It's 'Sunday, Sunday, Sunday' Time Again in Bakersfield, Oct. 14 Chicago-Style Funny Car event makes return engagement at the Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, Oct. 12-14 BAKERSFIELD, Calif. Oct. 1, 2007) Back by popular...
It's 'Sunday, Sunday, Sunday' Time Again in Bakersfield, Oct. 14
Chicago-Style Funny Car event makes return engagement at the Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, Oct. 12-14
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. Oct. 1, 2007) Back by popular demand: Nostalgia Funny Cars competing in a "Chicago-style" qualifying and elimination session on Sun., Oct. 14 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the final day of the Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by Holley. The Reunion runs from Oct. 12-14.
Funny Cars were named during the 1960s as they transitioned from factory stockers to all out race cars and with altered wheelbases they looked^0x5de5ll, funny. Nostalgia Funny Cars have pre-1973 bodies that compete against similar machines and by rule, make less horsepower than today's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series competitors. But, they are every bit as exciting to watch. Just ask NHRA POWERade nitro funny car pilot Ron Capps, racing in the event in the new Nostalgia Funny Car owned by Gary Messenger.
"Chicago-style" competition is a condensed form of drag racing, differing from the conventional format in which competitors attempt to qualify for the final day's eliminations by setting the best times during multiple qualifying days and sessions. In Chicago-style competition, all entered cars race side by side in a qualifying round to open Sunday's program at 11 a.m. The eight quickest cars (win or lose) will return for the first round of eliminations at about 1:30 p.m. From the four first-round elimination winners, the two quickest will return for the final event at about 4 p.m. About 20 cars are expected to compete, according to Steve Gibbs, former NHRA vice president and current Board member of the Parks Museum.
Besides Capps, the Funny Cars in the Sunday lineup include the famous "Bubble-Up" car from Canada, which is tuned by '06 Grand Marshal Roland Leong, and driven by former U.S. Nationals Top Fuel Champion Terry Capp. The car holds the N/FC record. Also on hand will be last year's winning car, Gary Turner's "Pedaler," a 1979 Plymouth Arrow from Orange, Calif., with Kris Krabill driving, as will '06 runner-up, Lee Paul Jennings. "Bucky Austin of Fife, Wash., winner of numerous NHRA National Events, driving Steve Plueger's car, will be another favorite," said Gibbs. "Also included will be the legendary Pisano and Matsubara '74 Vega driven by Jeff Utterback. The car was recreated by Danny Pisano, of Irvine, Calif., as a tribute to Uncle Joe Pisano and driver Sush Matsubara, one of the top teams of the 70's This will be a stout field."
"Chicago-style racing is a throwback to the match race days of the '60s and '70s." said Greg Sharp, curator of the non-profit Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, which produces and benefits from the Reunion. "It's a way to run a complete program in a short length of time and each competitor has to give it their best shot every time down the strip, or face elimination."
The 16th annual Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by Holley, is part of the museum's Hot Rod Heritage Series which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.
Unique among motorsports events, the Reunion honors some of the top names in hot rodding from the past and features a fabulous array of cool drag cars, street rods, classics, customs and muscle cars of the historic and present-day hot rod eras.
Daily general admission tickets/pit passes will be available at Auto Club Famoso Raceway gate, (www.famosoraceway.com). Cost per person: Friday, $20; Saturday, $20; Sunday, $15. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Auto Club discount is also available at the gate: $2 off Friday and Saturday and, $1 off Sunday.