SoCal Funny Car Shows in the Sixties
By Bill Duke
While Fontana was my first (you
always remember your "first"), it was Irwindale that really gave
me my 1/4 mile education. The summer of ‘66 was when I started to attend
with regularity events at Irwindale. I recall when Lions had fuelers,
Irwindale ran the funnies, and vice versa. At that time, they were the two
dominant tracks offering big car turnouts, touring pros, and night racing. I
have to admit though, that I was not a real big fan of the funnies in ‘66.
It seemed that the quality of racing was lacking.
Out of ten cars, four would run
well and two OK. The rest couldn't get out their own way and simply blew
tranny chunks all over the track. Performance wise, there was a huge
disparity amongst a pack of cars. Arrington's GTO ran high eights; ditto
with Runyan. The Glendale Speed Shop Nova ran high nines and the rest were
happy with elevens. It wasn't until the real back yard do-it-your-selfers
were finally weeded out and replaced by competent racers with quality built
cars that I began to really enjoy watching the cars race.