NHRA Classics

Mark C. Bach
Folks, there is a buzz in the air (along with a whiff of nitro methane) when the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) pulls into town for a race. Not only do the pros show up with their trailers and support crews, but hundreds of hobbyists show up to compete in the sportsman categories. While the NHRA holds plenty of races throughout the year for their divisions (or regions of the country), it is always nice when the pros and amateurs get to join forces at one event.

That's exactly what happened when the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park hosted the Arizona Nationals. The course is on the Gila River Indian Community and about 30 miles away from Phoenix. I can actually hear the engines roar from my house but was able to get much closer fortunately.

While it is fun to see the NHRA stars like John Force, Antron Brown and Erica Enders roll into town and see them compete, it is just as much fun to see the amateurs smoke their tires and flex their muscles. The best part is seeing some of their vintage classics come out for the weekend. After all when's the last time you saw a Chevy Vega on the streets or at a car show?

Besides the classics there are also a few brave souls bringing out the newer cars made by Detroit exclusively for racing. Ford offers up the Cobra Jet's, Chevy has their COPO Camaro's and MOPAR sells the Challenger Drag Pak's to qualify at the NHRA tracks and pass inspection. Now these "stock" drag cars are not cheap to begin with and many of these racers immediately add their touches to improve performance. So I applaud these folks for not storing them in some garage hoping they'll increase in value in a few years. Instead they took the "investment" to the asphalt for some fun and exhilaration.

Some of these classics are far from being stock or original. And yes some of the sheet metal has been swapped for fiberglass but there is no mistaking their shape as they power down the 1000 feet of smooth asphalt.

So take a gander at just some of the classics that came out to Phoenix and if you get a chance head out to your local track and enjoy a sportsman race or two.

(c) 2020 Mark C. Bach

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