56th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
2780 Fairplex Drive
Pomona, CA 91768
Elevation: 1,100 feet
Tickets: nhra.com/tickets; 800-884-NHRA (6472)
Group Tickets: Contact Marrico Greenhowe, 626-250-2240; email, email@example.com
Radio Frequency: 105.3 FM
This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Funny Car class at the event. A wide variety of classic nostalgia Funny Cars will be on display in the Hot Rod Junction, and others will perform burnout demonstrations and make exhibition runs on the legendary dragstrip at the season-opening event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
In addition, several legendary Funny Car drivers are scheduled to participate in a fan Q&A hosted by fan-favorite NHRA announcer Bob Frey, and they will greet fans during a very special autograph session. The first 500 fans who attend the fan Q&A will receive an NHRA Funny Car 50th anniversary commemorative autograph card.
The all-star lineup of Funny Car legends who will be featured in the fan Q&A and autograph session Saturday, Feb. 13th from 11 a.m. to noon are Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, “The King of Speed” Kenny Bernstein, Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, famed New England campaigner Al Segrini, Funny Car innovator Tom Prock, and the first Winternationals Funny Car winner, Clare Sanders. In addition, a special appearance will be made by Southern California Funny Car pioneer Gas Ronda.
NHRA’s popular Hot Rod Junction will have plenty of Funny Car history on display. Among the cars scheduled to appear are the famed Jungle Jim Chevy Nova, the Gas Ronda Mustang, the Mickey Thompson Mustang, John Force’s Brute Force Monza and Brute Force Vega, Larry Fullerton’s Maverick, the Chi-Town Hustler, the Beach City Corvette, the Willie Borsch Mustang and the Vels-Parnelli Jones Mustang.
Nostalgia Funny Cars that will make exhibition runs throughout the weekend include the Candies and Hughes Barracuda, the Fighting Irish ’71 Camaro, the Stone Woods and Cook vintage Mustang and the Bays & Rupert ’69 Chevy Camaro, among others. Burnout demonstrations will be performed by Ron Huegli driving the Tiki Warrior and Greg Howland in the Zeus nostalgia Funny Car.
Every February since 1961, fans have flocked to Southern California for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions: the unveiling of new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships at the season opener, where teams hope to use the season kickoff as a springboard in their pursuit of a spot in the Countdown to the Championship at the fabled Pomona facility known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and record performances.
How to Get There: The track is about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. From Interstate 10 east, exit Fairplex Drive or White Avenue and go north; follow signs to Fairplex. From I-10 west, exit Fairplex Drive and go north. The track is about one mile north of the interstate. Arrow Highway provides access from the north.
Visitor Information: La Verne Chamber of Commerce, 909-593-5265; Pomona Chamber of Commerce, 909-622-8484