Annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion is a Winner Once Again
Posted on October 23, 2012
If you missed this year's California Hot Rod Reunion, check out this cool video created by Reid Stover and Joey Jordan with the Snake and Mongoose Production team: http://youtu.be/HEcHN0QbOKk. Now, if this video doesn't get you revved up to attend a Hot Rod Reunion, nothing will!
Congratulations to the champions of the 21st NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California held at the historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, Oct. 19-21, 2012.
Mike Lewis (Nostalgia Funny Car), Rick Williamson (Nostalgia Top Fuel) and Marc Meadors (Nostalgia Pro Mod), Ronnie Lennon (7.0 Pro), Bud Hammer (Junior Fuel), Les Davenport (A/Fuel), Rob Patten (A/Gas), Don Taros (Nostalgia Eliminator I), Dewayne Sanders (7.0 Pro Group 2) and Doug Hampton (AFX) were all crowned winners at the event. The 2012 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series champs were also crowned at the Hot Rod Reunion. Adam Sorokin won his second Series championship in Nostalgia Top Fuel and Jason Rupert took home his second consecutive win in Nostalgia Funny Car at Famoso.
The three-day festival of nostalgic drag racing and hot rodding at the historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway just outside Bakersfield brought together thousands of hot rod fans and hundreds of racers from around the world including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and Canada. From the hot action on the dragstrip to the treasure trove of automotive items in the swap meet and vendor’s midway, fans had plenty to see and do around every corner.
Say "Ah!" - The legendary Wild Willie Funny Car staged at Famoso Raceway for Sunday's mini-Cacklefest.
New Museum Director Larry Fisher was excited to be a part of the traditional three-day affair, and hopes to keep the Reunions going strong. “The Reunion was definitely one of the highlights since joining the NHRA Museum,” said Fisher, who joined the Museum in August. “It was a special experience to be surrounded by so many racing legends and Reunion fans. Everyone was very welcoming. I'm looking forward to working with all those involved and to continue creating a wonderful Hot Rod Reunion experience for everyone!"
Drag racing’s master showman “TV Tommy” Ivo served as Grand Marshal and had a grand time meeting with old friends and making new ones. In addition to Ivo, those honored were the Brissette Brothers, Bob and Jim; the Mallicoat Brothers, Gary and Jerry; Jim Nicoll; Marv Ripes; and Ed Sigmon. The Justice Bros. Car Care Products/TV Tommy Ivo Spotlight award shined on the Stags Car Club of Ogden, Utah.
New NHRA Museum Director Larry Fisher congratulates Grand Marshal TV Tommy Ivo with a Wally trophy during Friday night's Honoree Reception.
Friday night's annual Honoree Reception held at the DoubleTree Hotel became the Reunions' hot rod junction with hundreds of fans and dignitaries in attendance. Legendary NHRA Announcer Dave "Mac" McClelland moderated the reception and is always a great story teller. Some of the most memorable moments were Ivo's contagious laugh, Jim Nicoll's colorful Top Fuel and Funny Car career, and the special annoucement of a third Hot Rod Reunion next September in Epping, N.H. Following the captivating award ceremony, guests and celebs hurried outside to the hotel parking lot for the traditional mini-Cacklefest show.
"This year's Reunion was wonderful," said Greg Sharp, museum curator and Honorees coordinator. "It was very nice to see such a great cross section of Honorees this year from sportsman to Top Fuel. It's going to be hard to top this one but we've been doing these events for the past 21 years, and I can guarantee we'll keep bringing joy to hundreds of fans every year."
Racing continued on Saturday with the grand daddy Cacklefest show to close out the evening. After the cackle cars were pushed started and fired up down the historic Famoso track, hundreds rushed to the strip for a closer look at these amazing nostalgic iron beasts. It was a flashback to the golden era of drag racing and can only be relived at the NHRA Museum's Hot Rod Reunions.
Feast for the Eyes and Ears! - Saturday night's spectacular Cacklefest show was top notch. After the fire ups, fans rushed the Famoso track and enjoyed the view under the lights.
Sunday's activities kicked off with opening ceremonies and another mini-Cacklefest. Then the racing semi-finals continued until the late afternoon. The Reunion concluded with Reunion champions crowned in the winner's circle under the Famoso lights. After the last fan pulls away from the dusty parking lot and the champions celebrate in the winner's circle, the one thing that remains the same is that the California Hot Rod Reunions will create lasting memories and return to the holy ground of drag racing and hot rodding at Famoso.
The dates for next year's 22nd annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California are Oct. 18-20, 2013. Start your planning now!