It was great to be back at Santa Pod Raceway for our fix of nostalgia drag racing. Both our trips to Santa Pod Raceway this year have been ‘dampened’ by the weather, but when Saturday’s storm eventually cleared, the event really got started. The racing got underway at 4pm, going on late into the evening, and the track and venue came alive!
This year’s Dragstalgia felt like a return to normal. With an epic 284 entries, including a 73-car strong Nostalgia Superstock field, it was set to be a great event. This year also saw the return of many of the European and International race teams and the long-distance award certainly has to go to the Aussie Outlaw crew. Piloted by John Willard, the Aussie Outlaw team were looking forward to a successful event breaking the Outlaw Anglia record on Friday with a 6.713 second run! But sadly, this was not to continue as the car suffered serious engine damage at the top end. John went home with the Spirit of Dragstalgia award as a memento of his time in the UK.
The nitro nostalgia funny cars are another of the weekend’s highlights and a great weekend ended in jubilation as Tony Betts set a new track record running a 5.96 at 237.46mph in the ‘Venom’ Nostalgia Funny Car. From the track to the grandstands, everyone joined in the celebration!
For the hotrodding community, the NSRA team ran the show and shine area, promoting the club and the upcoming NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals (we’ll see you there!). Many NSRA members will of course be familiar with the work of Brian Whitfield, the highly respected hotrod and custom car bodywork and paint specialist. Brian was debuting his new Whitfield & Tubbs High Spirits Altered at this year’s Dragstalgia. Although the car did not run the track, it went home with the Best Appearing Vehicle award. We’re really looking forward to seeing this out on the track!
Other awards were presented to the men behind the NSRA’s Hot Rod Drags and Nostalgia Nationals, Alan Martin, Steve Tristram and Martyn Payne. The ‘Spirit of 76’ award, presented by Pete Crane on the start line, is awarded to someone who has played a major part in creating and shaping the nostalgia drag racing scene of today. And these three men couldn’t be more deserving, and it is an honour for them to be recognised by Pete Crane, the first person to run a 5 second quarter mile in a top fuel dragster outside of North America in 1976, taking out reigning NHRA Champion, Don Garlits!
Our roving reporter will be back at the track for the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals in September. Stay tuned for the results!
Enjoy the photos!