An year of change for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

The big announcement was that starting with this 56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals and including the 2016 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series, the races will be televised by Fox Sports 1(FS1). Fox will be providing coverage for the next several years.

There are more changes. The Pro Stock class has new rules that will help the factory doorslammers recapture their fan appeal. Backup runs are no longer required for NHRA national records.

In July 2015 the fourth president of the NHRA was announced, Peter Clifford. He clearly has a new vision for America’s number two motorsport. The new TV deal should help elevate the sport even further.

During the 2016 Season the NHRA celebrated 50 years of the Funny Car. At this particular event the “Hot Rod Junction” had many nostalgia Funny Cars on display. The legends participated in a Q&A session and an autograph session. In addition, several nostalgia Funny Cars made exhibition runs, thrilling the crowd with long, Smokey burnouts.

The weekend weather was great with temperatures in the mid to high 70s. That was truly fortunate given that only four days later it rained.

The wheel standing Stock Eliminator’s & Super Stock’s were a very moving show. As usual, fans had the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as their ticket was an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful motorsports attraction on the planet. And along Nito Alley, food vendors were packed with families goings-on.

56TH ANNUAL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS 56TH ANNUAL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS 56TH ANNUAL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

 Funny Cars

Several nostalgia Funny Cars made exhibition runs, thrilling the crowd with long, smokey burnouts, the way it used too be.

exhibition runs exhibition runs

Chevy Camaro

Greg Anderson (right), Chevy Camaro, 6.617 sec @ 210.05 mph def. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.609 sec @ 209.82 mph.

Shawn Cowie

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER – Shawn Cowie,(black car) 5.314 sec @ 272.23 mph def. Donald St. Arnaud, 5.332 sec @ 279.85 mph.

56TH ANNUAL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS 56TH ANNUAL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

Chevy Camaro

Greg Anderson (right), Chevy Camaro, 6.617 sec @ 210.05 mph def. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.609 sec @ 209.82 mph.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

COMP ELIMINATOR – Doug Lambeck,(far lane) Pontiac Sunfire went 8.406 sec @ 158.61 mph def. Dan Flecher, Chevy Cobalt, 8.027 sec @ 167.55 mph.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR – Jonnie Lindberg, 5.243 sec @ 271.90 mph def. John Lombardo Jr. 5.456 sec., 272.83 mph.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

STOCK ELIMINATOR – Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.474 sec @ 128.36 mph def. Don Little, Dodge Challenger, 9.899 sec @ 130.67 mph.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

SUPER STOCK – Jimmy DeFrank, Chevy Cobalt, 9.315sec @ 119.52mph def. Fred Moreno, Ford Mustang,  Foul – Red Light.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

SUPER COMP – Steve Williams,(far lane) Dragster 8.895 sec @ 186.25 mph def. Robert Naber, Dragster 8.880 sec @ 180.91 mph.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals 56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

SUPER GAS – Robert Naber,(far lane) Chevy Corvette 9.901 sec @ 160.23 mph def. Mike Wiblishouser Corvette, Foul – Red Light.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals

These “Nitro Harleys” run the ¼ mile in under 6 sec at over 220mph, WOW!

restored AA/FD “Magicar”

Funny Cars weren’t the only ones making noise. This restored AA/FD “Magicar” cackles for the crowd.

56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals Legendary Funny Cars

legendary Funny Cars

Some of the legendary Funny Cars on display.

Legendary Funny Cars


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.