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April 11: NHRA holds its first sanctioned drag race in 1953

April 11, 2013

The first sanctioned National Hot Rod Association drag race took place this date back in 1953 at Pomona, Calif. drag strip. The race attracted a sizable crowd of 16,000 to watch the nearly 400 hot-rodders compete. The top-speed on the day was set by Carlos Ramirez aboard his Bean Bandit II dragster, completing the run with a stellar speed of 132.35 mph. Drag racing remains one of America's favorite pastimes, and the NHRA, of course, is still going strong with the likes of John Force tearing up the asphalt at well over 300 mph. Watch the video below to see some rare vintage drag racing from the mid 1960's.

Photo: Getty