The NHRA Winternationals (commonly called the Winternats) are an annual drag racing event held by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
In 1962, under pressure from Peggy Hart (wife of track owner “Pappy” Hart) and Mickey Thompson, as well as fellow racers Shirley Shahan and Roberta Leighton, Carol Cox was the first woman allowed to race at an NHRA national event. Cox drove a 1961 Pontiac Ventura with a 348 cu in (5,700 cc) V8, which was driven (not trailered) to Pomona. Cox won the title in S/SA, making her the first woman ever to take a win at an NHRA national event; the 9 March 1962 issue of National Dragster recorded her as a “crowd favorite”, with a winning pass of 13.06 seconds at 107.65 mph (173.25 km/h), but says nothing about it being a first for a woman, dismissively calling her a “‘powder puff’ handler”. Some racers believe a class win is more difficult to achieve than a handicap (eliminator) win.
At the 1966 event, Shahan was the first woman to claim a national event eliminator crown, by taking Stock Eliminator. The win put her on the cover of National Dragster’.
NHRA debuted the new Top Fuel Funny Car (TF/FC) class at the Winternationals in 1969; Funny Car Eliminator (FCE) would be won by Clare Sanders, teammate of “Jungle Jim” Liberman.
Measures: 4″ x 3″