by Rhys Williams. Drag Racing. The History of Drag Racing in the United States. Drag racing first started with hot rodders racing quarter mile tracks, usually in dry lake beds in post World War II years. Also in the earl 1930’s car speeds first exceeded 100 miles per hour.
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The History of Drag Racing in the United States.
How Did Drag Racing Start?
One could also argue that official drag racing began in 1947 when Wally Parks took part in organizing the S.C.T.A. (Southern California Timing Association). During the first “Speed Week,” S.C.T.A. held the first official timed drag races in drag racing history. “The Speed Week,” was held in Bonneville Salt Flats in 1949.
Wally Parks (above)
The first drag strip was built on an old airfield in southern California. The strip is called the Santa Ana Drags. (Picture to the right)
Wally Parks founded the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) in 1951. The NHRA was used to, “Create order from chaos,” said Wally Parks.
The NHRA held its very first race on part of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot in Pomona, California. The race was held in April 1953.
NHRA held its first national event, in 1955, called "the Nationals" in Great Bend, Kansas. Six years later, as the Nationals toured around the country to expand the growing sport before settling in Indianapolis in 1961, the Winternationals was NHRA's second event.