The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine

September 2nd, 2011

By Dave Wallace

When other sports are said to reinvent themselves, the changes are typically minor and gimmicky, artificially engineered to fatten the wallet of whomever’s in charge.  Drag racing might be unique in its ability to continue evolving the original concept while spinning off additional, specialized subspecies for vehicles being overlooked or left behind by technology or politics or the changing tastes of fans.

When NHRA exorcised its “/X” classes for traditional in-liners and Flatheads in the ‘60s, car owners didn’t all convert to overheads or drop out; they invented the Antique Nationals, which begat nostalgia racing, which is arguably the fastest growing form of drag racing, half a century later.  Drag racing’s early discrimination against imports was the fertilizer for the air-cooled Bug-In movement, still going strong out West. Super Stockers evolved out of legal Stock classes, then branched into Funny Cars and Pro Stockers.  Bracket racing produced open-qualified, handicapped AHRA Top Comp Eliminator in the ’70s and IHRA Top Sportsman of the ’80s, which spawned Pro Modified.  The Super Chevy circuit is a successful GM world all its own, as are the NMRA for Mustangs and NMCA for muscle cars.  Byron Dragway’s biggest annual event is now a wheelstanding competition.  Families on a lawnmower budget can run Junior Dragsters.

Whereas professional baseball and football make a big deal out of adopting “throwback” uniforms (to stimulate ticket and jersey sales), today’s airport drags are a natural throwback to the beginnings of organized drag racing on rural military bases abandoned after World War II. The newest of these temporary facilities, California’s Eagle Field, went virtually unused from 1945 until last year, when a 50-something bracket racer named Rocky Phillips persuaded the airport’s owner to try a nostalgia grudge race and car show.  Despite the absence of timing, starting and win lights, advertising, bleachers, AC power, liquid burnouts, track prep, classes (except one for HAMB dragsters), purse money or trophies, that experiment was a financial success.

So was a second event this year, which more than doubled both the racer and spectator counts.  While repeatedly protecting my Nikon inside my T-shirt, I noticed that nobody seemed to mind the wind gusts coating everyone and everything in fine dust.  Those happy campers didn’t seem to be having any less fun for their 10 bucks than the fans with whom I’d sat at Pomona in February. The friendly vibe reminded me of the noncommercial atmosphere of Bonneville.  For the first time ever, I imagined the joy of discovery experienced by our ancestors racing on military runways.  I can’t wait to go back to that place, both literally and figuratively.

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Advertisement

79 Responses to “The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine”

  1. London dubstep (http://londondubstop NULL.blogspot NULL.com/2012/05/londondubstop-ultimate-edmdubstep NULL.html) says:

    London dubstep…

    [...]The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer[...]…

  2. buy edu backlinks (http://buyedubacklinks NULL.ca) says:

    buy edu backlinks…

    [...]The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer[...]…

  3. buy edu backlinks (http://buyedulinks NULL.org/do-edu-links-make-a-difference/) says:

    buy edu backlinks…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  4. Wykonujemy usługi w zakresie profesjonalnego doboru klimatyzacji, chłodni, mroźni, wentylacji, sprzedaży urządzeń chłodniczych, ich montażu oraz serwisu. Posiadamy urządzenia wysokiej klasy energetycznej, co daje małe zużycie energii elektryczn (http://klimabusko NULL.pl) says:

    Wykonujemy usługi w zakresie profesjonalnego doboru klimatyzacji, chłodni, mroźni, wentylacji, sprzedaży urządzeń chłodniczych, ich montażu oraz serwisu. Posiadamy urządzenia wysokiej klasy energetycznej, co daje małe zużycie energii elektrycznej. Wy…

    [...]The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer[...]…

  5. food (http://www NULL.trulyzambian NULL.com/groups/is-uncorked-ventures-wine-club-something-that-you-should-worry-about-a-concise-yet-interesting-option) says:

    food…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  6. Dental snoring devices (http://www NULL.einfachwiki NULL.de/EinfachWiki/index NULL.php?title=Benutzer:DannyYgm) says:

    Dental snoring devices…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  7. airplane (http://www NULL.bandacatedral NULL.com NULL.br/catedraticos/groups/the-brief-article-that-will-help-you-find-out-more-about-top-wine-clubs/) says:

    airplane…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  8. sports (http://corn52deal NULL.wordpress NULL.com/) says:

    sports…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  9. natural snore remedies (http://www NULL.voloclubfenice NULL.com/modules NULL.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=TawnyaBel) says:

    natural snore remedies…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  10. http://sn.im/28ukkli (http://sn NULL.im/28ukkli) says:

    http://sn.im/28ukkli… (http://sn NULL.im/28ukkli NULL. NULL. NULL.)

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  11. shared hosting (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=FaMTedT6P0I) says:

    shared hosting…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  12. ricecookerninja.drupalgardens.com (http://ricecookerninja NULL.drupalgardens NULL.com) says:

    ricecookerninja.drupalgardens.com…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  13. best foot processor reviews (https://storify NULL.com/kitchenguys/best-food-processor-reviews-2014) says:

    best foot processor reviews…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  14. jillian michaels body revolution (http://www NULL.temp NULL.com) says:

    jillian michaels body revolution…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  15. furniture helps save (http://woodworkingplans NULL.drupalgardens NULL.com/) says:

    furniture helps save…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  16. knife sharpener review (http://bestknifesharpenerreviews NULL.drupalgardens NULL.com) says:

    knife sharpener review…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  17. search engine optimization (http://seofornown4eva NULL.com) says:

    search engine optimization…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  18. Opcje Binarne (http://www NULL.binary24 NULL.pl/) says:

    Opcje Binarne…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  19. mobile games (http://www NULL.gamezeebo NULL.com/) says:

    mobile games…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  20. eva larue (http://twitter NULL.com/evalaruecappoo) says:

    eva larue…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  21. Game of war fire age no survey (http://Www NULL.Youtube NULL.com/watch?v=ebGmg00uFd8) says:

    Game of war fire age no survey…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  22. rice cookers (http://Ricecookerninja NULL.Drupalgardens NULL.com/) says:

    rice cookers…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  23. dolphin pool cleaner (https://storify NULL.com/thepoolguys/pool-cleaner-reviews-2014) says:

    dolphin pool cleaner…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  24. buy oxycodone (http://donboscopedia NULL.it/index NULL.php?title=You_should_generate_doctor_prescribed_to_purchase_oxycodone) says:

    buy oxycodone…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  25. liners for above ground swimming pools (http://5pa NULL.de/beadedpoollinerinstallation91577) says:

    liners for above ground swimming pools…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  26. REGAL BELOIT AMERICA INC BN24V1 THRU BOLT .75HP 115V (SS) (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B000LDIE68/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    REGAL BELOIT AMERICA INC BN24V1 THRU BOLT .75HP 115V (SS)…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  27. pool liners for above ground (http://breckdesign NULL.it/abovegroundpoolliners46072) says:

    pool liners for above ground…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  28. Sunex 97734 1/2-Inch Drive 1-1/16-Inch Jumbo Crowfoot Wrench (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B002YK7MEG/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Sunex 97734 1/2-Inch Drive 1-1/16-Inch Jumbo Crowfoot Wrench…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  29. round pool liner (http://sqmin NULL.tk/abovegroundpoolliners46072) says:

    round pool liner…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  30. Zodiac W70264 Above Ground Cuff (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B0087N3ZCW/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Zodiac W70264 Above Ground Cuff…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  31. liner for swimming pool (http://www NULL.daate NULL.eu/abovegroundpoolliners46072) says:

    liner for swimming pool…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  32. Overlap 10ft x 16ft x 52" Oval, Caribbean Print Liner (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B008EYJFQE/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Overlap 10ft x 16ft x 52″ Oval, Caribbean Print Liner…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  33. Grey Pneumatic 1/4 Female x 3/8 Male Adapter with Friction Ball - GRE938A (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B00820MGRU/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Grey Pneumatic 1/4 Female x 3/8 Male Adapter with Friction Ball – GRE938A…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  34. automotive lift service (http://x1b NULL.it/autocarlifts49245) says:

    automotive lift service…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  35. 20 ton hydraulic bottle jack (http://p2p NULL.gs/autolifts4post35622) says:

    20 ton hydraulic bottle jack…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  36. Raypak 011600F Model 130A O Ring Gasket (2) (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B003ZTCXOY/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Raypak 011600F Model 130A O Ring Gasket (2)…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  37. hand powered tools (http://url NULL.fbcdurant NULL.org/powerhandtools50239) says:

    hand powered tools…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  38. carpentry power tools (http://uto NULL.wm-scripts NULL.ru/mypowertools41058) says:

    carpentry power tools…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  39. clash of clans hack (http://livecheat NULL.com/clash-of-clans-hack/) says:

    clash of clans hack…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  40. pool liner turning yellow (http://www NULL.marpian NULL.com/?document_srl=3213788) says:

    pool liner turning yellow…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  41. hand tools for farming (http://www NULL.marpian NULL.com/?document_srl=3264201) says:

    hand tools for farming…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  42. Smartpool Dolphin Filter Bag (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B003ZTKWFQ/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Smartpool Dolphin Filter Bag…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  43. pool liners replacement cost (http://ongk-c NULL.com/vol NULL.1 NULL.0/?document_srl=277408) says:

    pool liners replacement cost…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  44. hand tools a-z (http://ielaw NULL.uibe NULL.edu NULL.cn/wiki/index NULL.php/User_talk:WinifreBuvelot) says:

    hand tools a-z…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  45. pool liners johnny weissmuller (http://badl NULL.ru/pool-paquebot-bets-most-important-projects-inside-fix-share-pool-watercraft-so-attend-all-dwelling) says:

    pool liners johnny weissmuller…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  46. Jandy Laars Flange Gasket 1-1/2" - 2" S0078100 (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B007YUPLXA/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Jandy Laars Flange Gasket 1-1/2″ – 2″ S0078100…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  47. home loan rate Waco Texas (http://wacomortgage NULL.tumblr NULL.com) says:

    home loan rate Waco Texas…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  48. Pentair/Pacfab Challenger Replacement Seal, pump APCAS200 (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B004DJHMIW/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Pentair/Pacfab Challenger Replacement Seal, pump APCAS200…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  49. Polaris Polaris Vac-Sweep 180 Replacement Parts Quick Disconnect, Female, Plastic PVD26 (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/dp/B003ZTEWK2/?m=A2NL3E0HJRWJAM&s=merchant-items) says:

    Polaris Polaris Vac-Sweep 180 Replacement Parts Quick Disconnect, Female, Plastic PVD26…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

  50. Drag and Drop Website Builder (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=4lbRimdxV0E) says:

    Drag and Drop Website Builder…

    The Airport Drags are a $10 Time Machine « Drag Racer…

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.