NHRR Recap

I hate to admit it, but I had to miss this years NHRR due to a prior commitment. Therefore, the feedback I've received about the event is from other sources, but the verdict appears to be unanimous, everyone says it is still the jam packed trip back in time that it has been since the first non-left coast reunion was held in 2003. Great to see it back at Beech Bend Raceway and a little closer to home.

Local old school racers Ray Godman, and Preston Davis brought the Tennessee Bo-Weevil dragster for display and Cacklefest activities.
Larry Reyes was on hand to meet and greet, and Rip & Natilie Wiley debuted their restoration of the Stephens & Venables top fueler. The Wileys even managed to recruit Steve Stephens and Dick Venables to assist with the dragster during the event, and Stephens occupied the seat of the car during the Cacklefest.

As shown in the photo above, all manner of unusual machinery was seen at Beech Bend, including a replica of the very first Ramchargers drag car. Yes, the headers are from outer space, and take the notion of "fenderwell exit" to a new dimension, but it is what was.

A special thanks to David Rubenstein for sharing some of his photos from the event. Here's some more of what David witnessed...

Dig the magnificent Bizio 33 Willys Pick-Up gasser. This one is a runner and puts on a great show.

Another stunning 33 Willys gasser. NHRR is heavy with beautiful gassers every year.

Looks like it's 1965 all over again! This 40 Willys has all the period perfect touches.

Lots of early funny cars as well. This is the original body from Mike Burkhart's 69 Chevy Camaro mounted to a modern spec chassis so it can still legally mix it up on the track in nostalgia competition.

This one however, is the original car from the chassis tubing on up. Bruce Larsen brought his first USA-1 Camaro down from Pennsylvania.

What's old is new again. Don Garlits brought this unusual sligshot from his immense collection in Florida. It's a hybrid of old and new technology. Using an original Swamp Rat chassis, and a new age Chrysler 392 Hemi with a vintage blower and induction. The body work is all new, as is the colorful Mopar inspired paint scheme.

Here's a rarely seen sight... a genuine AA/FA. The 'Nanook' fuel altered matched raced Ron Hope's 'Rat Trap' during the event.

Apparently, the spectator count was robust. Reports of 20,000 paid ticket holders on Saturday alone are plenty. Some of the original cars that participate in the Cacklefest, occasionally make a short exhibition pass to about 400 ft. The King and Marshall top fuel dragster did one of these short sprints as they usually do, but the grip on the track surface must have been real good this year as the car almost did a backflip as it teetered on one slick immediately after hitting the loud pedal. It banged the front end up pretty hard when it came back down, but should be back in good shape before too long. Just a little more proof that these old race cars mean business! Here is a link to a
slideshow from Drag Racing Online that provides a few more photos to enjoy.

So thats it till next years NHRR, unless you've got some stories or photos of your own to share.