2006 Super Chevy Show - Drag Daze
Racers descend on Pomona Raceway Super Chevy Show and the rare chance to run on a historic track
From the February, 2009 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Steven Rupp
Pomona raceway is an enigma; it's a raceway that sees very little racing. The big sign out front may say "drag strip," but the burnout box and control tower are unfortunate enough to be located in the noise-intolerant city of La Verne. Opened in '61, the classic track existed long before most of the houses in the area. That doesn't keep residents from complaining about the noise and insisting on draconian noise abatement rules.
Even if you lost a finger back in high school shop class, you could still most likely count the number of professional races held here each year. Regular street-legal racing was banned long ago, so the best track in Southern California sits silent for most of the year. It's no wonder when the Super Chevy Show hits town hundreds of cars show up for a rare shot to drive on the best track around. After all, with only 15 days of activity a year, the opportunity to run there is rarer than an editor paying for his own drinks.
This year racing ran from March 31 through April 2, with Friday used for registration and a few time trials. The real action started on Saturday with racers getting dialed-in for their bracket classes and the Nitro Coupes gearing up for some high-speed runs. It does rain here in Southern California and Saturday morning was one of those rare times. By noon though, the rain had passed and the crew went to work drying off the track and laying down gallons of VHT in preparation for the tire-roasting festivities. With the asphalt dry, the racers began getting tech'd in, gassed up and the sound of engines rumbling to life soon filled the area. The noise police in La Verne even extended the curfew until 6 p.m. since the day started so late. Hey, we'll take what we can get.Sunday came and the rain was a distant memory under the blue skies. Many of the Nitro Coupe teams spent the night tearing down their rides in preparation for what promised to be a great day. Noise ordinances mean that racing doesn't start until around 10 a.m., but when it does, the track hooks hard. With the exception of a few of the faster cars kissing the barriers, everything ran well.
Randy Alder in his black '57 Bel Air nitro coupe had the quickest ET in qualifying, but was taken out of the competition when his rear axle failed, causing the left rear wheel to separate from the car and sending him hard into the barrier. Randy was airlifted to a local hospital, but came out of it with only a mild concussion. One the other hand, his car was totaled. A new car is in the works and he should only miss the next race at Memphis. With Randy out of action, there was nobody left to challenge Trevor Lowe and his team of Canadian racers who managed a best run of 6.350 at a scorching 225.00 mph in a newly built '68 Camaro.
The bracket racing progressed through six rounds for a chance at over $190,000 in contingency money. If you're running the right parts, and have your product stickers placed accordingly, you can end up going home with a good chunk of change. The racing ended just in time for the noise curfew at 5 p.m. Once again, the historic raceway descended into sad silence. We can't wait for next year...
Ryan Tietz works with his...
Ryan Tietz works with his crew to solve a fuel problem that had plagued them during Friday's practice. Ryan went on to run a 7.910 at 170.64 against a 7.76 dial-in. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to take him to the next round.
This '70 Camaro is owned by...
This '70 Camaro is owned by Kevin Houmard of San Dimas, Calif., and the wheelie bars are not there just for looks. The 427 rat-motored Camaro ran a 9.349 against a 9.34 dial-in to take the win. Kevin made it to the third round before tripping a red light with a -.001 reaction time.
One of the coolest cars at...
One of the coolest cars at the event was LAPD Racing's black and white cop car Camaro driven by Toni Foti of Simi Valley, Calif. Here we caught him heating up the tires on his nitro coupe.
We found Anais Foti waiting...
We found Anais Foti waiting at the barrier to snap a picture of her dad leaving the line. Before you get any ideas, remember that her dad, Tony, drives the LAPD Racing car and is known to be armed.
Tim Lee of Rialto techs in...
Tim Lee of Rialto techs in his slick '65 Buick. One cool thing about this car is it's actually powered by a Buick mill, but in the form of a turbocharged V-6 from a Grand National. The car normally runs mid 10s, but for bracket racing, Tim dialed in at a conservative 11.20. The show may be called Super Chevy, but you can run any car that has an engine made by GM.
Sometimes you can have a great...
Sometimes you can have a great run and still lose. Michael Siaz of Phelan, Calif., ran a 10.429 at 129.32 against a dial-in of 10.42, but still went home. Bracket racing is often won or lost by hundredths of a second.
Jeremy Hanger of Hangman Racing...
Jeremy Hanger of Hangman Racing in Fullerton checks the valvetrain on his big-block '53 Studebaker. Jeremy says he does this ritual after every run and it makes the difference between winning and losing. Jeremy went on to run a 6.568/217.39, but it wasn't enough to beat the guys from Canada with their fastest run of the day, a 6.336/225.56.
Moe Wilson of Azusa didn't...
Moe Wilson of Azusa didn't have to come far to enjoy a day a racing, but he was there to make the most of it. His beautiful '72 Nova sports a 540 big-block and runs high 9s. After his first round win, technical problems caused him to be a no-show for Round 2.
Monty Berney puts the finishing...
Monty Berney puts the finishing touches on his super clean '55 Chevy nitro coupe. The Shoebox is all steel and runs as good as it looks to the tune of 6.906 at 203.92 mph. His race team also has a matching '55 Chevy tow car that's nice enough to win a car show.
If you want to get into drag...
If you want to get into drag racing, walking around the pits is a great way to find smoking deals on slightly used parts. Here we found rollers, an engine and even an RV to chill in between rounds.
Going fast over and over again...
Going fast over and over again is not only expensive, but a ton of work as well. This team came all the way from British Columbia, Canada, in a freshly built '68 Camaro. Here they are completely tearing the Nitro Coupe apart in preparation of Sunday's racing. Their hard work paid off with driver Trevor Lowe running the fastest speed of the weekend of 225.56mph. They backed up that run by beating former champion Dan Nickleson and his '03 Vette to take the championship with a 6.350 at 250.00 mph. Trevor later commented that the win at Pomona made the long drive home feel a heck of a lot shorter.
2004 champion Randy Alder...
2004 champion Randy Alder of Tinley Park, Ill., started off the day by being the number-one qualifier with a run of 6.249 at 216.75. Unfortunately, his day was cut short when an axle failure sent him into the barriers.
Mary Valvo watches her husband...
Mary Valvo watches her husband Alan make a run in his '72 Chevelle. She should be proud since he made it all the way to the fifth round before being narrowly eliminated.
One guy you can usually find...
One guy you can usually find at a Super Chevy drag racing event is veteran Bob Hall in his Airborn Express exhibition wheel-standing Astrovan. What's not to love about a guy doing a wheel stand for over 1,000 feet? Another exhibition ride you can find at most Super Chevy events is a jet-powered car, but the noise police nixed that idea at Pomona.
Showing that the ladies can...
Showing that the ladies can be just as fast as the guys, Courtney Glover of Costa Mesa, Calif., does the big air grab in her '68 Camaro. The 468-powered First Gen ran a 10.087 at 131.46 in the second round against a dial-in of 10.04, but the red light sent her home early.
Rudy Renka of Huntington Beach,...
Rudy Renka of Huntington Beach, Calif., grabs major air in his 548 big-block powered '67 Chevelle on his way to running a 9.186 at 148.30 mph.
|NITRO COUPES |
|Trevor Lowe||British Columbia||'68 Camaro||Champion||6.350||225.00 |
|Dan Nickelson||La Verne, CA||'03 Vette||Runner-Up||7.455||166.56 |
|Randy Alder||Tinley Park, IL||'57 Bel Air||#1 Qualifier||6.249||216.72 |
|Bracket 1 |
|Mike Blodgett||Long Beach, CA||'72 Vega||Champion||11.485||123.70 |
|Scott Hudson||Yorba Linda, CA||'66 Chevy||Runner-Up||10.659||131.81 |
|Bracket 2 |
|Bob Chagnon||Temecula, CA||'88 Barreta||Champion||10.564||114.64 |
|Robert Smith||Valinda, CA||'80 Stepside||Runner-Up||12.581||110.61 |
|Gary Hairfield||San Diego, CA||'05 GTO||Champion||12.818||106.32 |
|Sam Robinson||Ontario, CA||'57 Chevy||Runner-Up||13.438||96.62 |
|SUPER CHEVY EVENT SCHEDULE |
|June 23, 24, 25||Bristol Dragway||Bristol, TN |
|July 14, 15, 16||Indianapolis Raceway||Indianapolis, IN |
|July 20, 21, 22, 23||Maple Grove Raceway||Reading, PA |
|July 28, 29, 30||New England Dragway||Epping, NH |
|Aug. 11, 12, 13||Route 66 Raceway||Chicago-Joliet, IL |
|Aug. 18, 19, 20||Bandimere Speedway||Denver, CO |
|Sep. 8, 9, 10||Milan Dragway||Milan, MI |
|Sep. 15, 16, 17||National Trail Raceway||Columbus, OH |
|Sep. 29, 30 Oct. 1||San Antonio||San Antonio, TX |
|Oct. 20, 21, 22||Gainesville Raceway||Gainesville, FL |