Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Geezer's Favorites

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A Geezer's Favorites

    I am now 70 years old but growing up in SoCal in the 60's and 70's it was a drag racing hotbed. At one time we had about 6 or so strips with full programs. I remember Lions, Orange County, Fullerton, Irwindale, Pomona, and probably the one at the original site at Fontana.

    My favorite classes still are Top Fuel, Fuel Altereds and AA/GS. At the time, most programs would feature most or all of these classes. Later, funny cars would be featured, but Saturday nights would have two or more classes run. In my IMHO that was the high point of drag racing.

    I'm not sure how we can get back to that point, but at as a starting point, are I am throwing these out for discussion:

    1. limit TF and FC power so they can run the entire 1/4 mile at between 280-300 mph trap speeds.

    2. Have Pro Stock rules to limit actual cars in white and adjust the rules to allow supercharged engines. ASIK Chevy, Ford and Dodge ponycars have supercharged engines as an option

    3. Include nostalgia classes in the Pro Class category.

    4. Keep Pro Modifieds pretty much as is to allow technical experimation.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jag-lover View Post
    I am now 70 years old but growing up in SoCal in the 60's and 70's it was a drag racing hotbed. At one time we had about 6 or so strips with full programs. I remember Lions, Orange County, Fullerton, Irwindale, Pomona, and probably the one at the original site at Fontana.
    I'm confused here I'm not aware of any strip at Fullerton (illegal street racing, perhaps ). San Fernando was the other strip in Greater Los Angeles. Further south, the San Diego area had Ramona and then Carlsbad.
    "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
      I'm confused here I'm not aware of any strip at Fullerton (illegal street racing, perhaps ). San Fernando was the other strip in Greater Los Angeles. Further south, the San Diego area had Ramona and then Carlsbad.
      You are right. I found this link indicating all the drag strips in SoCal

      https://www.ocregister.com/2019/04/1...-in-the-world/


      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for posting that That's a pretty good rundown the OC Register had. But, they missed San Diego's earlier strips, Paradise Mesa (to 1960) and San Diego County Raceway in Ramona (-1966). Also, Palmdale International became LA County Raceway and operated through 2007. Also, the old Saugus strip, which was an early one, though I don't recall how long it lasted off the top of my head.

        I'm impressed that they managed to sort out the three different earlier strips in the Irwindale area. That has caused great confusion.
        "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

        Comment


        • #5
          Lions Drag Strip showed up prominently on Brad Pitt’s t-shirt last year in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie was set in 1969 and has tons of great L.A. nostalgia.
          Pitt also had a race poster up on his fridge that looked like a flat track event at Ascot. He was also into spearfishing! No wonder I liked that movie so much.
          "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
          "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
          "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
            Lions Drag Strip showed up prominently on Brad Pitt’s t-shirt last year in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie was set in 1969 and has tons of great L.A. nostalgia.
            Pitt also had a race poster up on his fridge that looked like a flat track event at Ascot. He was also into spearfishing! No wonder I liked that movie so much.
            Lions and Ascot were my go-to tracks in the late 60's or early 70's. Ascot on Friday for the motorcycle flat tracks or steeplechase and Saturday for the flat tracks. Lions would alternate for the gassers, fuel altereds, funny cars or top fuelers on either Saturday or Sunday. When I was working at a gas station in Torrance I could hear the nitro cars on Saturday nights. It was about 10 or so miles between where I was working and Lions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Street drag racing was very common in my youth. I had a lady friend who I grew up with from toddler on who’s dad owned and raced jalopy cars. Her dad built her a 1952 Chevy and put a V8 engine in it. Mind you Chevy never had a V8 until 1955. Sooo, we would go around the Pole drive-in and find suckers (mostly Fords) to challenge. Female driver and assumed 6 cylinder that was easy. Ok, that was fun. When Indianapolis Raceway Park as it was called then opened in 1960 they invited the public to drive on the oval to break it in. No racing. Yeah, that was it. We raced. I also destroyed four tires in less than 10 laps on that banked track. I also was Chuck Martin’s gopher to do odd jobs and go around Indy to wholesale suppliers to get pizza ingredients for his pizza shop then on 10th Street in Speedway. I never sold or made pizzas in his shop but he acquired a trailer, put an oven in it and we made and sold pizzas at the first oval race. It was a 90 degree day and I made pizzas next to a 500 degree deck oven. Hardly anyone bought pizzas during the race but there was a run on them when the race ended for people to take home. We wisely anticipated that but still had about 20 made up boxed pizzas after the crowd dispersed. Chuck gave them to me supposedly to dispose of and I took them home and put them in the freezer. Not quite the first frozen pizza but not too far off. I guess that was too soon. I don’t remember him doing that again. The drag strip was the first major real event. It was billed as the National Championships on Labor Day weekend. Rodger Ward was my neighbor so I approached him to say hi and small talk. He was with Don Garlits and Jack Brabham, all three were the current champions in their respective racing sports. They all three signed my ticket. Stupid me lost it someplace in 61 years since. That was all in my high school days as a Speedway kid.
              Davydd (Anglicized Welsh name for David...that's all)
              Certified BPT Taster Pursuing Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
              Long lost Speedway Sparkplug thrashing about in the deep woods of Minnesota

              Comment


              • #8
                I see that the area that used to be Lions is now a shipping container holding facility. Is there any remnants of the track? Any original asphalt/concrete, guard rails, etc.?

                As for Jag's items:

                The alcohol dragsters and FCs are at 280mph, and I wonder how long they will go 1/4 mile. The NHRA has committed to the violent launch the nitro cars bring as a calling card. There not going back to under 10,000hp. They will be at 1/8 mile someday, I predict.

                Pro Mod should supplant Pro Stock. Exciting cars with multiple engine formats. Unfortunately the current PS cars aren't fast enough to be absorbed into PM. Oh well.

                As for nostalgia, give the newly-elevated PMs a weight break for every decade back the bodywork is from. We'll see a lot of '55 Chevys, '49 Mercurys, etc.
                "Everyone in front of you is cheatin', and everyone behind you sux!"--nonpareil racer T. Kester

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalz View Post
                  I see that the area that used to be Lions is now a shipping container holding facility. Is there any remnants of the track? Any original asphalt/concrete, guard rails, etc.?

                  As for Jag's items:

                  The alcohol dragsters and FCs are at 280mph, and I wonder how long they will go 1/4 mile. The NHRA has committed to the violent launch the nitro cars bring as a calling card. There not going back to under 10,000hp. They will be at 1/8 mile someday, I predict.

                  Pro Mod should supplant Pro Stock. Exciting cars with multiple engine formats. Unfortunately the current PS cars aren't fast enough to be absorbed into PM. Oh well.

                  As for nostalgia, give the newly-elevated PMs a weight break for every decade back the bodywork is from. We'll see a lot of '55 Chevys, '49 Mercurys, etc.
                  I'm all for slowing the fuel cars to be able to return to quarter mile racing. 1,000 foot racing and playoffs have killed my interest in the sport.

                  I'd do what they can to absorb Pro Stock into Pro Mod, or make them a class in Comp, and make Factory Stock Showdown the new Pro Stock.
                  “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post

                    I'm all for slowing the fuel cars to be able to return to quarter mile racing. 1,000 foot racing and playoffs have killed my interest in the sport.
                    Won't happen. The sport committed the their direction after the Kalitta accident. Watch the NHRA commercials. It's all about that tire-rippling launch. They will be at 880ft. eventually.
                    "Everyone in front of you is cheatin', and everyone behind you sux!"--nonpareil racer T. Kester

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dalz View Post

                      Won't happen. The sport committed the their direction after the Kalitta accident. Watch the NHRA commercials. It's all about that tire-rippling launch. They will be at 880ft. eventually.
                      They'll be out of business long before they're down to 880ft.
                      “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are their ticket sales and TV numbers waning? I didn't like 1000ft. initially but I found a way. To go back to 1320 would take the current Top Alcohol numbers, and that's starting to push it. How could they do that?
                        "Everyone in front of you is cheatin', and everyone behind you sux!"--nonpareil racer T. Kester

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dalz View Post
                          Are their ticket sales and TV numbers waning? I didn't like 1000ft. initially but I found a way. To go back to 1320 would take the current Top Alcohol numbers, and that's starting to push it. How could they do that?
                          I can't speak to ticket sales, nor can I speak to TV numbers (though what I remember seeing wasn't all that great. Live coverage has been the bane of drag racing). I can speak to NHRA national event tracks being sold off and closed (Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, E-Town) , and the organization moving from California to what I'm sure is the tower at Lucas Oil Raceway Park.
                          “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

                          Comment

                          Unconfigured Ad Widget

                          Collapse
                          Working...
                          X