Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals returns to Pomona Fairplex for drag racing

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POMONA, Calif. (KABC) — On your marks, get set, go! The legendary quarter-mile at Pomona welcomes the return of the also-legendary Winternationals.

“We always say, it’s great to watch it on TV, but you have to be here in person to see it and… the experience that (these cars) provide,” said Kasey Coler, V.P. of National Hot Rod Association track operations.

So much tradition here. The sounds, the smells, fans who come back year after year.

And something a little unconventional is at the event: the Ford Cobra Jet 1800. The number represents the horsepower it makes. And it makes that horsepower purely with electricity.

“I don’t think electric drag car is an oxymoron. Drag racing’s one of the best places to show electrification. We’re able to show insane acceleration and performance and torque capable from an electric motor,” said Brian Novak of Ford Motorsports.

Fellow Ford Motorsports team member Jake Powers added: “Everyone comes out, they’re very interested in it. Even hard-core ‘gas’ guys that say ‘oh, I really love the sound’ or ‘I really love the smell of the nitro,’ they understand what we’re doing. They think it’s really cool.”

You’ll also find a driver in a somewhat unconventional role. Tony Stewart is an icon of NASCAR, and he’s also driven Indy Cars, IMSA Sports Cars, Sprint Cars, you name it. Now, Stewart is a drag racer.

“When you hit the gas, it pins you back in the seat SO hard. There’s not another form of motorsports that has a car that accelerates as hard as these cars do. It’s really hard to explain it, you just know that when that light goes and you hit the pedal, you better hang on, ’cause you’re gonna have a wild four-second ride,” said Stewart.

Many of the cars on the track are not driven by pros from big teams, but people who do this as a hobby. Professionals and amateurs all putting on a show this weekend, 1,320 feet at a time.

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