NHRA Winternationals

August 13th, 2009

A California Tradition

By Tony Thacker

While the rest of the world is probably digging itself out of snow and such, here at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorports Museum in sunny Pomona, CA, we’re celebrating the 49th running of the NHRA Winternationals sponsored by Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts. Despite snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, the asphalt in Pomona is usually red hot with teams trying out new combinations for the forthcoming season and this year will be no exception.


Biggest thing, of course, will be the debut of Alan Johnson’s new Al-Anabi team with Larry Dixon probably driving his Top Fueler and Del Worsham his Funny Car. All eyes also will be on Tony Schumacher to see how he starts his season – his first since 2003 without Johnson. It should be exciting to say the least.

Besides all the track-action there’s plenty going on at the Parks Museum to further enhance your weekend. To begin with, museum entrance is FREE all weekend, we have extended hours most days and a free tram runs between the track and the museum. Also, Will Call is located at the museum.

Wednesday, Feb 4:

Will call: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Thursday, Feb 5 : Wally Day

Will call: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wally Day: The Parks Museum will host its annual banquet in honor of NHRA founder Wally Parks. Racer, broadcaster Mike Dunn will host a special event featuring some top racers including John Force and Don Prudhomme. Expect some very special guests and a few surprises

Tickets are available from Kat Lotz at (909) 622-8562. Individual seats are $125 and a table of 10 is just $1,000. Seating limited to 200.

Friday, Feb 6:

Will call: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Night of Champions: The Automobile Club of Southern California will once again sponsor our Night of Champions Panel Discussion when announcer Bob Frey hosts an eclectic group of past and present drivers in what always proves to be a fun night of meeting a greeting drag racing’s heroes.

5 – 10 p.m.:

Museum admission FREE

Saturday, Feb 7:

Will call: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Museum: 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Racing Collectible Show: Here’s where you’ll discover that hard-to-find decal, diecast, hat or jacket, hero card or whatever from past and present racers. It’s a must for all race fans, young and old.

Noon – 10 p.m.: Admission $5 (children under 12 FREE)

Museum admission FREE

Sunday, Feb 8:

Will call: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Museum: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Museum admission FREE

Don’t forget, while you’re in town, check out the latest exhibits at the Parks Museum:

Banks Power: The First 50 Years: In the 50 years since he started in the performance business, Gales Banks has made an indelible stamp on the industry from the drag strip to the dry lakes to Bonneville.

75th Anniversary of the 1933-34 Ford Model 40: Featuring the most influential 1933-34 Ford hot rods from the Mooneyham & Sharp 554 car and Big Al to Billy F Gibbons’ ZZ Top Eliminator and The California Kid.

Trophy Queens: A pictorial tribute to those often kissed but often forgotten trophy queens from the glory days of racing including Raquel Welch and Linda Vaughn.

A Tribute to Barney Navarro: A hot rod pioneer and innovator, Barney Navarro is celebrated in this exhibit featuring vehicles, race parts and patterns and memorabilia.


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