NHRA National Event Weekend
Published Fri, Jul 18 2008 12:02 AM
The National Hot Rod Association is holding the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals, a National Event at the local racetrack this weekend. Qualifying for the professional classes starts today.
It's always a fun show, but I just about never get to the track on Fridays for these events. It used to be that Friday night qualifying was one of the coolest parts of the show. Watching a top fuel dragster or funny car tearing down the track with six foot tall flames shooting out the headers is quite the site to see, and it's even better to see it at night. As I understand it though, the schedule this year has qualifying ending at 8:00 PM on both Friday and Saturday, so the contrast of the flames against the dark background just won't be there.
Just like in every other sport, professional drag racing has its celebrities. One of the cool things about going to the track to watch the races is the opportunity to meet and talk to them. One of my favorites is Don Prudhomme, a man that has been racing practically since the sport began. You may know him better as "The Snake" from his days when he was match racing with "The Mongoose" all across the country. The Snake doesn't drive the racecars anymore, but he does own a few, and he's always there to keep an eye on things.
If you want to see a lot of cars going down the track, the best day to go is usually a Saturday. Just about everyone that wants to get their car into the show will be making at least one pass down the track on Saturday. Of course, quite a few of them will still be having trouble getting their cars down the track, and it's a pretty good bet that some people won't make it into the show. There's usually something going on to keep it interesting even when some of the cars don't make it down the track. Little things like "races within the race" and that sort of thing frequently are going on.
I've got to warn you though. If you go to the track to watch these cars you may very well get hooked on the sport. A top fuel dragster or funny car on a full throttle pass literally shakes the ground. Bring your earplugs too, because the sound of 8,000 horsepower being applied to pavement through those monster slicks will literally blow you away. It's a physical presence. You can actually feel the cars go by as the pressure waves hit your chest. Every now and then, someone will have their car parked near the track. These cars will trip the car alarm just by driving by.
Of course, if you're really interested in the competition and "the real race", you've got to go on Sunday. The main event is a four round single elimination style tournament. First round starts around noon, with eight pairs of top fuel dragsters, followed by eight pairs of funny cars, and finally eight pairs of pro-stock doorslammers. The tournament ladder is set up so that the number one qualifier (the car with the quickest elapsed time) is paired up with the number sixteen qualifier and so on. The number one qualifier and the number two qualifier are set up on "opposite sides" of the ladder. In theory these are the two quickest cars in the class, so if everything goes according to the way the cars qualified, these two will meet in the final. Things seldom work out that way though, and the number sixteen qualifier can sometimes go on to win the event.
I'm going to the track this Saturday. Thanks to a good friend of mine I've got patio seats right next to the "setup area" where the racers get their cars ready just before coming onto the track to do their burnouts and prepare for their pass. Quite naturally I'll be taking my cameras along.
The forecast for this weekend is just about perfect. I know I'll have fun… after all, I've got racing in my blood. I can hardly wait for the smell of nitromethane and tire smoke… not to mention the roar of a supercharged big-block engine.
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Layla responded with:
Well, that sounds like it will be so much fun. I am looking forward to seeing those pictures Perri.
Rosemary responded with:
Dear Perri, You are so correct, and it is very frustrating! They know not what they do, and what they think they know is so wrong. We need to take our educational system (reeducation camps) back from the hands of the Marxists who've snuck into our shores and are trying to destroy from within. Yes, this is what we must do.
Kids, parents who are conservative, send your children and yourselves to school for teaching, jouralism, etc. We'll beat them, or we'll die trying.
How have you've been? I am well. It's been a while, eh? Nice to hear from you again! ;)
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