As your eyeballs are scanning the page here, I’m making my way to Topeka, Kansas for the 2017 version of the NHRA Kansas Nationals. The facility in Topeka is a sprawling colossus of a place and the strip itself is top shelf. The physical surface is one of the finest that the series races on each year and back in 1993 it was home for one of the most epic races of all time. We have showed you snippets of the history that was made on the funny car side of things but the reality is that all of the classes were killing it there that weekend and this episode of NHRA Today, hosted by the late Steve Evans is proof positive of that.
Outside of the normal highlights and “in-depth” reporting, we also get a segment by segment tour of the Raybestos clutch plant which is still interesting and relevant to this day. The sintered iron clutch discs were the lifeblood of drag racing back then and they are the lifeblood of drag racing today as well. Teams buy the discs by the hundreds. The test them and pair them into packs and then they work their clutch program to get the car down the track.
The other fun element here is the fact that Kansas governor Joan Finney was a huge proponent of Heartland Park and she loved the sport of drag racing. She held a reception for racers at the governor’s mansion before the race and appeared at the track in support of the events as well. 1993 was still the era when the NHRA raced at Topeka twice a year. It’s a once a year shot now and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this weekend.