NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion news 2007-04-25

Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion Expected to Bring Millions of Dollars to Local Economy Columbus-area business will benefit from influx of hot rodders, racers Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion: June 15-17, National Trail ...

Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion Expected to Bring Millions of Dollars to Local Economy

Columbus-area business will benefit from influx of hot rodders, racers

Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion: June 15-17, National Trail Raceway, Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- (April 25, 2007) -- When the 5th Annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, presented by SoffSeal, comes to Columbus (June 15-17 at National Trail Raceway), the local economy can expect a major boost.

"In the past four years the Reunion was held in Bowling Green, Ky., where we brought more than $12 million to the local economy," said Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, which produces and benefits from the event. "Columbus allows us more room to expand, so we're expecting even more impact on local businesses."

"We've had NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in the past," said Jim Layton, General Manager of the hosting National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, "but because the Hot Rod Reunion attracts street rods, classic cars, muscle-era machinery and lots of other automotive enthusiasts, including nostalgia drag racing fans, this event could be bigger than any of our previous meets. We're really looking forward to hosting the legends of the sport in an atmosphere that allows enthusiasts to get up close and personal with their heroes. We believe this event will also make a huge impact on our community in terms of revenue for local businesses"

There are 21,324 hotel rooms in Franklin County, including 3,200 in downtown Columbus, many of which will be occupied by racers and hot rodders. Those enthusiasts will spend money on gas, food, drink and much more, purchased from local vendors both on and off the track as part of Ohio's $33.1 billion tourism market.

"We make as many local purchases as possible," added Thacker. "For example, tents and golf carts are all rented locally and the Saturday Pit Pass Barbecue hosted by Heacock Classic Insurance feeds more than 4,000 attendees with local caterer Hoggy's Restaurant and Catering of Columbus." "It's a good sized event for us." said Hoggy's Regional Director of Catering, Rebecca Pettis.

The 5th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion 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.

Credentials are now available for the Reunion by calling 800/884-6472 or through an application on the Museum's Web site at museum.nhra.com. A 3-day credential is $55. Those purchasing their credentials before May 25 receive significant added value, including Saturday's Heacock Classic Insurance Pit Pass Barbecue, a "goodie" bag, a limited edition, collectible Reunion program, a dash plaque and a souvenir credential. A 3-day junior credential is also available for $10 and includes the barbecue. Daily general admission tickets/pit passes will be available at the National Trail Raceway gate, 2650 National Rd. SW, Hebron, Ohio 43025; phone: 740/928-5706; www.nationaltrailraceway.com. Cost per person: Friday, $20; Saturday, $20; Sunday, $15. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

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

* Hot Heads Eliminator NHRA vintage drag racing, featuring some the sport's most famous and historic cars and drivers, racing in such classes at Top Fuel, Supercharged Gassers, classic Funny Cars and Super Stocks.

* SoffSeal Street rod "show and shine" with thousands of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, custom cars, classics and muscle cars. "Memory Lane" will have a display of nostalgic race cars.

* National Hot Rod Reunion Reception, held at the Columbus Airport Marriott, Fri., June 15 from 7 p.m.- 10 p.m. Open to everyone at no charge, it's a tribute to the Reunion's Grand Marshal and Honorees and a chance for fans to meet some of drag racing's heroes. Grand Marshal for the event will be Jeg Coughlin. This year's honorees are John Abbott, Don Cain, Ted Harbit, Fred Hurst, and the team of Gary Rupp and Pat Dakin. The Justice Bros. Reunion Spotlight highlights Frank Hawley.

* Heacock Classic Insurance Pit Pass Barbeque on Saturday afternoon, June 16.

* 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 are filled with manufacturer exhibits and demonstrations

Information, including a full activities schedule, entry forms and tickets, is available through the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at museum.nhra.com. Requests may be emailed to themuseum@nhra.com.

Proceeds of the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion directly benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif. The museum 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, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non- members is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $4 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. Auto Club members receive discounts on admission and at the gift shop: show your card and save.

The Museum is also available for private parties, meetings, corporate events, weddings and special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, Calif. 91768. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit museum.nhra.com.

-credit: wpmuseum

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About this article
Series NHRA , Vintage
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Tony Thacker , Frank Hawley , Pat Dakin