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Tribute To Lions Drag Strip Week (1 Viewer)

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Nitro Member
This week is my own small tribute to the greatest weekly drag strip to grace our sport, the unequalled Lions Drag Strip. Each night (hopefully) I will highlight an event or an ad from the track at random.

Tonight comes from the year 1966, advertising a show in early August.

The Headline: "The Smoke Never Sets On The Giant Of The West."
"Why Not Enjoy Another Night Of Torrid Racing Under Those Lions Lights."
"Lions Drag Strip-The Air-Conditioned Drag Strip."

Feature: Richard Schroeder's Bad Bossa Nova vs. Wetton & O' Connor's Studio Dodge.
6-Car Fuel Roadsters & Coupes-$200-to-win*$100 R/U*$75*$35 *Pre-Entered Keoppe&Hestily*Mr. C.*Heidelberg Special
8-Car Top Fuel-$600-to-win*$300 R/U*$100*$50 ($50 Low E.T. $50 Top Speed)
8-Car Top Gas-$225-to-win*$125 R/U*$50*$25
8-Car Junior Fuel-$225-to-win*$125 R/U*$50*$25
4-Car A/Altered-$100-to-win*$50 R/U*$25
4-Car AA/GS-$100-to-win*$50 R/U*$25

*Portable Radios Given Away As Door Prizes*
*Gates Open at 1:30pm*
*Qualifying at 5:00 & 7:00pm*
*1st Round at 7:30*
*Secure at 10:45pm.*

**Admission:$2.00**

It was a glorious time indeed!



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Cliff

Nitro Member
Portable radio? Like in transistor radio? Yes I had a few. You can still buy one, tinny sound and all.

So what I wanna do is build a time machine & then go back to each Sat since 1955 & see what I missed. :)
 

[email protected]

Nitro Member
Tonight part 2, one a race result, the second a promo.


Headline: Baney Brand Ford Rip's Strip With New Record!
March 25, 1967
The race had an 8-car Top Fuel Eliminator along with 8-car fields in Junior Fuel and Top Gas with bracket classes as well.

Top Fuel, The Snake in the Baney Ford digger set a new strip record at 221 mph in qualifying. 20 cars vied for the 8-car Top Fuel Field, in the final, Tom McEwen beat Tim Beebe, 7.37 to a slowing 7.82 for Beebe.

Top Gas, Frank Lee in his Chrysler ride worked over the Olds powered rail of Estery & McCramer, 8.34 to 8.50.

Junior Fuel was won by John Evans in the Rea & Evans ride over Bonesteer & Allison.

The Next Week, Saturday April 1, 1967
Headline In The Promo:Top Gas Biggie!
Top Gas is the headline as a somewhat rare 16-car weekly program is on tap.
Winner-$500-to-win*$300 R/U*$100*$50*$25
Early Pre-entries included:Rasmussen & Scott-Lee & Sons-Jumbo's 396-Gas House Gang-Wilcox & Levi

Junior Fuel-*8-Cars-$225-to-win*$125 R/U*$50*$25
Competition Eliminator-*4-Cars-$100-to-win*$50 R/U*$25
Funny Cars-*4-Cars-$250-to-win*$100 R/U*$50
A/Altereds-*4-Cars-$100-to-win*$50 R/U*$25

**Giveaways, 2 #970 Stewart Warner Tachometers*
Gates [email protected]:30pm.
Qualifying 5:00pm & 7:00pm
[email protected]:30pm.
Admission-$1.50

It was a magical time for sure.


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Cliff

Nitro Member
I would have wanted the tach. Man those would have been great shows to watch. Would have been there for both. Lots of names I remember. Interesting that the T/F cars started running way over 220 before they ran in the 6's. Then the speed slowed down while the ET went into the mid 6's. Well, speed did climb again. What is the fastest run by a front motor T/F? Tony Nancy was supposed to have run 238 & I know some cars ran 236. Oh, Garlits claimed 240 in a front motor car. I kinda dispute that one.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member

Cool Lions photos including Dave Hage in the front motor Joint Venture dragster formally driven by Larry Sutton. I think I was at this race, cuz James Warren in the Rain For Rent / Warren-Coburn-Miller was there w/ new back motor car. They had a Sid Waterman 426 engine in the car & I asked Sid if he was gonna put James "in the .20's" (6.20's).
 
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Tybamf

Nitro Member
Cliff, Mark, and any other Lions fan,

What was the guard rail system like there? Every photo I see seems to be near the starting line and it appears to be only a chain-link fence separating the cars and fans.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
There was a single "Armco" guard rail on either side, from the starting line down to the end. You can't see it from the fence being in the way. A lot of tracks converted to a double rail system, stronger than single rail. Those guard rail were sharp on the top & if you flipped & got caught on the top of the rail, could cut the chassis or a leg or arm (that happened). Am so glad that tracks went to concrete guard walls. BTW there are still some tracks today w/ Armco guard rails. San Fernando never had guard rails (as was the case w/ some tracks in 1950's & 60's), but at one time has some hay bales along the left lane. I remember Pomona having hay bales alongside the left lane.
 

Tybamf

Nitro Member
Thanks, Cliff! Back when I was a youngster our local track, US 131 MSP, had the Armco rails and we never had top fuelers there only funny cars. I was told TF was not allowed to run on a track with Armco rails. I believe they were NHRA sanctioned at the time.
 

Gone Dead Train

Nitro Member
There was a single "Armco" guard rail on either side, from the starting line down to the end. You can't see it from the fence being in the way. A lot of tracks converted to a double rail system, stronger than single rail. Those guard rail were sharp on the top & if you flipped & got caught on the top of the rail, could cut the chassis or a leg or arm (that happened). Am so glad that tracks went to concrete guard walls. BTW there are still some tracks today w/ Armco guard rails. San Fernando never had guard rails (as was the case w/ some tracks in 1950's & 60's), but at one time has some hay bales along the left lane. I remember Pomona having hay bales alongside the left lane.
Can opener guard rails. Yikes. Jay Payne told me years ago, he would never race at a track that still had "Armco" rails
But that's all we new back in the day.
 

Ramjet

Nitro Member
Interesting that the T/F cars started running way over 220 before they ran in the 6's. Then the speed slowed down while the ET went into the mid 6's. Well, speed did climb again. What is the fastest run by a front motor T/F? Tony Nancy was supposed to have run 238 & I know some cars ran 236. Oh, Garlits claimed 240 in a front motor car. I kinda dispute that one.

Cliff - Everyone slowed down when the LENCO came out because it was an Overdrive with a lot of parasitic drag and you had to put a shorter gear in. It also took a while to figure out Ratios. The average speed went down 7 to 10 MPH. You almost had to have one (or a B&J which was not O.D. [less gear choices]) because the E.T.'s were worth a couple of tenths or more. The Speeds really went back up and then a lot more when the clutch technology (and the Cannon) made high gear the answer again. The problem with a real tall gear was that if it knocked the tires off you usually couldn't recover or you launched the Blower peddling it. For being supposidly Low Technology the Fuel cars (and others) have had an unbelievable mind boggling amount of refinement.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
Thanks Roger. One of my posts above shows Lions photos from late 1971. Was surprised to see the Gas House Gang on nitro! On the blower scoop, had the driver # and T/F. I never remembered that car on nitro, always Top Gas. Well, it was only 49 years ago.... heh BTW, I think that car ended up in Arizona & ran a SB Chevy w/one carb in ET brackets. Saw it at Speedworld, maybe late 1980's.
 

DG

Nitro Member

Cool Lions photos including Dave Hage in the front motor Joint Venture dragster formally driven by Larry Sutton. I think I was at this race, cuz James Warren in the Rain For Rent / Warren-Coburn-Miller was there w/ new back motor car. They had a Sid Waterman 426 engine in the car & I asked Sid if he was gonna put James "in the .20's" (6.20's).
This is the car that Dave Hage got his fuel licence in. He was Bill Butters' neighbor and started to drive right out of high school in the summer of 1963!
 

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Cliff

Nitro Member
Thanks Dave. I saw Hage in The Landlord T/AD the last time I went to OCIR (the year it closed). So the car pictured is AA/FMR, right? Was it your car? For all you guys under 60, AA/FMR is AA Fuel Modified Roadster. :)
 

DG

Nitro Member
Thanks Dave. I saw Hage in The Landlord T/AD the last time I went to OCIR (the year it closed). So the car pictured is AA/FMR, right? Was it your car? For all you guys under 60, AA/FMR is AA Fuel Modified Roadster. :)
Dave drove our Butters and Gerard AA/FMR for several years, before moving on to bigger and better things!

Here is a later picture of the car with Dave on the left at the old Stardust Raceway in Las Vegas!!
B-G Vegas.jpg
 

sutton

Nitro Member
Dave drove our Butters and Gerard AA/FMR for several years, before moving on to bigger and better things!

Here is a later picture of the car with Dave on the left at the old Stardust Raceway in Las Vegas!!View attachment 6858
Dave
You forgot to mention or didn't remember (LOL) that I painted the car for you and Bill after I quit driving the car. Dave Hage was a very good friend of mine, may he rest in peace.
Larry Sutton---Lions Starter and racer (RET.)

PS: Dave and I switched rides more then once.
 
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sutton

Nitro Member
Mark.
Loved your post, I would like to add to it. we were able to complete all the classes an plus the bracket classes an be done by curfew of 11PM try that today and we did it every week.
Lions was a great place for the times and just look at all the LIONS DRAG STRIP shirts everywhere and you will understand how big it was.
Larry Sutton---Lions Starter
 

[email protected]

Nitro Member
On May 13th of 67 Lions upped the ante by paying more for a weekly show.

Top Fuel had increases across the board as did the other dragster classes.

AA/FD 8-cars*$610-to-win*$310 R/U*$210-$110
Top Gas 8-cars*$235-to-win*$135 R/U*$60-$35
Junior Fuel 8-cars*$235-to-win*$135 R/U*$0-$35

Admission-$2.00
12 and under Free!


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[email protected]

Nitro Member
*GIANT FUNNY CAR CAVALCADE-MAY 20TH!!!*

NOT ONE BUT 2 TWO 8-CAR FIELDS!!

This big Funny Car meet of late spring sported 2 separate 8-car eliminators. The entries included, Dee Keaton-"Rapid" Ronnie Runyon-Gayland Hill-Chevy 2 Heavy-Rusty Dellings-Don Kirby-Steve Montrelli-J&J Barracuda-Destroyer Jeep-Hairy Canary-Vicious Vette-DOHC Falcon-Top Cat-Peanuts-and Malfunction.
Comp Eliminator 4-car field*$110-to-win*$60 R/U*$35

Admission-$2.00

It was a special era indeed!!!!!!!



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Cliff

Nitro Member
Dave drove our Butters and Gerard AA/FMR for several years, before moving on to bigger and better things!

Here is a later picture of the car with Dave on the left at the old Stardust Raceway in Las Vegas!!View attachment 6858

This is such a cool photo! 3 injected cars - were they on nitro? Far right is the Hedielburg (sp) Speed Shop car. I saw a later version of it at San Fernando & he usually raced w/ JR/F cars. Who was the car next to Hedielburg? Was that Gary Cochran with a Ford engine? Later put a blower on it.
 

DG

Nitro Member
Dave
You forgot to mention or didn't remember (LOL) that I painted the car for you and Bill after I quit driving the car. Dave Hage was a very good friend of mine, may he rest in peace.
Larry Sutton---Lions Starter and racer (RET.)

PS: Dave and I switched rides more then once.

We really appreciate all that you did for us and the sport! Dave is still missed!
 
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