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1980’s – Drag Racing 15 : NHRA 1986


Drag Racing #15 : NHRA 1986


1-DVD (119 Minutes)

1986 NHRA Fallnationals – Phoenix, AZ  (59 min)
The second to last race of the 1986 season, Darrell Gwynn was the man to beat in Top Fuel. His nemesis, Don
Garlits (with Swamp Rat XXX), is defeated early on in round 1 by Larry Minor. Gwynn then defeats Joe Amato, but
then loses in the final round to Dick LaHaie (Dick’s daughter Kim, crew chief for LaHaie, is briefly interviewed in
this one). In funny car, it’s Kenny Bernstein’s Budweiser King defeating Jim Head, while Bob Glidden faces an
unlikely final round opponent in Dempsey Hardy, who is wielding a Pontiac Firebird Pro Stocker.

This is an another excellent Diamond P Production, originally aired on the USA Network. All the commercials have
been left in for your viewing pleasure, with ads by; Oldsmobile Racing, Kodak Film, Goodyear Eagle tires,
Budweiser (featuring Kenny Bernstein, and a second commercial with Bobby Rahal), Castrol GTX, and Autolite
Spark Plugs (featuring Joe Amato and his crew chief, Tim Richards).

1986 NHRA World Finals – Pomona, CA  (60 min)
The last race of the 1986 season, Don Garlits needed to win just one round in order to secure the 1986 Top Fuel
Championship over Darrell Gwynn, which Garlits achieves against Gene Snow in round one, and Garlits becomes the
first Top Fuel driver to win back-to-back Top Fuel championships. Kenny Bernstein had already wrapped up the Funny
Car title, while in Pro Stock, Bob Glidden also needed to win one round in order to secure yet another Pro Stock title,
which he does quite easily when his opponent red lights in round one.

Great action in this race, as Don Garlits faces his arch rival Darrell Gwynn in round two. Garlits was definitely intimidated
by the young upstart Gwynn, and in a rare Big Dady moment, Garlits red lights his chances away, handing the victory to
Gwynn. Joe Amato faces the Castrol GTX streamliner of Gary Ormsby, and Ormsby blows his supercharger just off the
line. The legendary 3-time champion Shirley Muldowney, who struggled all season as competitors easily outran her, had
been struggling just to qualify in races leading up to this event. Her problems seemed to have been sorted out, as she
rips off a couple 5.42 passes, making it through to the semi-finals, eventually losing to Joe Amato. In Pro Stock, Bruce
Allen defeats Darrell Alderman in round two (both in Chevy Camaros), Bob Glidden defeats Butch Leal, and Warren
Johnson has mechanical problems with his little Oldsmobile Firenza, losing to Don Beverley’s Pontiac Firebird. Beverley
caused quite a stir in 1986, coming out of nowhere to run at the top of the Pro Stock field, and had won an event earlier in
the season. His advantage stemmed from a clever device that shifted the gears on his Lenco transmission using
compressed air, effectively making it an automatic transmission (this would be banned for the 1987 season).  In the
finals, it was Darrell Gwynn over Joe Amato, Kenny Bernstein over Billy Meyer, and Bob Glidden takes out unknown
Ronnie Manchester, who enjoyed his first ever final round appearance in his unsponsored Pontiac Firebird.

Lots of great cars in this one, including Dale Pulde’s Buick Somerset funny car (shown above) running the RATT
sponsorship (metal band from the 1980’s), Warren Johnson’s nasty little Olds Firenza, and his teammate Don Coonce in
an identical black and silver car. This is an another excellent Diamond P Production, an original ESPN broadcast, and all
the commercials have been left in for your viewing pleasure. Ads include Autolite (featuring a young Kurt Johnson as
crew chief for his dad Warren Johnson), Goodyear Eagle GT+4, Ford Racing, Quaker State, the NRA, Care-Free Gum,
Bic Shavers, and TV Guide.