The new Gallery of Speed exhibit hall opens at the historic Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum this summer. Visitors are brought into the fascinating world of hot rodding and motorsports in an exhibit that celebrates the people, engineering, science and audacity of those who pushed the limits in their pursuit of speed.
The Gallery of Speed tells the story of American motorsports and car culture, from the humble beginnings of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to stories of motorsports innovation, engineering and design. Historical vehicles, artifacts, images and life-sized sculptures and other memorabilia bring each moment to life.
The NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors (60 and up), $8 youth (6-15) and free for children ages 5 and under.
You can hear it before you smell it. You can smell it before you see it. It’s the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. Each year the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series brings the best of the best to the Auto Club Raceway at Fairplex for the world championship series. It’s fast. It’s loud. It’s exhilarating. We love it!
Day 2 is half-way over and the burning rubber can be smelt as soon as you enter the parking lot. You can hear the engine roars all over campus, including our offices on the other side of the grounds!
Despite the craziness of the drag races, it’s well-organized from start to finish. Drivers, pit crews and engines are lined up and ready to go at all times.
It’s an ongoing parade of trucks, cars and bikes from behind-the-scenes
Cars are driven to the racing strip…
With the drivers strapped in and ready to go
NHRA Finals – Day 2
It’s crazy to watch, but even crazier to imagine the feeling of adrenaline the drivers get as they race down the strip. The world championship series ends on Sunday, but there’s still time to check out all the action! You can purchase tickets at www.nhratix.com.
The hottest bodies around can be found this weekend at Fairplex – that’s right, hot rods, customs, muscle cars, classic trucks and motorcycles (what did you think I meant?). The 61st annual Grand National Roadster Show starts tomorrow. Wheels rolled in today and I had to sneak out to the grounds to take a look. You will not be disappointed! Whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, there are some amazing works of art at the show. Take a look:
James Hetfield’s (of Metallica) 1936 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster
1968 Mustange Fastback
My photos can’t compare to the real thing. See great customs by designers Chip Foose and Boyd Coddington. America’s Most Beautiful Roadster will be awarded. There’s a great exhibit on Cars that Made a Difference: Famous Magazine Car Covers and vendors galore. Plus you can meet Lorenzo Lamas and John Schneider and Catherine Bach from the original TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
Show hours are:
Friday noon to 9 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission is $20 for ages 13 and up; $10 for children ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and younger.
Check out the show Web site at rodshows.com.
Looking for a different experience this weekend? Check out the Auto Club NHRA Finals right here at Fairplex. Now for a step-by-step guide to looking like a die-hard fan this weekend.
Arrive early! The best time to get autographs and enjoy the pits (not to mention finding some prime parking) is before the racing starts.
While wandering the pits, feel free to chit-chat with people like you know what you’re doing. “Hey, did you see John Force’s qualifying run last week?” Simple statements like that make you seem much more knowledgeable than you are.
Before walking up to a driver to get his autograph, make sure you know his (o her) name. Their faces are huge on the sides of their trailers and their names are always there too. You have no excuses for not knowing who Brandon Bernstein is when his face is plastered about 12 feet high.
Now this is one decision you get to make: Do you buy a t-shirt or just ask the drivers to sign the cards they provide? If you buy the t-shirt, be sure to put it on so they can sign your back (this is the ultimate in pit groupie cool).
Find a good spot to sit. Now, depending on which tickets you purchased, you may have a reserved seat or you may not. If you do, come and go as you please, but if you don’t, you are going to need to camp out in your spot for quite some time.
Earlier, I mentioned Brandon Bernstein. If you do see him, wish him luck in his new ventures. Budweiser is pulling out of NHRA at the end of these races, and he has found a great new team.
Drink water and wear sun-block! You are sitting outside all day. I don’t care if it is overcast, the UV rays still come through and you can still get dehydrated (sunstroke is definitely not pit groupie cool).
And, the most important one…HAVE FUN! The Drags only come twice a year and they can be a great experience.
The dust has barely settled in the Big Red Barn. The last semi-trailer has rolled through the gates with its Fair cargo on board while busy Fairplex events staff start the preparations for the next great Fairplex year-round event.