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Drag Racing

January 31, 2010 | By Maria Elena Fernandez >>>
Drag queens sashay down the runway, lip-syncing to RuPaul's "Main Event," escorted by their drag mothers. The mother-daughter fashion show has begun, and immediately we realize: we've never seen anything like this on TV. The mamas are only mommies for a day -- older gay men plucked out of their quiet lives to be transformed into drag queens as part of a reality show challenge. They've never worn heels, makeup or dresses. And a test it is. Heels prove a giant obstacle for a couple of "mothers" who have trouble walking in their own shoes because of disabilities.
November 15, 2009 | By Tim Haddock
Seeing Tony Schumacher wearing one of his National Hot Rod Assn. top-fuel championship leather jackets during breakfast Sunday morning didn't look too much out of place. It was a pretty chilly morning for the NHRA season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. Had it been 100 degrees, Schumacher probably still would have worn one of his six championship jackets. Schumacher, with a hint of premonition, a sprinkle of confidence and proudly donning a reminder of his drag racing dominance, addressed friends and sponsors in the garage area before driver introductions.
April 25, 2009 | Valerie J. Nelson
Chester "Chet" Herbert, a drag-racing pioneer who continued to innovate in the sport after polio left him paralyzed from the chest down, has died. Herbert, 81, who lived in Villa Park, died of pneumonia Thursday at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, said Sara Fensterer, a spokeswoman for his son, Doug, who is a professional drag racer.
RuPaul, the 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-7 (by his own varying accounts) African American drag queen who sashayed his way into mass consciousness in the 1990s with the club hit "Supermodel" and a VH1 talk show, is back on TV with "RuPaul's Drag Race." A reality competition show now about three-quarters through its first cycle on Logo, the LGBT-themed cable net, it aims to discover "America's next drag superstar" -- that is, the next RuPaul.
February 10, 2009 | Jim Peltz
The National Hot Rod Assn.'s season opener in Pomona, normally a four-day affair, will now drag into a sixth day -- pun fully intended. Heavy rain again soaked Auto Club Raceway on Monday, forcing the remainder of the Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals to be postponed until today, when clearer skies are forecast. Only the first round of final eliminations in drag racing's two premier classes, top-fuel and funny cars, were completed Sunday in the NHRA's Full Throttle Series.
November 16, 2008 | Jim Peltz, Peltz is a Times staff writer.
The 320 feet at the end of drag racing's traditional quarter-mile tracks also is at the center in the NHRA's controversial effort to curb fatal crashes in the sport. After accidents that killed drivers Scott Kalitta and Eric Medlen and nearly killed drag racing legend John Force, the NHRA this summer shortened races to 1,000 feet from 1,320 feet, or quarter-mile. The move, unprecedented in the National Hot Rod Assn.'
November 13, 2008 | Jim Peltz, Peltz is a Times staff writer
Drag racing this weekend will end a tragic and tumultuous season, and decide a close championship fight in its 300-mph funny car class, in the series finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. Two of the four major classes of dragsters in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s top-tier Powerade Series either have been decided, or close to it, under the series' Countdown to the Championship format. Tony Schumacher extended his remarkable domination of the top fuel division by clinching his fifth consecutive title, and sixth overall, at the race two weeks ago in Las Vegas.
February 7, 2008 | Greg Johnson, Times Staff Writer
It will be business as usual at the L.A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona today when the National Hot Rod Assn. opens its 2008 season with the annual Winternationals, which run through Sunday. Engines will roar, fat tires will lay down bands of rubber and cars will speed down the drag strip at upward of 300 mph. Off the track, however, the pro drag racing circuit hit an unexpected speed bump Jan.
November 5, 2007 | Jim Peltz, Times Staff Writer
After Tony Schumacher made a dramatic comeback to win the top fuel drag-racing title a year ago, the sport rolled out a new system for determining the championship in 2007. No matter. Schumacher made another stunning comeback under the new rules Sunday to win the season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona and his fifth championship in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s top-level Powerade Series.
November 4, 2007 | Jim Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Pro drag racing crowns its champions at the final race today, ending a tumultuous season that could prove a turning point in the sport. The NHRA's top-tier Powerade Series -- where some dragsters reach 330 mph in a quarter-mile -- endured a driver fatality, saw its most popular driver seriously hurt in another crash, imposed new driver-safety measures, rolled out a controversial championship format, and agreed to sell the series to a firm vowing to better promote the sport.
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