1969 Monthly Headlines
Charlie Allen's Saddleback Dodge Dart won the New Year's Funny Car Championships at Irwindale (Calif.) Raceway with a personal best of 7.56. ... The Beach Boys AA/FD team of Jim Busby and Dwight Salisbury gained sponsorship backing from television personalities Dick and Tommy Smothers. ... Joe Fisher won the initial NHRA Super Stock Jackpot Circuit at California's Orange County Int'l Raceway in Wiley Cossey's SS/E '66 Plymouth. ... The purse for the 1969 Winternationals shot past the $166,000 mark.
John Mulligan defeated Don Prudhomme in the Winternationals Top Fuel final with a 6.95. Other winners were Clare Sanders (Funny Car), Dave Grassi (Top Gas), Ken Dondero (Super), Ed Sigmon (Comp), Dick Landy (Street), Don Grotheer (Super Stock), and Mark Coletti (Stock). ... Larry Dixon Sr. and Rich Siroonian, in "Big John" Mazmanian's Barracuda, took Top Fuel and Funny Car honors at OCIR's inaugural Pro Series event. ... Danny Ongais defeated Mickey Thompson teammate Pat Foster with a track record 7.51 in the Funny Car final at the Stardust National Open in Las Vegas. ... Prudhomme avenged his Winternationals loss to Mulligan with a 6.94 to 7.10 win at the same event. ... NHRA announced that Dallas Int'l Speedway would be the site of the 1969 Springnationals.
Jim Dunn won Top Fuel at the Bakersfield (Calif.) March Meet with a 6.94 to 7.00 final-round win over Dave Babler. Ongais won Funny Car over Siroonian, 7.56 to 7.74, and Top Gas went to Walt Rhoades and the Gas House Gang, who beat Don Enriquez in the final with a 7.47. ... Sears Point Raceway's grand opening was highlighted by Don Garlits' victory in Top Fuel and Ongais' Funny Car win in Thompson's Mustang. ... Dixon won the sixth annual Hot Rod Magazine Championships over Steve Carbone in Top Fuel; Allen defeated Foster in Funny Car. ... Bill Jenkins' new aluminum-block SS/C Z-11 '69 Camaro took Super Stock over Bill Stiles' Hemi in a Cecil County (Md.) Dragway match race. Dave Strickler's SS/J Camaro took Super Stock. ... Barrie Poole's Mustang won the Division 3 Super Stock circuit opener at Edgewater Dragway in Ohio.
Bill Holland took over for Steve Evans as editor of National DRAGSTER. ... The SS/FA Plymouth wagon of Tritak & Morgan won the Division 1 NHRA All-star Super Stock opener in Aquasco, Md. ... Sanders drove "Jungle Jim" Liberman's Chevy II to the win over Eddie Schartman's Mercury Cougar in a Suffolk (Va.) Raceway match with runs of 7.93 and 7.95. ... Defending World Champion Bennie Osborn took Top Fuel at Oklahoma City Raceway with a 7.15 to 7.27 final-round win over John Wiebe. ... Carbone set a track record of 6.99 at Amarillo Dragway in Texas to defeat Junior Collins in the Top Fuel final. ... "Ohio George" Montgomery knocked off some of the biggest names in the A/GS ranks at National Trail Raceway, including Junior Thompson, K.S. Pittman, Stone-Woods-Cook, and Mazmanian. ... Prudhomme clocked three consecutive 6.8s to win a round-robin show at York U.S. 30 (Pa.) over Connie Kalitta, Tommy Ivo, and Chris Karamesines. ... Bill Lawton's new Tasca Ford '69 Mach I made a successful debut, defeating Mr. Norm's Mini-Charger in a Funny Car match race at Connecticut Dragway.
The Suffolk Division 2 points race featured 21 national records and a Top Fuel win by Garlits. ... Ongais produced another win for Thompson's Mustang at the Orange County Manufacturers Funny Car Open, topping Mazmanian's Barracuda in the final. ... Creitz & Carbone won Top Fuel at the Tulsa, Okla., World Championship Series (WCS) event. ... Don Schumacher set a 7.42 track record at York U.S. 30. ... Allen clocked a sensational 7.29 to defeat Tom McEwen at a Suffolk Raceway match. ... Liberman won the Aquasco fourth annual Funny Car Invitational. ... Osborn won Top Fuel at the Division 4 WCS race at the Corpus Christi (Texas) Grand Opener. ... Bob Hightower went airborne at an estimated 200 mph in Doug Thorley's Javelin Funny Car at Irwindale, and Dave Beebe's Dodge Fever clocked 200 mph on his way to a runner-up showing against Mazmanian.
NHRA announced a ban of aero-dynamic wings on closed-bodied vehicles such as Funny Cars. ... Bruce Larson set a track record of 7.33 at Budd's Creek Dragoway in Maryland to win over a six-car Funny Car show. ... Hank Westmoreland and Ongais won Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, at the NHRA Springnationals. Other winners were Bob Muravez (Top Gas), Montgomery (Super), David Majors (Comp), Nicholson (Street), Ronnie Sox (Super Stock), and Max Sterling Jr. (Stock). ... Wiebe took Top Fuel at the WCS race at Donnybrooke Speedway in Minnesota. ... Gary Dyer drove Mr. Norm's Dodge Charger to a Coca-Cola Cavalcade Funny Car win at Lebanon Valley Dragway.
Winners at the OCIR Nitro Championships were Bob Williams (Top Fuel), Ongais (Funny Car), and Willie Borsch (AA/FA). ... The new Chi-Town Hustler Dodge Charger, which would invent the modern-day Funny Car burnout, outlasted an eight-car show at Edgewater with a best of 7.47. ... Jenkins defeated Nicholson, Sox & Martin, and Steve Kanuka, in "Jungle Jim's" Camaro, with a best of 9.84 in a heads-up Super Stock show at York U.S. 30. All four cars were run side by side. ... Dixon won Top Fuel at OCIR's PDA event, and Beebe drove Mazmanian's Barracuda to a long-awaited win over Ongais in Funny Car.
NHRA announced its Super Season for 1970 by adding two national events, the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in February and the Summernationals in York, Pa., in July. ... Gas Ronda's Mach I Mustang clocked a 7.49 in an Irwindale Funny Car win. ... Creitz & Carbone claimed Top Fuel at the inaugural Popular Hot Rodding Championships at U.S. 131 Dragway in Michigan. ... Bobby Wood's Chevy II set an NHRA AA/FC record of 7.58 at the Shelby County (Tenn.) WCS event. ... Winners at the Super Stock Nationals at York U.S. 30 were Larson (AA/FC) and Tom Smith (Injected Funny Car). ... NHRA unveiled its new national event trophy, which over the years has become affectionately known as The Wally. Its first recipients were the Top Fuel winners of the 14 previous NHRA Nationals, who gathered to be honored at the 15th Nationals in Indy in September.
Prudhomme won his second Top Fuel title, at the 15th annual NHRA Nationals. Also winning were Ongais (Funny Car), Domenic Santucci (Top Gas), Montgomery (Super), Terry Fritsch (Comp), Glen Self (Street), Sox (Super Stock), and Bill Morgan (Stock). ... Cragar's Roy Richter was named SEMA president. ... NHRA President Wally Parks was the recipient of the first Ollie Award from the editorial staff of Car Craft magazine. ... Nicholson topped Jenkins at the USA Super Stock Eliminator race at Cecil County on a 9.86 to 9.77 holeshot. ... NHRA announced the relocation of the World Finals from Tulsa to the new Dallas Int'l Motor Speedway, which had already hosted the NHRA Springnationals earlier in the year. ... The final WCS weekend of the year was highlighted by Ongais' AA/FC national record 7.37, set at OCIR.
The 1970 NHRA Super Season was expanded to seven races with the addition of the Supernationals in late November at Southern California's new Ontario Motor Speedway. ... Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive NHRA Manufacturers Cup. ... The inaugural National DRAGSTER Open, held at National Trail Raceway Oct. 4-5, was won by Al Goodman (Top Fuel) and Gordon Collett (Top Gas). ... The Chi-Town Hustler of Farkonas, Coil & Minick made its first long, smoky burnouts on the West Coast and set low e.t. with a 7.40 in its debut outing at OCIR. ... Carbone drove Larry Huff's dragster to a Top Fuel win at the World Finals in Dallas. Other winners were Jack Jones (Top Gas), Jerry Gwynn (Super), George Fina (Comp), Mike Fons (Street), Sox (Super Stock), and Robert Burkitt (Stock).
NHRA announced the creation of a heads-up Pro Stock category for the 1970 season based on the 427-cid, seven-pounds-per-cubic-inch, 2,700-pound-minimum format that had been finalized at the World Finals in October. ... Salisbury drove the Smothers Brothers Beach Boys AA/FD to a Top Fuel win at the Carlsbad (Calif.) PDA Race of Champions; Larry Reyes drove Roland Leong's Hawaiian to the Funny Car victory. ... Ronda upset the Chi-Town Hustler in the final at OCIR's Manufacturers Championship, 7.47 to 7.48. ... Leroy Chadderton's Magnificent 7 and Larry Holt scored respective wins in AA/FA and BB/GS at OCIR.
Garlits won Top Fuel at Gainesville Raceway's inaugural Turkey Trot, and Bobby Wood scored in AA/FC with a 7.30 from his Chevy II. ... Enriquez topped a potent field of Top Gassers, AA/Fuel Altereds, and A/FDs to win the Combo Show in Fremont. ... NHRA announced a Canadian National Racing Series for 1970 and stated that the 1970 Super Season would exceed $2 million in posted awards and contingencies.
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