Throwback Thursday: Fairplex & NHRA

November 3, 2016

For decades now, the familiar, thunderous roar of the drag races can be heard throughout Fairplex every February and November at the Auto Club Winternationals and Finals respectively.

nhra winternationalsThe NHRA Winternationals are held at the Auto Club Raceway each year 

Back in the 1950s, drag racing wasn’t an official sport — far from it. In fact, Fairplex (then known as the LA County Fairgrounds) leased a parking lot for local drag races per the request of city officials.

That parking lot eventually became the historic Auto Club Raceway.

nhra winternationals The NHRA Winternationals (1963); Source:

NHRA held its first official race in 1953 at the leased parking lot. Since then, the NHRA has grown to include 70,000 members, 40,000 licensed competitors, and 120 tracks across the nation, and continues to be a leader in the motorsports industry.

We take pride in being the birthplace of this racing giant, and we welcome the return of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series (Winternationals + Finals) every year. We can’t wait for the 52nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals next weekend!

For more information about Fairplex and the NHRA, visit!

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