In the world of NHRA championship drag racing, there are considered to be four major events that stand out from the rest. These of course are the Winternationals at Pomona, Gainesville, Englishtown, and Indy. Unlike golf however, where larger fields, national television exposure, and higher purses are present, these four national events are prominent mostly for their history.
The upcoming NHRA Supernationals at the famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, which is famously remembered for and still commonly referred to as the Summer Nationals – a name which was awarded to the Topeka event that isn’t even contested in the summer – will turn 42 years old next weekend, tying it with the Gators at the fourth oldest event on the schedule.
And so as we head into the 42nd running of the Summer, err, Supernationals, we thought on this Flashback Friday that we’d take a little cruise down memory lane to days gone by at Raceway Park by reliving the 1987 edition of the annual rite of passage for drag racers and NHRA fans on the east coast.
The ’87 Englishtown event marked the final hurrah for “Big Daddy” Don Garlits’ infamous Swamp Rat XXX, which now resides in the Smithsonian, as he failed to qualify for this particular race. Those that did make the show, however, included the likes of Darrell Gwynn, Gary Ormsby, Don Prudhomme, Billy Meyer, Bob Glidden, Butch Leal and even a gentleman in Pro Stock named Tony Christian.