NHRA: A Brief History – Auto Racing

In 1951, Wally Parks created the National Hot Rod Association to spotlight the sport of drag racing. Starting in the California, Wally and a few friends roll up their top fuel dragsters and created a true American icon of sport. In 1965, Maynard Rupp was crowned the first National Champion and for the past 40 years, a new winner has been awarded the prize of fastest driver in America.

Over the years, legendary racers such as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudomme and my favorite Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney have gathered twice a year to race in this event. There are two nationals each year, The Winter and Summer Nationals, and are now raced at the Indianapolis Raceway after a long stint in Pomona California.

Today the racers are as fast as ever with some in the top fuel category reaching speeds in excess of 300 M.P.H. The race has evolved from top fuel to funny cars and pro stock bikes and these racers are true adventurers who thrive on speed.

The NHRA sanctions events all over the country and on most weekends, you can experience the speed of these cars up close. Check with your local track or follow links on this page for information on the next race in your area.

For those who would like to get behind the wheel, join the NHRA and become a speed demon. Most tracks that include the NHRA have opportunities for the novice racer to get behind the wheel and experience the speed of a full opened throttle.

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