Information for an Accelerated Culture

Top Fuel Wormhole, Volume 2: The Post-Millennial Cole Coonce Dragstrip Reader is Out Now!

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With his second collection of musings on all things nitro, drag-strip journalist Cole Coonce pulls no punches in his mind-warping analysis of the greatest sport in the history of western civilization, drag racing.

Volume 2 of Cole Coonce’s “Top Fuel Wormhole” features in-depth conversations with the luminaries of drag racing, including Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, Don Garlits, Chris Karamesines, Roland Leong, Dean Skuza, Brent Fanning, Clay Millican and Austin Coil! Only $10.99 at


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AAFD HQ, December 8, 2015Who says print is dead? Not the AA/Fuel Dragster media mavens, who have organized a digest-format magazine chronicling all of this year’s action from the wildest circuit in drag racing, front-engine Top Fuel.

Available at, the 2015 AA/FD Top Fuel Digest compiles explosive coverage of the Bakersfield March Meet, the Boise Nightfire Nationals, Bowling Green and more. Follow the exploits of Tony Bartone, Adam Sorokin, Bill Dunlap and the rest of the fearless fueler heroes as they made 2015 a year to remember. An instant collectible for fans of nostalgia-style Top Fuel, the Digest has 36 pages of spectacular photography and razor-sharp race reporting with contributions from seasoned dragstrip shutter bugs “Max Cackle,” Ted Soqui, and Dave Kommel as well astute correspondence from veteran copy chimp Cole Coonce. -30

The Top Fuel Insider’s Analysis of Tony Bartone’s AA/FD Domination

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Cole Coonce, the Top Fuel Insider, recaps Top Fuel Eliminator at the California Hot Rod Reunion and analyzes what Tony Bartone’s decimation of the class means for Heritage Series drag racing.

Written by kerobomb

October 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

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March Meet Winners, 1959 thru 2014

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Top Fuel and Funny Car Winners

1959 Art Chrisman
1960 Ted Cyr
1961 Chet Herbert
1962 Don Prudhomme
1963 Art Malone
1964 Connie Kalitta
1965 Don Garlits
1966 Mike Sorokin
1967 Mike Snively Jack Chrisman
1968 Ron Rivero Fred Goeske
1969 Jim Dunn Danny Ongais
1970 Tony Nancy Hank Clark
1971 Don Garlits Jim Dunn
1972 Tom McEwen Ed McCulloch
1973 Dwight Salisbury Tom Hoover
1974 Carl Olson Ed McCulloch
1975 James Warren Dale Pulde
1976 James Warren Jim Liberman
1977 James Warren beat Garlits Eddie Pauling
1978 Dennis Baca last 32-car show Denny Savage
1979 Don Garlits Simon Menzie
1980 Connie Kalitta Jim Dunn
1981 Shirley Muldowney Dale Pulde
1982 Lucille Lee Tom Ridings
1983 Danny Dannell Mike Dunn
1984 Gary Beck John Force
1985 Gary Beck Rick Johnson
1986 Don Garlits John Force
1987 Don Garlits John Force
1988 Butch Blair John Martin
1991 Gerry Steiner NDRA?
1994 Bill Dunlap Goodguys VRA
1995 Pete Kaiser
1996 Paul Romine
1997 Bill Dunlap
1998 Jim Murphy
1999 Jim Murphy
2000 Bill Alexander
2001 Jack Harris
2002 Jack Harris
2003 Jim Murphy
2004 Jim Murphy Randy Walls
2005 Howard Haight Mike Savage
2007 Brett Harris Steve Romanazzi
2008 Jack Harris Bucky Austin
2009 Brett Harris Bucky Austin
2010 Adam Sorokin Leah Pruett
2011 Rick White Kris Krabill
2012 Jimi Young Chad Head
2013 Jimi Young Tim Boychuk
2014 Tony Bartone James Day

Smoke and Ash

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Coors and nitro.

Coors and nitro.

Over a couple of beers, Cole Coonce contemplates mortality with a hero dragster driver once declared dead.

He writes: “It was June 2001, and my best friend, Lee, was in a coma at St. Joseph’s ICU in Burbank. He had beat cancer, but complications developed due to a staph infection. Because of belated concerns about germs only three visitors were allowed in his room, including his mom, his common-law wife, and me. I’d go visit Lee every day and bullshit and tell him stories. It was my understanding that he could hear me, despite the lack of response.”

More of “Smoke and Ash” here:

Written by kerobomb

September 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm

My First Time

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Connelly & Coonce at San Fernando Raceway

Connelly & Coonce at San Fernando Raceway

In its introduction to Cole’s Coonce’s “My First Time” feature, DRO writes: “Cole Coonce is a died in the wool drag racing junkie and one of drag racing’s premiere journalists and a pretty damn good photographer. He has crewed Nostalgia Top Fuel cars, been a PR flak and in his spare time written for most of the premier publications, both in the automotive world and out, including the L.A.Times, Hot Rod Magazine, and Drag Racing Online, just to name a few. We’re honored to add his name to the list of “my first time” contributors. (These days Cole Coonce is writing punk-noir detective stories at”

The story starts like this:

“Drag Racing Online has tasked me with remembering the details of my first drag race. This is no easy assignment.

“My guess is that it was at San Fernando Raceway (aka “the Pond”), probably in 1966 or 1967. I cannot say with any confidence that I even remember my first drag race. I do know I was really young, probably in kindergarten or having just started first grade at Gridley Street Elementary School in San Fernando, California.

“I do recall the first time I saw a rock concert, however. That might’ve been the same summer I saw my first drag race. My first rock show was the Beatles at Dodgers Stadium in 1966. I was four years old. I remember schoolgirls screaming, throwing pennies, fainting and wetting themselves.”

Read the rest of “My First Time” here:

Written by kerobomb

September 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm

The Night of the Living Nitromaniacs: Bakersfield Cacklefest 2013

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(photo by Ted Soqui)

(photo by Ted Soqui)

Cole Coonce writes in the Elapsed Times: ‘It’s dusk at the 22nd California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, north of Bakersfield, and the dust, grit, and soot kicked up from hundreds of weed-burning headers smears the setting sun in the atomic-orange Western sky. Over the public-address system, venerable National Hot Rod Association announcer emeritus Dave McClelland starts reciting names. “Bill Alexander…” Somberly working his way through a list of 80 recently deceased drag racers, McClelland’s commanding voice caroms over the 170-acre facility. “Walt Arfons…. Paul Candies… Kelly Chadwick…”

‘These echoes of the dead are a macabre but poignant preamble to the Cacklefest, an exhibition of 70 museum-perfect fuel dragsters from the 1950s and 1960s, all of which come roaring to life like a Tyrannosaurus skeleton in that Ben Stiller movie. Indeed, the Cacklefest is the final act to a long day of racing, when period-specific, nitro-burning dragsters are push-started one after another in front of thousands of monopropellant-addled drag fiends and parked at idle with header flames dancing, while belching fire and cackling maniacally before swelling to a climax that would shake, rattle, and roll like Jericho. The noise only stops when the machines are bled dry of fuel.’


Written by kerobomb

September 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm


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