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Saturday Movie Day: Dynamite Run – A Documentary About the 1974 AHRA Winternationals


Saturday Movie Day: Dynamite Run – A Documentary About the 1974 AHRA Winternationals

We got a note from pal-o-BangShift Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian cluing us in the on the fact that she unearthed and posted an totally cool old drag racing documentary film called “Dynamite Run”. The movie was made at the 1974 AHRA Winternationals which was held at Arizona’s Beeline Dragway for years. Beeline has been closed up for more than two decades now, although the timing tower still stands as a lonesome reminder of the days when nitro motors roared in front of packed stands, like those in this movie.

This era of drag racing is one of the coolest to look back on. The Funny Car bodies were fantastic looking, Top Fuel Dragsters were all low slung, rear engine rockets and Pro Stock was still a bad ass class featuring cars that the average Joe could really get into (although as we know, this was the dawn of the Lenco and Grumpy’s tube chassis Monza which sent us to where we are today!). The Top Fuelers looked fantastic with their front “wheel pants” on as well, although they would be banned from the sport after a short period after being blamed for several high profile crashes.

In this video, you’ll see Garlits, Tom McEwen and lots of the other big runners of the day. Schedules being what they were back then, racers often raced the NHRA series, IHRA, and AHRA over the course of a season along with a butt-load of match races. These were the waning days of the true barnstorming professional drag racer. By the end of the 1970s the NHRA and IHRA schedules began to swell, the AHRA was all but dead, and increasing costs limited the ability for small tracks to book in match race cars like they had in the 1960s and 1970s.

This move captures a great moment in time. A beautiful Arizona weekend with the biggest, fastest, and most famous cars and names in the sport of drag racing circa 1974. It is nearly 20-minutes of time-machine goodness!

Thanks to Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian at DragStripGirl Designs for the tip!


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3 thoughts on “Saturday Movie Day: Dynamite Run – A Documentary About the 1974 AHRA Winternationals

  1. Anthony Castillo

    Beeline was my home track growing up in Phoenix. It was the first drag strip I stepped foot on, and I’ve never been the same since. Watching this video I could almost taste the Indian fry bread we used to buy track side from the local tribe. Topped with either honey or pinto beans, man I loved that stuff almost as much as the racing!

    We lived off of Van Buren St. where there used to be rows of hotels. When the drags were happening all the racers would stay in those hotels and take over the entire street. My friends and I would ride our “muscle bikes” (Schwinn Sting-Rays) up and down Van Buren to look at all the cool cars and talk to the racers. In 1969 I met Dick Harrell with his beautiful 69 Camaro funny car. I’ll never forget how cool he was. Really fun times.

    I went to many AHRA Winter Nationals at Beeline over the years, all of them great events. It’s fun to look back at this “classic” footage, but right now I’m really looking forward to Bakersfield!!! Thanks again Bang Shift, for bringing this kind of content for all of us to enjoy.

  2. BOB FINK

    WONDERFUL MEMORIES BURN IN MY MIND FROM BEELINE DRAGSTRIP . THE LOCAL PEOPLE AND THE INDIANS SELLING BREAD .THE SUN RISE AND SET WAS SPECTACULAR.ALL ADDED TO THE EXCITEMENT OF THE AHRA EVENT .I WAS HONERED TO ANNOUNCE THE EVENTS AT ALL THE AHRA PROGRAMS.THANKS TO ALL THAT PUT THIS VIDEO OUT.IF I CAN HELP LET ME KNOW

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