California Hot Rod Reunion preview

Championships on the Line at California Hot Rod Reunion, Oct. 10-12 Finale of NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage Series highlights racing action BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- (Oct. 7, 2008) -- Champions in several NHRA nostalgia drag racing categories, including...

Championships on the Line at California Hot Rod Reunion, Oct. 10-12
Finale of NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage Series highlights racing action

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- (Oct. 7, 2008) -- Champions in several NHRA nostalgia drag racing categories, including Top Fuel and Funny Car, will be crowned at the 17th annual California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct 10-12 at historic Auto Club Famoso (just outside Bakersfield). All told, nearly 300 racers will burn down the quarter-mile during the 3-day speedfest which is the final race of the NHRA's inaugural Hot Rod Heritage Series.

According to Steve Gibbs, former NHRA VP and current board member of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (producers of the Reunion), the field is "overflowing," including more than 20 cars in both Nostalgia Top Fuel and Nostalgia Funny Car categories. "This will be one of the most competitive, hard-fought events in Reunion history," Gibbs said. "Fans are in for a real treat."

All the top names in Nostalgia Top Fuel will be competing, including Adam Sorokin, Denver Schultz, Brett Harris, Rick White, Jack "the Sherriff" Harris and Troy Green, who is leading the Hot Rod Heritage Series by three points over Jim Murphy. Unfortunately, local favorite Brad Thompson (Visalia, Calif.), who won last year's California Reunion will not race due to injuries from a crash in Boise, Idaho. Thompson was leading the Hot Rod Heritage Series before the accident. I n Nostalgia Funny Car, which will run in the "Chicago style," defending Reunion champ Bucky Austin will battle against the likes of Hot Rod Heritage Series leader Steve Romanazzi, along with Mendy Fry, Kris Krabill, Nate Bugg and Canadian Terry Capp. In Chicago-style racing, only the top eight qualifiers advance to eliminations. At Bakersfield, all entered cars will run for time, sending all but eight home after just one qualifying run. The eight-fastest will run again, with the two quickest winners, advancing to the final.

The 17th annual California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 10-12 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., is a 3-day festival of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. It's also the season finale of the inaugural NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage nostalgia drag racing series.

Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, and located in Pomona, Calif., the Reunion is part of the museum's "living history" philosophy, 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 and customs 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. Active military personnel get in free on Sunday.

The Reunion features a wide variety of activities and events, including:

- NHRA vintage drag racing, featuring some the sport's most famous and historic cars and drivers, racing in such classes at Nostalgia Top Fuel, Funny Car, Fuel Altereds, Supercharged Gassers, Classic Super Stock, Hot Rods and others. It's the grand finale of the NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage Series.

- Hundreds of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, custom cars, rat rods, classics and muscle cars. "Memory Lane" will have a display of nostalgic race cars. The Justice Bros. Spotlight Award will fall on drag racer Gas Ronda.

- California Hot Rod Reunion Reception, held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bakersfield, Fri., Oct. 10, from 7 p.m.- 10 p.m. Open to everyone at no charge, it's a tribute to the Reunion's Grand Marshal, gasser great Junior Thompson, and the other Honorees. The reception offers a chance for fans to meet some of drag racing's heroes.

- Cacklefest on Saturday evening, where nitro-burning historic, front-engine top-fuel dragsters and other classic race cars are push started just like in the "old days."

- The Swap meet and Reunion Midway filled with hot rod and automotive related vendors. Something for everyone!

Information, including a full activities schedule, entry forms and tickets, is available through the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at museum.nhra.com or by sending a post card or note to California Hot Rod Reunion, 1101 McKinley Ave., Bldg, 3A, Pomona, Calif. 91768. Requests can be emailed to themuseum@nhra.com.

Proceeds of the California Hot Rod Reunion benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Celebrating its 10th anniversary and named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Parks Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free and Auto Club members enjoy a $2 discount. Admission for non-members is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older, $5 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Museum is also available for special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit museum.nhra.com

-credit: wpnhramm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bucky Austin , Brett Harris