VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 7/14/2010
Parker Avenue, of course, is the nickname bestowed on the racetrack that is now known as Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, home since 1984 of NHRA's season opener and its curtain closer. While our reigning NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champs weighed in with their thoughts for the season ahead and assessed their biggest challengers, we received interesting feedback on NHRA.com from some preseason polls I posted in the days leading up to the event.
LAUNCH PAD with Phil Burgess Pomona, Here We Come (and not a minute too soon!) I n the world of gleaming hot rods and tons of motorsports, a new cars of every shape, size, and lot of hallowed color. ground is known I didn’t attend another by colorful names. Winternationals until 1980, but I Le Mans has the haven’t missed one since. This high-speed year will mark my 21st straight Mulsanne Winternationals. I was so excited Straight. Laguna to attend that 1980 event that I Seca has the talked my parents into loaning me Corkscrew. Brands Hatch has Paddock Hill their camper so that I could hole Bend. For drag racing fans, Parker Avenue may up overnight in the holding-area be one of the most revered patches of concrete parking lots the night before to and asphalt, perhaps second only to the stake out a spot so that I could be historic grounds in Indy. among the first into the place. would win each of the Full Throttle world Parker Avenue, of course, is the nickname We’re always excited when the championships, and the numbers surprised me. bestowed on the racetrack that is now known as Winternationals rolls around, and not just for In Top Fuel, Larry Dixon garnered a Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, home since the chance to enjoy four great days of racing surprising 55 percent of the vote, well ahead of 1984 of NHRA’s season opener and its curtain after sleeping in our own beds. The excitement second-place Tony Schumacher’s 19 percent. closer. Named in 1969 in honor of Pomona of seeing the beginning of a new chapter in Antron Brown was third with 13 percent of the Police Chief Ralph Parker, who played a NHRA history (and knowing we’ll also be ballots. What’s up with that? Dixon and pivotal role in helping establish the there for the end of it) is quite a thrill, and this Schumacher finished within two points of one Winternationals, it even has its own Pomona year’s gala 50th annual event is definitely one another and Dixon is the runaway fan pick just street sign to the left of the starting line. for which you need, in the words of the three months later? Just what “the Sarge” What makes the track so special — other immortal Steve Evans, to “Be there.” needed: more bulletin-board inspiration. than, of course, a penchant for fast times, Granted, Dixon and the Al-Anabi team will be “ incredible drama, and unprecedented I had been to plenty of other better this year than last, but that much better? happenings — is its location. In a world where I think it speaks volumes to the fans’ belief in home and business developments swallow up drag races from the time I was Alan Johnson magic and the unflappable ” acreage like a hungry monster, Parker Avenue 10 or 11, but nothing matched driving skills of Dixon. is an oasis, an anomaly. Surrounded on three
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