Drag racers turn to NORAD visit

  • Published
  • By Brian Lihani
  • NORAD Aerospace Warning Branch
The world of NHRA professional drag racing came to Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the headquarters of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 13 following the Mile-High Nationals July 11-12 at Bandimere Speedway in Denver. 

Four championship drivers, including Spencer Massey, Clay Millican, Melanie Troxel and Tommy Johnson Jr. were hosted by Col. Bert "Psycho" Dreher for the day that included a tour inside Cheyenne Mountain and a visit to the Headquarters. 

The drivers were greeted by Maj. Gen. John Bordelon, NORAD and USNORTHCOM chief of staff, and had a steady stream of fans getting autographs and talking drag racing. This is the fifth year for the VIP tour and drivers, and crew members are always eager to take a break from their grueling schedule to tour one of America's most secure military facilities and meet military members. 

The troops are always grateful to the drivers who take time to visit and spend personal time with them, the event coordinator said. 

Melanie Troxel, a Colorado native, said she has always known about Cheyenne Mountain, and finally got the chance to see NORAD operations conducted inside the granite mountain. She and her husband, Tommy Johnson, Jr., as well as Clay Millican, have taken trips to the Middle East to meet troops, getting a firsthand look at military operations, so seeing military operations here in the United States was also special.