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Random Thoughts-From A Geezer (1 Viewer)

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Nitro Member
Here are random and highly un-organized thoughts from a drag racing geezer.

* In my view drag racing was so much better during the golden age that it is today, why? The amount of historic venues, the number of cars. the choices we had and the talent level as compared to today. Think about it, when you had Lions, O.C.I.R. Irwindale Famoso, Fremont, US 30, Green Valley, US 131 and dozens of other tracks. it was epic.

*Funny Cars had the best of years in my view in 1967, 1969, and 1975. 1977 was pretty good too.

*Miss Meyer's 5.09 at Indy was very cool, but it took so long to get to Mr. Reichert's 5.10, yes I am aware of the different rules. Does it make you wonder if the gear and nitro percentage rules were more open what the times would be? maybe 4.90's?

*Pro Stocks best years were 1970, 1985 and 1992. Egg shaped cars and low downforce of todays cars has turned the races into "I need perfect track conditions to be able to race."

*The best weekly drag strip will always be Lions.

* The best announcers at the strip were Jon Lunberg, Steve Evans, Bernie Mathers, Dave McClelland, and Bernie Partridge.

*The Best independent shows were the March Meet, Popular Hot Rod Championships, World Series, Manufacturers Funny Car Championships, Irwindale's Grand Prix and 64 Funny Car Meets and the P.D.A. meets at Lions and O.C.I.R.

*The best "door" Funny Car was Doug Thorley's Doug's Head Corvair.
*The best front-engine dragster was the Greer-Black-Snake Dragster.
*The best rear-engine fuel dragster was "Big's rail of 1975.

*The biggest losses and what if's in my view were Denny Milani, Pete Robinson, John Mulligan, John Wenderski, Blaine Johnson, and Boyd Pennington.
*Bill Jenkins, Ronnie Sox, Butch Leal, Bob Glidden, Warren Johnson, Lee Shepherd, and Frank Iaconio will always be on top of the Pro Stock list.

*Best small time strips were San Fernando and Ohio Valley.

*Best run strips as far as car count, execution of the the program was Lions..................hand down.

*Most underrated Drag Strip, Fontana Drag City.

*Best AA/FA, Winged Express, best AA/GS, Big John. Best BB/FC, Dale Armstrong's Alcoholic.

*Best starters in the sport. Larry Sutton and of course Buster.

*Best AA/GD was the Freight Train.

*Best AA/FD independent 1-day show, best run, stoutest field was the 1967 P.D.A. at Lions. 64-car field, 32 races in the first round took less than 90 minutes.

*While some of his post's I don't agree with, Beserko Bob has been around the block and I highly respect his view.

*Cliff is hands down the grand imperial poo-bah of the re-post,LOL. How about some original post's Cliff with your thoughts?

*The 2020 season has been a epic headache for the NHRA, sure glad I am not in Glenn's boots.


*The best drag strip food ever was Irwindale's hamburgers, Lions Chili Tamales and Hot Dogs and O.C.I.R's strips.


Just some of many. Celebrating only 57 years of this addiction

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Cliff

Nitro Member
I actually do a lot of posts "in reply" and I think I've done several posts to start a topic. Re-posts I do just cuz I think they would be items of interest. I do have to refrain from non drag racing stuff, like the milk truck with the blown Chrysler. Re; above post. I saw the Snake eat a drag dog at Lions, so always thought the food was safe (or Snake was just brave). Lots of stories about people getting sick from drag strip food. However.... All time favorite T/F, Don Prudhomme Wedge. Best A/GS Stone-Woods & Cook, especially the version w/ the blown Olds engine. Best all around tuner, Gene Adams. Also any of the Adams & Enriquez cars. If I had a time machine, it would be set for Lions, especially a Sat night w/ AA/FA, Top Gas, & JR/F. Worst mistake I ever did on Nitromater was calling Jim Irvin "Jim Irwin". Also have made my share of bone head posts, I also wish I could remember just when I first went to a drag race. I know it was 1961 at San Fernando, but that's it. Best long ago moment, my Dad watching me race at San Fernando in a POJ '58 Ford 4 door that I bought in the Air Force. I actually did a little racing. The 58 at San Fernando. 1966 Falcon straight 6 that I had the nerve to run at Lions. 1971 Pinto that I ran at Lions and the old Irwindale. I did learn to "speed shift" in the Pinto & didn't blow it up. heh Bob's Big Boy in Glendale Calif & Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys......
 
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Cliff

Nitro Member
So many great races at tracks all over the country. Wish I could have gone to them. Read about things like that in Drag News, including the S/S nationals. Heard it was like the Woodstock of drag racing.
 

Siggy

Nitro Member
Drag Racing in general back here in the 70's at Great Lakes Dragway in Southern Wis.. Coca Cola Cavalcade of Stars (Pro Stocks), Funny Cars running the Match Racing Circuit, Ect.. Also running in the Gas Coupe and Sudan Nationals at Rockford Dragway down in Byron Ill.. Just a class racer back in those days, (Unit Stock). Good Times, Good People, Great Memories!!!
 

Walter

Nitro Member
For me it was the early to mid-60's and fuel dragster racing. I lived in Phoenix and would avidly read Drag News when it arrived every Friday for the results of all of the SoCal strips. Tons of fuel cars. I made a few weekend jaunts to Lions and was always amazed. 20-30 cars trying for an 8 car show. The March Meet was heaven then. The AHRA Winternats at BeeLine were also quite a show for us in AZ.

Had I grown up in the Midwest, maybe gassers or SS cars would have been my drug. A lot of it is where you were and what the show was there at the time.
 

vegasnitro

Nitro Member
I was just at Ohio Valley a few weeks ago for the D3 Stock/Super Stock combo race. Randi Lynn Shipp took home the trophy and the 10K. I had a great time, but best small time track? It's not even the best small time track in Kentucky, US60 and Clay City are both better, in my opinion.

Lions had closed by the time I was born. I view Lions the same way I view Crosley Field. Would it have been nice to go to a game there? Yes, absolutely. But I am not going to burn a lot of calories pining for something that I never could have gone to in the first place. You guys say Lions was the best, that's fine. But I am pretty sure the Strip at LVMS is better in every way.

Best BB/FC of all time was Frank Manzo's.

Jeggie is the best pure door car driver EVER in my opinion.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
I used to love to watch Brad Anderson VS Chuck Beal in TA/FC. When they raced, you knew it was gonna be good. Agree, Frank Manzo is The Man. Chris, Lions was the greatest track of it's time. OCIR was the most modern and layed the foundation for the tracks we have today.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
Gino, looking thru the list of cackle cars & also personalities.... WOW! This will be worth it just to see the "cars & the Stars". :)
 

[email protected]

Nitro Member
Chris, Lions was by far the best. You just could not beat the weekly shows there. As Dave Wallace said, it was the Olympics of drag racing. every week. Unless you were there and were a part of it, u may not get where I am coming from.

Bob, I fully agree with you sir, I actually got to hang with u just one time in your "lounge."

[email protected] the home of the best "WEEKLY' AA?FD shows...................ever!
 

Ramjet

Nitro Member
It is almost impossible to say what was the Greatest Drag Strip of all time because it is only the greatest in someone's eyes. In Southern California it is hard to argue against Lions. It can also be different from a Fans or a Participants point of view. As a participant I could easily say it was THE POND (San Fernando) because I won 15 times there in Top Gas & twice in Top Fuel.. The reality is however it AINT the BEACH. Long Beach Wasn't much to look at - the track wasn't all that good - the pits were The Pitts - the shut off was short and you landed in a bunch of Railroad Ties if your chute failed. In the later rounds you couldn't see 50 feet in front of you because of the fog. Most of the time C.J. would ask if you wanted to split the money in the last round but I never saw anybody who did. There was so many cars there sometimes you only got one Hit for qualifying. On the flip side the Heavest Hitters there ever was were useually there and not always the same guys. You better bring your AA game because your A game wasn't enough. No one had time to change a Motor. Put new bearings in was about it and if you could get the edge of a credit card to go into a crack in the Crank you were done. There has never been a Drag Strip that could put on a show like that weekly and with the names that were there and I believe there never will be. There were about 85 Drag Strips that opened in California between 1950 and 2009. I was lucky enough to run at 16 in the south land and a few others including Indy 3 times. If you are interested in the Tracks in California's history https://dragstriplist.com/california.
 
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Dragracer

Nitro Member
It is almost impossible to say what was the Greatest Drag Strip of all time because it is only the greatest in someone's eyes. In Southern California it is hard to argue against against Lions. It can also be different from a Fans or a Participants point of view. As a participant I could easily say it was THE POND (San Fernando) because I won 15 times there in Top Gas & twice in Top Fuel.. The reality is however it AINT the BEACH. Long Beach Wasn't much to look at - the track wasn't all that good - the pits were The Pitts - the shut off was short and you landed in a bunch of Railroad Ties if your chute failed. In the later rounds you couldn't see 50 feet in front of you because of the fog. Most of the time C.J. would ask if you wanted to split the money in the last round but I never saw anybody who did. There was so many cars there sometimes you only got one Hit for qualifying. On the flip side the Heavest Hitters there ever was were useually there and not always the same guys. You better bring your AA game because your A game wasn't enough. No one had time to change a Motor. Put new bearings in was about it and if you could get the edge of a credit card to go into a crack in the Crank you were done. There has never been a Drag Strip that could put on a show like that weekly and with the names that were there and I believe there never will be. There were about 85 Drag Strips that opened in California between 1950 and 2009. I was lucky enough to run at 16 in the south land and a few others including Indy 3 times. If you are interested in the Tracks in California's history https://dragstriplist.com/california.
Roger you are absolutely right about Lions. I started going there in 1960 with Cerny's and I think I spent half my life there. San Fernando was unique. The guys that gripped Saturday at Lions for being rushed all showed up at San Fernando when you couldn't race until noon and eliminations were over at 4. Lions, San Fernando, Riverside, Fontana, Colton, San Gabriel plus more were all fantastic race places but I have to say there was no place like Lions.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
I went to San Gabriel just once & really made a big impression on me. I still remember a few cars from that race. San Fernando was my home track. So true about the curfew. We'd run ET races in the morning with closed exhaust, and noon was open exhaust. Run the whole show in 4 hours..... And then the ET cars would run again afterward. The worst thing about Fernando was when it closed. I actually was there for the last race, but we didn't know it. Went back the next week & it was closed. Same thing the next week, so we got the idea. For years, I never knew why Fernando closed and then was ticked at Harry Hibler for not telling us. I forgive you Harry.... heh Also kinda painful to realize how many track USED to exist in SoCal and are now long gone. I am grateful that we have Wild Horse & Tucson, so at least I have a place to go. I do miss Speedworld, which closed around 5-6 years ago. I went to that track almost 30 years. Little guy track, reminded me so much of the Old Daze.
 

glofria

Nitro Member
Well I've said it before that if drag racing is to survive in Southern California, it will have to be by grassroots measures. It's been 20 years since we were last there, but this coming weekend the City of Banning is hosting an outlaw drag race at the airport. Only this time it will be on the runway and not on the taxi way. It looks like there will be some hot cars there too.


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