NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD
presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports
50th Anniversary Nitro Nationals
Osage Casino/Tulsa Raceway Park
By: Martin Libhart, Nostalgia Drag World
The Nitro Nationals and Old Time Drags is a traditional event for the Osage Casino/Tulsa Raceway Park, located in Tulsa, OK. Scheduled the 3rd week of September every year, the event brings an array of nostalgia cars and huge crowds tothis facility. But this year was special – the 2015 Nitro Nationals was also the 50th Anniversary for one of the few tracks in the country that has been in continuous operation for 50 or more years.
At this event last year, the track featured a Saturday afternoon live telephone conversation with Snake and Mongoose. During the call, which lasted nearly 30 minutes, both Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen reminisced about their early years racing at Tulsa, and how fond they have always been of the drag strip. The two were a big part of the track’s early days, and their races with the famous Hot Wheels Funny Cars were part of the match race shows at the facility. Tulsa was one of the main tracks that made the ‘Snake and Mongoose’ rivalry a staple in drag racing.
Now fast-forward one year to 2015, and you guessed it - Snake and Mongoose were the special guests for this event. Present on both Friday and Saturday, the duo participated in numerous meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, and could even be seen occasionally touring the pits in a golf cart. Add to that the many other notable national and local drag racers from the past that were also on the premises, and you had a once in a lifetime experience for many drag racing fans.
In addition to local racers in various classes, the event also featured the DRO Nostalgia Nitro Challenge and the Central States Superchargers – a group of alcohol altereds, fuel altereds and front-engine dragsters. Add to that a nice contingent of A/Fuel and Junior Fuel competitors, as well as a large field of gassers, including several from the Geezer Gassers that towed in for this special event.
Event champions were:
DRO Challenge: Shawn Bowen [6.151/230.17 mph] over Ronny Young [8.727/103.37 mph]
C.S. Superchargers: Ken Singleton [3.979/181.500 mph]
A/Fuel: John Harless [6.704/200.59 mph] over Frank Mazi [6.766/193.77 mph]
Junior Fuel: Mike Millsap [7.492/174.12 mph]
Gassers: Jimmy Watts [10.793/117.92] over Steve Young [10.964/125.53 mph)
(For detailed coverage and photos of the Central States Superchargers at this event, see the separate article in this issue.)
Bennie "The Wizard" Osborn in his FED (owned by John Neas)
Ross Howard in the seat. Ross owns the Phil Castronovo "Custom Body Enterprises" funny car. Tom Prock drove this car back in the day.
The car spent a period of time in the NHRA Museum before being acquired by Howard.
The Tom McEwen FED, owned by "Ugly John" Mullen out of Tulsa
Leonard Wren with the GEEZER GASSERS owns the very nice "American Idle" gasser
Chuck Lipka with the GEEZER GASSERS. Always a crowd favorite, with long smokey burnouts, and hard launches off the line.
Rick Krafft in the "Invader". Rick was on a nice run until the motor let go near the finish line, launching the body off the car.
The extent of damage prevented them from further action.
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