September 2013 Saturday Night Nitro
Auto Club Famoso Raceway, McFarland, CA
by Darrell & Pam Conrad
When Hot Rod enthusiasts think about the farm lands in California’s central valley on a hot summer’s night; the legendary film “American Graffiti instantly comes to mind. In the land where two-lane-blacktop divides seemingly countless rows of citrus forests and mesmerizing successions of grape vines, the foundation of street racing was defined by the memories of yesteryear therein.
Half a century later the essence of the spirit lives on at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway’s Saturday Night Nitro series. It’s at this event where the magical influence of yesteryear collides with the technology of today…in the form of nitro Drag Racing, under the lights! Reflective of fallen quarter mile icons of the past, entering the “Patch” was like passing through a portal of time, space and raw energy.
Walking through the pits, each racing camp was open to explore at a casual pace. Eager to share in the magic, the racers and spectators alike interfaced with one another in such a way that the lines between the two were blurred. Race cars from every category rolled out of their trailers and onto the 1320 for round after round of strip blazing action! Friday hosted an open “test-n-tune” session for every class in attendance. In addition the West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (WCOPMA) laid down their first round of qualifying.
The headliners of the show were the nitro Funny Cars, their stretched out counterparts… the Slingshot Dragsters, a couple of Fuel Altereds, and two Jet Dragsters! Saturday opened with a second round of qualifying for the Pro Mods followed by their eliminations later in the evening. As the Bakersfield sun headed for the coast the Nitro Funny Car show got underway accordingly. Each car had a shot at running in the first round; from there the quickest eight paired up for the second round. The two quickest cars in that round were then declared the winner and runner-up.Throughout the day and long into the night, there was no shortage of racing action. Closing out the show was the spectacular side-by-side Jet Car exhibition.
Congratulations to everyone that made the 2013 Saturday Night Nitro series a huge success, what an incredible trip back in time this was… we can’t wait until the summer of 2014!!!
PHOTOS ON FOLLOWING PAGES HERE
Darrell & Pam Conrad
Nostalgia Drag World - by Darrell & Pam Conrad; photos by Pam Conrad, Don Atkinson and Kathy Valencia AA/FC - AA/FD News