The Day of the Deluge, and Survival of the Unfittest

They say the definition of a “drag race promoter” is that he is the guy that bets it ain’t gonna’ rain. At the Winternationals in Pomona, there was no second meaning.

It’s not just a sour economy that’s knocking drag racing’s dick in the dirt. Here the weather seemed to conspire against this event: On the heated heels of the mother of all California Indian Summers – January was more searing than Hugh Hefner’s hot tub - dark clouds gathered ominously and bunched up like puppies in a cardboard box and for five days it rained and rained and rained. This was no mere drag race. It was the modern Day of The Deluge.

Yes, Noah should’ve parked his rig here and gathered specimens, if only to ensure drag racing survives.

Because it is going to need it.

Before the flood, due to a miserable economy, the car count at Pomona was sparse. Nobody expected otherwise.

Then the weather turned foul and the bleacher bums stayed home in droves. Race fans – casual and fanatical – seemingly avoided this race like the plague.

Is it just the economy and the weather? Or is part of the problem that those nitromaniacs who once lived for Top Fuel have found less and less to relate to? In the interest of safety when it comes to Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars, there has been a neutering of nitro percentages the last few years and now an emasculation of the distance of the drag strip from 1/4 mile to 1000 feet.

Take the one session of qualifying that was run here. It’s been raining all day Saturday, and between cloudbursts the Safety Safari diligently dries and re-dries the track, then finally that evening the call for Top Fuel goes out. You’ve endured the weather and now you’re sitting at 900’, trying to figure out what a 1000’ run actually looks like or means.