For most, the height of any NHRA national event weekend, the sole reason that they purchased the ticket, is the presence of the ground-pounding, ear-splitting euphoria of the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories and the colorful personalities that comprise them. For a select few however – and this writer is one of them – the most enjoyable part of the race weekend comes much further down the run order. It comes at a time when the vast majority of the fans are in the autograph lines or they have left for the day.
I’m speaking of course about the NHRA’s often forgotten and certainly under appreciated sportsman categories. And to be more specific, the Stock and Super Stock class racing categories. These men and women are NHRA drag racing in it’s purest form. Many of these racers are blue collar working stiffs, burning up their vacation time to run with the big dogs. They’re true diehards, they’re competitive with a capital C, and they could be best described as walking encyclopedia’s of domestic automobiles and which one could punish the index most.
And in the early mornings and the late afternoons, after the main attraction has come and gone and the ESPN cameras have been put to bed, it’s these racers that rule the quarter mile. And it makes for a great time to kick back in the grandstands, relax, and just enjoy without a doubt some of the finest racing amongst some of the most talented drivers in the business wage battle.
A recent discovery on YouTube turned up not just a couple Stock Eliminator passes from Pomona, but rather an entire qualifying round from beginning to end. Watching this clip, this writer can almost picture himself comfortably sprawled out in the empty grandstands, enjoying the legroom once occupied by all of the John Force fans, enjoying what to many is a whole different kind of euphoria.