The annual pre-season test session at Charlie Allen’s Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona, used to actually be a race of sorts and in the late 1980’s was promoted as the “SuperBowl” of drag racing. These days the ‘SuperBowl” of drag racing is an annual Pro Stock-only affair currently being held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Phoenix test is called the National Time Trials and there is no real racing. As often as not they run just one lane and only a few cars make full passes. Having said that, the National Time Trials at Firebird still offer spectators and racers a chance to see and test the Nitro team’s newest equipment before the official start of the season. This year’s session gave the hard core fans a real look at the John Force camp which already seems in mid-season form, as well as the Top Fueler tuned by Schumacher ace Alan Johnson and the Kalitta/Tobler/Oberhofer trio.

DRO had Senior Photographer Ron Lewis as well as James Drew and Editor Jeff Burk on hand to photograph the cars and stars. 

Gary Scelzi

Ashley and Andretti

Force test vehicle

All photos on this page are by James Drew


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