The 40th NHRA
World Finals, held at Pomona Raceway on November 11-14, 2004
served as a specular format for the Frantic 4 Racing team and
other legends from drag racing history. This was the last of
24 races in the 2004 season of the NHRA Drag Racing Series. As
always, the World Finals puts a period on a season and draws
huge crowds getting their last nitro fix until the Winternationals.
This year was no exception but there was even more "butts
in the seats" because of the "bonus show" sponsored
and organized by the folks from the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports
Museum. A huge display of over 30 vintage race cars and exhibition
runs by some of the best Nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters and Fuel
Alterds in the world brought out folks who would have passed
on the "Big Show" by itself.
Things got under
way on Wednesday, November 10, 2004. The "Big Show"
cars were just starting to set up their zip code size pit areas
while a hand full of volunteer Cacklecars were putting on a show
for thousands of school kids who were guests of NHRA, the US
Army, and the media. The Frantic 4 dragster was part of the 9
car show. The photo above has Dennis Prater and Ron Rivero standing
with the car (Norm Weekly in the seat) before they push started
from the top end of the fabled Pomona drag strip (aka Parker
Gibbs' classic Ford announces, let the games begin.
Norm Weekly is
fired and follows John Ewald down track to their "parking
On Friday at
the Wally Parks NHRA Museum display area there was a flurry of
activity when the fans had access to some of the Legends of Drag
Racing at a buffet style autograph table..
Jeb Allen, Jim
Green, Norm Weekly, Vance Hunt, Jeep Hampshire, Larry
Sutton, John Bradley, James Warren and many more sat for hours
signing what ever the endless line of fans wanted them to sign.
Through out the
weekend all the "Cacklefest" cars (and more) were on
display in the huge tent supplied by the NHRA Museum. Literally
thousands of fans spent a great deal of time looking these cars
that molded the history of drag racing.
Weekly, Betty Rivero, Dylan Rivero and Ron Rivero.
Ron and Steve
Gibbs get ready to give Rivero's grandson, Dylan a fire up (below)
in the Frantic 4 fueler. We're not sure, but Dylan may be the
youngest person to ever sit in a running Top Fuel dragster.
needs to grow into grandpa's helmet and firesuit but after his
fireup knows nitro is in his blood.
The crown jewel
for "our team" at any event is a Cacklefest. At Pomona
they did something different. Instead of push starting the cars
from the top end, the cars were brought from the staging lanes
and placed on the return road in front of the stands. This all
took place while the Pro semi-finals were being run. The twist
was that all the cars would fire at once.
The Frantic 4
fueler, American flag in the chute pack, is in its place waiting
for the show.
For this event,
Christi Rivero (daughter of Ron & Betty) got to sit in the
car. As Norm says, "She's a lot easier to look at than I
Fire-up Video Clip
Frantic Four Fire Up Video #1
Frantic Four Fire Up Video #2
out a: Frantic 4 Fan Fire Up