Active Nor/Cen-Cal Dragstrips

 Shelby Allen’s 1967 Mustang Super Pro, Samoa Drag Strip, Samoa.

Shelby Allen’s 1967 Mustang Super Pro, Samoa Drag Strip, Samoa.

Text: Steve Kowalski • Photography: Saroyan Humphrey

Spotlight  |  Over the past decade,  California's grassroots dragstrips have struggled to survive but you can still find some of the best racing in a straight line at these five very active dragways. From two of the oldest NHRA tracks in the U.S. to one of the fastest on the NHRA circuit, these quarter-mile beacons of speed—from Samoa to McFarland—offer exciting weekly and special event action. 

Here’s a quick look at the active dragstrips (as of May 2018):


 Division 7 Series racing at Famoso.

Division 7 Series racing at Famoso.

McFarland, CA
Racing from January-November
Affiliation/Series: NHRA, Division 7 Series, Hot Rod Heritage, Saturday Night Nitro, Junior Dragster League

Highlights
• Home of March Meet—aka, The Fuel & Gas Nationals—the renowned nostalgia drag racing blow out.
• Historic dragway opened as part of an Army Air Corp airbase in 1954.
• Also hosts the popular annual Hot Rod Reunion

 

Redding Dragstrip

 Mike Buersken of Redding, gets ready for a test run in his Pro Dragster.

Mike Buersken of Redding, gets ready for a test run in his Pro Dragster.

Redding, CA
Racing from February-November
Affiliation/Series: NHRA, Division 7 Series, Street Legal, Junior Dragster League

Highlights
• Home of Kool April Nites, a popular car show/drag event.
• NHRA’s longest continuously operating drag strip (since 1955).

 

Sacramento Raceway Park

 Sacramento Raceway, racing since 1964.

Sacramento Raceway, racing since 1964.

Sacramento, CA
Racing from February-November
Affiliation/Series: NHRA, Division 7 Series, Pacific Division ET Challenge, Street Legal, Junior Dragster League

Highlights
• Home of the Governors Cup event.
• Features street-legal racing on a regular schedule.

 

Samoa Dragstrip

 Super Pro showdown at Somoa.

Super Pro showdown at Somoa.

Samoa, CA
Racing from April-September
Affiliation/Series: NHRA, Division 7 Series, Street Legal

Highlights
• Awarded NHRA's most-improved track in 2007 after repaving.
• Located at Samoa Air Field, near Eureka.

 

Sonoma Raceway Dragstrip

 Super Pro bracket racing at Sonoma.

Super Pro bracket racing at Sonoma.

Sonoma, CA
Racing from January-November, 
Affiliation/Series: NHRA, Division 7 Series, Street Legal

Highlights
• Competitive weekly NHRA Division 7 Bracket Racing. 
• Home of the Sonoma Nationals, the NHRA event in Nor-Cal.
• Regular street-legal and local high school “grudge match” events. 


For more about active tracks in the region, check out Guide to Northern & Central California Raceways, a local guidebook by Saroyan Humphrey. He's a San Francisco-based photographer and art director.