That must have been a send-off event, as this week I learned the drag strip is being shut down (after a few saves from previous attempts) and the oval is likely being shortened to 1/2 mile. I have great memories from the 60s-70s in SoCal, when there were several drag strips and you could spend several days a week at them. Closest approximation to the atmosphere of those times nowadays is probably the nostalgia meets at Famoso ("Bakersfield"). To get an idea of the places, events & people, look for the multi-part documentary interviews on "The Surfers" on YouTube.
You must be thinking of the 1/4 mile dragstrip at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The dragstrip in Irwindale is a different track and is open for now. You are right about ACS being torn down and replaced with a 1/2 mile oval after the Nascar race in February. The ACS dragstrip will be missed but it was never used as much as Irwindale's track is. They have weekly grudge night races at Irwindale. Let's hope they never close Irwindale.
I was fortunate enough to be at the inaugural NHRA Supernationals at the Ontario Motor Speedway when AA/FA was still in existence. I'll never forget seeing the Winged Express fully sideways on the burnout, front tires at full left lock with Willie calmly looking down track past the left side of the roll cage. One of a kind, he was!
Loved seeing cars from the old days, when all dragsters weren't identical, cars pulled wheelies and builders were free to experiment. Two small comments: no matter what fuel is being used it doesn't "explode," it just burns extremely rapidly. When gasoline explodes instead of burning it's called pinging. And if all modern top fuel dragsters run on nitromethane, how can this be a "nitro revival?"