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NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Returns in 2016 with a Double Header

NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series 2016 schedule


NHRA officials announced the 2016 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series schedule, headlined by the Nostalgia Top Fuel and Nostalgia Funny Car categories.

Entering its ninth season, the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series features Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars, and has become a fan-favorite among drag racing enthusiasts with classes for front-engined dragsters, altereds, and gassers.

The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series consists of two nitro categories — Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster and Nostalgia Funny Car — and two groups of additional classes. Group 1 includes A/Fuel, Jr. Fuel, and 7.0 Eliminator, and Group 2 includes Nostalgia Eliminator I, Nostalgia Eliminator II, Nostalgia Eliminator III, A/Gas, B/Gas, C/Gas, D/Gas, and Hot Rod eliminator. Racers in each class will run a combination of events at which they will score points toward the championships.

The season opens with a new event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Jan. 16-17, for Groups 1 and 2, followed by the famed Good Vibrations March Meet and the kick off for the Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Cars, March 4-6 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., and the Nostalgia Reunion at Sacramento (Calif.) Raceway in early April. The series then heads north for the first of two stops at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho, the NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor.

The series benefits the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California through a pair of Hot Rod Reunions that are produced by the Museum. The Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky., is the first on the schedule, slated for June 16-18, and will be followed by the popular California Hot Rod Reunion presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California that will celebrate its 25th Anniversary event and will conclude the series, Oct. 21-23, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield.

“The NHRA Motorsports Museum is proud once again to have our Hot Rod Reunions be a part of the NHRA Heritage Series,” said Larry Fisher, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. “The Hot Rod Reunions and the Heritage Series are just one of the ways that the NHRA Motorsports Museum and NHRA work with you to preserve and celebrate the story of American Hot Rodding. By being a part of the Reunions, racers and spectators alike help us share this uniquely American story with future generations.”

The series returns to Rocky Mountain Raceways with a doubleheader weekend in early June with two separate events for racers in Groups 1 and 2 along with Funny Car action on Friday and Saturday. A Funny Car only event returns to Mission Raceway Park in July for its fourth year on the schedule before the series heads back to Firebird for its traditional Nightfire Nationals event that features both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories in August. Group 2 classes then end their season at the Nostalgia Fall Championship at Auto Club Famoso in September.

The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series was developed in 2008 to help preserve NHRA’s rich history and tradition while providing racing opportunities for those enthusiasts who enjoy nostalgia drag racing competition.

Event Location Date Classes
Heritage Series Opener Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Jan. 16-17 Groups 1&2
Good Vibrations March Meet Auto Club Famoso Mar. 4-6 TF/FC/Groups 1&2
Nostalgia Reunion Sacramento Raceway April 1-3 Groups 1&2
NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor Firebird Raceway April 29-May 1 FC
Summer Kick-Off Rocky Mountain Raceways June 10 FC/Group 1&2
June 11 Group 1&2
Holley National Hot Rod Reunion Beech Bend Raceway June 16-18 TF
NHRA National Open Mission Raceway Park July 23-24 FC
Pepsi Nightfire Nationals Firebird Raceway Aug. 11-14 TF/FC
Nostalgia Fall Championships Auto Club Famoso Sept. 17-18 Group 2
California Hot Rod Reunion Auto Club Famoso Oct. 21-23 TF/FC

Classes Key
TF – Nostalgia Top Fuel
FC – Nostalgia Funny Car
Group 1 – A/Fuel, Jr. Fuel, 7.0 Eliminator
Group 2 – NE 1, NE 2, NE 3, A/Gas, B/Gas, C/Gas, D/Gas, Hot Rod

Schedule subject to change

Story NHRA Hot Rod Heritage website. Click here for even more:

A Night in Rescue One

By Jim Burton

Marketing Communications Director


Most nights they sit inside those distinctively decorated trucks, waiting and watching and ready to move at a moment’s notice. Some nights they’re needed in emergency situations, but most nights members of the Rocky Mountain Raceways safety team never do get to put their lifesaving training to use.

And that’s just fine with them.

IMG_2317Safety Director Tom Pyles is the first to admit that a slow night is often a good night. Whether the action is on the motocross course, the Young Kia Drag Strip or the American First Credit Union Super Oval – sometimes all three at the same time –RMR’s safety team is there to make sure all the proper precautions are taken. On busy nights they’re called upon to respond to crashes, assess injuries and make critical decisions as to what sort of care is needed. Because wrecked race cars, dragsters and dirt bikes sometimes leave debris and fluid in their wake, Tom and his team are responsible for a timely and thorough clean up so the racing can resume.

It’s easy to see how a quiet night for the safety crew adds up to a safe and relatively drama-free night for RMR’s racers and riders.

On Oct. 3, Tom invited me to ride along with the safety team during RMR’s final race of the season, the Utah State Oval Championships, an event that included 10 classes and 90 cars.

Given those numbers, I figured it might be one of those busy nights for the safety team. And even if that didn’t mean an emergency, I was sure there would be a number of wrecks and subsequent cleanups.

Turns out I was wrong.

Not only were there no emergencies (thankfully!), there were very few wrecks or even cleanup situations.

Although it was a rather uneventful night for the Tom and his people, I certainly did have a fun time riding along with them.

Shortly after the flag ceremony and the National Anthem, I hoped aboard the truck known as Rescue One. There I rode in the front with Tom and team member Julie Ford.

Other team members that night included Kristyne Showell, George Penny, TJ Johnson, Dana Jones, TJ Butcher, Curtis Sanchez and JT Thomas.

Just because it was a fairly slow night by most standards, doesn’t mean it was boring. First of all, we were sitting inside the oval, where we had a great view of all the racing action. There’s nothing boring about that. Secondly, even without the racing it was a hoot just hanging out with Tom’s team.

Yes, they’re well trained and well prepared to handle emergencies. But beyond that, they form a very tight, fun-loving group.

Long before my ride along I could see just how close they were. However, after riding aboard Rescue One, I gained an even better appreciation of how they’re really a family out there.

Just as it is with most families, there is a lot of kidding that goes on. Nobody is above getting teased in a good-natured way, which is exactly how it should be. On the other hand, there’s a fierce loyalty that exists with most family, and the safety team has that, too.IMG_2331

Plain and simple, they have each other’s backs. That’s a common theme among first responders of all kinds. The business of rescuing and protecting is indeed a serious undertaking. During down times there is playfulness and joking, but as I saw from my spot inside Rescue One, the mood can change in an instant when there’s work to be done.

It really is an amazing thing to see. One minute team members can be laughing about something someone said or did, but as soon as the radio crackles to life and there’s a call to respond, the laughter stops instantly. That’s when those distinctively designed trucks move forward and the crew springs into action, each member doing his or her job with seriousness and precision.

It’s definitely good to have people like that watching and waiting to help.