Hurricane Ivan forced Rachel Marion to take a few detours in her drive from Knoxville, Tenn., but she¿ll return across the Appalachians with some extra hardware after capturing Best of Show honors for her 2001 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra as the four-day Food Lion AutoFair concluded Sunday at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

The 26-year-old nursing student and mother of three was not about to let Hurricane Ivan ruin her first trip to the Food Lion AutoFair.

¿At 7 o¿clock yesterday morning, my husband started talking about doing something else this weekend because of the weather,¿ Marion explained. ¿I said, ¿no way, we¿re going to Charlotte!¿¿

Because of washed-out roads and flood conditions, the Marions took several detours that added more than two hours to what¿s normally a three-and-a-half hour drive, but the performance red convertible Cobra handled the drive and the show car competition with ease, sporting a license plate that reads ¿U-R-MY-PRA.¿

Marion¿s 330-horsepower Ford also captured the Best of Show award for the SVT Cobra Mustang Club.

¿I¿ve always dated guys with Mustangs, but my dad would never let me have a Cobra. I just couldn¿t settle for a GT. You¿ve got to go with the best!¿ exclaimed Marion. ¿I bought the car because of the suede seats and my need for speed.¿

Marion may have taken the show¿s top prize with her Ford, but Chevrolet owners swept the remaining specialty awards.

Mike Pinkham of Ridgeway, S.C., drove home in his 2001 Corvette with the Cabarrus Cup Award for Most Creative. Pinkham¿s machine paid tribute to the firefighters who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a patriotic paint-scheme depicting rescue efforts that took more than 300 hours of air-brushing to complete.

The Bob Laidlein Award for Most Original also travels to South Carolina. Ernie Whiteford returned to his hometown of Laurens with an award-winning 1963 Chevrolet Impala that¿s recorded only 4,000 original miles on the odometer.

Arnold Walker of Gastonia, N.C., picked up the Mecklenburg Strelitz Award for Ladies¿ Choice with his red 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air while Virgil Scaggs of nearby Harrisburg, N.C., won the Concord Concours Award for Best Restoration by Owner with another 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air.

The Lion Cup Award for Best Paint went to Jimmy Felton of Mt. Holly, N.C., for his 1969 candy-apple red and brandy-wine colored Camaro.

In addition to these winners, each of the nearly 50 car clubs on display during the Food Lion AutoFair was judged individually, with a Best of Show picked for each club.

Car enthusiasts from across the United States will again converge on Lowe¿s Motor Speedway Oct. 28-30 for the GoodGuys Southeastern Nationals. Information may be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS.