44th San Diego Antique Drags, Barona Eighth Mile

It was a hole-shot day of racing at the 44th San Diego Antique Drags. The eighth-mile strip in the open lands along Wildcat Canyon Road waved the flag for American power and dirt-floor ingenuity.
Breathe deep the octane-enhanced ethyl. There were old-timers and new-timers, families, friends and fans.

The twice-a-year event is open to all cars from 1975 and older, and damned if there wasn’t just every class of fuel-burning four-wheeler in the pits – and some two-wheelers. Every house of worship was there, from an Avanti to a ’23 Model T rust bucket with a straight six to a Pro Mod Mopar-powered short-wheelbase Fiat that silenced the crowd in a blaze of beautiful noise. (Watching the Witch Doctor isn’t nearly as dramatic as hearing it fire up – and me jumping in fright at the sound, but you’ll get the idea here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-WEDutjVYc.)

There also were several AF/X factory re-creations, like “Old Yeller,” the ’61Ford (Holman Moody) Starliner, a 427 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt and the “Pouncin’ Poncho” GTO.

Watch for the next run of antique drags here: www.BaronaDrags.com.

Tach it up!

Tach it up!

Track time. www.Barona.com

Track time. www.Barona.com

Lunch break.

Lunch break.

Jim Signorelli of Ramona piloting his Duster.

Jim Signorelli of Ramona piloting his Duster.

Color me gone.

Color me gone.

Fans can get up close in the staging lanes.

Fans can get up close in the staging lanes.

’68 Firebird warming up.

’68 Firebird warming up.

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Patterson lights it up. Gets down the lane in 5.09 seconds with a top speed of 144.4.

Patterson lights it up. Gets down the lane in 5.09 seconds with a top speed of 144.4.

Warm up.

Warm up.

Checking height of the wheelie bar.

Checking height of the wheelie bar.

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Barona Eighth Mile Drags co-owner Duncan Patterson in his ’68 Camaro.

Barona Eighth Mile Drags co-owner Duncan Patterson in his ’68 Camaro.

Love the factory group.

Love the factory group.

Good ol’ grudge matches.

Good ol’ grudge matches.

The "Witch Doctor" is out.

The “Witch Doctor” is out.

Just getting our attention.

Just getting our attention.

The Mopar-Fiat screamer made the run 4.24 seconds and, at 171.18 mph, almost beat the track record of 172.

The Mopar-Fiat screamer made the run 4.24 seconds and, at 171.18 mph, almost beat the track record of 172.

Pro back-up girl,  'chute packer and fearless, Leeann Stover helps the team with "Witch Doctor."

Pro back-up girl,
‘chute packer and fearless, Leeann Stover helps the team with “Witch Doctor.”

“Witch Doctor.” Walla walla bing … bang!

“Witch Doctor.” Walla walla bing … bang!

Tubbed Nova.

Tubbed Nova.

427 Camaro.

427 Camaro.

No old dog.

No old dog.

Looks almost streetable.

Looks almost streetable.

Factory Ford.

Factory Ford.

… in dad’s Chevelle.

… in dad’s Chevelle.

Start ’em young …

Start ’em young …

FordnStein.com, from Poway Transmissions.

FordnStein.com, from Poway Transmissions.

Straight pipes!

Straight pipes!

Aero disc wheel treatment.

Aero disc wheel treatment.

Olds powered.

Olds powered.

Isn’t there at least one at every race?

Isn’t there at least one at every race?

Ranchero, with some tight rear rubber clearance.

Ranchero, with some tight rear rubber clearance.

MoonEyes

MoonEyes

A wicked quick Chevelle.

A wicked quick Chevelle.

The 350 V-8 in Sonya O'Day's International pickup was a little outweighed by that wicked-quick Chevelle, but she won by default. The Chevelle red-lighted.

The 350 V-8 in Sonya O’Day’s International pickup was a little outweighed by that wicked-quick Chevelle, but she won by default. The Chevelle red-lighted.

Sonya's family helps out.

Sonya’s family helps out.

Sonya O’Day at the wheel of her 1940 International, a frequent flyer at Barona.

Sonya O’Day at the wheel of her 1940 International, a frequent flyer at Barona.

Another of the many Chevelles today.

Another of the many Chevelles today.

Cleared for takeoff.

Cleared for takeoff.

Original wheel?

Original wheel?

Buick “Special.”

Buick “Special.”

Great wood-grain paint.

Great wood-grain paint.

An aerodynamic advantage?

An aerodynamic advantage?

"Woodie" wagon.

“Woodie” wagon.

Built for speed.

Built for speed.

Gentle Ben. Really?

Gentle Ben. Really?

Just Sunday drivers.

Just Sunday drivers.

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Track time. “Run whatcha brung. And hope you brung enough,” Barona’s motto!

Track time. “Run whatcha brung. And hope you brung enough,” Barona’s motto!

Two women running a nicely styled roadster pickup.

Two women running a nicely styled roadster pickup.

Daily driver?

Daily driver?

Clean 1961.

Clean 1961.


Jon Ohnstad drove his 440 1967 Plymouth Satellite from Oceanside. He’s owned the car since 1995 and swapped out the 318. The interior still looks stock.

Jon Ohnstad drove his 440 1967 Plymouth Satellite from Oceanside. He’s owned the car since 1995 and swapped out the 318. The interior still looks stock.

Fast and Loud.

Fast and Loud.

So pretty looking, so mean on the track.

So pretty looking, so mean on the track.

'56 T-bird.

’56 T-bird.

Stacked.

Stacked.

Alcohol powered by a 1949 Merc 296 cubic-inch with early Hilborn injection. Owned and driven by Dimitri Lazaris of Murrieta, Calif.

Alcohol powered by a 1949 Merc 296 cubic-inch with early Hilborn injection. Owned and driven by Dimitri Lazaris of Murrieta, Calif.

The Antique Doll has been racing in various forms since 1958.

The Antique Doll has been racing in various forms since 1958.

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Overnourished ’57 Chevy.

Overnourished ’57 Chevy.

Just the family sedan.

Just the family sedan.

Falcon four-door.

Falcon four-door.

Catalina convertible!

Catalina convertible!

Staging lanes.

Staging lanes.

Monster Mopar.

Monster Mopar.

AF/X Thunderbolt re-creation leaves the garage area.

AF/X Thunderbolt re-creation leaves the garage area.


Crower Cam’s sling.

Crower Cam’s sling.

’60 Chevy.

’60 Chevy.

Henry J.

Henry J.

T time.

T time.

Cheater slicks?

Cheater slicks?

’23 T, old-school body work.

’23 T, old-school body work.

Beats the four cylinder it came with.

Beats the four cylinder it came with.

In the spirit of Henry Ford.

In the spirit of Henry Ford.

1923 Model T with a straight six.

1923 Model T with a straight six.

These guys bailed me out when my Suburban tipped over off-road.

These guys bailed me out when my Suburban tipped over off-road.

A different type of recovery service provided by Millers of El Cajon. The photo is from the old shop along I-8 at Ocotillo.

A different type of recovery service provided by Millers of El Cajon. The photo is from the old shop along I-8 at Ocotillo.

Miller’s motto.

Miller’s motto.

Air cooled.

Air cooled.

Clean work space in this South Town Chevy.

Clean work space in this South Town Chevy.

Brick on the run.

Brick on the run.

Dick Sappington in his Flyin’ Brick.

Dick Sappington in his Flyin’ Brick.

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1958 Chevy.

1958 Chevy.

There were several Vegas, including this Kammback.

There were several Vegas, including this Kammback.

Dump the clutch.

Dump the clutch.

… or NoCar

… or NoCar

Mopar ...

Mopar …

Getting enough air?

Getting enough air?

Jim “Old Man” Taylor in his GTO.

Jim “Old Man” Taylor in his GTO.

Delivering the goods.

Delivering the goods.

’55 Chevy panel delivery.

’55 Chevy panel delivery.

Buddy, gonna shut you down.

Buddy, gonna shut you down.

Tach it up …

Tach it up …

Tracktime. www.Barona.com

Tracktime. www.Barona.com

. Lunch break.

. Lunch break.

About Mark Maynard

Mark Maynard has been the automotive editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1992.

He drives nearly 200 vehicles a year for review, has attended several high-performance driving schools and a few off-road driving courses.

He attends many new-vehicle press introductions and schmoozes with auto-industry execs.

Mark Maynard