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Given that John Force is drag racing's most popular performer, it would not be overly enthusiastic to say that Funny Car might be the most popular class. On average, they are only two- to three-tenths and 5-10 mph slower than the Top Fuelers and they look much wilder, do much better burnouts, and are harder to steer.

To backtrack a little, Top Fuel developed historically as a separate entity around 1957 or 1958, with the Funny Car officially slipping onto stage at the 1964 U.S. Nationals with the appearance of Jack Chrisman's Sachs & Sons-sponsored blown and injected Nitro-burning 1964 Mercury Comet. By January 1965, AHRA saw that this breed might become popular and hosted a 16-car Factory Experimental Eliminator at its Winternationals event in Scottsdale, Arizona, and achieved even results.

The Southern California Dodge Dealers Association commissioned dragster chassis builders Jim Nelson and Dode Martin to build a trio of Dodge Chargers, three blown and injected gas-burning 10.80-second factory experimentals. They pre-date Chrisman's model, but they were Funny Cars only in the fact that they ran blowers and injectors. The drivers were Jim Johnson and Jimmy Nix.

The cars then were mostly carbureted with the front and real wheels moved forward 10 inches and 15 inches respectively. This obviously improved the traction. It was reported that it was at this race that some unnamed wag said something on the order of, "Man, those are sure funny cars." Hence the name. However, one has to go forward seven months to August for the true birth, the true cementing of the class in popular racing culture consciousness. The date was Saturday, August 7th, the site, York U.S. Drag-O-Way in York, Pennsylvania; the event, the first Super Stock Magazine Super Stock Nationals.

If the left coast had the edge in drag racing annals for popularizing the Top Fuelers as a class (save for the histrionics of Don Garlits), then it was the right coast that served as the backdrop for the unlimited Stocker.

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