Save Los Angeles County Raceway!


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By Bob "Stormy" Byrd / Full Throttle News April 2006


With the closing of OCIR in 83, So. Cals.  Days of a weekend fuel show were all but over, with the exception of one lone voice in the wilderness.  A voice who's mantra "Fuel Altereds Forever," would resonate from Bernie’s High desert place. The voice of Fuel Altered fanatic Rod Hynes, pilot of the Lucas & Hynes "Coor’s Light" AA/FA.

Rod would match race Eddie Florney's Funny car or do a "Fire Burnout" for a "Headliner" often the only compensation would be Fuel, But it was on what the race gods drink NITRO !

June 12, 1965 Dale Emery in "Pure Hell" Gets Shut Down by the Bellflower Auto "Coyote" 


Palmdale July 31, 1965 Final Round of Top Fuel. Horsepower posted low et of the night 

and Astro car blew the clutch and the blower at half track.

August 14, 1965 Harry Payne, left Joe Winters with Palmdale trophy girl Denise Andre after their top fuel win at the Gold Cup drags.

Hynes along with Bernie and Input from AA/FA veteran Dave "Nanook" Hough would help resurrect the class at now what was now known as Los Angeles County Raceway, under NHRA sanctioning. LACR would be the new home for the "Original Hot Rods" with the demise of Tucson Raceway that hosted the AA/FA Nationals.

Together they would put on the "91 Spring Fuel Altered Championships which drew 14 "Awful" Awful's and filled the place with the sweet smell burnt rubber and Ch3No2.

The event was won by the late Ray Higley, a "Class" veteran.

LACR's best years I believe were the late 80's & 90's.

Bernie grabbing the surging "Nostalgia" craze by the throat put on themed events like the Yesteryears Drags, the Antique Nationals.  The 1987, 10th anniversary "Irwindale Reunion" he came up with packed the place to standing room only. It also brought out former pilots like Bill Alexander, Jimmy Boyd, and Tom Hunnicutt for their second "go round" behind the wheel.

Even though gravely ill AA/FA star Gary "Blazen'Hazen" made it out to be with his old buddies.

 Two weeks later he would be the guest of honor at a home coming party that the "Zookeeper" , "Iron Mike" and  "Sneaky Pete" were holding for him.

Palmdale July 11, 1965 John Garrison and John "Zookeeper" Mulligan


Following up with the "Irwindale" success, subsequent Lion's & San Fernando races brought out more old iron much to the delight of  an increasing "nostalgia" fan base that was beginning to gather steam .

Always trying to bring back that So Cal feeling, Bernie partnered up with associations like NDRA, WTA and ANRA who our very own FTN Richard teamed up with to put on "NITROMANIA". The event pulled in cars and fans from all over the state. Richard continues to cover grassroots associations like ANRA & the Goodguys with full coverage in Full Throttle News. Drag Racing's ONLY alternative magazine.

LACR would also become home grounds of the reemerging Jet Car contingency and "Jet Car Nationals" that faded after OCIR's closing. It has become the training grounds for many of the new "Weenie Roaster" pilots under Bernie’s tutelage. Bernie himself has pushed the big pedal on these "Fire breathing uber dildos" as Herr Cole Coonce labeled them. They were awesome as they lit up the night skies around Palmdale.


LACR has hosted  over the decades major divisional events, Independent Fuel shows, the Bracket & Import Nationals,  anything it took to keep the bills paid.

A Diamond in the rough? It had to be, to survive 40+ years. You don't have to tell me about the wind, the temp changes or the amenities, I've been going there over a quarter century. It's the place I got my first competition license with Bernie's help, thousands have!. People & places sometimes only obtain legendary status after their gone. The problem with that is reality sets in and "now" you miss them.

The fact is in this day and age. The gravel under the track is worth more than the countless lives it has save over the years.

The old proverb says "The noisy wheel gets greased" Where in the hell are our elected officials who complain about the street racing problem in their districts? Where is large father NHRA that once toured the country setting up "Safe Sanctioned" tracks at abandon airports?  

Let those in power know how you feel! LACR still has a heart beat.

You do nothing, you get nothing! LACR isn't fancy, nor a megaplex it's the "Bernie Plex"



June 27, 1965 The Astro sponsored car took Top Eliminator, the crew stand beside the car with Miss Palmdale.

In closing; the elder statesmen "Inyokern" closed without any fanfare. The result of one lone neophyte government Dickweed, who found a Non problem after 50 years of virtual inobscurity.

As for me, I would rather fuel the flames of hope for our little "Diamond in the rough", then to stand in the ashes of a silent mediocrity!  

Bob "Stormy" Byrd

 A special thanks to Bob "Homer" Thompson for his help with this story.


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