Eagle Field Runway Drags is presented by the Dos Palos Lions Club on May 19, 20, and 21. Free camping is offered with each weekend pass purchase. Those with racing memorabilia and other swap meet goods for sale get a free space with paid admission.

Friday’s event is billed as “Run Whatcha Brung Flag Start Racing.” Promotional advertising promises, “See cars you won’t see race anywhere else in California!”

Contesters include gassers, dragsters and hot rods. Witness flathead V8’s verses six cylinders. Spectators enjoy muscle cars, minibikes, junior dragsters and more.

The three-day event begins with the annual Eves Tall Chief Memorial Flag Start. Rocky Phillips of Eagle Field Runway Drags explains, “Eves Tall Chief was an amazing person.” He was the last flag starter at the famous Fremont, California, Dragstrip.

At Fremont, Tall Chief was replaced by the modern “Christmas Tree” start. This is an electronic starting device reminiscent of a Christmas tree because of the way it stands up with a multi-light configuration.

Eagle Field Runway Drags enabled Tall Chief to continue his career as a drag ways flag starter. Rocky adds, “When Chief was told about Eagle Field and our Flag Start Drags, he was excited. He was invited to do some ceremonial Flag Starts.”

The “ceremonial idea” soon morphed into Tall Chief flag starting Saturday events. Google “Eves Tall Chief” to enjoy videos of this dedicated man who became part of our local history. Information about Eves includes videos about his success as a famous hang-gliding expert as well.

The Eagle Field Runways Drag family lost Eves Tall Chief to cancer on Sept. 21, 2020. Annually, on Friday of the May runways event, the Eagle Field family remembers a wonderful man with the Eves Tall Chief Memorial Flag Start Drags. Rocky Phillips solemnly comments, “He is truly missed.”

Saturday is the “Big Day.” Spectators are promised the “Quickest Cars in the Valley.” There is Quick-8 Door Slammer qualifying. See Jet Dragsters and Fuel Dragsters match races.

A cherished feature, the General Jerry Lee “is the last running of the original 60s wheel standers” according to their Facebook page. Sunday wraps up the May event with Rick Dekneef Memorial eliminations.

Eagle Field is a very important historical site on the Westside. Supporters encourage everyone to get involved in the Save The Runway Campaign. Naturally, the runway is subject to deterioration. Maintaining our local historical airfield takes dedication.

While drag racing is super fun, nostalgic and exciting, maintenance expenses gobble income. As Rocky says, “If Drag Racing was profitable, we would see more events and not the rapid closing of venues.” Repairing the runway ensures drag racing in our area for many years to come.

The Westside is a special part of history worth preserving. Supporters who buy a $500 Runway Sign will have a 2’x4’ sign made with their company, club, or family name. The sign will be displayed during the campaign and continued for one year after the runway is repaired.

Rocky offers a huge thank you as he commends, “We have many supporters, and the Eagle Field Family is strong.” To contribute to the runway historical preservation, log on to eaglefielddrags.com. Scroll down and click on “Your Name Here: Gave to Save The Runway.”

The preservation of Eagle Field is important as it represents two aspects of history. The time of World War II air combat was followed by the nostalgic 50s with its drag racing culture.

Eagle Field Runway Drags is an alcohol free, glass free, family friendly event. The weather is unpredictable. Come prepared with a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. The Dos Palos Lions Club and other vendors offer food and beverages. Eagle Field is located at 11100 W. Eagle Avenue.

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email jmiller@dospalos.org.