Now THIS was a good race. The 1989 NHRA season was marked by several different factors but the major ones were guys like Warren Johnson, Bob Glidden, Gary Ormsby, Joe Amato, Don Prudhomme, and Shirley Muldowney to name a handful. The 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour returns to the same strip this weekend and this weekend we plan on having some of the same dramatic action. Nestled into a forest, the track’s oxygen rich environment provides an atmospheric buffet for engines to feat on whether they are burning gasoline, alcohol, or nitromethane.
The opening stories that are covered concentrate on the likes of Gary Ormsby who was coming off a devastating crash the week before in Sonoma (yes the order of the western swing races have been changed over the year but in 1989 it followed the traditional one that we do today). His crew thrashed every day and night to have the car ready to compete. Lee Beard was running the tuneup and the team at that point.
There’s a load of great stuff to see here and you’ll recognize the faces. Press play and take a trip back in time, 30 years ago! Oh, as we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the western swing, it’s as grueling as it ever was. Adding to the toughness for these teams is the fact that being one of the first, it was even harder back then.
Few teams were running three weeks straight in the 1980s. This one tested their mettle.