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Old 08-02-2018, 07:35 PM   #1
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NHRA top fuel drag racing near Seattle

Is anyone interested in going to the NHRA North West National's this weekend (8-5-18) at Pacific Raceway near Seattle? Watch Nitro powered, 10,000 hp Top fuel, Funny cars, Prostock, Top fuel Harleys, and lots more. I expect I'll camp somewhere nearby on Sat night and attend the race Sunday. After that, I'm open.......Anyone?
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:54 PM   #2
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Oh man... so fun!!! My parents old neighbor had a Nitro funny car in the 90's (Gary Clapshaw... Fuelish Pleasure) and my college buddy's uncle raced Nitro funny cars several years ago (Bob Gilbertson - Trick Tank). Had a few chances to be really close up to those cars helping in the pits. Those machines are so amazing! Definitely worth a trip to see them if you haven't seen before. I wish I had a free weekend now... I want to take my kids to see them but I think they need a couple more years of bladder control experience before I stand them next to a Nitro car
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:58 PM   #3
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Had a few chances to be really close up to those cars helping in the pits. Those machines are so amazing!
A friend of a friend ran a top fuel car at an airport racetrack in Fairbanks, (named the Glacier Shaker) and I hung out with them in the pits. The car made a couple passes, and on the third one, it sent pieces of the engine everywhere. They took a truck and a couple shovels out to the track to pick up the pieces, and when they returned the most beautiful connecting rod I had ever seen was in the bed. It was polished to a mirror finish, but was twisted like a pretzel. I reached in to grab it, thinking it would look great in my shop, but I discovered that even though it had been half an hour since it blew, it was still smoking hot, way too hot to pick up. The crew chief then said I couldn't have it anyway, since it would go in the shop collection.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:54 AM   #4
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Everyone should see a top fuel car at least once. Unreal. My wife and I went a couple years ago and after the first run, she looked at me and said "Do you think we should be here?". Scary. We live about 15 miles from the track and can hear them running.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #5
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My dad started taking me to the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona when I was 7 years old.

I've introduced a few skeptical road racing buddies to the beauty of freshly burned NITRO. They mocked the degree of difficulty needed to pin the throttle and drive straight while watching Saturday night drags following road racing.

They started to "get it" when the Alcohol cars ran... But the lights really came on after seeing and feeling their first NITRO pass... 10k hp and 0-320mph in 4.5 seconds, whats not to like!

I'm headed out today, only do Fridays cause the crowd scene is nuts!


Video from last year a buddy shot

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Old 08-03-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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I normally avoid crowd's like the plague, and hadn't really thought about that aspect of this race, but I'll put up with them once in a while for really big events, and this is top tier racing. Perhaps next year, I'll think a little further ahead.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:58 PM   #7
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I normally avoid crowd's like the plague, and hadn't really thought about that aspect of this race, but I'll put up with them once in a while for really big events, and this is top tier racing. Perhaps next year, I'll think a little further ahead.

Not like you have to worry about the noise the crowd is going to make.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:13 PM   #8
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I may have just experienced the most intense 3 seconds of my life. The only experience that even comes close was when we were in my boat in S.F. bay during fleet week, and a Blue Angel flew 70 feet over our heads, upside down. The shock wave was intense, kinda like when a top fuel car goes by on a 320mph, 3.5 second pass. Can someone explain why the shock wave from every single ignition of 16 cylinders causes your vision go get distorted? It causes everything in the field of view to look like it's jumping. I liken it to the fireworks that first show a ball of light, then the boom and shock wave hits you, except it happens not just once, but what, 100 times a second? The NHRA puts on a high quality show that was well organized, and run, including free access to the pits and the staging lanes. Other races charge extra for that kind of access (but then general admission isn't $60 either.) I think I'll be taking in a few more of these. Speaking of which, the Blue Angels are flying next weekend, I wonder how intense that may get? https://www.abbotsfordairshow.com/ev...18-performers/
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LastBlackE350 View Post
I've introduced a few skeptical road racing buddies to the beauty of freshly burned NITRO. They mocked the degree of difficulty needed to pin the throttle and drive straight while watching Saturday night drags following road racing.

They started to "get it" when the Alcohol cars ran... But the lights really came on after seeing and feeling their first NITRO pass... 10k hp and 0-320mph in 4.5 seconds, whats not to like!
Totally agree for the most part, but i dont like paying to watch racing of any sort. dont even really care to watch it on tv either. racing to me is a participate or im bored kinda thing, but everyone needs to experience top fuel at least once.

i know its not easy to pilot one of those cars with that kind of hp, but a lot of people have no clue. hell, just engaging a triple plate clutch without stalling on a 650hp car is tough, lol. i think it took me 5-6 tires just to get out of the parking lot

my brother in law worked for john force on his c team when tony pedregon was driving for him. we went to vegas when john was the 13x champion and got to experience the entire gambit and it was definitely an eye opener (or burner if youre standing in the wrong place ). back then parts were up for grabs from blown motors and my brother in law has all kinds of parts left over from the come-a-parts they saw on a weekly basis. the weekend we were in vegas it happened to be my birthday. my brother in law introduced me to john and had him autograph a spent piston/rod combo for me. even though its destroyed, that bme rod is a thing of beauty.

and x2 on crowds. have a hard time dealing with them anymore. guess thats why i enjoy camping more and more as i get older.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:50 AM   #10
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As I read the comments above, I'm chuckling right now, thinking about how much I have in common with at least a third of the guys on this forum!


I went to the Sonoma race a couple weeks ago with my oldest daughter, we've been going since she was 6 (now 28). Great father-daughter time.


I hate to be 'that guy', but I probably mentioned I used crew on a Top Alcohol Dragster for 5 yrs, 4-5 races a year. I had the good fortune to be with a car at a lot of divisional, and quite a few national events with the fuel cars. We'd often get 'all access crew wrist bands' that would allow us up on the starting line with the fuel cars, as well as our own.



Lots of hard work and fun. A friend of a friend's team was shorthanded at Sonoma in 2005, I was asked to crew for a weekend on Steve Chrisman's Top Fuel dragster. I was pretty solid doing the right side of the engine, remove the blower (with the left side guy) and pull the can and cool the clutch. Steve runs west coast only, real limited schedule, his business is building rear ends for funny cars, and runs more or less out of his own pocket. Of course I jumped at the chance <happy dance>.



I can tell you first hand I've experienced nothing like being on the starting line, 15 ft away from the car during a top fuel launch, nothing that I can compare it too. The alcohol cars are plenty impressive, until you stand next to a fuel car as it leaves. Having a Blue Angles jet scream overhead is close, firing a 44 magnum with +P+ loads has the extreme air pressure change, and is louder, but that's only one 'pop'.



The concussion of each fuel car cylinder ignition goes off like an individual cannon, fuel still burning, air expanding, after it leaves the pipe. But it's a whole series of them! When a top fuel car leaves the starting line, it vibrates your body so deeply, so violently, it touches your soul.
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