Dragster Insider column archive
The Dragster Insider column was launched in July 2007 and, to date, has more than 800 columns dedicated to the people and history of NHRA Drag Racing. To search the archive, simply press the Ctrl and F buttons on your keyboard (Apple symbol + F on Macs) and type in your search term. iPhone and iPad users can select the "up-arrow" icon at the bottom of the page and scroll right to "Find on page."
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Getting off a fast start: A historic look at early-season dominators
May 26: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Gaige Herrera has won the first three events of the 2023 campaign, marking only the 13th time in NHRA history that a driver won three or more events to start a season. Here's a historical look back at other fast starts to seasons.
John Jodauga's illustrations, words, and spirit were part of the NHRA for 50 years
May 18: John Jodauga, the talented motorsport artist, longtime former member of the NHRA National Dragster staff, and the man with the most mispronounced last name in motorsports, passed away May 11, and he and his artwork are remembered by his friends and colleagues.
[Sub articles: The artwork of John Jodauga | Friends and co-workers remember John Jodauga]
From Sweden with love: An artistic salute to Funny Cars of the 1970s and '80s
May 5: Swedish artist Lars “Loors” Svensson has created a very cool 1970s Funny Car poster that faithfully shows the flanks and noses of 24 recognizable floppers. It's his tribute to those colorful and memorable cars of the era.
Remembering Bill Mullins
April 21: Veteran racer Bill Mullins, the only driver in NHRA history to win in Top Gas, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Fuel, passed away April 10 at age 88, and his story and life are remembered here.
The Magnificent 11: The short list of non-U.S. born racers to qualify No. 1
April 7: At the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Cristian Cuadra became the first Mexican-born racer to qualify No. 1 in a Pro class at an NHRA national event. Only 10 other non-U.S.-born racers have accomplished the feat. These are their stories.
Remembering Doug Kerhulas and Dave Hough
March 17: It’s been a sad parade of losses in the sport here lately, but two recent ones struck deep nerves as we lost 1980s Top Fuel star Doug Kerhulas and Fuel Altered icon Dave Hough in the span of 10 days.
Remembering Walt Rhoades
March 3: Walt Rhoades, who had a successful NHRA career in nitro-, alcohol-, and gas-burning dragsters, passed away earlier this week, bringing to a close an amazingly diverse career.
More early-1970s Funny Cars
Feb. 24: The Funny Cars of the early 1970s were a wild breed, with everything from Volkswagen Beetles to Ford Mavericks and Pintos to GTOs and topless Corvettes rolling down the highway to match races near and far.
East Coast Funny Cars of the 1970s
Feb. 17: The West Coast may have been Ground Zero for the Funny Car population explosion of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the East Coast also had its share of memorable early floppers. Here's a look back at some of those wild rides.
Funny Car icon Bruce Larson: NHRA's original triple-threat Pro driver
Feb. 10: When Alex Laughlin, the new driver of Jim Dunn’s Funny Car, races at the Gatornationals, he’ll become just the second driver in NHRA history to have competed in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock at an NHRA national event. Meet Bruce Larson, who did it 30 years before.
Frank Mancuso: Some good trips and some bad ones for the 'Travel Agent' driver
Feb. 3: For every Don Prudhomme and John Force, there's a Funny Car guy who never quite made it to the top, but nevertheless was part of the fabric of the sport. Meet Frank Mancuso, whose Travel Agent Funny Car experienced the ups and downs of the sport.
NHRA history: Is it real or Artificial Intelligence?
Jan. 27: Artificial intelligence has come a long way and plays a role in our daily lives, but what does it know about NHRA Drag Racing history? Let's find out!
Fifty years ago: A look back at the highlights from the 1973 NHRA season
Jan. 20: Fifty years ago may seem like a long time ago to some, but for many loyal followers of this column, it’s either about the time you started getting hooked on the sport of, for our less-senior members of the Insider Nation, it’s that wonderful place to dream of having been.
All the world was a colorful Circus when Bob Gerdes painted race cars
Jan. 13: When it came to painting race cars, Bob Gerdes was the East Coast's Rembrandt, especially in the 1970s heyday of Funny Car. We lost Gerdes Jan. 2, but offer a fond look back at his history and the magic captured at his shop, Circus Custom Paints.
A Little Christmas Miracle
Dec. 16: Now that all the drama has died down and the worry beads have mostly been put away, I'd like to share my little Christmas miracle with you. On Dec. 1, I almost became the one needing to be eulogized ....
Top Fuel dynasties: Torrence, Schumacher, Dixon, Garlits, Amato, Shirley, Beck
Nov. 25: Brittany Force’s 2022 championship season brought to an end one of the most dominating eras in Top Fuel drag racing as Steve Torrence’s four-year reign as world champion was finally ended. But how does Torrence's streak compare to some of the other great Top Fuel domination in history?
Some top-shelf books that every drag racing history fan should check out
Nov. 18: Looking for ways to learn more about the history of the sport you love so much? Here are four new books covering a good chunk of drag racing history that would go nicely on your bookshelf or make a fine holiday present.
Yeah, but what if? A semi-serious look at the points battles heading to Pomona
Nov. 4: Brittany Force, Robert Hight, and Matt Smith lead the points in their classes heading into the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals, but, as history has shown and possible points values back up, nothing is certain at the final race of the season.
“T.V. Tommy” Ivo and the five-second Top Fuel run that ignited a controversy
Oct. 21: Oct. 22, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the controversial breaking (or not breaking) of one of drag racing’s great barriers. “T.V. Tommy” Ivo received a 5.97 time slip, allowing him to lay claim to the first five-second Top Fuel clocking, but the run has been shrouded in controversy ever since.
Remembering Jody Smart
Oct. 7: All racers are amazing people and fierce competitors, but some stand out for not just being great racers, but great human beings, too. We recently lost one of them, former Texas Top Fuel racer Jody Smart.
To heroes lost ...
Sept. 9: It’s been a rough couple of weeks for longtime racing fans (and especially Funny Car fans) with a number of passings of some more of our heroes: Hayden Proffitt, Judy Lilly, Gabby Bleeker, Russell Long, and Bill Schultz.
“Top Fuel at Indy,” 50 years ago
Aug. 26: Calling something "Top Fuel at Indy" used to be the ultimate compliment. After all, what could be bigger than NHRA’s most recognized class at its biggest and most prestigious event? With that in mind, let's take a trip back 50 years ago, for Top Fuel at Indy, 1972.
Wheelie neat! A look at seven decades of wild, wheelstanding crowdpleasers
Aug. 5: The wheelstander exhibition vehicle wasn't born so much as it evolved from some experimental cars that just couldn't keep the front tires on the ground. Since 1964, they've been wowing crowds with their two-wheeled antics. Here's a look at some of those wild machines.
Altered States, Part 2: Breakage, tears, and fears, but ultimately a success story
July 8: Part 2 of the adventure follows our hero through some pretty severe trials and tribulations in pursuit of a competition license. It ain't as easy as it seems ...
Altered States: Fear and loathing (and a lot of thrills) on the quarter-mile
July 1: It was the summer of 1984, and the challenge was laid down: Could a wannabe-race-car-driver transform from journalist into quarter-mile hero? First of two parts.
Ed 'the Outlaw' Jones: Living life on two wheels for more than 45 years
June 10: Wheelstanders have been part of the NHRA landscape since the mid-1960s, and no driver has more experience or longevity than Ed "the Outlaw” Jones, who first started scraping bumpers in 1976 and continues to this day, more than 45 years later
40 Thoughts on 40 Years
May 27: I celebrated my 40th year with the NHRA on May 24, and take a look back at the changes to the sport that have occurred over the last four decades and share memories of the people and places I've come to love.
You never know with nitro: A look back at seven great Funny Car upset wins
May 20: Nowhere does weird stuff happen more than in nitro Funny Car, where the combination of high horsepower and a short wheelbase can derail a favorite’s run to the winner’s circle. With that in mind, here’s a look back at some memorable upset wins.
Everyone loves an underdog: Here's a list of five great Top Fuel upsets
May 6: Upsets are a part of nitro drag racing, and we almost had a couple of them at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. With that in mind, here's a list of five big Top Fuel upsets in NHRA history.
30 years ago: The 1992 NHRA season was a year full of historic firsts
April 15: The 1992 season as a whole was filled with big news, history-making moments, and craziness, so I thought we'd take a 30-year hop back in time to remember that amazing season.
Female Pro Stock pioneer Shay Nichols: A life well lived (and then some)
April 7: Female Pro Stock pioneer Shay Nichols Hoffman lived a fast and exciting life long after she left the class: Fishing boat captain, world-class angler, helicopter pilot, commercial scuba diver, prison chaplain, author, and more.
Magnificent Seven: A history of female racers in NHRA Pro Stock competition
March 25: In its 52-year, 902-race lifespan, only seven female drivers have raced in NHRA Pro Stock competition. From Shirley Shahan and Shay Nichols in 1971 through barrier-breakers Lucinda McFarlin and Erica Enders to current rookie Camrie Caruso, here's a look at that magnificent seven.
“On the Gas”: The drag racing life and times of Danny Ongais
March 4: Long before Danny Ongais became a household name as a revered IndyCar driver, he belonged to the world of drag racing, where he first sated his need for speed. In this week's Dragster Insider, friends and fellow racers remember the guy nicknamed “On the Gas.”
Remembering Barry Setzer
Feb. 25: Barry Setzer, who for two years in the early 1970s was the owner of the quickest and fastest Funny Car on the planet, passed away Jan. 31 at age 79.
The magic of Pomona
Feb. 11: NHRA has been racing down the Pomona dsragstrip since the early 1950s. Here's a look back at some memorable images over the past 70 years.
By The Numbers: Pro Stock readies for 900th event 'birthday' in Pomona
Feb. 4: Pro Stock made its debut at the 1970 Winternationals and will celebrate its 900th competition event at this year’s Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com. Here's a look at some statistics from the first 899 events.
That was then, this is now: A look back at the NHRA season 50 years ago
Jan. 28: The 2022 NHRA season is already being hyped by racers and fans alike as a can’t-miss campaign, but let’s turn back the clock exactly 50 years and take a look back at the highlight-filled 1972 season.
90 for 90: Happy Birthday, Don Garlits
Jan. 14: There’s never been another drag racer quite like Don Garlits, and there’s probably never going to ever be anyone like “Big Daddy.” The icon of our sport turns 90 years old today, and we’re celebrating him with a massive 90-image photo gallery spanning his career.
Remembering the "other" Dick Venables and the "other" James Warren
Jan. 7: Anyone who knows anything about drag racing knows the names of Dickie Venables and James Warren. but here are remembrances of the racing Dick Venables and James Warren that maybe you didn’t know, both of whom we lost in the last week of December 2021.
Decembers to remember
Dec. 24: Every December is a time to stop to reflect on the past 12 months: What went right, what went wrong, what we can do better in the next year. Or, if you're the author of a long-running column about drag racing history, a look back at some memorable December stories.
Don Garlits, Bob Taaffe, and the 72-hour car build that led to drag racing lore
Dec. 17: Don Garlits' amazing win at the 1967 Nationals, so well remembered for his post-race starting-line beard shave, might not have been possible without Bob Taaffe, who helped "Big Daddy" build a new car in just 72 hours. Garlits remembers Taaffe after his recent passing.
The Hot Rod Story
Dec. 10: In 1952, hot rodding had a bad name. An NHRA pamphlet, the Hot Rod Story, set a blueprint for moving forward with a rallying call that reads almost like the Gettysburg Address of NHRA. You should read this to know from whence we came.
More 'Lost' Photos found
Dec. 3: More great photos from the National Dragster archives: Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme, Blaine Johnson, "Flash Gordon" Mineo, John Myers, Buster Couch, Al Hofmann, Richard Tharp, Cristen Powell, and many more!
Name That Funny Car
Nov. 26: The annual Manufacturers Meet at Orange County Int'l Raceway in Southern California was a big deal back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, drawing the best of the best. But how many can you identify? We've got the answers!
Snakes, Mongooses, Rats, and Terrible Towels: Not just another photo collection
Nov. 19: Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, Roland Leong, Gary Beck, and more are part of an eclectic and interesting batch of rediscovered photos.
Finals Flashback: 1971 World Finals, where upsets and breakage ruled the day
Nov. 5: Take a 50-year trip back in history to relive the 1971 NHRA World Finals, where upsets winners and surprising breakage helped decide the world championships.
Found! 1955 Nationals entry list
Oct. 28: On the eve of NHRA's historic 1,000th national event, a blast from the past: The official entry list for the 1955 National Championship Drags, NHRA's first national event, is like a time capsule for our sport, filled with legendary names from drag racing's early greats.
Of missing jackets, missing friends, missing columns, and moving on down the road
Oct. 22: The return of the Dragster Insider includes the tale of the missing firesuit, memories of John "Tarzan" Austin and Dal Denton, and moving on from one NHRA home to another.
From Calvin Rice to John Force, a look at the history of NHRA's all-time winners
Oct. 1: One thing that likely will never change in our lifetimes is that John Force is the winningest driver in NHRA history (154 victories and counting), but he wasn't always the GOAT of winners. Here's a historical look back at NHRA's winningest drivers over the decades.
Indy 1971: 'The Great Burndown'
Aug. 27: The most epic burndown in NHRA history happened in the Top Fuel final 50 years ago at the 1971 U.S. Nationals between Steve Carbone and "Big Daddy" Don Garlits.
Can't beat the heat: Before Justin Ashley, there was the tale of Jim Harnsberger
Aug. 6: A lot of people gasped when Justin Ashley had to withdraw from the Winternationals Top Fuel final due to heat exhaustion, but it wasn’t the first time that’s happened in NHRA Top Fuel history. Meet Jim Harnsberger, who had the same thing happen to him 50 years ago while preparing his car for the final.
A History of the Western Swing
July 9: The NHRA Western Swing has been around since 1989, but this year, it has a new look and a shot at making some more history. Here's a detailed history of the Western Swing with a look back at those who have swept the Swing and those who have gotten close.
Remembering Leslie Lovett
July 2: Twenty-five years ago, the NHRA world lost one of its finest people and greatest emissaries when National Dragster Photo Editor Leslie Lovett died of a heart attack, but his legacy and images continue to power and inspire the sport.
Shining the spotlight on Funny Car: 900 races, 92 winners, 23 champions
June 18: The Funny Car class hit its milestone 900th event last weekend in Epping. Here's a look back at the 92 winners, 23 champions, and interesting facts and trivia covering the class' history.
Book review: Drag Racing's Warren "the Professor" Johnson
June 11: A lot of people love Pro Stock. Kelly Wade LOVES Pro Stock. And she loves people, making her the perfect person to tackle the daunting task of chronicling the life and times of “the Professor,” Warren Johnson.
More Tales From The Starting Line
June 4: When your dad loves both drag racing and photography, that's where you end up. Rick Bain shares his story of growing up shooting photos on the starting line of some iconic Southern California tracks. Plus: Autograph hunt!
Winter is coming ... and so is another epic chapter of racing in Pomona
May 28: Winter is coming. That’s the watchword for Southern California fans as the fabled Winternationals is officially back on the schedule for this summer. The Winternationals in July? Tell me more ...
Tales from the Finish Line
May 21: From flaming Funnies to flipping Pro Stockers, tumbling Top Fuelers, and acrobatic Alcohol Funny Cars, a fond look back at a career spent watching the drags from the finish line.
Tales from the Starting Line
May 7: Access to the starting line at an NHRA national event for professional photographers is a coveted goal for many, offering a ringside seat to motorsports' most powerful experience. Here's the story of two ways to get there.
They came from near and far to celebrate a legend and what he means to them
April 23: The friends of NHRA Drag Racing legend Don "the Snake" Prudhomme gathered recently to celebrate the nitro-racing icon on his 80th birthday.
The story of Swamp Rat 17: Don Garlits' most misunderstood Top Fueler
April 9: Don Garlits’ Swamp Rat 17, the Wynn’s Liner, had a very short life in 1973 and is roundly considered to be among the few disappointments of the more than 40 Swamp Rats he campaigned. Here's the story behind this most misunderstood car.
From Tokyo, with love: The story of how Kenji Okazaki made NHRA history
April 2: Kenji Okazaki is probably the least likely guy to become a Funny Car hero, but in just five years wheeling Jim Dunn’s Mooneyes Funny Car, the vintage muscle-car salesman from Tokyo made a lot of NHRA history. This is his story.
Remembering Ron Colson
March 26: If your association with drag racing goes back four decades, it’s a pretty good bet that you know who Ron Colson was, and a fairly good bet that your paths had crossed at one point. If you're newer to the sport, it's time you learned something about Colson, who passed away March 19.
Remembering Doug Thorley
March 19: The drag racing and performance aftermarket worlds lost another giant with the passing of Doug Thorley, who died at age 92 at his home in his native Utah. Here's a fond look back at his career.
NHRA and Hot Wheels: Together Again
March 5: NHRA recently announced a partnership with Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand to bring NHRA-branded drag racing diecast cars to the mass market, the continuation of a relationship that began in 1970. Here's a look back at how it all got started.
Fire and despair in the desert
Feb. 26: It's one thing to lose a race car to fire on the dragstrip and another to lose it in a trailer fire on the way to the track. John Lombardo Jr. recounts the "surreal and unpleasant night" in 1984 when legendary Funny Car owner Joe Pisano's rig burned to the ground in the California desert.
The life and times of Denny Savage
Feb. 19: Denny Savage was an old-school Funny Car driver, born in the class' earliest years in the mid-1960s, and enjoyed a career that lasted well into the 1980s while driving famed cars such as the Hawaiian, the Chi-Town Hustler, and more than a dozen others. This is his story.
Not every innovation works
Feb. 5: Innovation has always been a hallmark of drag racing. New ideas – sometimes brilliant, sometimes harebrained – surfaced every weekend at tracks across the country. Some worked, some didn’t, but it even some that didn’t work still advanced the sport.
Input requested: Cars that changed drag racing
Jan. 29: In a sport like ours, where evolution carried us from stripped-down Model Ts to 330-mph Top Fuel dragsters, what are the most significant race cars that have marked the milestones along the way? We want to hear your thoughts!
Charging into Funny Car history
Jan 22: Don Schumacher Racing’s Dodge Charger Funny Cars swept all 11 races last season, but the Charger is certainly not a new body style to the class, having been around since the class’ mid-1960s creation. Here's a look back at some of them.
Random Racer Roundup
Jan. 8: Challenged to cite a random drag racer from their memory banks, dozens of NHRA fans responded to share their thoughts abut racers past and present whose accomplishments resonate with them.
Passings of original NHRA DD Darwin Doll, car owner Dale Creasy Sr. add to 2020 toll
Dec. 31: Darwin Doll, one of NHRA’s original division directors who oversaw the Northeast Division from 1964-78, and longtime nitro Funny Car owner Dale Creasy Sr. both passed away recently, adding to a year of tremendous losses within the sport. We salute them all one final time.
89 questions about Chris “the Greek” Karamesines (or should there be 92?)
Dec. 24: Drag racing's legendary "Greek," Chris Karamesines, ended his driving career at the close of the 2020 season at age 89. Or is it 92? There are so many questions, but we'll try to answer them all.
50 years, 10 manufacturers, 84 body styles: A guide to Pro Stock diversity
Dec. 18: Although it’s pretty clear that the Chevrolet Camaro has become the body style of choice in Pro Stock over the last decade, it certainly wasn’t always the case. Here's a look back at the variety that has made the class a fan favorite for 50 years.
Yuichi Oyama. Who? Japanese Top Fuel racer made waves, scored upsets in 2002
Dec. 11: Not many people (well, only one, actually) can say they caused Top Fuel legend Don Garlits to not qualify at the U.S. Nationals, upset Kenny Bernstein in the last race of his "Forever Red" retirement tour, and was the first Japanese national in an NHRA Top Fuel final. That guy was Yuichi Oyama.
Name a random NHRA racer ... go
Dec. 4: Challenged on Twitter to pick a random NHRA driver, fans responded with a wide-ranging and impressive list of their favorites. Now you get your chance, too.
1971: Garlits goes 'Big,' Funnies go 220, Sox goes wild, and NHRA goes to Canada
Nov. 27: As NHRA prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2021, here's a look back 50 seasons ago, when Don Garlits introduced the first successful rear-engine Top Fueler, Funny Car performance zoomed out of sight, Ronnie Sox won six of eight Pro Stock events but not the world championship, and NHRA went to Canada.
Welcome back, and welcome to my great drag racing debates
Nov. 20: After a six-week hiatus, the Dragster Insider column returns with a couple of burning debates from NHRA history.
Exclusive book excerpt: Don “the Snake” Prudhomme: My Life Beyond the 1320
Oct. 9: Our recent review of the new autobiography, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme: My Life Beyond the 1320, stoked so much interest that Prudhomme and his publisher, CarTech, have provided National Dragster with an exclusive excerpt from the book for his fans to enjoy.
Swamp Rat 14 rides again; the history of one of Top Fuel's most important cars
Oct. 2: Steve Torrence won the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in a Don Garlits tribute car modeled after Garlits' famed Swamp Rat 14, one of the most important cars in Top Fuel history. Here's the story behind the success of Garlits' original SR14.
Everything you always wanted to know about 'Snake' (but were afraid to ask)
Sept. 25: NHRA Drag Racing legend Don Prudhomme's new book is a great book for “Snake” fans, especially those wanting to know as much about the man as his machines.
Dave Miller: Diamond in the rough
Sept. 18: "Diamond Dave" Miller made a ton of NHRA fans in the early 1980s when he unveiled a 200-inch wheelbase Top Fueler when everyone else was in the 260-inch range. The popular driver passed away recently and is remembered here for his perseverance and passion.
Quiz: Drag racing's hometown heroes
Sept. 11: Drag racers come from all across this wonderful land, but how well do you know some of the famous hometowns and their hot-rodding residents? Take the quiz and find out!
Reliving the U.S. Nationals Top Fuel final that no one will ever forget
Aug. 29: Even 50 years later, it remains among the most dramatic and poignant footage ever recorded at an NHRA national event. The 1970 U.S. Nationals Top Fuel final, Don Prudhomme vs. Jim Nicoll. Nicoll’s clutch explodes at the finish line, cutting his front-engine dragster in two at his feet.
Tony Schumacher: Indy Top Fuel dominator
Aug. 21: Tony Schumacher has won Top Fuel at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals a class-record 10 times and has his sights set on tying the event's all-time record at this year's event. Here's a look back at his "Big Go" history, with insight from the man himself.
Remembering Fuel Altered pioneer Leon Fitzgerald, Pro Stock's Sonny Bryant
Aug. 14: Drag racing lost two more of its early pioneers this week with the passing of Fuel Altered racer Leon Fitzgerald and Pro Stock racer and crankshaft manufacturer Sonny Bryant.
July 31: Legendary NHRA Division 5 Director Darrell Zimmerman plied his trade in the Rocky Mountain region for more than 30 years. A successful racer, 'Zim' joined the NHRA team in the late 1950s and carved a legendary career and made legions of friends throughout the sport.
The history of the Summernationals
July 24: When NHRA staged the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals last weekend in Indy, it resurrected one of the most storied event names in NHRA history. Here's a look back at the 50-year history of the NHRA Summernationals name.
The Kuhl one
July 3: Drag racing lost another of its great figures last week with the passing of former Top Fuel owner, crew chief, and engine builder Mike Kuhl
Fan Fotos: A Texas-sized collection from three decades of photo greatness
June 19: David Graves has been shooting photos in Texas and the surrounding states for decades and shared with us a collection of some of his great Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Sportsman-racing images.
Down the video rabbit hole: Watching 1970s match racing on the small screen
June 12: It all started innocently enough, with one YouTube video showing roller starters in action, and the next thing you know, it was hours and hours of 1970s match racing. Well, there goes your day.
Roll players: A look back at the era when cars were fired up with roller starters
May 30: In the period between the advent of the push start and remote engine starters, some tracks used car-engine-powered or electric-powered roller starters that helped racer start their cars in a safer manner.
The day that Mario Andretti went drag racing in a Tasca Ford-prepped Mustang
May 22: Auto-racing superstar Mario Andretti only dabbled once in drag racing, in a Ford vs. Chevy exhibition in Connecticut where Andretti's Tasca Ford-prepped machine won four straight races against a more experienced opponent.
Farewell to a fearsome fuel foursome
May 16: Remembering a quartet of diehard NHRA nitro racers you may or may not know or remember: driver/owners Johnny White and Bobby Tapia and car owners Bill Blomgren and Glenn Solano.
Farewell to a brother editor, Jim Edmunds
May 1: Jim Edmunds, who served as the editor of NHRA National Dragster for nearly seven years, passed away April 25 and is remembered by the guy who holds his job now, current ND editor Phil Burgess, and some of his other fellow colleagues.
Remembering Barbara Hamilton
April 24: NHRA Drag Racing is known for many things, but the success of female race drivers and barrier-breakers in our sport is second to none in motorsports. On April 23, we lost one of the keystones of that legacy, Barbara Hamilton.
Remembering Jack Ditmars
April 10: Jack Ditmars, best remembered by fans as the skilled pilot of two wild, short-wheelbased machines, the Lil’ Screamer ’34 Ford and the Mini Brute ’68 Opel Kadett, passed away March 31 and is remembered here by friends.
Fan Fotos: Top Fuelers, Funny Cars, and Pro Stockers of the early 1980s, Part 2
April 3: Continue your trip down memory lane with these fan-submitted photos from NHRA national events of the early 1980s, including photos of Don Garlits, Tom McEwen, and many more,
Fan Fotos: Top Fuelers, Funny Cars, and Pro Stockers of the early 1980s
March 27: Take a trip down memory lane with these fan-submitted photos from NHRA national events of the early 1980s. John Force, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme, the Chi-Town Hustler, and many more!
Remembering '70s stars Don "the Beachcomber" Johnson and Henry Harrison
March 20: Last week was a double whammy, especially for West Coast fans with the passing of Top Fuel/Funny Car owner/driver Don “the Beachcomber” Johnson and Top Fuel/Funny Car/Fuel Altered pilot and owner Henry Harrison.
SoCal doorslammer legend Bob Lambeck remembers first years of Pro Stock
March. 13: Bob Lambeck, whose son Doug has been in a three-race tear in Comp, was in on the ground floor of Pro Stock in 1970 and remembers those early first days of the class.
Fan Fotos: Early 1970s Gainesville Raceway
March 6: Gainesville Raceway, site of the Amallie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, opened in late 1969 and hosted the first Gatornationals in 1970. Here's a quick look back at the track in its earliest days, through the lens of a longtime NHRA fan.
SoCal Nitro Scrapbook: 1976-78
Feb. 28: Southern California was a hotbed of Funny Car racing in the mid-1970s, with guys like Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, "Big Jim" Dunn, and good ol' John Force patrolling the dragstrips. Here are some photos from my personal scrapbook,
Memorable Winternationals Moments, Part 3: the 2000s and 2010s
Feb. 7: We wrap up our three-part look at memorable moments with the two most recent decades, the 2000s and the recently completed 2010s. Great legends of the past give way to new legends in the making as the Winternationals history roared on.
60 Memorable Winternationals Moments, Part 2: the 1980s and '90s
Jan. 31: As we close in on the launch of the 2020 season and the 60th annual Lucas Oil Winternationals, we continue our look back at the rich history of the event. In Part 2, we're focusing on the 1980s and '90s.
60 Memorable Winternationals Moments, Part 1: the 1960s and '70s
Jan. 24: In this first of three parts, here’s a look at memorable moments from the 1960s and '70s from the deep history of the event.
Remembering John Kimble
Jan. 10: John Kimble, one of the first successful black Top Fuel racers, passed away Jan. 6 and is remembered by friends and family as a quiet giant who loved family and racing. He was 81.
In the Christmas spirit
Dec. 27: A look back at some Christmas-inspired Dragster Insider columns from years past.
The Clapshaw Effect: How Don Garlits finally made his first 300-mph pass
Dec. 20: Thanks to a huge assist from fellow racer Gary Clapshaw, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits was able to race to his first 300-mph performance at the 2001 U.S. Nationals. In the wake of Clapshaw's passing Dec. 15, it's a story worth retelling.
Rodney Flournoy: Still nitro after all these years
Dec. 13: Rodney Flournoy was a Southern California fan favorite in the 1980s with his family-run Funny Car. Nearly 40 years later, he's still burning nitro in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series, now with his daughter at his side.
A final farewell to 'the Dones'
Nov. 21: An all-star cast of racers and longtime acquaintances of “the Dones” gathered at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum to remember legendary promoter Bill Doner and tell old stories and celebrate one of the most unique members of the drag racing family.
A brief history of the NHRA Finals
Nov. 15: The NHRA season closer hasn’t always been held at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. In fact, since the inaugural event in 1965, the race has been run at six locations, more places than any other NHRA race. Here is a look at the history of the event and the drama it always produces.
Novembers to remember
Nov. 8: Twelve-plus years and still going strong, the Dragster Insider column tells "the stories behind the stories" in the history of our sport. Here's a look back at some November stories from its archives.
Top Fuel turns 900
Oct. 31: The 2019 Dodge NHRA Nationals was the 900th NHRA national event to include the Top Fuel class, dating back to the 1963 Winternationals. Here's a look back at the heroes and stats of the class.
Remembering '70s Funny Car hitter Bill Leavitt
Oct. 17: Drag racing lost another of its nitro-racing veterans Sept. 25 with the passing of 1970s Funny Car star Bill Leavitt just about a week shy of his 81st birthday.
Cory Mac: He always played to win, and he did a lot of that
Oct. 4: Earlier this week, veteran Top Fuel racer Cory McClenathan announced his pending retirement from competition. Here's a look back at his 30-year career behind the butterfly.
Surfing Safari, Part 2: The Surfers, the Hawaiian, Hondas, and Jim Morrison (!)
Sept. 20: Words of admiration and old stories keep rolling in after the passing of Tom Jobe, resulting in some more touching tributes and interesting stories about the fabled Surfers Top Fuel team of the 1960s.
The last of the Surfers
Sept. 13: Bob Skinner, Mike Sorokin, and Tom Jobe, known collectively to Top Fuel fans of the mid-1960s as The Surfers, rode a wave of success and popularity for three years. With the Sept. 7 passing of Jobe, the last surviving Surfer, we look back at their magical time.
Farewell to 'the Dones'
Aug. 23: Legendary 1970s racetrack operator and promoter Bill Doner, who died last week, was a lot of things to a lot of people -- benefactor, starmaker, friend, adversary, storyteller -- but above all he was loved, revered, and respected by those in his universe.
64 Years of Indy Trivia
Aug. 20: The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will celebrate its 65th running this year. Here's a look at some of the interesting trivia from the event's history.
For two fans, when it comes to the U.S. Nationals, it's a lifelong love affair
Aug. 9: At this year's Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, as they have been for the last 60 years, when the event was held in Detroit, two longtime fans of the sport will be settled into their seats watching all of the action at the 65th edition of the "Big Go."
Saluting U.S. Nationals history: "Ohio George" Montgomery dominates early Nationals
July 26: Between 1955 and 1963, only one driver, George Montgomery, had won NHRA's Nationals more than once, and, incredibly, he had won it three times before anyone had even won it twice.
Saluting U.S. Nationals history: Prudhomme, Leong, and the spirit of '65
July 12: In 1965, Winternationals winners Don Prudhomme and car owner Roland Leong became the first to win two NHRA national events in a season when they won at Indy after a long road trip. Relive that wild voyage in unprecedented detail.
Saluting U.S. Nationals history: The story of Marvin "Who?" Graham
June 28: In the months leading up to the 65th annual U.S. Nationals, I'm chroniclinh some of the great stories that made Indy the world’s biggest and most important drag race. This week: Indy's "unknown" Top Fuel winner.
A little catchup time
June 14: Remembering Funny Car owner Jim Green, photo researching with Don Prudhomme, and catching up with Marvin "Who?" Graham.
Color our world: Remembering master racecar painter Bill Carter
June 7: Legendary race car painter “Wild Bill” Carter created some of the most memorable paint jobs for some of the sport’s most famous racers.
The Sands of (Elapsed) Time
May 24: The early 1980s was an interesting time in drag racing when sand racers defected in huge numbers to the asphalt and introduced us to future world champions like Alan Johnson and Gary Scelzi and a slew of other talented racers.
Gone but not forgotten
May 10: Southern California racer Jim DePasse made a name for himself drag racing on both sand and asphalt. He wasn't the best-known racer among NHRA fans,
April 19: Harold Satterlee is honoring his uncle, "Famous Amos" Satterlee, by creating models of his uncle's famous cars, often melding together multiple kits to get the parts right and to to preserve his uncle's legacy. Also, some loving memories from one of Amos' grandchilden.
Not just a nickname: 'Famous Amos' Satterlee was that and much more
April 12: Legendary nitro tuner "Famous Amos" Satterlee passed away April 4 at age 88. He left behind a legacy of broken records, race wins, and drag racing championships on asphalt, water, and sand.
Remembering Bobby Vodnik and Frank Oglesby
March 28: One came to fame as a teenager ahead of his prime and the other with a sponsor that was ahead of its time, but this week we mourn them together with the passings last weekend of NHRA pioneers Bobby Vodnik and Frank Oglesby.
The story of the first Gatornationals Top Fuel win, from the inside
March 22: Dave Chenevert was the first Gatornationals Top Fuel winner way back in 1970 and the first of 30 different drivers to win Top Fuel at Gainesville Raceway. Relive that wild weekend from the memory of one of his teenage crewmembers, Fred Mooneyham, himself a future Top Fuel driver.
50 Memorable Moments in Gatornationals history
March 15: The Gatornationals, the third oldest event on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, has a deep and rich heritage that ensures its place in the history books and in the hearts and minds of racers and fans alike. Here's a look back at 50 Memorable Moments from the event’s colorful history.
Remembering Ezra Boggs
March 8: Ezra Boggs and the Moby Dick Funny Car were match-race mainstays in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and occasional national event competitors. Boggs passed away Feb. 20 and was remembered by friends.
Gary Densham: 49 seasons and counting
Feb. 15: No one has driven a nitro Funny Car longer than Gary Densham, who kicked off his 49th season in Pomona. The lifelong Southern Californian is a regional treasure to those who grew up watching him race his line of Teacher’s Pet floppers at tracks up and down the West Coast.
Remembering Ray Alley
Feb. 7: The sport lost another friend yesterday with the passing of former Funny Car owner/driver Ray Alley, at age 86 after a lengthy illness. In this special column, drag racing hall of famer Kenny Bernstein remembers Alley, who gave him his first Funny Car ride.
The road to Pomona
Feb. 1: The 2019 season kicks off next Friday in Pomona, launching the NHRA season as it has every year since 1961. But how did NHRA end up planting its flag in this suburban wonderland?
Remembering Frank Rupert
Jan. 18: Former Top Fuel and Funny Car racer Frank Rupert passed away Friday, Jan. 4, due to complications after going into cardiac arrest. In this special Insider column, Brad Littlefield shares the history of the respected nitro veteran.
50 years ago: The 1969 Winternationals
Jan. 11: The 50th annual NHRA Gatornationals is fast approaching, but before we head back east, let's take a trip back in time 50 years to Pomona and the 1969 Winternationals, which was memorable for so many reasons.
Top Fuelers of the 1980s
Dec. 14: Let’s continue our journey through the decades with another batch of images from the Ron Lewis collection. Over the past month or so, I’ve shared photos from his five-decade collection covering the 1960s and ‘70s (Top Fuel and Funny Car) and now we’re on to 1980s Top Fuelers.
Remembering Dick LaHaie
Dec. 7: Many Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers have gone on to become crew chiefs, but there aren’t a lot of guys who not only won a championship as a driver and crew chief. Dick LaHaie, whom we lost Dec. 5, won the crown as a driver then tuned not just one but two drivers to a combined four Top Fuel championships.
Color him gone: Remembering Roger Lindamood
Nov. 23: If you were a drag racing fan in the 1960s and 1970s, you knew the Color Me Gone name even if you couldn’t recall the name of its driver, Roger Lindamood, who tore up dragstrips around the country for more than a decade.
1970s Funny Cars!
Nov. 16: From 1966, the first year of the class, through 1979, there were more than 500 licensed Funny Car drivers competing at NHRA events. Here's a look back at some memorable Funny Car images from the 1970s, as seen through the lens of longtime lensman Ron Lewis.
So Long, Teresa
Nov. 9: NHRA National Dragster's long-running Photo Editor Teresa Long retired last week after more than 30 years shooting photos for the NHRA and its award-winning publication. Here's a fond look back at the career of one of the sport's beloved and appreciated friends.
Top Fuelers of the '70s: The evolution
Oct. 25: The Top Fuel class underwent a massive transition in the 1970s, from front-engined cars to rear-engine cars with all manner of aerodynamic additions. Photographer Ron Lewis shared his collection of photos that beautifully illustrate the evolution.
Top Fuelers and Funny Cars of the 1960s
Oct. 19: Drag racing photographer Ron Lewis, who’s been shooting at the drags since he was a teenager in the mid-1960s, is sharing with us some of the thousands of his vintage drag racing pics. This week: the 1960s.
Another farewell to heroes
Oct. 5: Drag racing lost a pair of its early heroes over the last two weeks with the passings of legendary East Coast Top Fuel and Funny Car racer Jimmy King and versatile driver “Jet Car Bob” Smith.
Vintage jet cars
Sept. 28: Jet cars have been part of the drag racing landscape since the early 1960s, and are still featured at NHRA national events. Here's a look back at some of the earliest and wildest of the breed.
Doug vs. Doug: A jet-powered friendship
Sept. 14: The late great jet-dragster racer Doug Rose was not just another driver lined up next to West Coast jet jockey Doug Brown, he was a friend and mentor, as Brown explains in this illuminating and entertaining tribute.
Remembering Doug Rose
Sept. 7: The drag racing world lost a master entertainer and jet-car legend a few weeks ago when Doug Rose, whose Green Mamba jet had entertained fans for more than 50 years, passed away. We salute him this week in words and photos.
50 Years of Wally trophies
Aug. 31: The 2018 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals marked the 50th anniversary of the first presentation of the now-iconic Wally winner’s trophy.
Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing
Aug, 24: Brainerd Int’l Raceway, built in 1968 and host last weekend to the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, is celebrating its 50th season this year. Here's a look back at the track and the racing action over the years.
The Time Machine: 1973
Aug. 17: Step into the Wayback Machine and set the dials to 1973, when nine of the 16 nitro winners were first-time winners, three new world champs were crowned, and policies and procedures from records to safety were overhauled.
The Time Machine: 1982
Aug. 10: Shirley Muldowney, Frank Hawley, and Lee Shepherd won world championships in a year packed with new rules, first-time winner, and outrageous performances. Just into our Wayback Machine for a trip back to 1982.
Fans remember 'the Mongoose'
July 27: Over the past month, you’ve heard from Tom McEwen’s closest friends about what the fabled “Mongoose” meant to them. This week, we share some thoughts and memories from his fans, who were touched by him in myriad ways.
A fond farewell to 'the Mongoose'
July 20: The celebration of life for Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen in Pomona last weekend featured a Who's Who of drag racing as the community came together to remember one of the great icons of the sport.
The Time Machine: 1988
July 6: Thirty years ago this season, direct-drive came back to the nitro classes, supercharger burst panels were mandated, the speed trap was cut in half, Sonoma and Houston entered the schedule, Bruce Larson finally won, and much more.
Tom McEwen, in his own words
June 29: One final nod to the great "Mongoose," from a National Dragster interview a few years ago where he opines on everything from his "legend" status to his rivalry with Don Prudhomme, his favorite cars, and his legacy in the sport.
More 'Mongoose' memories
June 22: Week two of “the Mongoose” watch goes on as fans and friends continue to try to reconcile that he’s really gone. This week: No race cars, just photos of “the Mongoose” smiling and doing his thing.
Remembering "the Mongoose"
June 15: Some of his best racing friends remember Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen in a touching and funny retrospect to one of the most popular drivers in the sport's history.
Chicago's Hometown Fuelers
June 1: With a nod to this weekend’s JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals, let’s take a look at drivers from drag racing’s past who called Chicago home.
May 25: The most famous late-night finish came in a post-1 a.m. Tuesday morning finish in Englishtown in 1975, where "Jungle Jim" Liberman won his first Funny Car crown.
Remembering "The Tentmaker"
May 11: Reflecting on the career of 1970s Funny Car racer Omer "the Tentmaker" Carrothers.
Carol Cox: NHRA's first class winner
May 4: At the 1962 Winternationals, Southern California homemaker Carol Cox made history when she became NHRA's first female class winner at the Winternationals. Also, Roberta Leighton's similar achievements.
The Super Mustang
April 27: Not really a dragster and certainly not a Funny Car, the Tom McEwen-driven Super Mustang was a super oddity that certainly was not one of Ford's "better ideas," but remains a car well remembered by many drag racing fans.
Mustang Funny Cars through the years
April 20: The Ford Mustang may be Funny Car's hardest-working model, and certainly it’s longest running. Here's a look back at the fabled pony car through the years.
Long-standing 'Dragster' video game Guinness world record invalidated
April 13: Some light reading for a non-racing weekend about how modern technology led the Guinness Book of World Records to remove a legendary, 35-year-old record for performance in a 1980s drag racing video game.
Remembering Steve Plueger
April 6: Any way you slice it, Steve Plueger was a walking history book for the Funny Car class, past and present, before we lost him suddenly on March 22
April Fools 1998: Nitro trucks, twin-engine Top Fuelers, and rear-engined Pro Stockers
March 30: From the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, NHRA.com annually presented a special April Fools section, the first of which was published 20 years ago this week and featured some radical (but not-so-real) rides.
Remembering Dale Emery
March 23: Friends and fellow racers shares their stories and friendships with former Fuel Altered and Funny Car driver and tuner Dale Emery
Memorable Gatornationals final rounds
March 16: From the inaugural event in 1970, which featured the first all-team Funny Car final, up until modern times, final rounds at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals have had a knack for being memorable, historic, or both.
Unwinding the sidewinder story
March 9: A behind-the-scenes look at the circumstances leading to the creation of Don Garlits' sidewinder Top Fueler, and other wild machines created by the brothers Sage, as well as a farewell to influential chassis builder Roy Fjastad, and Don Long's Eight Phases of a Sidewinder and/or Streamliner Dragster project.
Don Garlits' sidewinder Top Fueler
March 2: In 1982, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, always the innovator, experimented with a sideways-mounted nitro engine in his Swamp Rat 27. Although the engineering marvel didn't pan out, it was still vintage Garlits to even try it.
Phoenix: A Top Fuel wonderland
Feb. 23: In its more than 30 years of existence, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (née Firebird Int'l Raceway) has been the site of some amazing Top Fuel moments that spotlight some of the classes biggest names, including Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney.
Find the heroes
Feb. 16: In 1975, iconic drag racing artist Pete Millar drew a rogue’s gallery of NHRA heroes positioned on the starting line of the Winternationals that ran on the cover of the “new” CARtoons magazine. How many legends can you identify?
Remembering dragster pioneer Dode Martin
Feb. 9: The drag racing world lost another legend with the passing last week of Dode Martin, who ran one of the sport's first dragsters. We also mourn the passing of Gary "Mr. C" Cochran and Steve Hodkinson.
Virginia is for winners
Feb. 2: NHRA’s exciting national event return to Virginia this June got us thinking about the region and all of the great racers that have come from “the Old Dominion” over the years.
A history of our sport, one story at a time
Jan. 26: The completion of the Insider archive; remembering D. Gantt and Tim Marshall
Another farewell to friends
Jan. 19: Longtime NHRA fans lost two more greats from the past, with the passings of 1970s Top Fuel racer Paul Longenecker and 1960s gasser great Jack Merkel
Remembering Raymond Godman
Jan. 5: The legendary owner of the Tennessee Bo-Weevil didn't let being paralyzed by sniper's bullet in service of his country get in the way of an amazing career in drag racing.
Remembering Bob Glidden
Dec. 22: A tribute to the Pro Stock great who passed away Dec. 17
A bayou bash at Southland Dragway reunion
Dec. 15: An all-star cast that included Antron Brown, Angelle Sampey, Mark Oswald, Leonard Hughes, and more turned out to remember one of Louisiana's great dragstrips of the 1970s.
Rethinking the Top 50 Racers List
Dec. 8: In 2000, a panel of experts picked the Top 50 racers of NHRA's first 50 years. What would a Top 50 list look like today?
Drag racing history at your fingertips
Dec. 1: DragList.com has an encyclopedic and searchable index of 100,000-plus drag racing cars from the sport's history
Eddie Hill's last ride
Nov. 17: The Texan walked away from a wild engine explosion, then walked away from the sport
Dramatic 2007 Auto Club NHRA Finals set the bar for tight points finishes
Nov. 11: Four championships decided by less than a round
It's a Gas, Gas, Gas ... more memories of Gas Ronda
Nov. 4: Like the headlines says, more memories of Gas Ronda
Remembering Gas Ronda
Oct. 26: A fond farewell to the Ford racing legend
Force vs. Pedregon 1992, Part 2
Oct. 20: From forgotten interviews and smashed Happy Meal toys, more notes from one of the most intriguing points battles in NHRA history.
Force vs. Pedregon, Dallas '92: 25 years later
Oct. 13: Twenty-five years ago this week, John Force and Cruz Pedregon engaged in one of the weirdest and wildest Funny Car final rounds in the annals of the sport and certainly the craziest of all of their meetings.
Like a Rollin' Stoned
Oct. 6: Remembering East Coast Funny Car racer Joe Jacono; also, found: the Durachrome Bug!
Wally Parks, an appreciation
Sept. 28: Thoughts about Wally, on the 10-year anniversary of his passing
Found: NHRA Member No. 1
Sept. 21: Meet Ken Howell, who was NHRA's first member, way back in 1951
‘The Snake’s’ Take
Sept. 15: Don Prudhomme looks back on his career and shares his thoughts on topics ranging from his best cars, best seasons, and best pals like Tom McEwen and Roland Leong.
Ed McCulloch: Roaring down Memory Lane
Sept. 8: Notes, quotes, and reminiscing with "The Ace"
'Ace' still the king of Indy Funny Cars
Aug. 29: Ed McCulloch's five victories still have him atop the pack; "the Ace" relives those great wins with us
Racer's Scrapbook: Jim Dunn
Aug, 25: "Big Jim" sat down with me in Brainerd to talk about some of the cars that have made up his 50-plus-year Funny Car career
A deep dive into the archive
Aug. 18: Update on the Dragster Insider archive
Racer's Scrapbook: Jerry Ruth
Aug 11: "The King of the Northwest" shares memories from his great career
On The Road Again, 1970s-style
Aug. 4: A look back at riding down the match-race trail, with memories from Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, Ed McCulloch, and Roland Leong
A farewell to friends
July 28: Remembering Chuck Beal, John Collins, Frank Hall, and Doug Kruse
Salisbury’s Stake in Top Fuel history
July 21: The life and times of Southern California Top Fuel driver Dwight Salisbury; more Beach Boys feedback
The Beach Boys Top Fueler
July 14: Jim Busby's Beach Boys Top Fueler; Busby's twin-engine Top Fueler
Hot rodding with the Beach Boys
July 7: A look at classic Beach Boys hot rod tunes 409, Shut Down, and Little Deuce Coupe
Seattle in the '70s, Part 2
June 30: Northwest photographer Herman Marchetti shares more of his Seattle photos from the '70s
It's Clay's day ... finally
June 23: After years of frustration, fan favorite Top Fuel racer Clay Millican finally has his day; an appreciation of the man
Summernationals Time Machine, Part 2
June 9: More fan photos from East Coast reader John Guzevich
Summernationals Time Machine
June 2: Memories of the 1977 Summernationals, shared by reader John Guzevich
Remembering Johnny Abbott
May 26: Remembrances of former U,S, Nationals Top Fuel winner following his passing
That was then, this is now: 1991
May 19: It was a wild and wacky year, but how well do you remember it? Take the quiz!
Pat Austin and "The Double"
May 12: Pat Austin made drag racing history by winning two classes at the same event in 1991; here's the story of how it all happened
Readers Choice, my favorite time of year
April 26: A preview of this year's special edition of National Dragster
Seattle in the '70s, Part 1
April 18: Northwest photographer Herman Marchetti shares his Seattle photos from the '70s
Remembering “Gentleman Hank” Johnson
April 14: The life and times of one of the Northwest's greatest drivers
Friday at the movies
March 31: A collection of vintage drag racing videos from YouTube
A little of this, a little of that
March 24: From vintage drag cars found in hiding to some great old videos, new websites, and a resurfaced old drag racing board game, there's lots to catch up on
A work in progress
March 10: Beginning the Dragster Insider archiving process (harder than it looks)
Let there be lights!
March 3: Master racecar airbrush artist Kenny Youngblood discusses the fine but mostly lost art of painting faux headlights and grilles on Funny Cars.
The Art of Matt Levonas, Part 2
Feb. 24: More works of art from NHRA's Division 6 Director
The Art of Matt Levonas
Feb. 17: Northwest Division Director Matt Levonas' passion for racing goes far beyond his divisional duties, as he's also a talented artist
News of the Week
Feb. 3: Famous Funny Cars on the auction block, female pioneer Paula Murphy gets her due, and a farewell to 1970s Pro Stock mainstay Ronnie Manchester
How Frank Hawley came to drive the Chi-Town Hustler
Jan. 27: Frank Hawley drove the Chi-Town Hustler Funny Car to two NHRA championships but how he got to drive the fabled machine is a tale of chance and fortitude.
Remembering Pat Minick and the legend of the Chi-Town Hustler
Jan. 20: The original driver of the famed Chi-Town Hustler is remembered by friends and family
Of national consciousnesses and Pandora's Box
Jan. 13: Discussing Don Prudhomme's rise to public fame and household name-ism
The many faces of 'Snake's Cuda
Jan. 6: Don Prudhomme's first Hot Wheels Barracuda went through many changes in its 1970 debut season; two experts weigh in
Twas the Friday before Christmas
Dec. 24: Twas the Friday before Christmas, and all ‘cross the Nation, Insider fans were fretting, thinking Phil’s on vacation. Not to worry. More bad poetry
'Jungle's' Vega: Who knows which nose?
Dec. 16: The mystery continues and conflicting evidence is uncovered
It's 'Jungle,' by a nose ... and other stuff
Dec. 9: The mystery of JJ's Vega Funny Car nose; Beach City Camaro find? And more!
NHRA Funny Car champs over the years
Dec. 2: From Gene Snow (1970) to Ron Capps (2016), a look at the top flops of the years
Farrrrrr out ... it's 'Jungle Jim's' Vega
Nov. 18: And the winner is ... "Jungle Jim"!!!!
The final showdown: 'Jungle' vs. Force
Nov. 11: Comparing the careers and charisma of the two finalists on the Top 20 Funny Cars list
Funny Car Breakfast of Champions
Nov. 4: NHRA’s annual SEMA Breakfast Wednesday saluted the yearlong 50 Years of Funny Car celebration' panelists included Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, and more
The top three: Liberman
Oct. 28: Making a case for "Jungle Jim," with memories from "Jungle Pam" and Pat Foster
The top three: Force
Oct. 21: Drag racing's 16-time Funny Car champion has had a career for the ages
The top three: Pulde
Oct. 14: A look at the career of Dale Pulde
The top three
Oct. 7: The Top 20 Funny Car list is whittled to just three cars;; comparing the Insiders' vote to the fan vote; capsule look at Don Prudhomme's '76 season
Key players from the Keystone State
Sept. 30: Joe Amato, "Jungle Jim" Liberman, Bruce Larson, Lew Arrington, and the list of Pennsylvania's Pros goes on and on.
Missouri's finest fuelers
Sept. 23: From Dickie Harrell to Pusch & Cain, Lou Cangelose and Omar "the Tentmaker" Carrothers, a look at the "Show Me" state's finest fuelers
Frank Oglesby and the Mello Yello Mustang
Sept. 16: Long before Mello Yello became the title sponsor of the NHRA's premier series, it backed Southeast Funny Car racer Frank Oglesby
A 'fiberglass forest' in Indy
Sept. 9: Restored and recreated Funny Cars of yore were on display at the 2016 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals
Indy's Funny Car heroes
Sept. 2: From Ed McCulloch and Raymond Beadle to John Force Force, and Cruz Pedregon and many others, a look at the top Funny Car performers at the U.S. Nationals
My Favorite Fuelers: Ed McCulloch
Aug. 26: A look at the cars that helped drive the legendary career of "the Ace"
Buster Couch: Tales from the starting line
Aug. 19: Funny stories about NHRA's longtime Chief Starter, the one and only Eddie Hiram "Buster" Couch
More Seattle 64 Funny Cars stories
Aug. 11: More memories from the Great Northwest
Seattle 64 Funny Cars, 1976
Aug. 4: A look back at one of the Northwest's greatest events
More Setzer, plus a Top 20 Funny Cars recap
July 29: More insight on the car from Foster's son, Cole, and another look at the rapidly-filling Top 20 Funny Car poll
Barry Setzer, Pat Foster, and their amazing Vega
July 22: At long last, the tale behind one of Funny Car's most-feared machines, and the men who made it so
Remembering Art Chrisman and Chuck Etchells
July 15: Saluting a pair of drag racing veterans after their passings
Fan Fotos: The Nielsen Files, Part 2
July 8: More great photos from Insider reader Robert Nielsen
Fan Fotos: The Nielsen Files
July 1: Longtime column reader Robert Nielsen shares photos from SoCal tracks from the '70s to present
Deconstructing the vote: 14-17
June 24: The next batch of tabulations in the Top 20 Funny Car list are in
A Kean memory
June 17: Reader Al Kean reminisces about shooting photos at Seattle in the '70s
More of Phil's Foto Follies
June 10: Sharing more great old Funny Car photos from my fan days at OCIR and Irwindale
New England Funny Cars
June 3: A look back at some of the region's most famous Funny Cars
Kirby's Funny Car 'supermarket'
May 27: From fabrication to bodies to paint, Don Kirby's shop could do it all for you
Deconstructing the vote: 18-20
May 20: The first results are officially in; here's a look at the list
Top 20 FCs: The Insider Nation weighs in
May 13: Feedback from the fans on how and why they voted
Your Top 20 poll
May 6: We gave fans the chance to weigh in in the Top 20 list with their own balloting.
April 29: The popular East Coast driver felt that one or more of his cars should have been on the Top 20 list. Here's a look at why
The Mystery of the Blue Mustang
April 22: Mickey Thompson's Danny Ongais-driven Mustang was a groundbreaker, but whatever happened to it?
Vintage Funny Car videos
April 15: After writing about cool old Funny Cars, it’s time for a little video to give new fans a better taste of what we’re being all nitro-teared nostalgic about
Top 20 list: The fans weigh in
April 8: The fans have their say on the inclusions -- and omissions -- on the Top 20 Funny Cars list
Top 20 Funny Cars
March 31: A spotters guide to the famous cars on the soon-to-be-famous list
Five great drag racing movies
March 28: Whether you’re relaxing on your couch streaming entertainment or at the local movie theater, who doesn’t love a good flick? And if you’re a drag racing fan -– and we know you are –- what’s better than a movie about your favorite motorsport?
Top 20 Funny Cars: We have a list!
March 25: Don Prudhomme has three, Kenny Bernstein has two, and 15 other drivers and teams each have one name on our list of Top 20 Funny Cars
'Buddy' Garner, NHRA's first season champion
March 18: "Buddy" Garner, of Hobbs, N.M., was crowned NHRA's first points-based champion in 1960, after a nearly perfect season with his C/A Plymouth
Female Funny Car pioneer Paula Murphy
March 11: Paula Murphy was the first woman to be granted a license to drive a nitro-fueled car of any kind – in her case, a Funny Car.
1970: A 'Super' season for Funny Car
March 4: The Funny Car class got its first taste of full integration into the NHRA season in 1970, NHRA’s vaunted “Super Season.”
The Hawaiian, 1969-71
Feb. 26: From a spectacular crash at the 1969 Winternationals to back-to-back wins in 1970, the Hawaiian has a star-crossed history in Pomona
'Jungle Clare' Sanders
Feb. 19: Sanders reminisces about driving "Jungle Jim" Liberman's Funny Car to victory at the 1969 Winternationals
'Fast Eddie' Schartman
Feb. 12: NHRA's first Funny Car champ recalls his historic season
Remembering Jess Tyree
Feb. 5: The Pontiac-powered Funny Car racer was in on the ground floor of the class' creation
Funny Cars: Who's on first? I dunno ...
Jan. 29: Who had the first Funny Car? Jimmy Nix? Jack Chrisman? Dick Landy? Ron Pellegrini? The debate begins
Early Funny Car History 101
Jan. 22: NHRA created the class in 1966, but there was a whole lot of "funny business" going on long before that
Top 20 Funny Cars: Let the debate begin
Jan. 15: Opening the debate on the top cars in Funny Car history
Jan. 8: New look for NHRA.com; more memories of Ontario Motor Speedway
What's it all about?
Jan 1: Musings on the Insider column, and farewells to some friends we lost over the holidays
A Christmas Letter to My Younger Self
Dec. 25: Advice from me today to 10-year-old me in 1970
Drag racing on the tee-vee, 1976-style
Dec. 18: Reviewing the 1976 World Finals television show; what a hoot!
Ontario's World Finals, 1974-80
Dec. 11: When the "Big O" hosted the season finale; recaps of every year's action
NHRA Supernationals, 1970-73
Dec. 4: Memorable moments from when Ontario Motor Speedway hosted the special Supernationals for four exciting years
Ontario Motor Speedway
Nov. 27: For years, the pit road of OMS was the fastest quarter-mile in the land, and the rest of the facility wasn't too shabby either!
Funny Car performance, then and now
Nov. 20: Performances surges and gaps over the years, with special expertise by Austin Coil
Dirt biking with the stars
Nov. 13: Don Prudhomme, Don Moody, Sush Matsubara and more used to go off-road two-wheeling, with sometimes disastrous results
Teen Terrors of the '70s: 'Fearless Fred' Mooneyham
Nov. 6: The son of legendary Gene Mooneyham had a stellar career of his own in Top Fuel
The Perils of Billy Meyer
Oct. 30: Billy Meyer's been almost drowned, almost burned alive, and almost killed in a plane crash
Teen Terrors of the '70s: Billy Meyer
Oct. 23: The Texas teenager made a big impression in Funny Car and continues to do so today as owner of Texas Motorplex
Happy birthday, Texas Motorplex
Oct. 16: Celebrating 30 years of broken records on the all-concrete quarter-mile
Remembering Dave Beebe
Oct. 9: Saluting Dave Beebe, whose surname was one of the more famous in our sport thanks to the accomplishments of he and brother Tim
Teen Terrors of the '70s: The Allison Brothers
Oct. 2: Brothers Randy and Gary Allison made a surprising name for themselves in the Southern California Top Fuel wars
Bill "Maverick" Golden
Sept, 25: Remembering the driver of the legendary Little Red Wagon wheelstander
Teen Terrors of the '70s: John Stewart
Sept. 4: The young driver of the Keeling & Clayton Top Fueler went on to a long (and continuing) career in the sport
Teen Terrors of the '70s: Bobby Hilton
Aug. 28: A lot of kids follow their fathers into the sport, but few can claim the quick start that launched Bobby Hilton into his career
Teen Terrors of the '70s: Jeb Allen
Aug. 21: Drag racing's youngest Top Fuel winner has seen the highs and lows the world has to offer
Drag racing's teen terrors
Aug. 14: Laying the groundwork for a new series of articles begins with a profile on Don Gay
'The Likeable Logger'
Aug. 7: Earl Whiting was a beloved Top Fuel racer who felled many a tall tree in the class
Remembering Doug Nash
July 24: From the "Bronco Buster" early Funny Car to his legendary transmissions, Doug Nash was always in high gear
From the Quotebook
July 17: Hilarious, pointed, and amusing historic quotes from the likes of Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme, and more
July 10: How "Cha-Cha" got her name, the Chrisman family tree, notable rule changes, Don Prudhomme's short drag boat career, and other pieces of trivia
Remembering Roger Garten
July 3: Remembrances of the War Horse Funny Car driver, who passed away as the result of a racing accident
June 19: Shelby Snake update; Tripp Shumake book; more Gary Burgin memories
Remembering Bud Coons and 'Surfer Hank'
June 12: Original NHRA Safety Safari member Bud Coons and his work and Top Fuel racer Hank Westmoreland are remembered
Bristol Dragway: 50 years of memories
June 5: Historic photos from Thunder Valley
Gary Burgin, drag racing's 'Orange Baron'
May 29: The Funny Car class lost a legend who continued to leave his mark in the sport overseas
Remembering Jim Kelly, 'drag racing's Ansel Adams'
May 22: One of drag racing's earliest and most published photographers is remembered by friends and colleagues
The 1975 Springnationals
May 15: Forty years ago, National Trail Raceway hosted one wild event
The all-too-short life of Dallas Int'l Motor Speedway
May 8: Before Texas Motorplex, DIMS was the crown jewel dragstrip of Texas
When drag racers turn corners
April 24: Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, and Antron Brown are among those who have competed in the celebrity race at the Long Beach Grand Prix
Drag racing's female pioneers paved the road to 200
April 17: Female racers in NHRA competition recently hit the 200-win mark, but they got a big boost from the pioneers of the '60s and '70s
Saluting two Southern California icons
April 10: The NHRA Museum celebrates the history of Irwindale Raceway, and longtime hot rod hero Steve Gibbs
More cool old rear-engine cars
April 3: A look at some of the wildest and earliest rear-engined dragsters
Fan Fotos: Beeline Dragway, 1970
March 27: Reader Chris Muhli shares some great old photos from the fabled Arizona facility
'Nitro Nellie' Goins
March 20: Female Funny Car pioneer Nellie Goins really had it goin' on
Early rear-engine iron
March 16: Ollie Morris, Jack Chrisman's sidewinder, and more; modern-rear-engine pioneer Bernie Schacker
Fan Fotos: 1965 March Meet
March 13: Reader Charles Milikin Jr. shares some amazing nostalgic photos from the ;65 Smokers event
Front to back: The rear-engine transition, Part 2
Feb. 27: Garlits debuts Swamp Rat 14 in Pomona; memories from Woody Gilmore, Don Long, Don Moody, and Wes Cerny
Front to back: The rear-engine transition
Feb. 20: Don Garlits transmission explosion and the death of John Mulligan reshaped the Top Fuel layout; Dwane Ong's Pawnbroker and other early converts
'Kansas John' Wiebe
Feb. 13: The life and times of the celebrated Top Fuel racer
'Snake,' Leong celebrate 50 years of success, friendship
Feb. 6: A half-century after their Winternationals win, Don Prudhomme and Roland Leong remain close friends
Forget “Deflate-gate” — We’ve Got “Lions-gate“
Jan. 30: Did Don Prudhomme and John Wiebe really run 6.17s at the Grand Premiere? Lions starter Larry Sutton and others weigh in
Unforgettable: Lions' 1972 Grand Premiere
Jan. 23: Crashes and unbelievable performances kicked off the season at Lions
Dueling Winternationals kicked off 1975 season
Jan. 16: From NHRA in Pomona to AHRA in Phoenix and the IHRA in Florida, season kickoffs from 40 years ago
1975's Grand Premiere
Jan. 9: Irwindale Raceway launched the 1975 season with an unforgettable opener
I went to a garden party
Dec. 19: Sharing the night with drag racing legends at Don Prudhomme's holiday party (lucky me!)
The birth of the data recorder
Dec. 12: From fifth wheels to onboard computers, the search for more data never slowed
Dec. 5: Dale Armstrong: Racer, inventor, genius. 'Nuff said
Being thankful, and more fond farewells
Nov. 28: Things that I'm thankful for; farewells to Hank Endres, Dale Thierer, Scott Weney, Denny Darnell, and Bruce Dillashaw
Just another day with the legends
Nov. 21: Ivo, McCulloch, McEwen, Bernstein, Prudhomme, Garlits, and Muldowney share some Pomona memories
For Greer family, another memorable moment
Nov. 14: Shirl Greer's courageous effort at the 1974 World Finals was just the end of an amazing season
The Photo Hoarder, Part 2
Nov. 7: More of my favorite images, swiped from across the interwebs
Raymond Beadle, remembered
Oct, 31: More memories come rolling in from those who knew the talented Texan
A fond farewell to Raymond Beadle
Oct, 24: The legendary driver of the Blue Max is remembered by Richard Tharp, Don Prudhomme, Billy Meyer, and many more
The Photo Hoarder
Oct. 17: People collect a lot of things. Me, I collect great drag racing images I've come across on the internet. Here's just some of them
Saying goodbye to Bud and P.J., two more NHRA heroes
Oct. 10: Safety Safari member Bud Evans and P.J. Partridge were just two members of the great NHRA family I knew
'Fearless Fred' Goeske
Oct. 3: The Funny Car pioneer certainly lived up to his nickname
Indy Memories, from Hutch's Hutch
Sept 26: NHRA photographer Phil Hutchinson shares some of his most memorable U.S. Nationals photos
Here, There, and Everywhere
Sept 19: "Snake's" Monza resurfaces, as does Isky's old shop, an old antenna, old Springnatiomals photos, and more
Remembering John Farkonas, Bob Brooks
Sept. 12: Reflections on the genius behind the Chi-Town Hustler and the clutch master following their passings
Reliving some magical Indy moments
Sept. 5: Prudhomme-Nicoll (1970); McEwen-Prudhomme (1978); Don Garlits (1967), in their own words
Kasch's Cache, Part 2
Aug. 29: More great old Indy photos
Fan Fotos: Kasch’s Indy Cache
Aug 22: Tom Kasch shares a wild and wide variety of U.S. Nationals photos memories
The Tennessee Bo-Weevil
Aug 15: Raymond Godman overcame being paralyzed by a sniper bullet in Korea to field one of the sport's legendary cars
I've Got Mail!
Aug. 8: Fighting photographers at Indy; more Connecticut memories; Frantic Four reunited; More Things That Aren't Here Anymore
Fan Fotos: 1970s California Floppers
Aug. 1: Reader Ed Eberlein's photos span from Fremont to Sacramento to Orange County Int’l Raceway to Pomona in a three-year period, 1974-77.
Fan Fotos: Connecticut Dragway
July 27: Reader Tom Edwards shares a vast collection of photos from the East Coast track featuring fuelers, floppers, and gassers
July 18: The U.S. Nationals was not all about Jim Nicoll and Don Prudhomme, as this collection of photos will attest
More Things That Aren't Here Anymore
July 11: Tennis balls in headers, the Hurstettes, burnout pushbacks, and so much more
Things That Aren't Here Anymore
July 4: A fond look back at scenes we don;t see anymore: Motel pit thrashes, mailbox injector scoops, 6-foot-tall trophies, and much more
Remembering Norm Weekly, Mart Higginbotham
June 27: The Frantic Four's talented wheelman and the driver of the Drag-on Vega are remembered
Your dads (and moms)
June 20: Readers salutes their parents
June 13: Fond memories of two very special men in my life; bring your hanky
June 6: A look back at one of drag racing's first power teams
Talking 'Otie,' terminology, skyjackings, and more
May 30: "Otie" Smith; rear-engine vs. mid-engine; Simpson's Skyjacker Top Fueler; female wheelstander Sylvia Braddick
More Killers from Kenosha
May 23: More wild AMC Funny Cars
A history of AMC Funny Cars
May 16: From the Grant Rambler to Doug Thorley's rear-engined Javelin, plus more Gremlin and Hornet Pro Stockers
A Case of the Gremlins
May 14: AMC Gremlin Funny Cars and Pro Stockers
Still more Vega panels ...
May 2: The unusual bodystyle had a lot of takers; here's even more. Who knew?!
More Vega panels
April 18: More panel-sided flopper mania
So, I heard you guys have been Wondering …
April 11: Gary Gabelich's four-wheel-drive Vega panel; Dave Bowman's California Stud; modern-day Wonder Wagons
No more wonderin' about the Wonder Wagon story
April 4: At last, the definitive story behind one of drag racing's most misunderstood sponsorships, told by all those involed
How much Jake can you take?
March 28: More musings about the career of Jake Johnston
Jake Johnston: Funny Car's "what if?" guy
March 21: He could have been a two-time world champion, if only a few things changed
The two Tommy Larkins
March 14: The tale (and confusion surrounding) "Big Tommy" Larkin "Little Tommy" Larkin
The Bobby Vodnik story, plus more Cassidy Bros.
March 7: He was just a teenager when he upset Don Garlits to win Indy in 1963 Nationals
Vodnik, Garlits, and the Mysterious Winternationals
Feb. 28: The stats don't lie, or do they? An unsolved mystery
The Cassidy brothers
Feb. 21: East Coast brothers take on the flopper stars of the 1970s
Neither wind, nor snow …
Feb. 14: The amazing tale of how Jack Williams climbed mountains of snow to win the '64 Winternationals
Remembering Pat Garlits
Feb. 9: For years she was by "Big Daddy's" side through thick and thin, and will never be forgotten
Jan. 31: Moving pictures on moving cars. Neat!
More in-car photos
Jan. 24: More shots from a unique perspective
Get on board!
Jan. 17: A collection of in- and on-car photos guaranteed to amaze you
Farewell, "Friendly Fran"
Jan. 10: Drag racing's premier gossip columnist kept everyone talking
Ivo's four-engine enigma
Dec. 20: The definitive history of "T.V. Tommy" Ivo's four-engine, four-wheel-drive Showboat
Lions re-created: Small in size, big in fun and memories
Dec. 13: Small-scale re-creation of one of the sport's iconic tracks
Gordie Bonin, your memories
Dec. 13: More memories of "240 Gordie"
The OCIR Reunion
Dec. 6: Racers and fans alike gathered at the NHRA Museum to salute the history of Orange County Int'l Raceway
Remembering Gordie Bonin
Dec. 3: Farwell to popular Funny Car driver "240 Gordie" Bonin
Sorting through the Inbox
Nov. 22: Don Garlits and the Donovan; Heather Shumake; dragstrip promoters
More Garlits and 'Snake'
Nov. 15: Don Garlits/Don Prudhomme/Donovan Hot Rod cover; Comparing the legends, decade by decade; plus, the Glidden factor
Don-ning my Garlits-Prudhomme trivia cap
Nov. 8: Drag racing legends Don Garlits and Don Prudhomme have a lot more in common than just their first names
More on Six Seconds to Glory
Nov. 1: More facts and feedback on the Don Prudhomme-themed book
Six Seconds To Glory
Oct. 25: The story behind the story of Hal Higdon's book on Don Prudhomme
The legend of "Big Mike" Burkhart
Oct. 18: The life and times of the Texas Funny Car racer; also interviews with original crewmember Guy Tipton and John Hale
Touching moments, toppled Trees, and fond farewells
Oct. 11: Mike Goyda/Don Roberts and the Jade Grenade cowl; KS Pittman, Doug Brown, Jerry Ault topple the Tree; passing of Rich Siroonian, Bill Alexander
Drinking in the Sparkling Burgundy story
Oct. 4: The story of the Lewis brothers' Top Fueler from the 1970s
More Tree topplings
Sept. 27: More smashingly-good photo; plus biplane takes out the Tree in Montreal
Chopping down the Christmas Tree
Sept. 20: More felled Trees than a lumberjack convention
More tall tales of the Tree
Sept. 13: Racers hated the Tree at first; flag starter/traffic light origination; Lions Dragstrip system; Rick Stewart; an early Christmas Tree
Herm Petersen, Part 3
Aug. 30: The later years to present
Herm Petersen, Part 2
Aug. 23: The Can Am car and the comeback
Herm Petersen: 'I’ve Survived Damn Near Everything'
Aug. 16: The touching story of the "Northwest Terror" and his trial by fire
Seattle: My kind of place
Aug, 8: Musings on the great Northwest track; Jeff Koron takes a tumble
Remembering Paul Candies, Part 2
Aug. 2: More reminiscing about the legendary car owner
Remembering Paul Candies
July 26: A fond farewell to one half of the Candies & Hughes team
Bernie Fedderly: A champion's crew chief
July 19: A look at the career of one of the sport's great nitro tuners
Real winners, faked photos, and more
July 12: Faked Gordon Mineo Drag Racing USA magazine cover; more on the last DRUSA cover; more x-ray drawings
Running out of film
June 28: Reyes/Asher/Kelly; McEwen's Lion Country Safari photo shoot; dueling last DRUSA covers;
Your X-ray submissions
June 21: Still more see-through images
'The Man with the X-Ray Eyes,' Part 2
June 14: Still more incredibly artistry
'The Man with the X-ray Eyes'
June 7: Illustrator Tom West's see-through technical drawings
Double the exposure, double the fun
May 31: Double-exposure photography leads to "see-through" images
Location, Location, Location, Part 2
May 24: More great "on location" photos from Steve Reyes
Location, Location, Location
May 17: Steve Reyes shares the images and stories behind some iconic '70s drag mag location shoots
Kuhl & Olson
May 10: Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson formed a dynamic Southern California Top Fuel powerhouse in the 1970s
Memories of Atlanta
May 3: Great moments in Southern Nationals history
A little bit of this, a little bit of that
April 26: Prudhomme's Monza on display; drag racing bed sheets; souvenir body parts; Mark Gredzinski's small-scale Donovan
Remembering another magic night on the ball field
April 19: NHRA vs. NASCAR at the Darrell Gwynn charity softball game
The Keeling & Clayton story continues
April 12: More on the K&C team, including their Pro Stock years
Schultz & Glenn: 1971's killer team
April 5: Bill Schultz and Gerry Glenn tore up the troops in Top Fuel
K&C, Part 3
March 29: More stories and photos of the Keeling & Clayton team
More Keeling & Clayton
March 22: Matching 6.41s at OCIR; K&C restoration project
California Chargers: The Keeling & Clayton story
March 15: John Keeling and Jerry Clayton had one of the prettiest (and best-running) fuelers of the early 1970s
More of Mickey's machines
March 8: Thompson's vaunted '69 Mustang; Danny Ongais
The Thompson Files
March 1: Great images from the Mickey Thompson file
Some sweet photos of Mickey's machines
Feb. 22: Mickey Thompson's Funny Cars; more rare Grand Am photos
A Grand (Am) photo gallery
Feb. 14: More sweet photos of "Thompson's Torpedo"
Mickey Thompson's Grand Am, Part 2
Feb. 7: 1974 with Dale Pulde; '75 and beyond with Larry Arnold, Charlie Therwanger, Bob Pickett
Mickey Thompson's Grand Am, Part 1
Feb. 1: The design, creation, and rough start for Mickey Thompson's unique Pontiac Grand Am Funny Car
NHRA's nitro-burning females
Jan. 11: A capsule look at NHRA's female Top Fuel and Funny Car pilots
Friends we lost
Jan. 4: Reflections on the passings of Dale Ham, Tony Waters, Teddy Austin, Roy Golightly; and Aaron Green
Wrapping up 2012
Dec. 20: Wynn's sponsorships; Jade Grenade drivers; more racecar souvenirs; Phil Soares
Roaring with appreciation at the Lions Reunion
Dec. 6: Reminiscing about "The Beach"; great banter between Don Prudhomme. Tom McEwen, and Ed Pink
I'm such a T's: Traxxas, Tripp. and Tributes
Nov. 29: Playing with Traxxas Funny Cars; more Shumake memories; "Shorty" Leventon, Dana Kimmel passings
Bits and pieces, Part 4
Nov. 21: Still more wrecked-car souvenirs
We be trippin'
Nov. 15: Reader memories of Tripp Shumake
Remembering Tripp Shumake
Nov. 7: Reactions to the passing of Funny Car racer Tripp Shumake
Bits and Pieces, Part 3
Nov. 1: The story of the demise of the Super Shops Arrow; Tom & Jerry; AOL Drag Racers Forum
Bits and pieces, Part 2
Oct. 25: More bits and pieces of destroyed race cars; passing of Jon Knapp
Bits and pieces
Oct. 19: Fiberglass fragments and other keepsakes; Leslie Lovett's office collection
Oct. 12: John Smyser’s Terrifying Toronado; Hurst Hairy Olds
Your first race, Part 3
Oct. 9: And still more
Your first race, Part 2
Oct. 5: More reader recollections of a first trip to the drags
Your first race
Oct. 2: The Insider Nation remembers its first trips to the drags
Sept, 7: More reflections on Pat Garlits; Bill Jenkins Oswego crash
Pat Garlits: The Great Woman behind The Man
Aug. 28: A salute to the woman behind and always at the side of "Big Daddy"
1982 Indy: The Nitrous Nationals (or not)
Aug. 24: The real story behind one of the great performance-driven Funny Car races
Backtrack Tuesday: This, That, and Other Things
Aug. 21: Bill Jenkins crash; more Dale Emery; Five-Second Club roster
Putting a face to the name on the card
Aug. 17: Saluting East Coast Funny Car racer Tim Kushi
Dale Emery: A life of Pure Hell, wild rides, and big wins
Aug. 14: The life and times of the Fuel Altered and Funny Car legend; breakdown of Emery's wild 1977 Indy crash
Play it again, Sam
Aug. 7: The story of Sam Schermerhorn, who was in the other lane during Larry Lombardo's '77 Indy crash; Lombardo muses on Bill Jenkins
More thrills from Indy '77
Aug. 3: The story behind Larry Lombardo's wild crash at the 1977 U,S. Nationals
More tall Tharp tales
July 31: More unbelievable-if-you-didn't-read-them-here stories about "King Richard" from his fellow racers and friends
'King Richard': Damndest Thing You Ever Saw
July 27: The Life and Times of Richard Tharp
Peebles, Woodall, and a golden era
July 24: The gold-plated dragster of Jackie Peebles and Chip Woodall; Woodall career; Ruffalo & Ehlen gold-plated dragster
Remembering 'Joe P.'
July 20: Reminiscing about Funny Car owner Joe Pisano
I'd give my left arm to own that ...
July 17: Up for auction: "Wild Willie" Borsch's left arm ... well, sorta
There's more gold in them thar stories
June 29: More gold-plated goodness; Reno Nannini tell all about the process
All that glitters is not Greek
June 26: Ruffao & Ehlen; Reno Nannini ;more on the "the Greek's" Gainesville crash
The golden 'Golden Greek'
June 22: Chris Karamesines gold-plated Top Fueler
A challenging 'Challenge of the Sexes'
June 19: Shirley Muldowney took part in three CBS Challenge of the Sexes TV shows from 1976 to 1978
Leroy 'Doc' Hales: World's fastest doctor
June 15: Former Funny Car racer "Doc" Hales headed up medical services for the NHRA Safety Safari
June 12: Flaming Funny Cars were a real issue in 1972; here's a look at some of the rules changes that were implemented
Force's fire-fighting flopper
June 8: Tired of repeated fire, John Force had Austin Coil create a machine of which even James Bond would have been jealous
Cleaning out the mailbag
May 30: Blowovers, near blowovers, "backup boys," and what;s the watch you're wearing?
Thirty years in heaven
May 25: Looking back at my three decades of excitement and thrills on the job at National Dragster
Top Fuel blowovers, Part 4
May 22: Pat Dakin, Randy Parks, Chris Vandergriff, and Clay Millican, plus a list of all blowovers
Top Fuel blowovers, Part 3
May 18: Robert Martin, Jeg Coughlin (almost!), and Gary Ormsby
Top Fuel blowovers, Part 2
May 15: Richard Holcomb, Eddie Hill, Don Prudhomme, Jimmy Nix, Russ Collins, Jay Payne, Doug Herbert, Doug Foxworthy, Scott Kalitta, and Shelly Anderson
Top Fuel blowovers, Part 1
May 11: Don Garlits, Jimmy King, Jack Martin, and Paul Logenecker
Flying high: Harry Schmidt and the Blue Max
May 3: The story of how the legendary Funny Car took flight
Top Fuel streamliners, the sequel
April 20: A look at the modern-day streamliners of Don Garlits, Gary Ormsby, Darrell Gwynn, Joe Amato, Gene Snow, Jim Head
Streamliners of the '50s and '60s
April 10: From the Glass Slipper to the Scrima Liner and Super Mustang, some swoopy slingshots styling
Your 'Grumpy' stories
April 6: Readers react, share stories after the loss of Bill Jenkins
Continuing the Breed-lovefest
April 3: Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America II, more wheel pants
Farewell to the grumpy one
March 30: A fond farewell to Pro Stock legend Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins
March 27: A wheel pants history lesson; Jermaine Jackson meets George Barris; Shawn Dill makes wheel pants; wheelpants outlawed
Wheel pants: Aero aid, fashion statement, or dangerous duds?
March 16: They looked super cool but their impact on performance and handling was suspect
The first 300
March 6: The race to the 300-mph barrier
Readers Choice 2012
March 2: A look at the special issue; Tom McEwen talks about Mickey Thompson and his first breather mask; Garlits/Lions diorama
Welcome to No. 500
Feb. 28: A look back at the first 499 Dragster Inside column; a capsule view in thumbnails
The incredible Mr. Pickett
Feb. 24: The life and times of Funny Car racer Bob Pickett
The flying doorstop
Feb. 21: The Lisa & Rossi wedge Top Fueler; Irwindale rocket-fuel leak photo
Rocket roundup redux
Feb. 17: Glen Blakely; rocket-powered skateboards and motorcycles; rocket car fuel leak ruins Irwindale surface
The Rat Roast: Who was roasting whom?
Feb. 14: A Who's Who of drag racing roasts "Big Daddy" Don Garlits in Pomona for his 80th birthday
Pomona: SoCal drag racing's lifelong love
Feb. 7: Pomona Raceway, through the years
Turns out, you're all rocketmen
Feb. 3: More rocket-car goodness: George Lavinga/Pat Best team; Turbonique/rocket videos; Capt. Rollerball
Jan. 31: Ky Michaelson: From the Sonic Challenger to the Pollution Packer
Jan 27: More on "Capt. Jack"; crewing on Brent Fanning's rocket cars
'Capt. Jack' and the amazing rocket go-kart, part 2
Jan. 24: More wild takes of Jack McClure's famed rocket-powered go-kart
'Capt. Jack' and the amazing rocket go-kart
Jan. 20: From charter boat captain to madman rocket-car driver; the early years
Jan. 17: Debating the Beach City Corvette and the Phony Pony with column reader Robert Nielsen
Remembering Tommy "T.C." Lemons
Jan. 13: Saluting the career and humor of famed Don Garlits crewmember Tommy Lemons
Jan. 10: Feedback on feedback includes two-engined Funny Cars of Dean Dillingham and Don Hampton, Tommy Grove's off-track excursion, the Killer Whale, and Big Al
The gift-giving continues
Jan. 6: More reader submissions: Chevoom, John Hoven, Don Hampton's American Bandstand Funny Car, a special Christmas present
It's baaack (motored, again)
Dec. 23: The end of the line for the back-motored floppers thread includes Dave Bowman's repurposed California Stud (now on sand!) ; small-scale versions; more on Mark Williams' Vega; the Ll Stinker Corvair; Slack & Hallman; more Nightstalker; James Hatley's Vacuum Cleaner; the Chevoom
The story of John Hoven, as told by his son
Dec. 20: Former Funny Car racer is remembered by his son, who's also very much into drag racing
More mind-blowing mid-motor madness
Dec. 16: Catching up with Roy Mehus; Jack Ditmars' rear-engine car; more on Ed Lenarth's Mid-Winder and the Hindsight with Jim Adolph; Mark Williams and Don Casto mid-engine cars; Garlits'Jay Howell Dart; who was Ed Shaver?
Dec. 13: Ed Lenarth's chain-driven sidewinder
Stalking the Night Stalker
Dec. 9: Implausible at it sounds, John Force's first Funny Car was a chain-driven, rear-engine hand-me-down
Getting our rears in gear
Dec. 6: More mid-engine madness, including some Hindsight updates, a look at the Cotton Picker and Gary Gabelich's wild four-wheel-drive machines, plus European rear-engined cars!
In Hindsight, maybe not such a great idea
Dec. 2: Dennis Geisler's over-backwards wheelie in his rear-engined Funny Car at the 1975 Winternationals, plus deep background on the Hindsight car
Rear-Engine Funny Cars
Nov. 29: Tom McEwen, Doug Thorley, and Jim Dunn blazed a trail for the not-so-evolution to back-motored floppers; also includes a gallery of other similar cars
More cars with scars
Nov. 22: painter John Largent remembers those days; Schumacher's Super Shoe repair; more on Scrima
Topless Funny Cars
Nov. 15: "Convertibles" were all the rage in the early days of Funny Car; remembering Ronnie Scrima
Reyes brings on the ugly
Nov. 8: Great photos of some not-so-great-looking cars showing battle scars, from our ol' pal Steve Reyes (and others)
This could get ugly
Nov. 4: Chicks dig scars, and you'll dig these punished and primered Funny Cars that were pressed hastily back into service
Cleaning out the Inbox
Nov. 1: Bill Schneider’s three-year-long pursuit of Don Moody’s 1972 rear-engine dragster; more on Phil Castronovo; acid dipping; Plymouth’s Rapid Transit System booklet
Remembering Phil Castronovo
Oct. 25: The life and times of the East Coast driver of the Custom Body Enterprises machine
Crowning champions, then and now
Oct. 21: A look back at the many processes by which NHRA champs have been crowned
Back on the 'Dyno'
Oct. 14: More Don Nicholson; follow-ups on the Snodgrass and Mahnken Psycho Mustang; more Burkholder Bros.; primered cars
Brush with garage greatness
Oct. 11: Don Nichsolson; the Snodgrass and Mahnken Psycho Mustang
Of jackrabbit finishes and faked photo passes
Oct. 7: The Burkholder Bros.; Steve Bovan; bogus starting-line passes
The return of Fan Fotos
Oct 4: Northern and Southern California Funny Cars; a rebuttal from Art Marshall
Another Memorable Motorplex Moment
Sept. 30: Bob Vandergriff Jr.'s Dallas win; some Rob Bruins followups
How the elephant crushed the guardrail
Sept. 20: Remember that one time when Rob Bruins hit the guardrail in the Green Elephant Funny Car? So does he
Open houses, early chutes, and finals gone wrong
Sept, 16: More goofed-up finals
Don't lift until you've heard the referee's whistle
Sept. 13: Early lifts and 'chutes that led to defeat; winning your first race at Indy; farewell to Al Maynard
More Indy yearbook feedback ... and 'Jungle's' wedge
Sept. 9: The inside story of the 1977 U.S. Nationals Yearbook; more Pro Comp updates; remembering "Jungle Jim" Liberman; I design a wedge dragster for "Jungle"
My favorite time of year(book)
Aug. 30: More kudos for the '77 Nationals Yearbook
The 1977 NHRA U.S. Nationals Yearbook
Aug. 26: One of the finest drag racing coffee-table books ever
Chi-Town and 'Jungle': Farrrrrrrrrrr out!
Aug. 19: More tales of the two; early Chi-Town memories; reactions to Liberman's death, and his possible future
Clearing the table (again)
Aug. 16: More on the Big Texan; roast beef sundae; McEwen vs. F-14 photo; Harvey Crane's 80th birthday; Mexican Revolution recreation; young Cruz Pedregon
The day that 'Jungle' drove the Chi-Town Hustler
Aug. 12: "Jungle Jim" Liberman climbed into the iconic car for a ride with longtime pal Austin Coil
Open for business, again
Aug. 9: More dragstrip food memories: San Fernando, Gainesville and Sonny's, and Amarillo's Big Texan
The slingshot's last hurrah
Aug. 5: Remembering the last front-engined Top Fuel win: Art Marshall, Montreal 1972
Aug. 2: Reader share their favorite dragstrip delicacies
Food for thought
July 29: SoCal dragstrips had the best concession stands, from Irwindale's In-N-Out Burgers to OCIR's varied menu and Lions' iconic stand
A farewell to Dave Condit
July 26: Remembering the popular Southern California driver of the L.A. Hooker Funny Car
And, finally, ‘the Snake’ weighs in
July 22: Don Prudhomme helps dispel some rumors and other bad information about his cars
All Snake, all the time
July 19: Still unraveling the mysteries of the yellow and black Prudhomme 'Cudas
What became of the original yellow 'Cuda?
July 15: The Dragster detectives are back in action, tracking down the fabled Hot Wheels Barracuda
The 'other' black 'Cuda
July 12: All die-hard Don Prudhomme fans know about the bad-ass black "Snake III" 'Cuda, but was there another black 'Cuda? We investigate!
Red Gooses, black Snakes, and steam catapults
July 8: How the famed Hot Wheels bodies were touched up; McEwen's second car and the race with the F-14
That was then, this is now
July 1: Comparing the newly-restored McEwen ramp truck to some original photos
June 28: The red Hot Wheels hauler makes its debut
M&R revisited, and the tale of Bob Gibson
June 21: More on Masters & Richter; Top Fuel racer Bob Gibson's short but sweet Top Fuel career
Top Fuel seasons, then and now
June 17: the 1970 Top Fuel season featured an unusual list of winners; how it stacks up against every season to date -- stats aplenty!
Filling out my to-do list
June 14: Updates on coming stories: Mickey Thompson's Grand Am, Capt. Jack McClure; ramp trucks; Masters & Richter model and its possible American Graffiti connection
It's ramped up and almost ready
June 7: McEwen/Snake ramp truck restoration nearly complete; Prudhomme and Leong get some love from the Mopar loyl
The name game
June 1: The twisting evolution of the Supernationals, Summernationals, and Springnationals, from track to track, season to season
Rats, snakes, hustlers, and kings
May 27: Old Snake logos; Kenny Youngblood behind the wheel; Chi-Town Hustler reunion; more on Dave Beebe
At a loss, again ...
May 24: Remembering Dick Rosberg; more remembrances of James Warren
Memories of James
May 20: Readers share their memories of James Warren
A monumental loss
May 17: Early reaction to the passing of James Warren; we also lose Ed Mabry
Hot times in ol' Hot-lanta
May 10: A look back at some memorable moments from the Southern Nationals
Let's get small
May 6: Models in plastic and brass, and other things small; bodyless Funny Car
And ... action!
May 3: Snake & Mongoose movie announcement; looking back at Heart Like A Wheel
April 29: Meet Mark Gredzinski, a talented (and obsessive) British model maker with an infatuation with 1970s Funny Cars
A weekend of tributes at the NHRA Museum
April 26: Surprise party for Don Prudhomme; Lou Gasparrelli celebration of life
More odds and ends
April 19: Questions for Don Garlits; T.C. Lemons' funny shirt; wheelstanding tanks; and more
April 15: I've had quite enough of my heroes dying, thank you very much
More of your photos
April 12: More great reader-submitted photos
The Legend of Benito Magneto
April 8: Artist Kenny Youngblood shares the stories of everyone's favorite Italian Funny Car driver and the Flop-O-Aerodynamico
The Garlits lovefest continues
April 5: More of your photos and memories of Don Garlits (including an alien friend)
Your Garlits stories and photos
March 29: Just like the headline says ...
Swamp Rat Spotters Guide, Part 3
March 25: More of Gar's cars, from Swamp Rat 21 (1975) to Swamp Rat 34 (1993-94, 2002-03)
Swamp Rat Spotter's Guide, Part 2
March 22: "Big Daddy's" diggers, from Swamp Rat XI (1967) to Swamp Rat 20-B (1975-80)
Swamp Rat Spotter's Guide, Part 1
March 18: The cars of Don Garlits, from Swamp Rat I-A (1956-60) to Swamp Rat X (1966-67)
My greatest Gatornats hits
March 8: Links to some good Gatornationals columns like my trip with Jim DePasse, "the Gators curse," and more
March 4: Paintings, drawings, and models of your favorite racers
In the Snake Pit
March 1: Don Prudhomme display at the Winternationals; re-creating a legendary Winternationals photo
The Pomona archives
Feb. 22: A collection of columns about the wonderful Winternationals
At the (dry) hop ...
Feb. 18: Who doesn't love a good dry hop? Cool videos, and Bob Brandt explains the origins behind the memorable pre-race show
'Cool is in the eye of the beholder'
Feb. 15: The Insider Nation knows who's cool, and shared their opinions. Cool!
Yeah, 'the Snake' is definitely cool
Feb. 11: The Los Angeles Times ranked Don Prudhomme as one of Southern California "coolest" athletes. We've known that for decades
Fan Fotos: 1970 Summernationals
Feb. 8: Photos from the first NHRA Summernationals at York U.S. 30 Dragway
Sticking it to me
Feb. 4: You want stickers? I got stickers. Events, racetracks, racers, manufacturers, you name it ...
Feb. 1: Looking back at the Cragar 250-mph Club; biplane destroys Tree at Sanari; Deutsche Hot Rod Association
A bold yet frustrating attempt
Jan, 28: Looking back at Bill Traylor's Bold Attempt streamliner
Remembering Jim Jackson
Jan. 25: The life and times of the Funny Car team owner
Sticker shock, part 2
Jan. 21: More sticky stuff
Jan. 16: Drag racing stickers/decals from the sport's past
Feedback on your feedback
Jan. 14: Schumacher's car in England; more Cosmic Charger; Bold Attempt; GT40 Funny Car
When 'Brute Force' met Mötley Crüe
Jan. 11: Force Funny Car shares the stage with not-yet-famous band in 1982
Cleaning out the e-mail, Part 2
Jan. 7: Jim Murphy's introduction to the sport; Carl Casper's Cosmic Charger; Yellow Fang; Jeff Foulk's Finagler; old Funny Car bodies; amateur artwork; Youngblood's flying "Snake"
Cleaning out the e-mail, Part 1
Jan. 4: Tom Jobe on the Surfers' "sound"; G-B-P lineage; front vs. rear-engine; Frank Mazi video; Annin-Sniveley-Black photo; Force and Gene Beaver
It's in the cards
Dec. 21: A look back at the Fleer drag racing cards that were available in the early 1970s
Moving-day treasure trove
Dec. 17: Now that I'm moved, I unpack and find a cornucopia of cool photos, trading cards, and much more
Getting my move on ...
Dec. 10: Floppy disks (!) and hundreds of issues of National Dragster that need to be moved
Final farewell to a legend
Dec. 7: The drag racing community gathered to remember Roger Coburn; friends and fans share Warren & Coburn memories
Our drag sport, illustrated
Dec. 3: A look back at Drag Sport Illustrated, which billed itself as "Drag Racing's Only Pictorial Newspaper"
The 'Garage Photo'
Nov. 30: Photographer Jon Asher tells the story behind his iconic photo of James Warren and Roger Coburn
Nov. 23: Some Thanksgiving-day thoughts
How to avoid the champions curse? Buy us lunch
Nov. 19: Larry Dixon bought the ND staff lunch after winning the championship; Greg Anderson did not. Anderson's rig burned to the ground on the freeway. Just sayin'
No Maas? No way!
Nov. 9: The family, friends, and fans of Butch Maas share their memories
Nov. 5: Remembering fuel racer Butch Maas
The Johnny Appleseed of the Fiberglass Forest
Nov. 2: Every trend has to have its ground zero, and for the fiberglass-bodied Funny Car, that was Chicago, at the inspiration of Ron Pellegrini and a company that became Fiberglass Ltd.
Running up the ol' phone bill
Oct. 29: Touching bases for future columns; Ron Pellegrini talks about the International Funny Car Association; more injected Funny Car pics
'I always liked to hear about the old-timers'
Oct. 26: Evolution of the Dragster Insider column; early Funny Car chassis; Darrell Gwynn's "Jr. Dragster"
Odds and ends injected to the thread
Oct. 22: More injected Funnies, including pics of Mike Sheets, Jeff Foulk, Larry Arnold, the Clare Sanders, Dave Koffel's Flintstone Flyer 'Cuda, Eddie Schartman, Bruce Larson, Huston Platt, Roger Lindamood, and Hans Anderson, plus Lorry Azevedo's Drummer and Dan Glover's ex-Wonder Wagon Vega panel.
Stars of the East Coast Fuel Funny Car Circuit
Oct. 19: Life on the road with the ECFFCC
Injected Funny Cars: How it was
Oct. 8: Injected Funny Car racer Jeff Foulk (the Finagler) shares his stories
Twenty years ago, NHRA played hardball with NASCAR
Oct. 5: NHRA beats NASCAR, 21-20, in the Darrell Gwynn benefit softball game
Groovin' at the 'Grove
Oct. 1: 1960s and '70s Funny Cars from Maple Grove Raceway
More injected Funny Cars!
Sept. 26: Injected Funny Car followup!
Jeb Allen: Building a new life, one home at a time
Sept. 21: Former Top Fuel champ Jeb Allen's long road back
Midwest injected Funny Cars of the 1970s
Sept. 17: Proof that you don't need to have a blower to have Funny Car fun; Jim Farnsworth, Bob Durban in the JEGS 'Cuda, Dick Titsworth, Bob Ehgotz, Joe Arrigo, Nick Gaglione, Art Cambridge, Tom Kenny, Vic Tiffin, John Kelly, Fred Hagen, Jim Guthroe, Jack Ditmars, and more!
The big ramp-truck send-off column
Sept. 14: Wait, more than four dozen more ramp truck photos? Yup
Three dozen ramp-truck photos!
Sept. 8: It's exactly what the headline implies!
Warning! Runaway ramp-truck column ahead!
Aug. 27: Still more ramp truck photos and catch-ups; how about a ramp truck with a wedge dragster atop?
Ramp trucks? Yeah, we've got ramp trucks
Aug. 25: More ramp-truck madness; more than a dozen more pics!
Keep on truckin'
Aug. 20: Shirl Greer ramp truck find; reader-submitted ramp truck photos
Ramp Truck Tuesday
Aug. 17: More ramp-truck photos thank you can shake a ramp at ... whatever that means.
Band of brothers
Aug. 11: A Who's Who of Southern California drag racing history gathers at Don Prudhomme's shop; "Mongoose" ramp truck update
Of Snakes, Mongooses, and horses
Aug. 6: Tom McEwen weighs in on the ramp truck find and shares his horse-racing history; Funny Car stars group photo; Hot Wheels "Wild Wheelies" photo shoot at OCIR; Jim Green, Jim Annin glass-sided trailers; more Hot Wheels memorabilia; Hot Wheels "race" competition today
'Snake' and 'Mongoose' collection
Aug. 3: Jeff Mittendorf shares photos of his incredible collection of Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen Hot Wheels memorabilia
More ramp-truck ramblings
July 30: Ramp trucks old and new, including Ken Veney and the Lagana family; Black Magic burns to the ground
Tommy's towing toys
July 27: "TV Tommy" Ivo shares a historical look at his collection of tow rigs, trucks, and trailers over the years
Is there anything you guys don’t know?
July 23: More ramp-truck answers; Roy Harris; glass-sided trailers; early Chi-Town Hustler ramp truck;
Just ramp truckin' along ...
July 20: More ramp truck stories and photos
Going all commercial on you
July 16: Great Hot Wheels commercials from the 1970s
Ramping up the excitement level
July 13: More on Tom McEwen's ramp truck find; Chi-Town Hustler hauler; more patrotic fuelers
Two of a kind: 'Snake's' new find
July 9: Don Prudhomme finds Tom McEwen's old ramp truck
Power to the people
July 6: More patriotically-named race cars
July 2: A look at some starred and striped, patriotically-named machines
'Home movies' from OCIR
June 29: Dwight Guild's great home movies show Funny Car stars at Orange County Int'l Raceway
June 18: More on Lou Patane's car; Gary Beck's low-wing experiment; Mineo's Funny Car dragster; Jim Head's modern-day wedge
Bet you're pretty tired of the streamliner stuff, but...
June 16: The thread marches on with Lou Patane's aero dragster; Gordon Mineo's Funny Car becomes a dragster; the story behind Top Fuel "mud flaps"; Jim and Alison Lee reunion
Fish stories and other stuff
June 8: Feedback about the Piranha; Bobby Hilton and son Tyler; Ed Rachanski's Super Marauder Mercury Comet
June 4: The story of how a kit car for the street became one of the wildest drag racing machines ever
All wedges, all the time ...
May 26: Doug Kruse on the Dunn & Kruse streamliner; Donnie Souter, Gene Snow wedges
Today's topic: Wedge Top Fuelers (surprise!)
May 21: Gene Mooneyham wedge; Dunn & Kruse streamliner; Fred Farndon/Lisa & Rossi; Re-entry at car show; Phil turns 50
One more thing before I go ...
May 10: Don Durbin's' rear-wheel pants; Lisa & Rossi, first in the fives?; Re-entry pic
The Thread That Won’t Die
May 7: More wedges: Prudhomme's headers (again); gallery: Chris Karamesines, Leland Kolb, Lisa & Rossi, and Kenney Goodell; Robert Lindall's Re-entry
More of the same
May 5: Still more on the Setzer's monocoque; Prudhomme's wedge headers; Lisa & Rossi wedge; Bunny Burkett billboard
Write slower, I'm drowning ...
April 30: More wedge stuff: Setzer's monocoque; the STP Drag Wedge; Prudhomme's Hot Wheels wedge; also, Freight Train billboard; Kenney Goodell remembered
The prettiest car to ever run only once
April 27: Barry Setzer's monocoque Top Fueler
When pins were in
April 6: Drag racing-themed cloisonné pins were a big thing in the 1980s
Still more on Kalitta's wedge crash
March 31: The details keep emerging on this racing mystery
More tales of the Kalitta wedge
March 23: Follow up on Kalitta's Indy crash; Tommy Ivo talks about his stunt driving in Heart Like A Wheel
The name may not be familiar, but ...
March 19: Remembering Ron Rickman, who danced with danger when Connie Kalitta crashed his wedge dragster at Indy; Leland Kolb's wedge
Remembering Shirl Greer, and more reader feedback
March 16: Salute to Shirl Greer; Al Hanna recalls Greer's '74 Ontario thrash; Bob Durban, first JEGS winner; Carl Olson, on rear-engine dragster switchover; Cox Pinto Funny Car lives on
More Fan Fotos: The best of the Midwest
March 9: Tom Nagy shares his images of the 1970s' stars of the sport, including Shirley, Beck, and more
A salute to the March Meet
March 5: A history of one of the sport's greatest and most revered events, 1959-88
Your heroes, Part 2
Feb. 26: More salutes to drag racing's greats from the Insider Nation
More fantastic follow-up
Feb. 23: More on Garlits' Carryall from Sonny Messner; more SoCal doorslammers, including the Vintage GTO
Feedback, follow-up, and fallen friends
Feb. 19: Garlits' GMC Carryall; more SoCal doorslammers; jeff Foulk's Finagler; farewells to Rocky Childs, Ray Strasser, and Ron Sutherland
Of fading friends, heroic moments, kind deeds, and good memories
Feb. 12: Don Prudhomme, Paul Smith, and John :Tarzan" Austin remember Shirl Greer; Ivo and "Tarzan" share the winner's circle; Dale Emery and the open fuel-tank lid; Jim Harnsberger's Summernationals runner-up; Arnie Behling, second rear-engined Top Fuel winner
Keeping it in the family
Feb. 11: The El Merendero, Pomona racers' favorite Mexican restaurant; feedback from SoCal doorslammers column
Your Heroes, Part 1
Feb. 9: Insider readers share the love of their drag racing heroes
Fan fotos: SoCal doorslammers
Feb. 5: Great 1970s doorslammer photos from Lions, Irwindale, and more, courtesy of reader Robert Nielsen
Feedback (and rain) by the bucketful
Jan. 20: Winternationals weather; memories of Dick Wells and Russell Long; farewell to Jan Gabriel, who made "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" a household phrase
Thanks for the memories, Dick
Jan, 19: Saying goodbye to former ND editor and longtime Wally Parks confidante Dick Wells
It's a Long story ...
Jan. 18: Former Funny Car driver Russell Long helps Haitian earthquake survivors; pocket bio on Long's flopper career
More bobsledding fun
Jan. 15: Part 2, wherein the drag racers (especially Melanie Troxel) more than hold their own
Sledding and sliding, part 1
Jan. 14: Phil joins the Coughlin clan for a trip to the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge
Some Christmas wishes
Dec. 25: Some cool wishes for our hot-rodding friends
Fan Fotos: West Coast pits
Dec. 22: Cliff Morgan's photos from San Fernando, Lions, Orange County including Don Garlits' Wynn's Liner, Ed Lenarth's jeep and sidewinder, OCIR roller starters and more
So long, 'Wooz'
Dec. 18: A tribute to Alcohol Dragster champion Don Woosley
More Fan Fotos: East Coast action
Nov. 24: East Coast match race action from the '70s; info about Steve Kanuika
Fun with Fotos revisited, Part 2
Nov. 12: See above, but Part 2
Fun with Fotos revisited
Nov. 10: Reposting an often-stolen column, and making it better
Presto! Conjuring up 'the Wizard'
Nov. 6: Catching up with Bennie Osborn
The life and times of Jay Howell
Oct. 27: A salute to one of the unsung drag racing heroes
Fan Fotos: Early Funny Cars
Oct. 23: From Lions Drag Strip, Funny Cars of the 1960s!
Remembering Bobby Rowe
Oct. 20: The life and times of the popular and successful Funny Car driver; drift racers salute Shaun Carlson
The new National DRAGSTER, Phase 1: In living color
Oct. 13: A new era for National Dragster as the magazine switches to an all-color format; Shaun Carlson's memorial service
Fan Fotos: The Midwest
Oct. 9: Indy, Columbus, U.S. 131 ... they're all here. Floppers galore, plus many of your heroes
Wins and losses
Oct. 6: Team Kalitta celebrates a huge win; mourning the loss of Shaun Carlson
On my radar screen ...
Oct. 2: Shirley Muldowney plays "Then vs. now"; Shirley Shahan honored; brave four-wide jet starter revealed; more four-wide answers; the Down Under demise of Gary Clapshaw's dragster; Brad Littlefield and Todd Veney
Fan Fotos: New England
Sept. 29: Pics from the 1970s, a great period for Funny Cars, which make up the bulk of this submission.
Sept. 22: A look back at four-wide racing over the years -- dragsters, Funny Cars, Pro Stockers, and even jets!
Great rivalries over the years
Sept. 18: Stone-Woods-Cook versus "Big John" Mazmanian; Don Prudhomme versus Tom McEwen; Shirley Muldowney versus Don Garlits; Shirley Muldowney versus Connie Kalitta; Warren Johnson versus Scott Geoffrion; Joe Amato versus Gary Ormsby; John Force versus Whit Bazemore, Al Hofman, Cruz Pedregon; Tony Schumacher versus Larry Dixon, Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd, and "Hot Rod" Fuller
Fan Fotos: Minnesota
Sept. 15: From the Land of 10,000 Lakes, some great old photos from various Minnesota tracks
The Misc. Files: One L of a good time
Sept. 11: Jim Lynch, Harold Lewelling, Ernie Lentz, Phil Lippard, Dan Lexa, Jack Lawson, Lewis brothers, Leavengood brothers, Ron Leaf, and Larry Ladue
Indy: Did You Know …
Sept. 4: A little (OK, a lot) U.S. Nationals trivia
Mopar to ya
Sept. 1: From Darrell Alderman to Don Prudhomme and Don Garlits, some of the stars of the Pentastar
From the burnout box to your mailbox for 50 years
Aug. 28: 50 Years of National Dragster display at the NHRA Museum
The Misc. Files: Some very special K's
Aug. 21: Barry "Machine Gun" Kelly, Gordie Keck, Rathgeb-Guminski-O'Donnell-Collins Keystone Top Fueler, Katz & Jammer Kids dragster, Tim Kushi, Mac King, Rick Krafft, L.C. Kirby's Bandini, Victor Kim, and Steve Korney
The Misc. Files: J … keeping up with the Joneses (and Johnsons, etc.)
Aug. 18: Leonard Hughes' Jake's Speed Equipment Dart, Jumping Joe Vega (Joe Weis), Tom Johansen, Roosevelt Johnson, Jimmy Jones, Jerry Jefferson, Jerry Janke, Jim and Jerry Jokerst, Tom Jacobsen, and Paul (P.G.) "Injun" Johnson's "funny digger"
Funny Car's 'one-hit wonders'
Aug. 11: From Eddie Schartman to Sherm Gunn, a look at Funny Car's one-time winners
Top Fuel's 'one-hit wonders'
Aug. 7: From Carl Olson and Art Marshall, guys who won in Top Fuel, but only once
First On Race Day (and in muddy alleys, too)
Aug. 4: A salute to Ford's legacy on the dragstrip (and Phil's misspent youth)
The Final Fred Files
July 31: Malcolm Durham, Lee Jones, Western Bunns , Petrocelli & Haskett Super Twister Corvair, Arnie Behling, George Montgomery, Stone, Woods & Cooke, "Pee Wee" Wallace, Jim Maybeck, Gene Snow, "Fast Eddie" Schartman, Wally Parks
The Fred Files, part 3
July 26: And still more East Coast goodness: Bob Ehgotz, the Jade Grenade, the Ramchargers, Don Schumacher, Bergler & Prock crash, Dale Pulde, Tom Hoover, Connie Kalitta, Tom McEwen, Don Prudhomme's wedge
The Fred Files, part 2
July 17: More great old East Coast pics, including Tom Sneden, Gene Altizer, the original Blue Max Mustang, Joe Jacono, Don Garlits' Funny Car, "Jungle Jim" Liberman, and Dickie Harrell
Some closure for one of drag racing history's mysteries
July 14: Larry Sutton is reunited with Mike Ditt, whose life he saved in the aftermath of Don Garlits' infamous Lions tranmission explosion
The Seattle Time Machine
July 12: Great photos from Seattle Int'l Raceway in the '70s provided by Al Kean
The Fred Files
July 10: Veteran East Coast photographer Fred Von Sholly shares some of his images: Bill Jenkins, Gene Conway, Don Nicholson, Brutus, and more
July 7: Follow ups on Larry Gould and Paul Gentilozzi, 180-degree crankshafts, traction compound, and a slot-car dragstrip
The Misc. Files: H is for 'heroes'
July 3: Eldon Huffman, Bob Holley, John Hoven, Ira Hollensbe, Billy Holt, "Nitro Nick" Harmon, George "the Stone Age Man" Hutcheson, Frank Huszar, Harry Hudson, and Harry Hall
History lesson in a book
June 30: 1972 NHRA Media Guide provides a snapshot in time to the way it used to be
More 'Snake' sssssssssssstuff
June 26: "Snake" fan jealously rears its ugly (and amusing) head; Bob Brand reunited with Prudhomme and the ramp truck
All 'the Snake's' horses
June 23: Spending a day with Don Prudhomme and his restored Funny Cars; a ride in the Hot Wheels ramp truck and lunch with "the Snake"
The Durachrome Bug
June 19: Warren Gunter's Durachrome Bug Funny Car; remembering Eric Brooks
The Misc. Files: The G Force
June 16: Jim Grant, George Reese's George's Corvette Shop, Golden Chariot , Joe Godwin, Roger Garten, Gretchko Bros., Larry Gould, Roger Gates/John Glaspey, Paul Gentilozzi, Jon Giardina, and Warren Gunter. Misc. files updates on Jim Eberley, Mike Edstrom, Jim Swedberg, Bob Toth/Ed Fox
Chicago: The Name Game
June 5: Chicago-themed Funny Cars: the Chi-Town Hustler, the Chicago Trapper, the Chicago Patrol, the Chicago Fire, and more
The Misc. Files: Meet the F Troops
June 2: Ed Fox, Fred Fischbach, "Bullet Bob" Floch, Angelo Falzone, Al Fontanini, Merrill Frost, Tom Fischer, German and Larry Farias, Chuck Flores, Pete Frech's Wicked Wagon wheelstander
Battling back: How 'the Snake" reconquered Top Fuel
May 29: After a disastrous 1990, Don Prudhomme found his footing again in the Top Fuel class and struck again
The Misc. Files: An E-Ticket ride
May 26: Gary Essman, Terry Erven, Henderson Bros. Evolution Corvair, Gary Egbert, Alan Earman, Jim Eberley, and the Edstrom family; plus Wile E. Coyote chases the Roadrunner with a dragster; more American Bandstand Corvette
It's a two-for-one celebration special
May 22: Phil's greatest crash and burn photos! Kenny Bernstein, Jim Head, Jack Ostrander, Gene Snow, Mark Oswald, Brad Tuttle, Don Gay Jr., John Force, Ed Heck, Jay Payne, more Bernstein (watch out, crew!), Nick Nikolis, Gary Phillips, and, of course, more Force
Funny Car vs. Top Fuel Showdown revisited
May 16: John Force defeated Bob Vandergriff Jr, in a wild final at the Winston No Bull Showdown
The Misc. Files: D-lightfully D-verse
May 15: Gary Dye, Ben Diener, DeSoto's conquistador, Larry Dobbs, Leroy Dewdney, Bob "the Gator" Dalton, Larry Derr, Bob Davis, Johnny Davis, Don Davis, Dean Dillingham, and Ron Dixon
A little piece of her heart
May 12: Shirley Muldowney reminisces about her early gas dragsters, and shares some of the original invoices for the cars
The Misc. Files: From C to shining C
May 9: Ron Correnti, Larry Christopherson, Les Cassidy, Gary Cromwell, Gary Coe, Joe Clement, Doug Church, Gene Canham, Cotton Owens, Norm Cowdrey, Rik Crews, and Leon Cain
'Snake's' restorations just truckin' along
May 5: Progress on the restoration of Don Prudhomme's Hot Wheels ramp truck
The Misc. Files: Welcome to the 'A' list
April 28: Lorry Azevedo, Abe Ayoub, Kenny Achs, Vic Anderson, John Andretti, Rick Abood, Chuck Aronson, Dan Aykroyd (really!); Jimmy Ige follow-up; origination of the AA classification
The Misc. Files: The I's have it
April 21: Bob Ivett, Dutch Irrgang, Isky, Jimmy Ige, Jose Irizarry and his Krazy Kar Kat Vega, and Ray and Shirley Strasser's Insanity; feedback and info on our B photos
Bob Bommarito, and welcome to the Misc. Files
April 17: Who was Bob Bommarito and why is he here? The Misc. Files, letter B (Dick Boynton, Steve "Okie" Bernd, Blasters & Peabody, Jim Bowen, Kenny Brown (motorcycle daredevil), and Jon Button)
'73 OCIR Constructors Championship: Independents Day
April 14: Battle of the engine builders: Keith Black vs. Ed Pink vs. Sid Waterman vs. the independents
You know you’re a drag racing addict if…
April 10: A fun list; how many can you admit to?
Pedal power: Mike Dunn's first drag race
April 7: Mike Dunn goes bicycle racing; farewell to Bob Hesser
April Fools ... the aftermath
April 3: National Dragster's special April Fools issues; more great NHRA.com April Fools stories
The Insider … out!
April 1: The day that the column died. I hate nostalgia anyway. Oh, wait. Check the date. And other April Fool's nonsense
Spaced out in H-town
March 27: A visit to NASA in Houston; remembering the great Houston "freezeout" of 1989, and other Houston weather weirdities
A real Thrill ride, plus more flyin' Hawaiian
March 24: Remember Eddie Hill's wild 1988 win in Houston; more Hawaiian crash photos; Hill's Pomona blowover
Larry Reyes: The flyin' Hawaiian and other stories
March 20: The life and times of Funny Car racer Larry Reyes
Great Gatornationals moments, part 2
March 13: Thirty more magnificent Gatornationals moments, 1982-present
Great Gatornationals moments? No problem (part 1)
March 10: Twenty great moments from the Florida classic. covering 1970-1981
The return of the Shelby Super Snake
March 6: Not the dragster, but the Don Prudhomme-licensed Shelby GT500 Mustang; OK, some stuff about the dragster, too
March 3: Tracking down the list of Roland Leong's drivers
'Ace'-ing the first two races
Feb. 27: Ed McCulloch started off the 1972 with back-to-back wins
My first Gatornationals
Feb. 24: Crewman for a weekend on a cross-country trip to the Gatornationals with Alcohol Funny Car racer Jim DePasse
Five Fave Fotos with Tom Schiltz and other hot topics
Feb. 20: More great photos from my friends; Bill Dunlap pushes his car to exhaustion; fire burnout feedback; "Flaming Frank" Pedregon
Fire in the hole
Feb. 17: Tommy Ivo and Don Garlits talk fire burnouts; huge fire burnout photo gallery! It's HOT!!
Reliving a previous wet and waylaid Winternationals
Feb. 13: Rain (and, yes, even snow) made for a very long 1978 Winternationals
Fun with your photos
Feb. 9: Great photos from readers including Gas Ronda's first, Len Imbrogno's crash, and much more; Walt Stevens pushes his car to victory
The one-day wonder
Jan. 30: Heavy fog and persistent rain Friday and Saturday forced NHRA to complete the 1965 Winternationals -- qualifying and eliminations -- in one day; Roland Leong's Lions crash
The Hawaiian's Winters wonderland
Jan. 23: Legendary car owner Roland Leong experienced great success (and some frustration) at the Winternationals in the late 1960s and early 1970s
The return of Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos: Norman Blake
Jan. 20: One of the East Coast's great action photographers shares his favorite images
Jesus, Crites! Tales of our pal
Jan. 9: Bill Crites remembered by his legions of friends
A little bench racing anyone?
Jan. 6: How the Surfers beat "the Greek"; the Terrible Towel, and Kenny Bernstein's terrible shifting; Tommy Ivo, practical joker; Jimmy Lynn Davis, kite cycle crasher; a shark tale; racing Mom's car
Bill Crites: Gone but never forgotten
Dec. 30: Remembering National Dragster's resident lunatic
A Munstrously Good Time
Dec. 22: The Munsters TV show heads to Lions Drag Strip for a memorable episode; the story behind the Munster Coach and Dragula cars
Thanks for filling in the blanks
Dec. 18: Readers help identify subjects of the Fun With Fotos (Dec. 11) column; Norm Cowdrey, Kenny Ellis, Noel Black, the Magic Muffler Fiat,; Al Kean and the flying "Snake"; Ivo vs. a rocket kart
Leonard Harris, drag racing's shooting star
Dec. 15: One of the sport's most promising stars was gone way too soon; the story of the Albertson Olds superstar
Fun with fotos!
Dec. 11: The column that was reposted (and stolen and claimed by others!) more than anything I ever did. Great, weird old photos, with clever captions.
More historic horsepower haunts
Dec. 8: More Ghost Tracks: Sanford drags; Vineland Speedway; Montgomery Dragstrip; Connecticut Dragway; Suffolk Raceway; Old Gator Drag Strip; Oklahoma City; Tucson Dragway; Goleta; first tube dragster
Going for 50, and other thoughts
Dec. 4: Looking back at Issue 1; Wally Parks on why he created National Dragster; readers suggest more great car songs
Of new muscle cars and old songs
Dec. 2: Hot rod music to drive by
To the friends we lost: Thank you
Nov. 27: From Lew Arrington to Bill Williams, Al Hofmann to Gaines Markley, and John Buttera, Pat Foster, Paul Blevins, Jim Paoli, Leroy Chadderton, Ron Correnti, Bobby Hightower, Scott Kalitta, Jack Engle, "Jocko" Johnson ... it was a year of tremendous losses
The good guy in the black cowboy hat
Nov. 24: The life and times of famed Southern California starter Larry Sutton
The DRAGSTER Insider answering machine
Nov. 20: Answering questions about Rob Bruins' winless championship season, Eddie Hill's Double Dragon, and more
Pomona, now and then
Nov. 14: The history of Pomona Raceway; Chuck Griffith helps tell the story
Cleaning out the ol' mailbox
Nov. 11: Life on the match-race circuit; OCIR's Richard Schwartz; Alan and Blaine Johnson's first car; and more
Back on the ghost-track trail
Nov. 7: Dover Drag Strip, Westhampton Dragstrip, Warner Robins Dragway. Double H Drag Strip, Augusta Int'l Raceway, Biloxi Dragway, Windsor Dragway, Beeline Dragway, and Hawaii Raceway Park
OCIR Week: Your turn
Nov. 4: Readers share their memories of the 'County
The rise and fall of Orange County Int'l Raceway
Oct. 31: Building the dream, then watching it slowly die
OCIR's Last Drag Race: The day the music died
Oct. 29: Orange County Int'l Raceway's Last Drag Race mixed drama with nostalgia ... and a lot of tears
Welcome to OCIR Week! Today: The '83 season
Oct. 27: Recapping Orange County Int'l Raceway's final season
The column with a little of everything
Oct. 24: Toyotas in Funny Car; who should play "Jungle Jim"?; Covina Thunderfest; Blaine and Alan Johnson
Top Fuel domination, 1983 style
Oct. 21: Gary Beck and the Larry Minor team crushed it 1983
Ghost-track hunting goes high tech
Oct. 17: Stalking through Google Earth; Pittsburgh Int'l Dragway; Aquasco Speedway; New York National Speedway; Niagara Dragstrip; Southeastern Int'l Dragway; Century 21 Raceway; Half Moon Bay Drag Strip; memories of Fremont; Alamo resurrected ... almost
My Bakersfield of Dreams
Oct. 14: My first trip to the California Hot Rod Reunion
You've got questions, we've got answers
Oct. 10: What kind of guy is John Force? Is there going to be a movie about "Jungle Jim"? Who's got the most wins without a championship? And, "Should I take my girl to the drags or a fancy restaurant?"
Ghost tracks, the scary sequel
Oct. 7: Southland Dragways; Dallas Int'l Motor Speedway; Fairmont Dragway; Des Moines Dragway; Fremont Raceway; Green Valley Race City; Houston Int'l Dragway; Thunderbolt Dragway; San Luis Obispo; more on Onondaga, Detroit Dragway; U.S. 30
In a Pryor life, plus more ghost tracks
Sept. 30: The life and times of Top Fuel racer Bill Pryor; Ghost Tracks: Motor City Dragway; Pocono Drag Lodge; Lakeland Int'l
A vividly imagined column
Sept 26: Creative writing from Charlotte; more on the old Charlotte Drag-O-Way; Ghost Tracks: U.S. 30 Dragway; remembering Mike Hollander
Sept. 23: Reader feedback on Bill Shrewsberry, Venice High, Stone, Woods & Cook; and Favorite Race Car voting
Motorplex memories and mishaps
Sept. 19: My crash-and-burn photos from Texas Motorplex races over the years; Herbert, Oswald, Pedregon vs. Force and more
Be true to your school
Sept. 17: Venice High School, alma mater to champion drag racers and athletes (and me); Ivo recants
They didn't call him 'Wild Bill' for no reason
Sept 15. The life and times of wheelstander king Bill Shrewsberry and his L.A. Dart machines
Concord, N.C., 1960 style
Sept. 11: Tommy Ivo and crewmember Don Prudhomme race at Concord Drag-O-Way (well, sorta; see also the bottom of this column)
Stone, Woods & Cook: From the inside
Sept. 8: Leonard Woods shares his tales about the legendary race team
And the winner is ...
Sept. 5: Announcing the winner of the Favorite Race Car Ever polls
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: The final round!
Aug. 25: The final showdown! (results added after publication)
Aug. 20: The life and times of Top Fuel/Funny Car racer Jim Nicoll
Mondays with Murray: Shirley Muldowney
Aug, 18: Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray's column
If the Shoe fits ...
Aug. 14: Tony Schumacher didn't make the Top 50 Racers list, but should he have? Mike Dunn talks about driving for Joe Pisano
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: 1980s and Beyond
Aug. 11: Everything from Swamp Rat XXX to the Ormsby Castrol streamliner and McEwen's '57 Chevy (results added after publication)
'I was there:' Garlits debuts Swamp Rat 14
Aug. 7: The debut of Don Garlits' rear-engined car in Florida, as witnessed by column reader Wade Nunnelly
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: 1970s Funny Cars
Aug. 4: "The Snake" takes on the Blue Max, "Jungle Jim," and the Barry Setzer Vega (results added after publication)
In the Mood
July 31: Don Moody and the road to his amazing 5.91 at the '72 Supernationals; Lions Last Drag Race
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: 1970s Top Fuelers
July 28: "Big Daddy" versus the world; Beck, Warren, California Charger and more (results added after publication)
Get 'er Dunn (and happy anniversary to us!)
July 24: Jim Dunn wins in Seattle; Dunn pocket bio; evolution of the Insider column
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: Early Funny Cars
July 21: The earliest of the flip-top breed (results added after publication)
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: Early Dragsters
July 15: From the Glass Slipper to the Green Monster and beyond (results added after publication)
Favorite Race Car Ever voting: Early Door Cars/Roadsters
July 11: From early Pro Stockers to blown gassers (results added after publication)
Let the voting begin!
July 9: Final results for all-time favorite exhibition car! (results added after publication)
Dry hops in heaven
July 7: The original; imagining what drag racing heaven would like, with a name check of scores of lost departed heroes
Look, up in the sky, it's the Kite Cycle!
July 4: Bob Correll's famous hang-gliding motorcycle, exhibition star of the '70s
A little bit of this, a little bit of that ...
July 2: Reactions from Norwalk: Herbert's win, Kalitta's loss; Prudhomme autographs ticket; more cursed Corvettes (Jim Epler, Paul Smith, Simon Menzies)
Mondays with Murray: Don Prudhomme
June 30: Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jim Murray's column on "the Snake"
Norwalk, and The Big Dig
June 27: What happens when you have a lot of rain and a high water table; how Frank Manzo helped save the day
Return to Norwalk
June 27: A return to the place I first drove a racecar, some 24 years earlier; travel misadventures
So long, Scott ...
June 23: Remembering Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta
They left their hearts in San Fernando
June 20: Memories of San Fernando Raceway
More cursed Corvettes
June 16: Corvettes that bit the dust; origination of some racing superstitions
Friday the 13th special: the Corvette Curse and other superstitions
June 13: From crash-prone Corvettes to wearing green and eating peanuts in the pits, drag racers are a superstitious bunch (just don't tell Ron Colson)
2,470 days later ...
June 11: Don Garlits' historic 5.63 pass stood as the quickest of all time for nearly seven years
One of Funny Car's original mean, green machines
June 6: Saluting the career of Jim and Betty Green and their Green Elephant Funny Cars
Monday at the movies
June 2: The good and the bad of historic drag racing footage from YouTube
Jeff Courtie: A pair of pretty sound careers
May 30: From Funny Car racer to movie sound engineer, Jeff Courtie has led an amazing life
Train stories keeps rollin' all week long
May 28: Readers share their memories of the famous Freight Train
Don't mess with Connie
May 26: What happens when a guy tries to hijack one of Connie Kalitta's planes? I think you know ...
Engineering the Train
May 23: The birth and life of the fabulous Freight Train Top Gas dragster
The Bristol rainy-day blog
May 18: A long Sunday of sitting in the rain, captured in extreme detail. Probably too extreme
Looking forward to (and back at) Bristol
May 14: Bristol Dragway in the '60s and the early years of the NHRA Springnationals
Show and tell
May 7: Drag racing in Vogue magazine; Top Fuel vs. Funny Car tug of war; handheld drag racing games
An irrepressible Force
May 5: An appreciation of the racing career and personality of John Force
Friday feedback frenzy
May 2: More memories of R. Gaines Markley, Shirley Shahan, and Clive Skilton; ND staffers play the Vallco drag racing board game
The Drag-on Lady: Racer, pioneer, mom
April 30: The life and times of Shirley Shahan
The loss of Gaines ... and Beck's 'secret'
April 25: Remembering Top Fuel racer R. Gaines Markley; Gary Beck is not Canadian
'The Big Bang'
April 23: The story behind Larry Brown and one of the most amazing Top Fuel explosions ever
Danica who? What about Shirley ... and Shirley? And Judi. And Judy?
April 21: NASCAR's female star has a long way to go to top NHRA's female pioneers
A life well Dunn, and strapping on the ol' feedback
April 16: Mike Dunn career retrospective; more four-wide madness; Warren & Coburn
Monday morning mash-up
April 14: Mark Pieri recalls four-lane racing at Byron; memories of Bison Dragway; more on Kalitta's fireball
Ridge Route Terror tales
April 11: Tales from behind the scenes of the Warren & Coburn team
My Memory Lane is Riverside Drive
April 9: A trip back to NHRA's North Hollywood headquarters, where it all began for me
Racing on the cardboard quarter-mile
April 8: Remembering (and replaying) the Vallco Drag Racing board game
A little bit of this and a little bit of that ...
April 7: Connie Kalitta's E-Town boomer; Fremont body snatcher caught in phone booth; and much more
Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos: Steve Reyes
April 4: The dean of drag racing action photographers shares a handful of his famous and unforgettable photos
NHRA's Euro hero: 'No Jive Clive' Skilton
March 31: Recounting the NHRA career of English Top Fuel racer Clive Skilton; reactions to the passing of Pat Foster
50 years ago in Texas ....
March 28: Ed Mabry recalls Don Garlits' conquering of the Texans and Californians in 1958.
Memories of Al
March 26: Reactions to the passing of Funny Car racer Al Hofmann, including reader memories
From the mailbag ...
March 24: Steve Swaja talks about the creation of Tony Nancy's Wedge dragsters; Don Roberts on the front- to rear-engined Top Fuel transformation
Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos (From Fischbeck)
March 21: Longtime drag racing photographer Mike Fuschbeck shares his favorite images
History lessons relearned
March 19: The debut of the Garlitsglide and how it led to the first successful rear-engined dragster
It's good to be back in Gainesville
March 14: Reliving "the Gators curse" in my first return to Gainesville in six years
'Backdoor Bob' Struksnes
March 10: The life and times of Top Fuel racer Bob Struksnes
Welcome back, 'Mr. Everything'
March 7: Legendary Funny Car racer Pat Foster battles back from health issues
Where have all the nicknames gone? We've got 'em right here …
March 5: A super-dumb column in which we decide to give modern-day drag racers nicknames
Obsolete skills, part 2: Off the track
March 3: Pit-area prowess that's no longer needed
Obsolete skills, part 1: On the track
March 3: From dry hops to push starts and real bleach in the "bleach box," things we don't see at the drags anymore
Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos ... er, dandy drawings
Feb. 29: Famed drag racing illustrator John Jodauga shares some of his favorite works of art
Feb. 28: From valve lapping to shifting gears, technology has made obsolete some longtime automotive and drag racing skills
Feb. 25: Gators real and imagined, including Gatornationals mascot Clyde and Chase Night's Golden Gator
Friday's Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos: Joel Gelfand
Feb. 22: Longtime drag racing photographer Joel Gelfand shares his favorite images
Diamonds in the rough, gators on wheels, diamonds on cars, and how to move a billion dollars
Feb. 20: Drag racing gators; a diamond-encrusted Hot Wheels car; Pro Stock racer V. Gaines moves the moola
V for Victory and P for Pisano
Feb. 18: Celebrating the ol' "V for Victory" sign; keeping the Pisano name alive
Feb. 14: Winternationals celebrations, including a young Larry Dixon in 1970; vintage Dixon family press release; more Simon Menzies
The Winternationals mystique
Feb. 8: What the Winternationals means to me, and probably to you, too
Mail call ...
Feb. 6: Simon Menzies weighs in; Doug Herbert heals; Greg Ozubko tells hockey tales; more "Growing Up Boy"
Can I get a Whit-ness?
Feb. 4: The life and times of Funny Car racer Whit Bazemore
The return of Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos
Feb. 1: National Dragster photographer Marc Gewertz shares his favorite images
Pioneering in Pomona
Jan. 30: John Collins and the Pioneer Express Datsun Funny Cars
The good ol' days of magazines
Jan. 22: Dick Wells tells Hot Rod stories; reader Don Nickles recalls shooting photos at Lions
Growing up boy, the sequel …
Jan 21: Readers share their childhood memories
Growing up boy
Jan. 16: Hot Wheels, model cars, fireworks, and more. Growing up as a boy was cool
Five Fabulous Favorite Fotos: Jerry Foss
Jan. 11: National Dragster photographer Jerry Foss shares his favorite images
Top 10 lists, the one that got away ... and a white-knuckle SIMO
Jan. 9: A Winternationals Top 10 list that almost got me fired; Don Ewald's tough Winternationals loss; Stuff in my Office: Riding a rollercoaster with John Force
Snake's Top 10 ...and the return of SIMO
Jan. 7: Top 10 reasons why Don Prudhomme retired; more Stuff in my Office: commemorative booze
Photo Follies Follow up
Jan. 4: Reaction to Dec. 31, 2007 photos, including some Stone-Woods-Cook trivia; a look at the National Dragster photo archives
Phil's Photo Follies
Dec. 31: My pre-National Dragster fan photos from OCIR, Irwindale, and Pomona; New Years Eve with Bill Bader and the Mazis
The Name Dropper
Dec. 29: Pat Galvin, the "other" Ron Capps, and more Christmas Tree tales
Spreading Christmas cheer ... and more SIMO
Dec. 28: Looking back at Christmas gifts past; Stuff in my office: Piece of the old Pomona tower
Twas the blog before Christmas
Dec. 24: Putting a National Dragster spin on the classic "Twas the night before Christmas"
More Tree tales, the Mazi model, and Stuff In My Office
Dec. 21: Gary Cagle knocks down the Tree (with a crowbar!); Frank Mazi Opel model; Stuff in my office: Don Prudhomme retirement toasting goblet
A Christmas (Tree) Story
Dec. 19: The story behind the drag racing's Chirstmas Tree, and the improvements since
Party time, NHRA-style
Dec. 14: Holiday hijinks at the NHRA Holiday Party; 25 years on the job
Hail to the King!
Dec. 5: Reaction to the surprising retirement announcement by Kenny Bernstein
“The Good Old Days?”
Dec. 3: Former National Dragster editor Bill Holland looks back at how the publication was assembled back in the 1960s
Statistically speaking ...
Nov. 28: Why stats are so important in drag racing; a look at the printing presses that produce National Dragster
See you in the glue, friend
Nov. 13: Longtime National Dragster staffer Todd Veney leaves the team to concentrate on his racing career.
One nation, united for Wally
Nov. 7: A celebration of the life of NHRA founder Wally Parks at the Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Tricks and treats
Oct. 31: Prepping for the World Finals; remembering L.A. Times sports writer Shav Glick; my start in journalism
Writing made infinitely easier
Oct. 22: You never asked and probably don't care, but here's how I come up with the topics for this column
"Now he belongs to the ages"
Oct. 3: Reflecting on the passing of NHRA founder Wally Parks
Travel Agent woes and more Force fan feedback
Sept. 28: Funny Car racer Frank Mancuso talks about two memorable crashes in his Travel Agent flopper; and more Force feedback
The healing power of words
Sept. 25: Fan reactions to John Force's crash
Hurry back, Superman
Sept. 23: Reacting to the news of John Force's near-career-ending crash at the 2007 Dallas event
Rumble Doll channels Cha-Cha
Sept. 15: Singer/songwriter Patti Scialfa (wife of Bruce Springsteen) writes a song about Shirley Muldowney
The 5 Ws: The where, what, when, and why of Who
Sept. 13: Thank you, Marvin Graham. A casual phone call from the former Indy champ leads to the sharing of his racing career and work on Heart Like A Wheel, and gives the rudderless Dragster Insider a new mission.
This issue is not the bomb
Sept. 6: Work is interrupted by a bomb scare at National Dragster HQ, and I go all Joe Friday to report it.
Now comes the hard part ...
Sept. 4: The job's not done until the paperwork is complete; what happens after a race.
It's the little things I miss ...
Sept. 3: Basically, it's me crying because I missed the birth of my grandson while covering Indy. You would cry, too, if it happened to you.
The Daily DRAGSTER
Aug. 31: Before the internet made it obsolete, we used to produce -- literally overnight -- a daily newspaper for each day of the U.S. Nationals. Really!
Twenty-five and counting (and the one that got away)
Aug. 28: I've been to a lot of U.S. Nationals and spent a lot of time in Indy, but I missed one of the greatest of all, the record-busting 1982 event
Deadlines? We don't need no stinkin' deadlines
Aug. 22: So, Reading 2007 finished on a Wednesday; how we handled still got out a magazine is beyond me
The waiting is the hardest part ...
Aug. 21: Rainouts ruin not only racedays, but publication schedules, too. Reading 2007 is a good example.
Bad timing ... and phone calls from famous folks
Aug. 14: How we decide who's on the cover; helping Mike Dunn write;
Tools of the trade
Aug. 8: More Journalism 101 advice you never asked for: It's all about the resource material, baby.
Getting off to a good start
Aug. 6: Journalism 101: The power of the lead paragraph
ND has girl power, too
Aug. 1: The National Dragster staff has a lot of female expertise, and a look at the hiring process.
We've got him covered
July 30: Saluting Pro stock racer Greg Anderson's milestone 50th win.
Sizing up Sonoma, ballpark Rampy, and Minnesota musings
July 26: Trying to interview David Rampy while he was at a ballgame, and other challenges of the biz
We've got it covered
July 24: About cover choices and cover blurbs. Not much to see here. Move on.
Welcome to the National DRAGSTER blog, er, I mean column
July 23: The very first entry, wherein the premise of the column -- letting everyone know what it's like to work on a magazine and all of the behind-the-scenes stuff -- is laid out. That plan lasted just a few months until I figured out what the column -- and I -- was really born to do: tell the history of our sport.