loss of NHRA founder and figure head, Wally Parks in 2007 it
seemed more that fitting to give him a tribute worthy of his
legend at the final race of the season. It took a lot of planning
but the participants, representing every era and every class
of NHRA drag racing over the last 50 decades made their way to
the hallowed grounds of Pomona Raceway to make beautiful noise
for the guy who made this all happen so many years ago.
weekend filled with controversy over the new World Championship
points system one thing was not debated... the passing of Wally
and the tribute organized in his memory was an emotional segment
for racers and fans alike.
the semis and finals on Sunday, nearly a quarter mile of significant
vehicles and people line up in front of the grandstands. After
the preamble and introductions they did a simultaneous fire-up
(functional cars) to conclude the presentation. These cars and
people were representative of Wally's career, and his influence
Dave McClelland moderated.
Original NHRA Safari station wagon and Trailer with the original
safari team consisting of Bud Coons, Chic Cannon, Bud Evans,
and Eric Rickman.
Dry Lakes Roadster: Ed Iskenderian
Al Teague Streamliner: Al Teague
SoCal Roadster: Alex Xydias
Chrisman #25 Dragster: Art Chrisman
Glass Slipper Dragster: Ed Cortopassi
Dragmaster Dart: Jim Nelson and Dode Martin (first car in
Street Rods: One car each from 4 clubs: Cal Rods, Road Kings,
L.A. Roadsters and Street Rods Forever
1960s Vintage Front Engine Fuel Dragsters
Ivo Barnstormer: Tommy Ivo
Magicar: Jeep Hampshire
Baney & McEwen Yeakel Plymouth Special: Billy
Tidwell (Tom McEwen with car).
Howard Cams Rattler: Marvin Graham
Kuhl and Olson:
Swamp Rat 3: Don Garlits (Sonny Messner's
Over Hill Gang Top Fuel Dragster: Kelly Brown - winner of
25th U.S. Nationals.
Bubble-Up Nostalgia Funny Car: Canadian Champion Terry Capp
with Crew Chief Roland Leong.
Army '78 Plymouth Arrow FC: Don Prudhomme (Bob Brandt with
"Suddenly" 1957 Plymouth Wally Parks Roadster.
Cal Rods replica: Richard Parks and David Parks.
NHRA selections / all classes.
Junior Dragster Current Junior Champion: driver J.R. Todd
stood by car.
Stock: Jerry Emmons - Chevelle
Super Stock: Houser/DeFrank - Cuda
Gas: Paul Weichmann
Super Comp Comp: Ed Sigmon
T/AFC: Steve Gasparelli
Pro Stock Bike: Steve Johnson
Stock: Warren Johnson
Funny Car - John Force Racing:
Top Fuel Dragster - Kalitta/Mac Tools
car: Scott Kalitta.
Also included were Linda Vaughn, Marv Rifchin and the All
Time Top Ten Drag Racers.
Photos by Tom West and John Ewald