So I was looking at a bunch of old photos on my computer the other day and I found these from 2006 which doesn’t seem like that long ago but when you think about it, it was over 12 years past. This was a memorable day at Pomona, the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Drag series final at Pomona. I have never been that into drag racing but I went to see my friend Tyler Hara run and to see another friend Ron Acevedo, who owned IPS camshafts run his motors in the late Saul Salceda’s and Norris Prayoonto’s cars. So while I was there, I took a few snapshots for the heck of it.
It was kinda bittersweet as the public’s love affair with import drag racing was running down and I was shocked to see so few people at the event and the stands were only about 1/4 of the way full. Just a few years before the IDRC was able to pack Pomona to the bursting point with a crowd that was bigger than the NHRA Winternationals The lighting fast decline of import drag racing is another story that needs to be told someday, just not now. Two years later the event drew about zero spectators and the plug was more or less pulled on the standalone Sport Compact Drag Race, at least the NHRA version.
So Tyler ended up winning the popular Sport FWD class with a 10.12@ 147 mph and he might have driven the car home after. He used to drive this car on the street all the time! Here is Tyler on the podium getting his Wally.
Here is Tyler with his Wally. This is a great accomplishment. Most people race their whole lives and don’t even have one. At the time Tyler was head engineer over at AEM. Later he would go to Cosworth and now is at mountune USA. Looking at this, Tyler hasn’t aged at all!
I think this is Tyler Squaring up against runner up Theodore Aesen in the finals for the win. I am not 100% sure, it was a long time ago.
This is a classic picture of my longtime buddy Ron Berganholtz. Ron and his brother Ed won Pro FWD that day in their Mazda and I have no idea why I have no picture of the car or any of the runs. I used to hang out with Ron but he moved to Texas a few years ago and I only see him during Formula Drift rounds now where he does support for Nitto. Ron is one of the funniest guys ever and happens to be super smart and it’s sad not to see him field a car in some sort of racing now.
Here is Saul Salceda’s DC2 Integra. He went on to take the top slot in the all motor class beating out his teammate Norris as well as Jeremy Lookofsky and Leslie Durst. Ron was super happy that weekend.