|Oilstick NHRA Museum information and Racing Pomona Style 2001|
||This article is worth the read
for how it works with the NHRA Museum and Racing. This is written
after the July 2001 run. by Richard Parks.
Gone Racin’…To the July 4th
Pep Boys Nationals Drag Race at Pomona:
For those of us who have raced only on the West Coast, the Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals Drag Race at Pomona, California, on July 5-7, 2001, gave us a taste of what it is like to race at East coast tracks. Our dry, hot weather is no match for what the racers have to put up with in the East and South, where they confront humidity, as we seldom ever have to live with. Thank goodness, or rather the National Hot Rod Association, for giving us an air-conditioned Museum to rest and cool off in, before venturing out into this strange and infernal sticky atmosphere.
We don’t need the weather as an excuse to visit this remarkable Museum. It is worth making the trip, specifically, to see the interesting displays, and not just as a diversion to the drag races at Pomona, or a cool place to beat the heat. The NHRA Motorsports Museum is very cool in other respects. They offer a free shuttle to the track and reduced admission charges to the Museum on race days. So while others are lugging their possessions across a Saharan desert-like sea of cars, the rest of us are riding the tram back and forth to our cars, and darting into the Museum to cool off and look at the neat cars and other exhibits. If you’re a member of the NHRA, the admission to the Museum is free, and discounts are given to children and seniors. Many former racers, crew, owners and just plain “Heroes of the Sport” hang out at the Museum. This is a great place to buy souvenirs and get autographs.
The races on Thursday offer the cheapest admission prices. For $15 we had the run of the place, including the pits, Manufacturers Bazaar, and the “cheap” seats, or general admission unreserved section down at the finish line. Every seat in the place offers a great view, but the best view is at the finish line, where all my friends, the “Donut Derelicts” from Huntington Beach congregate. The “Pews” as they call it. There is great racing, lots of room, and you can’t beat the price.
The Manufacturers Bazaar is a must see and I recommend that you come as early as you can and spend some time talking to the staff. They spend a fair amount of money to put together a traveling display of their products and their employees will go out of their way to answer your questions or sell you parts. Ask for catalogs, brochures, business cards and decals. This is a rich source of knowledge that is condensed into a small area, and the contacts that you make here will be well worth your time. Stop by the DRAW tent and pledge your support. This Woman’s Auxiliary helps injured racers and their families, with financial and emotional support, and there is no finer example of kindness in our sport, than drag racers helping fellow racers. Also look for the Jr. Drag Racing Program exhibit, where you can get literature on one of the most cost-effective kinds of racing, for young people between the ages of 8-16. It’s great fun and low stress and the kids love it. Bring your children to the races. They can get autographs out of the stoniest of the racers and crewmembers. Be sure to take along a black, red, silver or gold permanent marker, as well as a regular ink pen. Now you are ready to move on to the staging lanes where the racers are waiting for their turn to run. Get your kids to practice their smiles and work fast; going from one car to the next. Drag racers are very good about giving their autographs and talking to fans. After you leave the staging lines, go over to the pit area and look for more hero cards to take as souvenirs. When in doubt, ask a crewman or racer if he has any cards or decals to give away. Always be patient and respectful, and the racing teams will respond. Don’t forget to visit the racers way out in the back of the pits. The professional racers get most of the attention, but some of the best racing takes place among the bracket, sportsmen and competition classes and you’re missing out on a great part of the sport if you don’t spend some time with the men and women who race in these categories.
Get your money’s worth and come early. Then as everyone is leaving, go and visit the crews in the pits. This is a good time to run into the unexpected and to talk to the crew and get their perspectives on the day’s racing. Have fun, stay sober and mark your calendar for the next race at Pomona, the 37th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals on November 8-11, 2001.