1969 Nostalgia Drag Videos from the US Nationals

nostalgia_drag_racing wheels up front engine dragster

Every once in a while when cruising Youtube, you find gold. I found it five times with these 5 videos from the “Big Go” the US Nationals from Indianapolis, Indiana from way back in 1969 when they just called it, “The Nationals”. Called the “Tournament of Champions” and presented by Hurst Performance Center you’ll hear the late great voice of drag racing Steve Evans narrating.  The videography’s cool too. You’ll have no doubt, this is the late 60’s!

Even cooler for me is that these are from 1969! The year I was born and like me, they’re about to have their 20th birthday, again.

I haven’t heard a single drag racer, especially the current pros, mention any other race ahead of the US Nationals. This is THE race of the year and it looks like it has been for 40 years.

Enjoy these 5 nostalgia drag racing videos from before corporate sponsors and big dollar teams. The 4-speed bang’n, the tire smoking, the love of drag racing shows clear.

Here’s part 1:
Featuring the intro and credits. Don’t want watch the first minute of this one, then skip on to your next internet destination! This part also includes some great wheels up action clips and an explanation of the “Hurst-aid Center” supplied by Hurst at the race. This is the start of what Steve Evans calls, “The psychedelic kaleidoscope of action!” in part 2.

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Part2 –
Featuring the fashion and people of 1969 drag racing including one of the most wicked comb-overs I’ve ever seen. The camera takes a double take on this dude! Then there’s non-stop wheelstanding front engine dragsters and blower explosions making me wonder how’d they see with a face full of fuel and oil? Then, it’s an intro to the “stockers”.
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Featuring “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and the parade of trophy queens and the top fuel qualifiers then racing starts. It’s Danny Ongais at the wheel of Micky Thompson’s  Mach 1 Mustang  then Bruce Larson driving the “USA-1” Camaro funny car racing current drag race team owner Don Schumacher driving his “Stardust” Barracuda. Next it’s Connie Kallita’s “Bounty Hunter” cammer powered Mustag funny car racing “Big John” Mazmanian’s Cuda funny car.  The top fuel racing starts with Garlits accidentally turning off his car during staging and losing the race then Don Prudhomme‘s engine blowing win.
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Featuring Ronnie Sox and Dick Landy, the Candies and Hughes funny car, a “ride-a-long” with legendary Altered “Pure Hell” then “Ohio” George Montgomery’s blown 1969 Mustang funny car (recently sold at RM’s Icons of Speed and Style auction for $132k) Not sure if this one or Part 3’s my favorite.
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This one’s all about the finals. The first is Ohio George’s nasty Mustang racing a Hemi powered altered. What was Super Eliminator anyway? There’s also a pair of wagons racing for the $6000 purse in Stock. You know I love the wagons! Then you get the bizarre story or Top Gas winner Santucci who set low ET while unconscious from choking on his gum in the car. They thought he was having a heart attack and took him to the hospital! Finally, the video ends with a ride-along camera split screen as Don Prudhomme wins his 2nd Nationals title.
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In case you’re wondering who won, here are the winners by category (heard of any of these folks? WOW!):

  • Top Fuel Winner Don Prudhomme, Runner-up Kelly Brown
  • Top Gas Winner Domenic Santucci, Runner-up Phil Hobbs;
  • Funny Car Winner Danny Ongais, Runner-up Rich Siroonian
  • Super Eliminator Winner George Montgomery, Runner-up Ron Ellis
  • Competition Eliminator Winner Terry Fritsch, Runner-up Neil Ellis
  • Street Winner Glen Self; Runner-up Carroll Caudle
  • Super Stock Winner Ronnie Sox, Runner-up Ron Mancini
  • Stock Winner Bill Morgan; Runner-up Tom Neja

Gotta thank Youtube member DragStripRiot who also represents Drag Strip Girl clothing for loading these GREAT videos.