This year, I made it out to the drag races, held on the outskirts of Houston in a town called Baytown. It takes me 45 minutes to get to the track, so it’s an easy drive.
The Saturday that I attended the races, the forecast was for rain. I got there early and stayed a few hours before leaving to avoid getting wet.
One of my goals in going to the race was to get some updated photos for a book I’m writing about my experiences while working in the NHRA for 10 years.
The first thing that you see when arriving is the ticket building. I think I paid around $42 for a Saturday pass.
As you walk to the Midway and Pit Area, you pass the line of cars waiting to race. When I worked in the NHRA, I had a credential that allowed me to go anywhere. My hopes are to get a Media Pass next year.
One of the first things you see is the Junior Dragster display. I’m sure that every kid that’s ever driven one of those absolutely loved it.
Walking through the Pit Area of an NHRA event is full of excitement. The race teams are working on very expensive race cars and you can get an up close look. This is a Top Fuel Dragster that easily goes over 300 mph in a few seconds.
This is the engine of a Pro Stock car. The teams will dismantle and rebuild an entire engine in between rounds. It’s quite amazing to see.
This crew is working on a race car called a Funny Car. When someone, many decades ago, first saw the body of this car, they said, “That’s a funny car.” And the name stuck.
Here’s another Funny Car being worked on. They also go over 300 mph.
Here is the rumble of a Top Fuel Dragster. Pure Power.
The Top Fuel Dragster and the Funny Car use a fuel called Nitro. When the cars run their engines after rebuilding them, the fumes can be rough. The noise is extremely loud and the fumes cause your eyes to water, also they burn along with your nose and throat.
At every race, you’ll see guys standing right near the cars, in the midst of all that noise and fumes. You know they can barely breathe, yet they stand there and take it all in. I could never do that.
Here is a Funny Car running in the pits, complete with the fumes.
The companies that sponsor race teams also spend lots of money on entertaining their VIP guests and customers. Here is a top of the line Hospitality Set Up. The teams set up an area to host their guests near where they work on the cars. It’s a great view.
Here’s what the inside looks like. With covid still an issue, the spacing is for distancing. Ordinarily, there would be more tables and chairs.
Here’s a hospitality area with regular seating. They have an up close view of the team working on the car.
The NHRA has had a long history of successful female racers. 2021 is no different.
Nitro Mall is a large store that travels the country with the series. When I traveled the country with the NHRA, I knew the guys that had to erect and dismantle this tent. It is no easy task.
They have lots of merchandise to choose from and it’s fun to shop.
I always check out the hats.
I try and get an event hat if they’re still available.
I only saw one model and she couldn’t take her mask off for a photo. Nice girl though.
I noticed that the Food Court area now has nice seating. That is a definite upgrade.
I also looked inside of The Burnout Bar. Having a drink during the race is a superb upgrade.
A Texas outdoor event isn’t Texan without Turkey legs.
And meat on a stick is always great.
I didn’t stay around for the Pros to race, but I did get one race on video.
That’s it for my quick trip to the drag races. I’m hoping to get better coverage next year.