Parking race cars pose a challenge at the Nightfire Nationals drag race

Top Fuel cars ready for Nightfire Nationals
Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 19:29:02-04

The Nightfire Nationals will be burning up the track at Firebird Raceway beginning Friday.

It's the biggest drag race of the season, with top fuel cars and teams coming from across the country. Just like all the spectators, the drivers have to find a parking space. But when there are dozens of fully loaded semis — that's easier said than done.

"We're going to easily be over capacity this weekend with over 35 nitro cars this is going to be an history making event," said Brad New with Firebird Raceway.

But, top fuel teams don't drive to the track in the race car, they have one and sometimes two semis full of cars and parts that must be parked well before race day.

"With this many cars and participants from all over the country, it's quite a big deal to get everybody parked," said New.

And racers can be a bit superstitious.

"We set the track record in this spot a couple years ago," said Hodgson, driver of the Pacemaker funny car. "And you kinda like to do the same routine every time you do something."

The racing is not just on the track. There's a scramble for the best spots in the pits.

"First come first served," said New. "But when they get here all they really want to do is get out on the race track."

The semis are just the beginning, local cars and teams will arrive all the way through Saturday. It takes six people working nonstop to get them all in the pits, turning an empty lot into a mini city. where every resident drives a really fast car.

The Nightfire Nationals runs through the weekend with the finals on Sunday.