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Tired of having to hunt around the site, usually in vain, trying to find one of our "Feature" race coverage pages? Well, despair no more, as you've come to the right place this time. We'll be gradually expanding the listings here as we re-organize (for the umpteenth time) the entire website and dredge up some of those long lost or almost forgotten gems from the past.

The features will be listed in chronological order, from the newest to the oldest, with a short description of the "what, when and where" for each one. We hope you enjoy this addition to Northern Thunder. Click on the pictures/logos to access the pages. We've removed some of the older features until they're redone to fit the new format.

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

March 21 - 24, 2024

For six decades, the NHRA season has traditionally kicked off with the Winternationals at Pomona, CA. Last year saw a significant schedule change, with the season opening in Florida, with the Gatornationals. After their warmup on the east coast, everyone headed west to the birthplace of drag racing in Southern California, for the 64th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals. As has happened in so mnay past years, the race saw a little of everything, weather-wise, with warm sunny conditions that kept changing until the final day of eliminations was rained, hailed, and finally snowed out. That forced a postponement of some of the final rounds to the Arizona Nationals. Despite the challenges, we were able to grab a great collection of images from qualifying and eliminations.

Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals

August 30 - September 4, 2023

The granddaddy of all drag races, the ultra-iconic DODGE Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals is a Labor Day weekend fixture on the calendar. This year's edition, the 69th running, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway, was the final race of the Camping World Drag Racing Series "regular" season and a must attend event for many racers. Wiht a total of 852 competitors racing over six days, it was an asbolute marathon for the racers, crews, spectators, and the many forms of media in attendance. Northern Thunder was there in 2014 with Bob Wilson shooting, and this year, it was Dale Fackler behind the lens. We've got coverage of all the Pro and Pro Sportsman categories, and other Sportsman racers for a true smorgasbord of drag racing action.

52nd annual Nightfire Nationals

August 4 - 6, 2023

One of the longest running events on the Pacific Northwest drag racing calendar, the Nightfire Nationals has evolved over the years from a "Big Show" nitro race to the current version which features lots of nitro burning cars of the vintage variety. Headlining the show are the Nostalgia Funny Cars and (front-engined) Top Fuel Dragsters, with the always entertaining AA/Fuel Altereds filling out the nitro portion of the event. Joining the fast guys were several hundred racers from the Pro Comp, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman categories, all the way down to Junior Dragster. Running for three full days with two evenings of night qualifying, the show was fast paced, and kept the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Check out our webmaster's attempt at drag racing photography for the first time in nearly a decade.

3rd annual Funny Car Chaos Classic

March 23 -25, 2023

Postponed one week from the originally scheduled date, the 3rd annual FUNNY CAR CHAOS Classic went off without a weather-related hitch at the Texas Motorplex. Entries were a little down from previous years, but 54 Funny Cars and 16 Outlaw Fuel Altereds, plus the usual added attractions made for an awesome show. Our ace lensman, "Big" Bob Snyder, was back on the road for the first time this year and provided us with usual great selection of photos. And for the first time, we were able to watch the entire race in real time through FLO Racing's streaming service. That just added to the details we're able to provide with our coverage.

2023 Good Vibrations March Meet

March 3 - 5, 2023

This year's edition of one of drag racing's most iconic events, the 65th annual Good Vibrations March Meet, didn't quite finish, but it was a heckuva show nonetheless. After two days of testing 'n tuning, Friday's qualifying went well, but Saturday afternoon saw the weather close in and the day finished early due to rain. Sunday was not quite a washout, but only two pairs of Nostalgia Funny Cars went down the track before everyone gave up. Monday saw sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures so most of the eliminators, with the major exception of Nostalgia Top Fuel, were completed. Our lead photographer, Bob Snyder, was unable to attend due to his continuing rehab from a January hip replacement, but our Colorado friend, Dale Fackler, was a more than able fill-in as you can see from his photos.

57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals logo

November 10 - 13, 2022

The final event of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season was held at the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. It was the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals and our ace lensman, Bob Snyder was on hand to capture all the qualifying action. Unfortunately, we don't have photos from Sunday's eliminations, but we have the results and reports on the final day of the season to fill in the blanks. Check out our full coverage of the Fuel and Alcohol classes, with some Pro Stock thrown in for good measure.

22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals

October 27 - 30, 2022

With the 2022 drag racing season rapidly charging to a conclusion, the penultimate event on the schedule, the NHRA Nevada Nationals, got underway on Halloween weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's always a fun event with the racers getting into some weird, wild, and wonderful costumes to add to the atmosphere that only a race at Las Vegas can bring. With all the world championships in the Pro and Pro Sportsman categories still in doubt as the event began, the drama and pressure was seriously intense. We've got lots of photos to show what happened at the place where "what happens here... doesn't always stay here".

30th annual California Hot Rod Reunion

October 20 - 23, 2022

This event has been a highlight for many drag racing fans, and year after year, it still attracts large crowds, lots of racers, and puts on a show that combines modern horsepower and nostalgic automotive styles. This year's edition was a great show, and despite our #1 photographer, Bob Snyder, on the sidelines, we still managed to receive a large number of photos from the race through the courtesy of fellow Canadian, Dyan Lover, of Port Alberni, BC. She was at Famoso Dragway from start to finish and provided us with the images to go with our written report.

Funny Car Chaos Championship Finals

October 7 - 8, 2022

The Funny Car Chaos Championship Final became part of the "Stampede of Speed" at the Texas Motorplex this year. After two wildly successful season openers, in 2021 and this year, the series brought their travelling road show back to the 'Plex for a truly fitting way to wrap up their 9-race schedule. While there weren't as many entries as the season opener, the 30 cars that were able to appear for eliminations put on a great show for the fans. We were blessed with not one, or two, but three photographers on hand to capture the on-track and behind the scenes action from the event. Our biggest problem was how to post all the photos.

Funny Car Chaos - Mo-Kan Dragway

September 2 - 3, 2022

One of the oldest continuously operating dragstrips in the country, "Smokin" Mo-Kan Dragway, located in Asbury, MO recently held it's annual Labor Day Classic for the 60th time. Featuring the FUNNY CAR CHAOS show, the event had four full fields, plus alternates, with 37 cars in attendance. With many 3-second runs and 200-mph speeds recorded, the competition was intense and the fans enjoyed two incredible days of nitro and alky-fuelled competition. We've got all the photos and the stories to go with them in our coverage, provided as always, by the indomitable "BIG" Bob Snyder.

Mayhem On The Mountain

August 26 - 27, 2022

Held at Bandimere Speedway (Morrison, CO), the "Mayhem On The Mountain" event featured two evenings of nitro burning action, with four Funny Cars, (Keith Jackson, Lyle Greenberg, Levi Keenan & Steve Griboski), two Fuel Altereds (Johnny West and Dan Hix), and two Nostalgia Top Fuel Cars (Tyler Hilton and Michael Anderson). Backing up the fuel burners were some fast PSCA (Pacific Street Car Association) racers, a Quick 16 show, and a pair of Jet Cars. Our Colorado correspondent, Dale Fackler, was there to capture all the action.

Funny Car Chaos - Kearney Raceway

August 5 - 6, 2022

Two races in two weeks, but not that far apart geographically, saw the FCC gang in the cornfield-rich country of Kearney, Nebraska. While competitor numbers were down a little from last week's race - 27 instead of 33 - the action was, as always, intense. There were some great runs, in the low 3.80's at over 200 mph on the 1/8-th mile surface and a few upsets to entertain the fans. We've got all the action captured in photos and words, and it's well worth checking out.

Funny Car Chaos - Eddyville Raceway Park

July 29 - 30, 2022

After skipping the Cordova event, due to the long distance involved, our photographer, Bob Snyder, made the trek to Eddyville for the sixth event on the Funny Car Chaos calendar. With Eddyville Raceway Park being most famous for the "World Fuel Altered Nationals", it seemed fitting that a great number of nitro-burning entries were in attendance at this race. There were a few mishaps, none worse than Dave "Nitro Clown" Gallegos going off the end of the track and deep into the cornfields, shredding the body and twisitng the chassis along the way. And he wasn't the only racer to go "shucking corn", but came out the worst as our photos will show. On the plus side, there's lots of great on-track action that didn't involved any breakage. Check it out in our report.

Nitro Chaos - Mo-Kan Dragway

July 15 - 16, 2022

After a one-off event in 2021, the Nitro Chaos show expanded to two races this year and for the first time ventured to Mo-Kan Dragway. With 20 cars, of all shapes and sizes, but all burning nitro, the show was off the charts in excitement value. With "Big Daddy" Don Garlits in attendance, with one of his front-engine cars, the race was truly something to remember. Topping the field were two NHRA "Big Show" A/Fuel Dragsters, but the Fuel Altereds, front-engine dragsters, and Funny Cars made their presence felt as the event unfolded. With our Colorado correspondent, Dale Fackler, in attendance we managed to capture a great selection of photos. Check it out.

Thunder on the Mountain - Bandimere Speedway

June 17 - 18, 2022

The annual trek up the mountain for Western Region Top Alcohol racers took place under very sunny and very warm conditions at Bandimere Speedway on the weekend of June 17 - 18. Besides being a regional event for Top Alcohol, it was also a Division Five Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race for all the sportsman competitors. Our Denver correspondent, Dale B. Fackler provided us with a batch of great photos from Thursday and Friday, but unfortunately, due to prior committments, was unable to attend Saturday's final eliminations.

Funny Car Chaos - Penwell Knights Raceway

May 20 - 21, 2022

We return to the Funny Car Chaos tour, after skipping the Baton Rouge and Pine Valley events (due to costs and distances), with our coverage of the fourth event on their 2022 schedule. This event was held at Odessa TX's Penwell Knights Raceway and attracted 25 entries that filled three fields and provided plenty of flip-top action for the spectators. As always, it was Bob Snyder with his cameras at the starting line as he provided more great images to flesh out the report.

Funny Car Chaos Classic

March 24 - 26, 2022

It's back! The second annual Funny Car Chaos Classic from the Texas Motorplex. While not quite as big as last year's inaugural edition, this was still an awesome event, with great performances and serious entertainment from the largest collection of Funny Cars and Fuel Altereds, among others, on the planet. Our coverage includes hundreds of photos and the stories that go with them. It's the start of another great season of Funny Car Chaos racing and a not-to-be-missed event.

March Meet 2022 poster

March 3 - 6, 2022

Back to it's standard time slot, the 64th annual Good Vibrations March Meet was completed on time despite numerous weather challenges along the way. But the racers and the fans stuck with it and came away feeling they had been part of something special. It was a great start to another year of NHRA Heritage Series racing that starts and ends at Famoso Dragstrip, just north of Bakersfield, CA. This year we had two photographers on hand to capture all the action and present it to you here. Enjoy the photos and the detailed reports that accompany them as we begin our major event coverage for the 2022 drag racing season.

NHRA Arizona 
Nationals logo

February 25 - 27, 2022

Even though we didn't have media credentials for this event, our hard working photographer, BIG Bob Snyder, attended Saturday's final day of qualifying and captured some great photos from the grandstands. He worked both sides of the track, and was able to give us a good sampling of the on-track action. To compliment the pictures, we filled in the details in our usual style. Although it's just one day of a three-day event, it was certainly worth the effort to attend and observe.

PRO Nitro Spring Training logo

February 10 - 12, 2022

This drag racing season started with an incredible three days of "Nitro Spring Training" at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, as the sport got back to (the new) normal. With perfect weather, great track prep, and a host of new race cars, racers, and looks, it was a great preview of what is promising to be a really great season of drag racing. Best of all, we had BIG Bob Snyder on hand for all three days, from start to finish each day, and he's provided us with a feast of fotos of all the on-track action. While there were no official results posted, we painstakingly put together the performance numbers from watching the many hours of video graciously provided by the good folks at

Auto Club NHRA Finals

November 11 - 14, 2021

And then there was one - as the NHRA Camping World season wound down to the final race on the calendar. Taking place at Auto Club Raceway Pomona, the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals was a four-day battle royale for all four Pro categories, with all of them in some doubt going into eliminations. We had our staff photographer, Bob Snyder, on hand for the entire event and he's provided us with hundreds of great images to complement our reporting. Check it out and enjoy the results.

Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals

October 29 - 31, 2021

The penultimate race on the 2021 Camping World Drag Racing Series calendar was held under sunny skies with almost perfect racing conditions in the Nevada desert. With Lucas Oil National Championships on the line for Sportsman racers and the Countdown to the Championship nearing it's conclusion for the Pros, tension was high for the racers struggling to earn every possible point during the three-day event. There were a few upsets, a few surprises, some very exciting races and in keeping with the spirit of the season, some Halloween costumes and displays. We've got all the details and hundreds of photos to fill our feature on this event.

29th annual California Hot Rod Reunion

October 22 - 24, 2021

It's the final event of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series season, and it's one of the biggest nostalgia events on the planet. However, it's more than "just" a drag race, as it's a gathering of old, and unfortunately, getting older all the time friends, a car show, a swap meet, a place of memories and memorials. It's also one heckuva race, with full fields of Nitro Funny Cars, front-engine Top Fuelers, AA/Fuel Altereds, A/Fuel and Junior Fuel dragsters. Plus so much more. Our southwest correspondent, Bob Snyder, has provided us with a great treasure trove of photos, starting with Thursday's pit tour and culminating with Sunday's final eliminations.

Funny Car Chaos World Finals at Alamo Dragway - San Antonio, TX

October 15 - 16, 2021

Wrapping up the season two weeks late due to a rainout, the FUNNY CAR CHAOS team rolled into the Alamo City Motorplex in San Antonio, TX for the eighth and final event on their 2021 schedule. With a World Championship on the line, and some serious payouts in the offing, the pits were full of nitro/alky/nitrous burning Funny Cars of all makes, models and vintages. After an exhausting campaign around the Southwest, our Phoenix-based correspondent, Bob Snyder, had enough gas left in the tank to make it a perfect season, attending all eight races on the FCC tour. Enjoy the latest offering from his camera and our reports to go with the photos.

United Nitro Funny Cars Southwest Nitro Shoot-Out - Tuscon Dragway

September 17 - 18, 2021

Rising from the ashes of a (so-far) failed attempt to create a west coast Nitro Funny Car circuit, the United Nitro Funny Car "organization" put on a rather low-key event at Tuscon Dragway, featured Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars and a bunch of real nitro-burning AA/Fuel Altereds. Running under the lights each night put on a spectacular show for the spectators and our photographer, BIG Bob Snyder, was there to capture all the action.

Funny Car Chaos - 55th annual Decade of Wheels - Mo-Kan Dragway - Asbury, MO

September 3 - 4, 2021

Celebrating the 55th annual "Decade of Wheels" at Mo-Kan Dragway (Asbury, MO), the FUNNY CAR CHAOS gang put on their usual great show to make it a Labor Day weekend to remember for the fans. Lots of great looking cars, big burnouts, great runs, and just plain great entertainment was on tap for the seventh FCC race of the season. Best of all: we've got all the action photos and descriptions to tell the story.

Dodge-SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals

August 31 - September 5, 2021

The grand-daddy of all drag races celeberated it's 66th annual Labor Day weekend extravaganza at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis with the iconic, historic, venerable Doge-SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals. A lot of classes, a lot of cars, quite a few spectators, and luckily for us, our Chicago-area correspondent, Bill Jeffery in the grandstands for two action-packed days of drag racing, separated by one day of rain. We haven't got full coverage of the event, but there's enough here to get a good look at the race.

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

July 30 - August 1, 2021

What would a Camping World NHRA season be without a Winternationals, the traditional opening event of the drag racing year? Well, due to Covid-19 and other considerations, this year's edition moved from Feburary to the end of July. The race went on under vastly different conditions than the racers have been accustomed to, having only raced at Pomona's Auto Club Raceway in February and November for the last few decades. Our good friend and ace lensman Bill Jeffery travelled from his Chicago base to spend three days baking in the Southern California sun to capture some great images for Northern Thunder.

Funny Car Chaos at Kansas 
International - Wichita, KS

July 9 - 10, 2021

The beat goes on as Funny Car Chaos completes their summer activities with the sixth race of the 2021 season at the venerable 58th annual Summer Nationals at Kansas International Dragway (Wichita, KS). It was quite a weekend with some bonus features, including the licensing of Alex Laughlin in Scott Palmer's Top Fuel car. Adding to the excitement was a group of Outlaw Pro Mods, which featured a pair of the blown fuel variety. Add in some rather attractive "Reverse Gear Assitants" (aka: BackUp Girls) and it was quite a party on the Kansas prairie.

Funny Car Chaos at Kearney Raceway Park

June 11 - 12, 2021

The fifth race on a busy 2021 schedule for the FUNNY CAR CHAOS crew was held at Kearney, Nebraska's aptly named Kearney Raceway Park. As usual, it saw lots of cars and lots of fire-breathing action over a busy two day schedule.

Anamosa Motorcycle Hill Climb

June 6, 2021

This feature is a little (aka: a lot!) off the "beaten track" for Northern Thunder, but we do appreciate almost any form of motorsport. On the day following the Funny Car Chaos at Eddyville, our photographer, Bob Snyder, attended one of the most famous motorcycle hillclimb events in North America. For a small diversion from our usual fare, check out the two-wheel - and in many cases - one-wheel action from Anamosa.

Funny Car Chaos - Eddyville - 2021

June 4 - 5, 2021

It's the fourth installment of the eight race schedule of the FUNNY CAR CHAOS CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR (2021), this week at Eddyville Raceway Park (Oskaloosa, IA) with our southwestern correspondent and ace photographer BIG Bob Snyder on hand to provide us with news and photos of the action. Two qualifying sessions were run Friday night, with the second round run under the lights and there were some great performances from the 27 cars that made it to the starting line. Saturday saw the final qualifing session, then as eliminations progressed, the later rounds were run under the lights. More great action from the FCC people.

Good Vibrations March Meet in May poster

May 27 - 30, 2021

For the first - and hopefully last - time we've got the Good Vibrations "March" Meet happening at the end of May. Despite the late start for the traditional NHRA Heritage Series season opener, the action was fast and furious at the fabled Auto Club Raceway at Famoso. This year's edition is the 73rd annual March Meet, keeping one of the oldest traditions in drag racing alive and well. Despite the ongoing presence of the coronavirus, forcing limitations on attendance, we've been lucky enough to have our Colorado correspondent, Dale B. Fackler, provide us with some great images from the grandstands. Enjoy.

NAPA Auto Parts Night of Fire & Thunder

May 22, 2021

Waay up in the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Denver is Bandimere Speedway, the "Mile High" track. Besides the Camping World NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals, they host a Lucas Oil Series Regional event, the World Doorslammer Championships, and a few one-off events, like the NAPA Auto Parts Night of Fire and Thunder. This year's edition featured a full-on Fuel Altered show with some serious players on hand to light up the night sky.

Funny Car 
Chaos - Penwell Knights Raceway - Odessa, TX

May 14 - 15, 2021

The third event on the eight race FUNNY CAR CHAOS schedule in 2021 went off at Penwell Knights Raceway with a full (A, B & C fields) complement of Funny Cars.

Amarillo 2021 Funny Car Chaos

April 23 - 24, 2021

Following hot on the heels of the gi-normous Texas Motorplex FUNNY CAR CHAOS extravaganza, the second event on the FCC 2021 calendar ran on the venerable, and iconic, Amarillo Dragway in West Texas. With three full fields of floppers, plus eight alternates, the action was intense. Best of all: we've got the photos and the details to tell the story of another great Funny Car race.

Nitro Madness 2021

March 26 - 27, 2021

If you weren't there (as so many of us weren't, including me) then you just missed the BIGGEST Funny Car race in history. Nearly SEVENTY blown, injected, turbocharged, nitrous oxided, nitro and alcohol burning floppers gathered at the Texas Motorplex for the season opening event of FUNNY CAR CHAOS. New records were set for the FCC, with Del Worsham vaporizing the previous marks, and new World Records were set in AA/Fuel Altered, with 4-second passes (1/4-mile) and 300+ mph speeds. We had two photographers catching the action, with BIG Bob Snyder leading the way and Dale Fackler providing backup from the grandstands.


October 30 - November 1, 2020

With 2020 being such a pandemic affected season, the traditional season ending AAA World Finals was cancelled, and the NHRA schedule concluded with the DODGE NHRA Finals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was just the 12th race of the year, from what was originally envisioned as a full 24-event calendar. Nonetheless, there were world championships on the line in all four Pro categories, and Top Alcohol Dragster. Our photographer, Bob Snyder, provided us with some great pics of the action throughout the final weekend of the season.

NHRA Division Seven Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series banner

October 8 - 10, 2020

With so many cancelled or postponed events due to the pandemic, the decision was made to run three Western Region events in the final month of the 2020 season, starting with a race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park where some of the heavy hitters from the west coast were anxiously waiting for a chance to drag their cars out of mothballs and make some serious noise. Our correspondent, Bob Snyder, was on hand to record most of the action on a very hot weekend.

Amarillo Funny Car Chaos banner

July 17 - 18, 2020

The mid-season charge continued for the FUNNY CAR CHAOS crew, as their fourth race in eight weeks went off under HOT and sunny skies in the Texas panhandle, at Amarillo Dragway. For the first time in this website's history we had two photographers covering the action and it worked very well as we saw the races from two separate vantage points. Despite a less than perfect track surface, the racers did their best and in the end, saved their best runs until the final rounds. Check it out in our report.

Pro Mod vs Fuel Altered Showdown

June 26 - 27, 2020

Pro Mods and Fuel Altereds. Both types of cars put on awesome displays of power, performance, and pyrotechnics. Why not combine them and see what results? This "test" has been going for eight years now, and the action gets wilder and better every year. Don't miss our full coverage of this one-of-a-kind event, provided by a true nitro junkie, "Big" Bob Snyder, as he makes another visit to Xtreme Raceway Park, deep in the heart of Texas for this once a year extravaganza.

Funny Car Chaos - Odessa, TX header

June 19 - 20, 2020

With the races stacking up on top of each other, it's been difficult to keep up with all the action, but we've managed to be in two places at once, due to a pair of hard working photographers. This report is courtesy of our Funny Car Chaos regular photog, (Bob Snyder) and features some more great photography from the fourth event on the FCC 2020 Calendar. Check it out!

Trailer Source - Thunder on the Mountain logo

June 19 - 20, 2020

Our newest correspondent, Colorado-based Dale Fackler, provided us with some great visuals that helped tell the story of the Trailer Source Thunder On The Mountain event at Bandimere Speedway. It was the first major race of the year at Bandimere and the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Central Regional event saw some great performances by some of the heavy hitters in the Top Alcohol classes. BONUS: We've got some shots from Thursday's test session also.

<San Antonio header>

June 12 - 13, 2020

The Funny Car Chaos crew kept the train rolling into west Texas, stopping at San Antonio's "Alamo City Motorplex" for this weekend's event. The ' fans arrived in droves - starved of drag racing action for many months - and the racers put on the usual great performances. See all the photos and results courtesy of FCC and our very own BIG Bob Snyder.

FCC Eddyville Header

May 29 - 30, 2020

Venturing east for the first time this season, Bob Snyder trekked to Oskaloosa, Iowa's Eddyville Raceway Park for the second event of the 2020 season on the FUNNY CAR CHAOS calendar. With a huge (27 cars pre-entered) contingent of floppers on hand, the action promised to be great, and it certainly was. Despite a rainy Thursday (move-in and testing day) the weather turned fine for qualifying and eliminations.

Good Vibrations March Meet

March 5 - 8, 2020

The 62nd annual incarnation of this iconic drag racing event took place at Auto Club Raceway at Famoso (Bakersfield, CA) last week. Our very hard-working photographer, Bob Snyder, got there early and stayed late to provide us with five full days of testing, qualifying, and eliminations photos from trackside. It's an annual trek that he's made for decades now and it's always worth the trip to see some serious nostalgia drag racing.

2020 NHRA Arizona Nationals logo

February 21 - 23, 2020

Following hot on the heels of the PRO Winter Warmup, the NHRA "Big Show" moved into Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the annual Southwest desert race. A larger car count than in some of the classes at the Winternationals, provided a great show for the Phoenix fans.

PRO Winter WarmUp logo

January 31 - February 2, 2020

Starting the NHRA Mello Yello season with their official/un-official PRO Winter Warmup, the "big show" cars strutted their stuff in the desert sun at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, just outside Phoenix, AZ. While there weren't as many new cars debuting as in previous years, the machinery in attendance was first class and fast. Check out the highlights of the weekend, provided by our ' Southwest photo guy, BIG Bob Snyder.


March 29 - 30, 2019

It's the one... the only... FUNNY CAR CHAOS... starting it's third season as a real alternative to all the other nitro/nostalgia circuits that keep popping up (and falling down). No rules - other than safety of course - real "run whatcha brung" racing with SERIOUS excitement and decent payouts for racers that are willing to put on a good show for the fans. Our goal for this season is to follow the entire circuit.


March 7 - 10, 2019

It's that time again... when all roads lead to Famoso (AutoClub Raceway) just outside of beautiful Bakersfield, CA. It's the season opener for the NHRA Heritage Series and the event that sets the stage for another full-tilt season of nostalgia drag racing. We've been covering this event - in person and through the kind assistance of Bob Snyder - for ten years now and it's one of the "must see" races on our calendar.


February 22 - 24, 2019

Our NHRA Mello Yello series reports start with the Magic Dry Absorbent Arizona Nationals (try saying that quickly three times...) held under unusal weather conditions at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Chandler, AZ). After the cold and rain subsided and everyone got down to some serious competition, the big numbers started coming up on the scoreboards. As always, our SouthWest correspondent, "Big" Bob Snyder caught some great pictures of the action, especially in the nitro-burning ranks.


January 30 - February 2, 2019

Shaking off the rust and clearing out the cobwebs, a big batch of shiny new cars and refreshed crew members and drivers opened up their 2019 campaigns with the annual PRO Winter WarmUp test sessions at Phoenix's Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.


April 13 - 14, 2018

Kicking off the third season of the UNITED NITRO FUNNY CAR association, the Tucson Dragway Reunion saw eleven nitro nasties dueling in the desert. The supporting cast of blown fuel and alky funny cars, outlaw fuel altereds, and a mix of sportsman cars provided a very entertaining weekend for the Arizona fans.


March 1 - 4,2018

It's the longest running event in professional drag racing, dating back to 1959 and still relevant in this age of 3-second fuel cars. Paired with the California Hot Rod Reunion, it's the best one-two punch in Nostalgia Drag Racing. And we've got heaps of photos and words to go with our report.

Bobby Thunder's MORE Xcellent Adventures

August 24 - October 23, 2014

It's back.... another edition of vacation stories and pictures, but this time with a bit of a twist. It's three years later, the trip is two months this time and there's six races packed into eight weekends - with two weeks off to visit relatively relatives in Ontario and take a first bite out of the Big Apple. Other than that, it's more of the same, with fewer in-car pictures as I've promised someone that I wouldn't do that anymore. Join us as we criss-cross the United States and eventually find our way home some 20,000 km later.

Bobby Thunder's Xcellent Adventures

October 12 - November 15, 2011

Oh god no.... Vacation pictures? Run for the exits; log off; hit the back button.... anything but inflict Bob's travel snapshots on your retinal nerves and nervous system. Okay, if you must; if you really insist, I'll let you look at them... just this once.... unless you come back for more, and frankly you've got to keep doing that until you see how the entire story turns out. Five weeks (minimum) on the road; four drag races, a sidetrip up the California central coast; another sidetrip through Death Valley; yet another one to Baja California (again); and finally: a very long drive all the way up the coast from Malibu to Longview, WA and home. Daily, or almost daily updates will make this a "go-to" travel blog. Let's get started.

California Hot Rod Reunion

Bakersfield, CA - October 21 - 23, 2011

The final race of the season for nostalgia crowd, the end of the line, the holy grail... whatever you want to call it: it's the biggest event of the season for these racers, second only to the March Meet in car count, but first in the hearts of so many racers and fans of this era. If you want to see - and more importantly - hear and feel nearly 40 nitro-burning, ground-pounding, ear-splitting NITRO funny cars running the "can, lid and label" then Auto Club Famoso Raceway is the place to be. We were there to capture as much of the action as we could from the Funny Cars, Top Fuel Dragsters, A/Fuel, Jr. Fuel, 7.0 Pro and the other eight categories in competition. If it's wild, weird and wonderful, it's running at Bakersfield.

Nostalgia Fall Championships

Bakersfield, CA - October 15 - 16, 2011

A very low-key lead-in to the season-ending 20th annual Hot Rod Reunion, this event was originally scheduled to be run earlier in the year at Fontana Raceway. Politics, cranky neighbours and onerous noise restrictions put paid to that idea, so Famoso Raceway stepped up and took on the race. While it was pretty much a secret to race fans, the racers showed up in substantial numbers (over 230 cars in total) and staged just a week before the Reunion, a strong contingent of nitro funny cars and a fuel dragster came out to test and tune. Great, almost too great, weather and sunny skies combined to produce a good, but largely ignored show. However, we were there and we've got the photographic proof.

Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society

Vancouver, BC - October 9, 2011

The 11th annual induction ceremony for pioneers and supporters of motorsport in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia is a fitting way to end the local motorsport season. Over the years 180 racers, hot rodders, builders, customizers and others associated with motorsport have been brought into the society. This year's event held a special personal significance as my drag racing mentor and friend, the late Bill Phillips, was finally recognized for the incredible competitive spirit, innovation and dedication that he brought to the sport of drag racing in the 30-something he was involved with it. It was a great afternoon spent bench racing and catching up with many racers, past and present, and getting a chance to see just who has shaped and brought motorsport forward in this area. A real bonus was the virtual car show in the parking lot.

Smoke Fire and Thunder

Mission, BC - August 27 - 28, 2011

The last major event of the drag racing season at Mission Raceway, the annual "Smoke, Fire & Thunder" show features a grab-bag of cars, led by the Jets - both Funny Car and Dragster configurations, the very popular Northwest BB/Funny Car Association, and the Canada West Doorslammer Association. Throw in a couple of wheelstanders and a group of crazy motorcycle stunt riders for good measure, season it with the regular Pro. Super Pro, Combo eliminators and the newly formed Bad Dog Shootout group, featuring Outlaw 10.5 and Pro Street cars, and you've got the makings of a great way to end the feature season at Mission.

Seattle, WA - August 5 - 7, 2011

It's the 24th annual edition of this venerable event, superseding the original FallNationals and the one-off Autumn Nationals, but the racers and fans still flock to the forests south of Seattle for this annual homage to the nitro gods. The track itself still hasn't progressed very far from its origins some 50 years ago, but one of these days we'll see what the Fiorito family has in store for what should be the finest facility in the Pacific Northwest. In the interim, let's just dig the sounds and smells of serious horsepower reverberating through the trees and shaking the ground at the Northwest Nationals.

Canadian National Open poster

Mission, BC - July 22 - 24, 2011

NITROFEST! returns to Mission Raceway at this year's Canadian National Open, with the feature attraction at this year's edition being the same three groups of floppers as last year: the Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars, the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car Association cars and the Northwest BB/Funny Car association. Altogether, the plan is to have at least 32 funny cars in the pits and to round out the show, the track has added Nitro Harleys, Pro Street and Comp Eliminator to the mix, along with all the regular NHRA Sportsman categories. With much improved track lighting and two qualifying sessions scheduled on Saturday evening, it should even top last year's extravaganza.

Mopar IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals logo

Edmonton, AB - June 24 - 26, 2011

Despite the best efforts of mother nature to kill this event, it just seems to keep finding a way to get completed, year after year. The 2011 edition, the 9th annual, provided a different format, some great racing, and as always - expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather. The best we can say is that it didn't snow. And when the sun finally came out in force, the water trapped under the track surface appeared, causing the race to be finished at a shortened 1/8-th mile distance. Only in Edmonton.

Mission Raceway Park - Lordco BC Nationals

Mission, BC - May 27 - 29, 2011

This year's edition started out in it's usual "can we actually get this done?" mode, but after the Friday morning rain passed, the clouds dissipated and the sun came out, the event proceeded under decent conditions for the rest of the weekend. With low turnouts in many classes, especially the featured Top Alcohol categories, the race struggled to achieve the vibe that made it famous in previous years, but we still witnessed some awesome personal performances and some great racing, plus a very moving tribute to a racer that couldn't attend this year's Lordco BC Nationals.

IHRA Arizona Nitro Jam Nationals logo

Tucson, AZ - March 25 - 26, 2011

Venturing into the depths of the Southwestern desert for the first time ever, we traveled to Tuscon's Southwestern International Dragway and found a little gem of a track ten miles south of the city. Tucked away in amongst sagebrush and cactus and definitely looking like rattlesnake country, the track hosted an event that went off in front of a packed house two nights in a row, and produced some very good performances on a well-prepped racing surface. While the creature comforts weren't exactly 5-star, the racing was fun, the crowds loved it and the end result was some good entertainment.

Bakersfield March Meet logo

Bakersfield, CA - March 18 - 20, 2011

Our second trip to the mecca (and birthplace) of professional drag racing, Bakersfield's Famoso Raceway, was for this year's 53rd edition of one of the most famous races in drag racing history. While it's a very different vibe than the October Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso, the competition is fierce, but the camaraderie is still alive in the "Grove" and the racing is fast and furious. We did have some camera "issues" at this race, but enough shots turned out passably well to put together a photo gallery from the four days of the March Meet.

Stone Beach Cottage

Baja California Sur - October 18 - 25, 2010

And now for something completely different, as we venture totally off the beaten path - and almost off the path itself, to spend a very relaxing week as far removed from racing and North American culture as we can possibly get. No phone, no TV, no electricity, not even an exact address, or indoor plumbing, but a priceless view and beautiful, deserted beaches that just went on forever. Throw in 80 - 85 F (30 C) temps, barely a cloud in the sky and low humidity and you've got the perfect recipe for the "getting too close to winter" blues that come thundering in at this time of year. Check it out and see what I'm raving about.

California Hot Rod Reunion logo

Bakersfield, CA - October 15 - 17, 2010

Welcome to the mecca of nostalgia drag racing. The place, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, where professional drag racing really started, more than 50 years ago. Join me as I experience the California Hot Rod Reunion for the first time and capture some of the sights and stories of an event that's far more than just a drag race. It's truly a reunion of racers, fans and race cars, a car show, a swap meet, and some great drag racing with cars that you just never see at the NHRA "Big Show" events.

IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals logo

Edmonton, AB - June 25 - 27, 2010

Time to head out on the highway, looking for adventure.... hold on, this isn't turning into some cheesy Steppenwolf rip-off, is it? Well, we'll just have to deal with whatever comes our way... damn it, stop the music, let's start over. Okay, we're off on a roadtrip to Edmonton's 9th annual IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals, this time in the guise of a Nitro Jam, and presented by the River Cree Casino. It's always a good time at Castrol Raceway and this year will be no exception. Weather permitting, as always, of course. Join us and see what happens.

IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals logo

Edmonton, AB - July 4 - 6, 2008

Time to head out on the highway, looking for adventure.... hold on, this isn't turning into some cheesy Steppenwolf rip-off, is it? Well, we'll just have to deal with whatever comes our way... damn it, stop the music, let's start over. Okay, we're off on a roadtrip to Edmonton's 9th annual IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals, this time in the guise of a Nitro Jam, and presented by the River Cree Casino. It's always a good time at Castrol Raceway and this year will be no exception. Weather permitting, as always, of course. Join us and see what happens.

Edmonton, AB - June 23 - 26, 2005

We couldn't find an actual event logo for this race, but we did find a good shot that highlights the IHRA's major sponsor, Hooters, with two of their representatives trying to back up a race car after the burnout. With both girls indicating different directions, I'm wondering if the poor guy ever found the groove. But we certainly found our groove as our first visit to the Alberta capital showed us a completely different set of competitors than can be founda at the Brand "N" races.