Saturday morning my buddy Ron invited me to join him at the Pomona NHRA Winternationals. As luck would have it, I had an open schedule for once and the kids didn’t have a busy day so I was able to get a hall pass and hang out at the race track all day.
Turns out Ron has a hook up with one of the teams so we got to hang out in a hospitality tent for LRS/Team Wilkerson Racing. I haven’t been to a race in a long time, and never a drag race, so this was basically an all new experience for me.
Pomona isn’t that far from us, just a little outside of OC, I think it took longer to get from the parking lot to the pit than it did to get there in the car. From the parking lot you could hear some of the cars warming up the tires and running qualifying rounds – that awesome BUUWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH noise that all drag cars make, some more deafening than others. I haven’t watched drag racing on TV for a long time, so I didn’t know any of the names. The only ones I recognized were John and Courtney Force, mostly because the Force shop is close by.
Ron apparently has a friend who works for one of the main sponsors of the team, so we had a hospitality tent right next to the team’s pit area, got to watch them tear down and rebuild this car between runs while sucking down free beers and a pretty good lunch of skirt steak, pot stickers, and cajun shrimp. I was expecting hot dogs and sodas so seeing a grown-up lunch was total bonus.
Once the team had the car back together they fire it up to make sure everything works I suppose and holy shit balls that thing is loud.
The stands in Pomona are pretty nice, actually, but to the uninitiated it’s a little challenging to figure out where to get in to sit in the right section. We had reserved seats and inadvertently went in the wrong tunnel and had out fight our way over to right section. On our way, top fuel and funny cars were qualifying so I caught a video. I had another but it was so short IG wouldn’t post it.
Our team ended up running a 3.886 @ 327.43 mph. Man- If you’ve never been to this, you can feel it in your soul. It was so loud it made my scalp tingly. I’ve been trackside when Baja Trophy trucks go roaring by and that was nothing compared to this. It must something to do with asphalt and the stands, but man, so loud. Hearing protection is imperative. I got video of the LSR/TWR last run, but he’d already qualified pretty well, so shut it down early to avoid damage or worse.
I snapped a bunch of pics while walking around and in the stands, enjoy.