NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Dragster Insider column archive

20 Jul 2007
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor

The Dragster Insider column was launched in July 2007 and, to date, has nearly 900 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 to "Find on page." 

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Reborn on the Bayou

May 10: NHRA national event racing returned to Louisiana last weekend with the running of the Laris Motorsports Insurance NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway, but for 15 years in the 1970s and '80s, the NHRA Cajun Nationals was the state's biggest drag race.

A look at NHRA's all-time win streaks

May 3: Tony Schumacher. Don Prudhomme. Bob Glidden. Dave Schultz. Four legendary NHRA racers who hold four legendary winning streaks, marks that are being challenged in 2024 by Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Gaige Herrera. Here's a look at how those streaks were assembled.

Remembering Larry Dixon Sr.

April 19: From Southern California street-racing legend to early-dragster hero to Winternationals-winning Top Fuel driver, Larry Dixon Sr. led a charmed life surrounded by fast cars. This is his story.

An all-star turnout as friends and family celebrated the life of Roland Leong

March 29: On the Thursday before the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, nearly 500 friends, family, and hot-rodding compatriots of legendary car owner and tuner Roland Leong gathered at the Lions Automobilia Foundation and Museum in Southern California for a celebration of his life.

The Chrisman family photo album

March 15: The Chrisman family has been a part of the Southern California landscape since before the Winternationals were a thing. The family opened its scrapbook for us to take a look back at the incredible legacy that continues to this day.

Florida's first NHRA 'national event' was the Winter Nationals? Yep (sorta)

March 1: Ten years before the Gatornationals brought NHRA national event racing to Florida, NHRA partnered with NASCAR to create a test event, dubbed "the Winter Nationals," during NASCAR Speedweek in Daytona in 1960.

Fifty years ago, Pro-class stars were also being made at divisional events

Feb. 23: Fifty years ago, there were only seven national events on the schedule, but fans across the country saw great action on the divisional level where Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock competed at 28 additional events. Here’s a look back at some of those 1974 heroes.

Gainesville Raceway through the years

Feb. 16: Three weeks from now we’ll be at Gainesville Raceway for the kickoff of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series as we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the famed Gatornationals. Here’s a look back at the ever-changing face of Gainesville Raceway over the years.

‘Have helmet will travel’: The story of versatile wheelman Gary Southern

Feb. 9: Gary Southern, who will be posthumously inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame next month, could drive anything. In a racing career that spanned nearly 30 years, he drove what he estimated was more than 70 cars in many of the sport's top classes.

50 years ago: A look back at the highlights from the 1974 NHRA season

Jan. 31: Step into the Dragster Insider Wayback Machine, set the dials for 50 years ago, and return to the 1974 NHRA season for a look back at how things were, including the schedule, performance markers, and big moments on and off the track.

A fond farewell to Parks Tower

Jan. 19: With the recent demolition of the famed Parks Tower at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, the NHRA U.S. Nationals lost a part of a four-decade landscape, but the memories will remain.

The big book of drivers who wheeled Roland Leong’s Hawaiian entries

Jan. 12: Over the course of a long career as an NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car team owner, Roland Leong was one of the sport’s most successful car owners, but he also hired, fired, replaced, or lost more than 20 drivers over that span. Here's the stories behind each.

A final 'aloha' to 'the Hawaiian'

Jan. 5: We lost Roland Leong, the irrepressible owner of the “Hawaiian” line of Top Fuelers and Funny Cars, Dec. 28, and his friends, former drivers, and more shared their thoughts about the man and their experiences with him.

Twas the days before Christmas ...

Dec. 22: Reimagining a Christmas staple, with a little help from the legends. "Now Prudhomme! Now Garlits! Muldowney, so quick! On, Ivo! On, Force, through burnouts so thick.”

An ode to the front-engined Top Fueler, and to the family ties that bind us

Dec. 15: The front-engined Top Fuel dragster is such an iconic piece of drag racing lore and still romanticized by those who drove them and continue to drive them, and a way to never forget our past.

The 10: Don Prudhomme

Dec. 1: The second installment of a new feature, chronicling the 10 greatest career moments of some of NHRA's greatest racers. This week, it's legendary Top Fuel/Funny Car owner/driver Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.

Comparing great seasons: Force vs. Anderson vs. Schumacher vs. Herrera vs. 'Snake'

Nov. 24: Gaige Herrera's championship-winning season in Pro Stock Motorcycle was the best in class history, but how does it stack up against the other by-class greats, including Don Prudhomme's amazing 1976 Funny Car season? Let's find out.

A look back at some thrilling winner-take-all championship-winning final rounds

Nov. 17: Just five times in NHRA Professional-class racing has the final round of the season finale been a winner-take-all for the championship, including Top Fuel at last weekend's In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals. Here's a look back at those five nailbiters.

A tale of two Walts

Nov. 3: When it comes to famous Walts in the world, movie lovers have Walt Disney, bookworms have Walt Whitman, and basketball fans have Walt Frazier. Drag racing recently lost two of its favorite Walts, Walt Austin and Walt Stevens, within a month over September and October.

Blast From the Past: More fire burnouts

Oct. 20: If the volume of email is any indicator, fire burnouts, which were made illegal decades ago, are still very much a hot topic among race fans of yore who witnessed the planned pyrotechnics on dragstrips across the nation. 

Flaming hot magazine covers, cooked to order, sometimes overcooked

Oct. 6: And as long as there have been photographers submitting photos to publications, they’re all in pursuit of the Holy Grail known as the elusive “cover shot," and for drag racing magazines, that meant a fire burnout (back when they were still legal). Here's the story of one that went amusingly wrong.

500 races and counting: A short history of NHRA's Pro Stock Motorcycle class

Sept. 26: The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals marked the 500th Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the modern era, which began in 1987 with the crowning of the first world champion, Dave Schultz. Here's a quick history of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class from 1987 to present.

It was just another case of Indy magic, courtesy of Ron Capps and 'the Snake'

Sept. 8: Ron Capps' Funny Car victory at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals brought a tear to the eye of many — Capps included — as well as the thousands of Don Prudhomme fans around the globe.

When it comes to 300 mph, I feel The Need: The Need To Talk about Speed

Aug. 25: The old saying, "Speed is not just about going fast; it's about going faster than anyone else” certainly applies to drag racing. As we sit on the cusp of the first 300-mph eighth-mile pass, here’s a look back at the history of speed in drag racing.

Drag books, drag movies, drag nicknames, and heroes that we’ve lost

Aug. 4: First look at Steve Reyes' new Funny Car book and the proposed "Big Daddy" Don Garlits movie, drag racing nicknames, and remembrances of Jim Brissette, Clare Sanders, and Gary Bolger.

The big list of female firsts in NHRA Drag Racing history

July 7: In no other motorsport have women accomplished as much as they have in NHRA Drag Racing. The female drivers of the NHRA have racked up scores of firsts in the sport that place them head and shoulders above their peers in other motorsports. Here's a look at some of those firsts.

The Dual-Fuel Club: Drivers who have won in both Top Fuel and Funny Car

June 29: Eighteen Funny Car drivers have done something that even the great John Force never has (and likely never will) do: Win in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. With his Funny Car win at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Blake Alexander became the latest driver to win in both classes at an NHRA national event.

The 10: Don Garlits

june 16: Drag racing legend Don Garlits was the grand marshal at inaugural Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green, Ky. Here's a look at 10 magical moments from the career of "Big Daddy."

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.

Remembering Zim

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,

Modeling mementos

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.

Late-night finishes

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.

Al Segrini

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

Feedback Friday

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

Catching Up

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

Farewell, AA/Dale

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

Indy 1970

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

Father's Day

June 13: Fond memories of two very special men in my life; bring your hanky

The Ramchargers

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

In-car video

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

Simply terrifying

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

Follow-up Friday

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

Fighting fires

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

Smarty pants

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

'The Rocketman'

Jan. 31: Ky Michaelson: From the Sonic Challenger to the Pollution Packer

Rocket roundup

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

Sparring partners

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

Feedback squared

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?

The Mid-Winder

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

Second helpings

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

It's ready!

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

Model citizen

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

Your stuff

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 ...

Decal details

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

Sticker shock

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

Being thankful

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

Sorry, Butch

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

Patriotic power

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

Feedback Friday

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

The Piranha

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.

Four-wide mania

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

Your turn

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

Going Hawaiian

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

Your turn

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)

Superman lives!

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

Obsolete skills

Feb. 28: From valve lapping to shifting gears, technology has made obsolete some longtime automotive and drag racing skills

Gator madness!

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

Winning time

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.


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.