"Holy Toledo!"

May 28, 2014

The NHRA Summernationals: Special Memories & Vintage Video

Filed under: NHRA, Vintage Sports Video — Bill @ 11:03 am

I can’t be the only drag racing fan who dreams about John & Courtney Force doing side by side smoky burnouts down Madison Avenue!

This weekend is the famous annual NHRA event held at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. Old drag racers and movie fans might recall that from the movie Heart Like A Wheel, that this is the track where Shirley Muldowney got her NHRA license. Of course that is just one of many big moments that has occurred at this prestigious event, which dates back 45 years.

Being one of the original seven events on the NHRA tour, the Summernationals has had several different names over the years. It was the Mopar Parts Nationals, for awhile it was the Super Nationals, and as of last year it went back to it’s roots, once again called the Summernationals. This year officially it’s the 45th annual Toyota Summernationals.

Perhaps the most talked about moment from Englishtown history is “Big Daddy’s Blowover” in 1986. We all held our collective breath as we watched in horror as Swamp Rat 30’s tiny front wheels kept getting higher and higher, and then Holy Toledo it blew over! Fortunately Don was okay, only his pride and the front end of his dragster were hurt.

Sadly we also remember that we lost Scott Kalitta here in 2008. Scott would prefer we remember happier times, and so we will.

The Holy Toledo vintage drag racing video collection has a whopping total of 30 different telecasts from this great race, plus 3 “classic” rebroadcasts. Yes, I know what you are wondering, I do have the 1986 race with “Big Daddy’s blowover”. Unfortunately the collection does have a few holes, I’m missing four races from the ‘80’s, three in the 90’s, & three in the 2000’s. If anyone has these and would like to trade I would be thrilled. I also provide a video transfer service, taking your old vhs tapes and transferring them to digital dvd. Contact me if you are interested.

For a few years the Summernationals race was broadcast by NBC SportsWorld, which sucked because they would split the telecast into two parts. One weekend would be Top Fuel dragsters show, on a different weekend would be the Funny Cars. This really made you appreciate those beautiful American Sports Cavalcade 90 minute telecasts on TNN. Wouldn’t Steve Evans love the 3 hour shows we get today?
For those of you who have, or will be attending this race, write a comment and tell us about it. For those of us who are 3000 miles away we will be watching on the Internet and on TV.

Enjoy the race everyone!

Meanwhile here is the Holy Toledo Vintage Video Collection of races from this great event.
(*if you are looking for other races, or wish to see my complete list see below)

— “Summernationals Video Collection” —
1977 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1979 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ (YouTube ver.)

1980 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1983 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1985 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1986 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1987 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1988 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ

1992 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
1993 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
1994 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
1995 Dupont Pro Stock Challenge -Englishtown, NJ
1995 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
1996 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
1998 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, VJ
1999 Mopar Parts Nationals -Englishtown, NJ (Rainout, partial)

2001 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
2003 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ *Classic version
2004 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ *Classic version
2005 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ *Classic version
2007 Supernationals -Englishtown, NJ
2008 Super Nationals Qualifying (Scott Kalitta) -Englishtown, NJ
2008 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
2009 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ

2010 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
+Qualifying
+Sportsman telecast
2011 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
+Lucas Oil, & Pro Mod Series
2012 Super Nationals -Englishtown, NJ
+Qualifying
2013 Summernationals -Englishtown, NJ
+Qualifyting

**If you want to see my complete Racing List find it here on this site (link to your right, or email me for the most current list.
Email: holytoledo@sonic.net

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1 Comment »

  1. I can remember when a kid from Santa Rosa won this race it was Jeb allen

    Comment by uncle buck — May 28, 2014 @ 11:31 am


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