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Smoke Show at Holley's Intergalactic Ford Fest

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 11/27/2020 Johnny Hunkins,Holley
a car driving on a road: 001-holley-ford-fest-2020-smoke-show-(2) © Holley 001-holley-ford-fest-2020-smoke-show-(2)

It doesn't matter if you're young or old, everybody loves the wanton destruction of a perfectly good tire. The smell of burning rubber is always guaranteed to draw a crowd, and the crazies at Holley know a good thing when they see it. Of course, we're talking about all the smoke from Holley's Intergalactic Ford Festival, held October 14, 2020, at Bowling Green, Kentucky's Beech Bend Raceway Park. If there was one thing everybody there could agree on, it's that there was at least one good reason to wear a mask!

a blurry image of a car © Holley

Burnout contests have been a perennial favorite at most major outdoor car shows, and Holley's Ford event didn't disappoint. Burnout contest sponsor TorqStorm—one of the undisputed experts on how to properly power a burnout—made it clear up front that their burnout contest would be conducted Aussie style. (Anybody who's seen the YouTube footage of Discovery Network's "Farm Truck" from Street Outlaws dip its toe into the arena of Aussie-style burnout contests knows that anything can happen!)

a car driving down a street © Holley

Related Story: 60 Amazing Mustang Pix from Holley's Intergalactic Ford Festival

Still don't get it? Think of an Australian burnout as equal parts midnight sideshow, drift ballet, and top-speed skid mark dare. No weak-sauce, peg-leg, old-snow-tire burnouts here. Ford Fest attendees were even granted their wish for a few things to spontaneously catch fire. (Kentucky, after all, is the official home of the backyard tire fire.)

a car with smoke coming out of it © Holley

A little more restrained but arguably more Ford fun-for-the-dollar was Cletus McFarland's Ford Festival 50. Although not specifically a tire-smoke generating event, Cletus knows the key to our hearts, and that includes tire smoke emanating from six identically prepped Crown Victorias with NOS Sniper nitrous kits, going at each other in door-handle-to-door-handle action for 50 laps. (Disclosure: Beech Bend also has a retired 3/8-mile paved oval which comfortably hosted these tire-vaporizing shenanigans.)

a close up of a car © Holley

Despite their inherent fun, the burnout has a more serious origin in the quest for max drag-racing traction. When you're making the kind of power Ford's latest Coyote 5-liter V-8s can put out, a hot, sticky set of rear tires is the only hope you'll have for knocking out the win light. That's a lot of tire smoke, and when the circle track is cranking while the drag racers are doin' their thing, it's a sure bet that astronauts aboard the ISS have a front-row seat from outer space.

a car driving on a road © Holley

Speaking of the circle track, twilight was made even more spectacular with special appearances every day by Ford Mustang pro drifters Vaughn Gittin Jr and Chelsea DeNofa.

To see these two experts of car control pirouette in close formation from wall to wall in their amazingly prepared Mustang drift cars was a real blast. It makes you beg the question, "How many cars do you have to munch before getting this good?!" Check out the cars in our gallery to see!


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