Season Off and Running
- Feb. 14-17, 2008: For the 48th time all eyes were focused
on the historic acreage previously known as the LA County Fairgrounds
- currently The Fairplex - for the event that officially kicks
off the drag racing season, the NHRA Winternationals. Like Daytona
for NASCAR, the "WInternats" tells the world that the
winter break is over, a new year has dawned, and its time to
Winternationals there are a multitude of events within the event
- both at the track and at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
located within the Fairplex, about one-half mile from the strip.
It is there WDIFL will start our coverage on Thursday night and
end on Sunday with all nitro, all the time.
by John Ewald
with Snake and Mongoose
Feb 7 2008: Over
200 of drag racing and hot roddings finest came to the
Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Thursday night to pay tribute
to the most legendary duo in drag race history, Don the
Snake Prudhomme and Tom the Mongoose McEwen.
John Force stopped
by the dinner on his way to physical therapy. He's interviewed
here by Dave McClelland.
Once upon a time
Don Prudhomme didn't know John Force or that he was the fledging
funny car drivers hero. Now the rolls are equal if not somewhat
A featured part
of the night was an auction to help support the museum and the
items were largely Snake and Mongoose related - like a helmet
from each. The painting was was not for auction but commissioned
by NHRA to Kenny Youngblood for the corporate office...this was
McEwen were on stage for much of the evening. They reminisced,
answered questions and took some ribbing from the audience.
McClelland with Ed Pink and Roland Leong.
Ongias and Art Chrisman
The crowd got
to enjoy a 7-minute clip from a new DVD on their careers called
Once Upon a Wheel: Match Race.
After the DVD
clip there was back-and-forth joshing, joking, incredible bench
racing and tall tales from the two great showmen. They touched
upon everything from early match races to how McEwen helped put
together the Mattel Hot Wheels deal to NHRA Founder Wally Parks
to nostalgia drag racing. As usual, McEwen poked Prudhomme about
his Leer jet. Hey, Snake bit back, It was only
a small one!
another legend who's never short on commentary, Tom Ivo.
gets the best of the Wildlife duo.
Mac and museum
Curator Greg Sharp auctioned off the autographed dragster nose
that was donated by WDIFL.com. Starting at the CHRR, John Ewald
got everybody who was anybody sign this great piece and someone
saw its value as the winning bid was $1,100.00. Complete List
The auction raised about $25,000, all of which will directly
benefit the Museum.
Robert Height and Tom Ivo
John Force and Ed Pink
Force and John Ewald
and Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA
As things wrapped
up, McClelland called it the Year of the Snake and the Mongoose
and reminded the guests that both are Co-Grand Marshals of the
2008 March Meet in Bakersfield (Mar. 7-9), the fabled drag race
at the Auto Club Famoso Dragstrip.
Feb 8 2008: Over 200 fellow racers, press and fans came to the
Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Friday night to spend any
evening with some of NHRAs brightest stars.
were JR Todd, Doug Herbert, Hillary Will, Jack Beckman and Antron
old guard flanks the new guard... James Warren, Jack Beckman
and Gas Ronda.
Gibbs and Gas Ronda
Steve Gibbs and
Kenny Youngblood with the magnificent Youngblood portrait of
Top Fuel at the 48th Winternationals
Thompson Clocks 5.63.
Quickest NTF Run in History!
by John Ewald
The first pair
out on Saturday was Bill Dunlap in Brendan Murry's car and Rick
White in the Neil & White fueler.
pair on Saturday featured Brad Thompson and Mike McClennan.
White ran 5.957 at 244.25
Bill Dunlap ran 6.029
McClennan ran 6.215 at 231.04
Brad Thompson ran
5.738 at 261.57
On Sunday the
first car out of the Pomona staging lanes was Mike McClennan
in the Mike Fuller Motorsports car for a single. Brendan Murry
suffered a damage crankshaft on Saturday and was unable to repair
the car for Sunday.
the Hoosier tires.... more to come.
McClennan Ran 6.227 - no MPH
who was paired with Rick White was about to send a shock wave
through the front engine Top Fuel dragster ranks and fans from
coast to coast.
To many of the
fans at Pomona this day the scoreboard just said one car was
quicker and faster than the other, but for fans of the class
it was a jaw dropper. Brad Thompson had just run the lowest elapse
time in NTF history - by a ton. As stated on the Welcome page
article on All American Fuel Dragsters, this sets the standard for the 24 Top
Fuel cars that will be competing at the 2008
at Bakersfield. We'll see YOU there.
White Runs 6.197 at 228.73
Brad Thompson Runs 5.632 at 259.21
Nitro Funny Cars
Austin Clocks 5.79
Quickest NFC Run in History!
Photos by John Ewald
Also on hand
were four Nostalgia Nitro funny cars where Bucky Austin carded
the quickest NFC time in history with a 5.79 at 236 on Saturday.
A serious statement to the other 30+ funny cars slated to compete
at the March Meet.
Terry Capp was
in the seat of the Ron Hodson owned, Roland Leong tuned "Bubble
Up/Pacemaker" Firebird. Capp was right on Austin's heals
with a fine 5.866 at 246.39 (top speed).
Utterback ran a best of 6.017 at 231.28 in the Pisaono &
Matsubara tribute car.
Due to a driver
problem on Saturday, the Donny Couch tuned "Future Flash"
only ran on Sunday with substitue driver Kris Krabill in the
seat. It ran 6.295 at 224.43.
Mike Boyd was
on hand in the ever popular "Winged Express" AA/FA
of Marcellis & Borsch.
For the first
time in several years there was no major cacklecar display or
Cacklefest. Representing the breed was the museum workhorse,
the Howard Cams Rattler maintained by Dusty McWilliams.
Over the weekend
McWilliams put several folks in the car for static fire-ups that
always attracted a large crowd.
(Jon was there, both seem in good health so we may see him back
shots, in no particular order, are from Darrell & Pam Conrad
Pluger and Mouie Marcellis
Show Nitro & More - 2008 Pomona Page 2
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