Pomona to host 50th Anniversary event

GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2001) - To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) announced today a special summer nights event at historic Pomona Raceway, July 5-7. The 50th Anniversary Nationals will be an NHRA ...

GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2001) - To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) announced today a special summer nights event at historic Pomona Raceway, July 5-7. The 50th Anniversary Nationals will be an NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event, featuring additional nostalgia racing categories representative of the sport's storied history.

"As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, it is fitting that we return to our birthplace, Southern California, and offer our fans, for the first-time ever, night racing at Pomona," said Tom Compton, president of the NHRA. "Nighttime racing harkens back to the sport's early days when there were more than 20 active drag racing strips in Southern California, offering night racing on a weekly basis. It has been more than 20 years since the last drag race took place at night in Southern California. The roar and visual spectacle of 6,000-horsepower machines under the lights will be truly amazing."

The summer event will feature two qualifying runs on Thursday and Friday night with final eliminations on Saturday night. The vehicles will run until 8 p.m. on Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The unique event will represent the first time NHRA will offer its exciting and intense form of racing under the lights in Pomona.

The 50th Anniversary Nationals will feature a full complement of professional racing, with national points at stake in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. In addition, all sportsman categories, including Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car, will compete. Adding to the historical flavor of the event will be an eight-car qualified field of front-engine top fuel dragsters. Other nostalgia vehicles will be featured in exhibition formats, including fuel altereds and gas coupes.

"Bringing the excitement of NHRA Drag Racing back to Pomona Raceway for a summer night event will bring alive the rich history of the sport, which is deeply rooted here in Southern California," said Dale Coleman, vice president of sales and general manager of the Fairplex, home of Pomona Raceway. "We are thrilled to have the rare opportunity to provide our fans, both young and old, a glimpse of the sport's past, present and future."

"This event is to honor not only the drag racers of past and present and our loyal fan base in Southern California, but the man and visionary behind the sport, Wally Parks," said Compton. Wally Parks, 88, is the founder of the NHRA. Parks, together with law enforcement, the civic community and car clubs around Southern California and the nation, formed the NHRA with the goal to take racing off the streets and into safer, controlled environments.

As the NHRA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2001, it has emerged as one of the most popular spectator sports, with a 24-event, nationally televised tour. National champions are crowned in five professional categories and seven sportsman categories.

Ticket information for the 50th Anniversary Nationals will be announced in February.

-NHRA

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