossing the traps at nearly 200 MPH!

In 2023, the NMRA Nationals Series starts out in Orlando, FL in March and travels across the country for the next six months. Ultimately ending in Bowling Green, KY for the World Finals at the end of September.

Check out the video of our trip to NMRA Ford Motorsport nationals in 2018 for a look into what NMRA events are like.

Here's the NMRA 2023 schedule.

NMRA 2023 Schedule
Title Date Location Tickets
29th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout March 2-5, 2023 Orlando, FL Get Tickets
NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals April 13-16, 2023 Rockingham, NC Get Tickets
NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing May 4-7, 2023 Madison, IL Get Tickets
25th Anniversary NMRA Ford Performance Nationals June 8-11, 2023 Norwalk, OH Get Tickets
NMRA/NMCA Power Festival July 20-23, 2023 Martin, MI Get Tickets
NMRA World Finals + Holley Ford Fest September 28-Oct. 1, 2023 Bowling Green, KY Get Tickets

2023 NMRA Drag Racing Classes

White Mustang drag racing

There are a plethora of different classes that your Mustang can fall under. Each of these classes has a specific set of rules and regulations to ensure the competition is fair and balanced. Here's a comprehensive list of each Championship class with a short description to help you find which is best for you.

Renegade (REN)

Renegade is a heads-up, small tire class designed for American Ford production vehicles. Both small-block and big-block Ford engines are allowed the use of a single power adder that must adhere to specific size restrictions to keep the class competitive.

Limited Street (LS)

The Limited Street class is an entry-level power adder class where competitors can run a single power adder designed for small block engines in 1954 or newer Ford-bodied cars. A list of acceptable engines includes 302/351, 4.6L (2V/3V/4V), 5.0C, 5.4, and 5.8 Modular engine types.

Coyote Stock (CS)

Coyote Stock is a drag racing class for Ford vehicles made in 1954 or later. It's a cost-effective class that uses naturally aspirated engines. The class requires competitors to use a production OEM Sealed Ford Coyote crate engine and a factory Ford Racing sealed ECM and installation kit. This helps control the expenses associated with competitive heads-up drag racing. All entries must compete on stock suspension and at the same base weight.

Factory Stock (FS)

Factory Stock is a class designed for 1954 and later Ford-bodied vehicles with a naturally-aspirated 4.6L, 5.0L, or 5.0L Gen I or Gen II Coyote engines under the hood. There's also a strict performance modification list with a max engine size of 315 CID.

8.60 Street

The 8.60 Street class was created with the goal of giving fast, Ford-powered, street-legal combinations a place to play when they don't fit into one of the other classes. While there are still regulations, they're relatively broad.

Open Comp (OC)

Open Comp has even less rules than the 8.60 Street class. Any make, model, or year Ford vehicle with a Ford engine can run. The only vehicles not allowed are roadsters and dragsters.

Truck & Lightning (TL)

This class is designed for any make, model, or year of Ford truck using Ford engines only. You're also able to run SUVs in this class. Some examples include Explorers, Excursions, and Expeditions. Vans, roadsters, and dragsters are not permitted in Truck & Lighting.

Super Stang (SST)

The Super Stang class is home to mild to medium modified S197 and S550 Mustangs with OEM Ford engines. Unlike many other classes, you're able to run V6 and EcoBoost set-ups.

Modular Muscle (MM)

The Modular Muscle class consists of any year, make, or model Ford with a Ford Modular 4.6L, 5.4L, Coyote, or V10 under the hood. Dragsters and roadsters are also prohibited in this class.

Ford Muscle (FM)

Ford Muscle is a relatively general class that includes all domestic (USDM) Ford vehicles. This includes everything from Mustangs and trucks to SUVs and sedans. Every vehicle in this class must have an index-style foot brake set-up.

If you're unsure about drag racing and want to learn more before heading out for your first event, be sure to check out our article on how to drag race.

NMRA Car Show

If you're going to host a drag racing event revolving around Mustangs and other Fords, then it only makes sense that spectators will bring their own Mustangs to the show. NMRA offers special car show parking for those who'd like to bring their Ford vehicles out to show off.

Just make sure to brush up on your car show etiquette and give your car a good detailing before heading out!

NMRA Car Show

NMRA Manufacturers Midway and Swap Meet

NMRA Drag Race Midway

One of the best parts about NMRA events is the opportunity to check out some of the latest parts and vehicles on display. Ford Performance typically has their latest vehicles, and many other vendors showcase their latest parts to give your Mustang the edge over the guy down the street.

There's also a swap meet at each event where locals in the area can buy or sell used Mustang parts to other attendees.

Experience NMRA for Yourself

From heart-pounding heads-up drag racing to captivating car shows, manufacturer booths, and thrilling burnout contests, the NMRA Nationals Series offers a diverse and adrenaline-fueled experience for Ford enthusiasts. With specific classes catering to a wide range of vehicles, there's something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore drag racer, a Mustang owner, or simply a lover of car culture. Discover the excitement of NMRA Drag Racing yourself, and get to an event!

Image Credit: NMRA Digital

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.