July 22, 2024


Where Innovation Lives

BangShift.com Fast Fords At Dragway 42: Fast, Fun, Fords In Ohio

3 min read


Our seventh gallery of photos from Dragway 42 starts right here and we’ve got all kinds of cool action shots! And if you missed any of the photos from our previous galleries, use the link below to see them all too.

(Words by Joe Grippo, Photos by Dan Grippo) We just returned home from a fantastic weekend of blue oval greatness at the Fast Fords at Dragway 42 event held at where else but Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio. If you don’t know it by now, I am the resident FoMoCo-file here at BangShift.com, so it was my duty to attend and participate at this shindig. No arm twisting needed, so we hitched up the Super Duty, loaded up the Mach 1 and headed westward.

Fast Fords at 42 was born out of a desire by a few Ohio Ford racers to bring back an old school Ford event back to the area. When the word got out, Ron and Maryanne Matchum immediately stepped up and said this needs to be at our facility, Dragway 42. The Matchum’s purchased and have been rebuilding the venerable Ohio dragstrip for a few years now, pumping untold dollars, time and sweat into the tack, and it is readily apparent. The expansive grounds are well kept, with lots of grass pit areas, all paved pit roads, and a great spectator vantage point. One detail I loved and appreciated was the sloped staging lanes, a small thing, but it is very nice when you can coast your car down the lanes without starting it up all the time, especially when getting into the later rounds. I don’t know who Ron and MaryAnne paid, but we had absolutely perfect weather all weekend, cool in the mornings, moderate afternoon temps, gorgeous blue skies and dry all weekend, those great atmospheric conditions combined with decent starting line hook helped the race live up to its name.
Fast Fords at Dragway 42, indeed.

The principal forces behind the event were brothers Tony and Joe Fritz, Mike Weaks, Carl Binius owner of Carl’s Ford Parts, and Bill Spangler. All are big time Ford dudes and put a ton of effort to make this deal a success. Sponsor support from Trick Flow Specialties, Harland Sharp, Mickey Thompson included a trackside presence and very sizeable gift certificate door prizes. Sarchione Ford, Terry Hedricks Ford and CTS – Complete Truck Service kicked in some additional support. Summit Racing provided each entrant with a $25 gift certificate just for showing up! I used mine at the Summit Retail store in Tallmadge on the ride home Sunday…we were going right past it, so why not stop.

Two full days of drag racing with individual eliminations, a nice car show, and a solid swap meet where the planned weekend activities. Race classes included Box (1/8 mile), No-Box (1/4 mile), an FE Shoot-Out, The Y-Block Nationals, and Quick 8’s for the FE and Box cars. No-Box was the largest, but all the classes had a solid turn-out, hopefully even more show up for 2023! I turned on the Big Red Death Ray on Saturday but redeemed myself with a semi-final finish on Sunday. Not going to lie, we burned quite a bit of $5 a gallon gas making the tow from Pennsylvania, but I don’t regret it in the least. We saw some old friends and made some new ones and raced at a first-class track with like-minded Ford folks. The adage is true…” You can’t put a price on a good time.” Support the event in 2023 and look for us when you do!

Since I was racing, my brother Dan Grippo happily manned the camera and documented everything.
Dig into the gallery for what we saw…

Fast Fords at Dragway 42 – Facebook



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