(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) We here at BangShift.com are huge fans of Sportsman Drag Racing. The Stock and Super Stock classes are fan favorites, but each category has its own appeal. The .90 classes are misunderstood, with throttle stops and all the electronic gadgets, but the strategy and skill it takes to go double 00 on the tree and dead-on the index is super tough and impressive to witness when done right. The Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes are incredibly fast dial your own bracket classes. Power adders and mega cubes are the norm, NHRA was forced to put ET limit of 6.10 because these folks are insanely quick and often have winning AND losing packages of less than .015! Competition Eliminator, aka complicated eliminator, is an eclectic mix of dragsters, altereds and door slammers with all manner of power plants. Big inch V8’s, miniscule four bangers and wicked screaming sixes and all are resplendent with varying induction and power adders such as fuel injection, multiple carbs, NOS, turbos and superchargers making this class sort of like the Bonneville of drag racing, with classes for almost anyone. Run handicap style off individual class indexes with no breakout, Comp is certainly one of the most compelling classes in drag racing.
But this BangShifter’s weapon of choice are the Stockers and Super Stockers. With the variety ranging from vintage muscle cars to cool 80’s stuff up to the latest factory race car offerings from the big three, these cars and trucks are scienced out to the max. With high flying wheelstands and some of the most beautifully turned-out vehicles, these class racers put on a show that would make any automotive enthusiast smile ear to ear.
Where I live, in the northeast region of the USA, we are NHRA Division 1 and it is a virtual hot bed of sportsman drag racing. One of the longest running events is the Dutch Classic at Maple Grove Raceway, held at the venerable Pennsylvania tack since 1971. Traditionally held in the cool fall air, records were frequently smashed, this year the September date was a bit on the warm and humid side but the hardcore D1 folks showed up and put on quite the show. Thanks to NHRA Division 1 director Dave Mohn for the starting line access to shoot photos, always appreciated. Check the galleries to see what was captured.