Division 1 of the NHRA was always a hotbed of drag racing, and one of the most important locations was the airport-based dragstrip on the outskirts of York, Pennsylvania. With regional stars like Dave Strickler, Bill Jenkins, Bruce Larson, Jim Liberman, and George Curetin within a couple hours drive, York US30 was a powerhouse when the planes were not landing on the asphalt. It hosted notable events like the NHRA Summernationals and the infamous Super Stock Magazine Nationals before finally succumbing to changing needs in 1979 after 20 great years. Many never forgot it.
That included Darwin Doll, whose long tenure as NHRA’s Division 1 Director was quite notable as well. For Doll, the idea was to host a reunion for the facility’s workers, racers, and fans on the historic York County Fairgrounds in the city proper. Now, a dozen years later, it has become a hallmark show for drag racing fans in the Northeast, held annually on a Friday-Saturday schedule the second weekend in July. In additional to the static car show, racetrack owner/promoter Bob McCardle of Beaver Springs Dragway north of Harrisburg sets Sunday aside for the one-day Nostalgia Nationals, done in tribute to the York facility and featuring dozens of historic cars in action.
Like many racing shows, the two events are for all makes and models. The York portion is twofold - an invitational indoor display that fills both exhibitions area of Memorial Hall, and an open outdoor ‘cruise-in’ that takes place in an adjacent lot, complete with judging. Obviously, the drag race portion at Beaver Springs runs the gamut as well, but both events had enough Chevrolet power to sate any appetite (despite being focus on a tribute to Ford in 2013!)
Racecars needed racers, and one outstanding part of the York/BSD experience are the number of veteran drivers and team members who make the trek to central Pennyslvania each summer. Numerous autograph sessions, special interviews, and appearances are part of this. Couple this to the significant number of historical cars that come in from around the nation, and you have an idea of just how cool it is to again ‘be THERE!’
For more info on next year’s event, scheduled for July 11-12, 2014 and, especially important, to be a tribute to GM, you can find more info posted at http://www.yorknostalgia.com. Racers can go to http://www.beaversprings.com for info on Sunday’s program on July 13.