GLENDORA, Calif. — It’s one thing to read about history. Another to watch accounts of it on the History Channel. But nothing quite compares to hearing stories from the men and women who actually lived and breathed the history.
The NHRA community, from race fans to sponsors, from drivers to crew members, will be afforded that rare opportunity when NHRA hosts the Legends Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Sheraton Fairplex as part of its weeklong celebration of the 50th running of the iconic Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, which will be held Feb. 11-14 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
The Legends Dinner will feature a pair of drivers from each of the five decades that the Winternationals has been contested and NHRA track announcer Bob Frey will serve as the event’s emcee, steering the discussion from Don Garlits’ unveiling of the “Swamp Rat” to local-boy Larry Dixon’s Winternationals wins in 2002 and 2003 that propelled him to his two championships, and not missing a moment in between.
Legendary announcer Dave McClelland will also be on hand to conduct roaming interviews with some of the assembled NHRA stars as well as to facilitate a Q&A with fans.
The drivers slated to be formally involved in the panel discussion include: Don Garlits, Bob Glidden, Grumpy Jenkins, Shirley Muldowney, Kenny Bernstein, John Force, Joe Amato, Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon.
The Legends Dinner, the first of its kind, will be held in the Avalon Room at the L.A. County Fairplex; cocktails will be served from 5-6 p.m., dinner from 6-7 p.m., and the panel discussion will run from 7-9 p.m.
Tickets are $125 per person and tables (10 per table) can be purchased for $1100 by calling 800-884-NHRA.
The event will also include a charity component in which money will be raised via a premium-item auction for the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California. Among the items for auction will be an Eric Clapton autographed guitar.
For more information on the “Legends Dinner” or to purchase tickets to the 50th Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals, call 800-884-NHRA. (800-884-6472)
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks nationwide. As the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA presents 23 national events in the U.S. featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Two NHRA-sanctioned bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels: the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.