Barona kicks off racing season with 40th annual San Diego Antique Drags

John Robertson lines up in his ‘65 Chevy Nova.
John Robertson lines up in his ‘65 Chevy Nova.

By Matt Finley


The hills outside Ramona came alive when the San Diego Antique Drags hit Barona Drag Strip for the 40th running of San Diego Antique Drags.

Racers from all over Southern California, Arizona and even Las Vegas, Nev., brought their 1975 and older dragsters, hotrods, street cars and a motorcycle to what ended up being a nearly perfect day to start off the spring racing season on Sunday, April 10.

Four drivers at the 1/8 mile drag strip represented Ramona in some great looking—and performing—vintage cars and trucks. Chuck Tucker brought his shiny black 1971 Ford Pinto putting out over 450 horsepower.

Bobby Meandro was there with his very healthy running blue 1972 GMC pickup truck. Joe Kapelezak drove his white ’67 Chevy Nova over and over, getting on the track as fast as they’d let him go around. And John Robertson drove his ‘65 Chevy Nova in his first run at the track.

Cars and dragsters as much as 88 years old gave viewers a great look back at what American muscle was all about, including a 1,200+ horsepower 1923 Rolling Stones Model T, driven by Rick Ackerman out of Oceanside.

The Armed Forces Day “Barona Race Day Salute to the Military” will be on Saturday, May 21. This will be the third annual event held and it will be like none other in San Diego.

The Barona Drag Strip isn’t the only motorsports you’ll find in the area, either. The Barona Speedway is on the same lot as the Drag Strip. It is the only 1⁄4 mile semi-banked clay oval track in San Diego that regularly features Pro Stocks, Pony Stocks, Modifieds and Dwarfs every other Saturday at 5 p.m.

Just a couple of minutes down the hill from the Barona Drag Strip is the Barona Sports Park complex, which has the Barona Oaks Raceway, an oak-filled motocross track that has a long and well-known history of riders who got started here over the past three-plus decades and is home to the California Mini Motorcycle Club (CMMC).

Motorheads out there are lucky there are more sanctioned motorsports events happening within a few miles of each other than anywhere else in San Diego County.



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