The Glory and Insanity of NHRA Drag Racing

Ron Capps set a track record at qualifying for Sunday's NHRA New England Nationals. Before the race, here's a look back at drag racing over the years.

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The fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals are this weekend in Epping, New Hampshire. You should watch them. Early indication is that the event’s going to be something special: During qualifying on Friday, Ron Capps ripped off a 3.865-second pass at 325.92 mph in the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. That’s a track record at New England Dragway, which was built in 1966. Which got us thinking about the NHRA, and drag racing, and its storied history in America.

So, before New England Nationals, here’s a little reminder that the sport is absolutely glorious. Consider it an flame-belching, tire-slaying, nitro-soaked appetizer to Sunday’s race. Enjoy.

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Lining up at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, 1968.

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Ashley Force at Carolinas Nationals at the Zmax Dragway in Concord, 2008.

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Brandon Bernstein keeping warm during a rain delay at Mile high Nationals in Colorado, 2009. 

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Shirley Muldowney en route to a Top Fuel Eliminator win at North Star Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota, 1982.

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Winternationals at Pomona, from the perspective of the NHRA's official starter Buster Couch, 1968.

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John Force during Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida, 2006.

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Force, two decades prior, running at Gatornationals, 1984.

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Prepping Doug Kalitta's Top Fuel dragster beofre Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, 2015.

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Night time qualifying for the Summit Nationals near Norwalk, Ohio, 2007.