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The Pomona Drags

California Museum of Photography

June 18 - October 2, 2005

Drag racing is the ultimate expression of Southern California's cult of speed. Like Hollywood camera culture, it's a home-grown phenomenon. The 7,000 horsepower engine of a top-fuel dragster burns through volatile nitromethane at eleven-and-a-half gallons per second pushing the 2,225 pound package of car and driver from zero to 330 miles per hour in 1,320 feet. The dragster is the quickest-accelerating machine on earth. Hit one hundred miles-per-hour in the first second, or you've lost the race. Though perfectly useless in any "rational" sense, writes historian of technology Robert C. Post, "a dragster is by any measure a mechanical marvel". And if drag racing has a shrine to the marvelous, a top contender is the straight line, quarter-mile course at Pomona.

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