Baptism by Nitro: First Time at the Drag Races
Written by: Arielle Torrez
Engines were revving as racers blasted off at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Fairplex over Veterans Day Weekend. Eager crowds filled the stands from Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14 ready to witness the crowing of the four 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world champions. Official racing kicked off Friday with the first of three qualifying sessions for drivers in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes, followed by two more sessions Saturday and final eliminations on Sunday.
With an ice-cold lemonade in hand, I ventured out to attend what would be my first race ever. Looking around, it was clear that all attendees were eager and thrilled to have live racing back. “It feels great to be back in these stands again,” someone said. The energy in the air was truly contagious as everyone began to cheer as the announcers made opening statements. From the vibrations of the nitro to the decked-out vehicles, this first-time drag race attendee was instantly hooked. Although I forgot a pair of earplugs (I know, Rookie mistake) giving my ears a rest was no issue as the areas surrounding the stands were filled with a variety of food vendors, merchandise booths and exhibits. Walking around the grounds, it was clear that the racing community is a tight-knit, welcoming group. If you have yet to experience an NHRA event at Fairplex be sure to attend the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals taking place February 17-20, 2022.
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