It’s been sixty-three years since the NHRA held its first organized drag race. And to add a little bit of trivia into the mix, that first event was held on a slice of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot in Pomona. That event featured door-slammers of all shapes and sizes, just as long as they were long and heavy. Not for any particular reason other than that’s all there was back then.
So here we are at the 2016 Winternationals – the same venue where the very first NHRA drag race took place back in April of 1953 – only today’s cars are quite a bit lighter and a whole lot faster than those early sedans and coupes that went down the quarter-mile back in the early days.
Today, nitro-burning Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars blazing down the 1,000ft drag strip at well over 300 mph are the big draw. For this piece, we’ll mix in some alcohol-powered Funny Cars and Comp Eliminator rides, but the main focus here is on the little guys – Chevrolet-powered door-slammers. With over 150 full-bodied cars entered, we thought it was time to give the sportsman drivers a bit of the limelight, which is usually reserved for the likes of John Force, Del Worsham, Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps, and other big names in the nitro wars. Although the folks behind the wheel of Stock and Super Stock drag cars don’t hit the speeds near that of the big time racers, but what they lack in big money and horsepower, they make up with massive hearts and an insane amount of desire. It takes a “huuuge” (think Donald Trump) commitment to go up against a field of 70 fellow racers vying for the Number One spot at the end of a race weekend.
So we hope you enjoy this gallery of the coolest classic and late-model Chevys we were able to gather from the NHRA season-opening Winternationals.
Next time you hit the drags, be sure to get there early and check out the show these racers put on. You’d be surprised how really cool NHRA Super Stock drag racing really is.