Many make long trek to catch drag races
By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent | June 20. 2013 10:59PM
Jim and Marla Johnson of New Brunswick, Canada., check out T-shirts at a souvenir shop at New England Dragway in Epping Thursday after arriving for the first day of the Auto-Plus NHRA New England National. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)
"I'm old enough to remember going to the drags at Orange Airport in Massachusetts when you rode with your boyfriend in the car that was dragging and kept your fingers crossed that it drove home and took everybody back where they came from," the South Hadley, Mass., woman recalled with a laugh as she and her family arrived at New England Dragway on Thursday for the start of this weekend's inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals.
It's a big deal for people like Monat, who will make the four days of racing a family event with her husband, Wayne, 66, her daughter, Christina Sibley, 38, and son-in-law, John, 42.
Sibley has been attending motorsports events since she was a kid and enjoys the "horsepower" behind the races.
Many fans made the six- to eight-hour drive from New Brunswick, Canada, to catch the races.
Among them were Tim and Laurie Boone, who said they enjoy the "thrill" of drag racing and the atmosphere.
"We usually catch most of our NHRA on television, so we don't get to see many live events. We do have some tracks in the Atlantic Provinces that we go to, but you don't see the caliber of racing like we're seeing here," Jim said.
"This is a chance for us to see high quality racing," his wife said.
Mark Hendron of Tewksbury, Mass., said he's always wanted to see the pros at an NHRA event but the closest they've ever come was to New Jersey.
"I've done the NASCAR and the stock cars at Star, but I've never seen this. This is awesome," she said.
"Every other race we've gone to we've had to fly," Linda said.
While he enjoys watching, her husband also likes getting behind the wheel of his '67 Ford Mustang and racing in "nostalgia shows."