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Random Pomona Memories (1 Viewer)

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Just days away from Winternats # 60. Here are some random memories in no order
*Going to my first in 65, some race. dad and I went Friday and got to see little as fog ruined the day. Sat was wet. We went on Sunday for the one-day wonder. What a long day but intense. Everything was overwhelmed off the track, parking, concessions, the porta poties , and so on.
*66 watching Shirley Shahan win, what a AA/FD show.

*Larry Reyes huge flip in the lights with Roland's bulky Charger
*Bernstien busting out the wild Buick and his final round wreck in his TF in 93.
*The 78 multi-week weather fest, that was a marathon.
*67 race when Connie won with his cammer. That race got real heated in the stands by us. Dad, me, and our group were strong Chrysler supporters, next to us were some partisan Ford folks, as the day wore on the beer and booze by some on the other group got very emboldened as Connie went rounds, money was bet and the trash talk increased.

*The first year of AA/FC and Pro Stock.
*Wild Willy getting so sideways in first round of Comp.
*Garlits win in 71.

Those are just a very few, but this last one had a very big effect on me, our racing buddies from Lions, Bakersfield, and other tracks. It was the 79 edition. My dad was ultra sick with cancer, he was determined to make it on Sunday. I was at the track with his blessing on Friday and Saturday. My uncle picked him up Sunday morning, he felt so bad, somehow he managed to muster the strength and willpower to go. Uncle Joe got him to the track about 30 minutes before round one. Myself and our racing buddies helped him up the grandstands. He was sporting his Lions Drag Strip shirt and jacket, not many dry eyes when 'Jimmy' made it to his seat. In our group of about 30, many hugs and bench racing memories were shared.

He knew, we knew, this was going to be his last Winternationals, he had gone since the first in 1961. Just after the semi finals we helped him down the stairs , my uncle and myself, along with our buddies walked him to the car and my uncle drove him home, I could see his look on his way out, he was crushed.
Myself along with our group watched all the final round action, it was odd with out dad. It wasn't too long into that year that we lost him. That Sunday will always be special to me. Along with other tracks, Pomona bonded Dad and I and our buds.



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Cliff

Nitro Member
I think the first time I went to Pomona was 1963. Watched a 2 out of 3 for the #1 spot AA/FD. The Greek VS Weekly-Rivero-Fox-Holding (The Frantic 4). Chris Karamesines won Rd 1, Weekly red flag (red light today). Round 2, Greek went into a "powerstand" at 1/2 track (wheelie) and shut off. Rd 3, Weekly won. I think they were running low 8's at around 190, in the summer heat. Next best memory is Garlits winning in 1971 with the back motor car.
Mark, I was sad to read about your Dad passing, was glad he got to at least watch some rounds. I've lost both my parents years ago. hard to go thru that.
 

vegasnitro

Nitro Member
I had moved from Kentucky to Las Vegas in August of 1994, and one of the first things I thought about was Pomona. I had been to Indy, Columbus, Bristol ... but this was Pomona, Southern California, the birth place of it all. The 1994 Winston Select World Finals, what a great race. All Dodge Boys final in Pro Stock, with Alderman squeezing past Geoffrion in the final and just barely for the title too. Shelley Anderson won the Big Bud Shootout on Saturday with a record ET of 4.71, Bernstein won on Sunday with a 314 MPH run, which was a new record speed by a bunch. Force won Funny Car at a record 303.95 MPH. PACKED house all 3 days. Traffic Jam on the 10 at 11pm on Sunday trying to get back to I-15 (the 210 wasn't done yet). It was just everything you could ever want for your first Southern California drag race. I have been back at least 25 times since.
 

Timmah

Nitro Member
My first Pomona experience was in 1984 - when I was 11. Dad, his buddy Scott, and I drove up in Scott's black Dodge Pick-up for Saturday. We rarely went on Sunday eliminations, as Dad always thought (and he was correct) - that you get more action on Saturday. We stopped at McDonald's located off I-10 at the exit you head to the Fairplex. When we walked in, we saw a red dually with a big wing on top (obviously a racer of some sort). What I didn't realize is that it was Shirley Muldowney, Rhan Tobler, and her crew.

We arrived at the track around 8 am and sat in our reserved seats (around 200' down the track) for the early rounds of sportsman racing. It had rained the night before, so we watched the track dryer and a helicopter flying slowly over the track to help with the drying (seriously). For the first pro qualifying session, we stayed there - but moved to the last set of grandstands located about 1,200' - as my dad called that the Q4 Impact Zone. As we walked up those stairs, I was SHOCKED at all of the racers in that section. I also got a good laugh at a banner on top of the bleachers saying, "The Anti-Kenny Bernstein Club"...Oh, and quite a few racers had pretty big "boomers" - just as dad had suggested.

That was a very memorable first Pomona experience. In years after, we'd experience rainouts, head out on Thursday (which always had some SHOCKING numbers - especially in TAD - where many of those moonshot top speeds by A/Fuelers occurred). I'll admit that I ditched school on Thursday and Friday of the 1990 and 91 Winters.

When I left for Colorado in 1996, I didn't return to Pomona till the 2003 Winters - as I had signed up for Frank Hawley's school taught by that Fast Jack guy and Thomas Beyer. Cool story - Jack actually won in Super Comp at that event - but it rained on Monday, and Tuesday - but that delay led to a lot of really awesome bench racing. I returned to Pomona in May and received my NHRA Comp License on Parker Avenue. That's pretty bitchin...;-)
 

DG

Nitro Member
Leland Kolb Pomona 1962.jpg

Early days at Pomona!

Here is a picture of Leland Kolb driving the Butters and Gerard A/FD in 1962!
 
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Cliff

Nitro Member
Leland Kolb went back to the early 1950's. He was a pioneer of the sport. He drove & had others drive for him at times. The one I remember is Irwindale Div 7 race, when they still had T/F & F/C run at those meets. James Warren ran against Leland for the title. James ran 5.99 to win, Leland 6.12 and James commented that he saw Leland "all the way down". Was a tight race. Everyone was excited that James ran the 5.99, low ET, at Irwindale. Ah yes.....

By the way, photo above shows how the engines were "dumped", ie: pointed down when the car was level. That was the trend in early 60's. Hard to see in the photo, cuz Leland was "boiling the hides" and doing a big wheelie. Was that photo taken at Pomona?
 

DG

Nitro Member
Leland Kolb went back to the early 1950's. He was a pioneer of the sport. He drove & had others drive for him at times. The one I remember is Irwindale Div 7 race, when they still had T/F & F/C run at those meets. James Warren ran against Leland for the title. James ran 5.99 to win, Leland 6.12 and James commented that he saw Leland "all the way down". Was a tight race. Everyone was excited that James ran the 5.99, low ET, at Irwindale. Ah yes.....

By the way, photo above shows how the engines were "dumped", ie: pointed down when the car was level. That was the trend in early 60's. Hard to see in the photo, cuz Leland was "boiling the hides" and doing a big wheelie. Was that photo taken at Pomona?
Yes! At the division points race, as I recall!
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
Thanks Gino. This was so cool to watch. Dixon won in the "bad lane" & got a nice oil bath on the top end. Argh Felt kinda bad Nancy didn't win, but he did win Bakersfield later. BTW, this was my first Winternats. Got out of the Air Force in 1968 so I made sure I went to Pomona in 1969.
 
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