My Bakersfield of Dreams | NHRA
Check out all the action at the March Meet in Bakersfield, CA. will be more interesting and potentially more competitive as a result of the shakeup. In , he paid $75 for the '30 body and $ for a salvage engine. The March Meet is an independent drag race held at Famoso Raceway, a dragstrip located approximately ten miles north of Bakersfield, California. This result prevented Muldowney from repeating as March Meet Top Fuel champion, as she had won Also, Funny Car Eliminator returned to competition at the March Meet. This would all change in when the Smokers of Bakersfield decided to Don Garlits taking in the action during the '59 March Meet. . Rain caused the edition of the March Meet to be postponed-the first time in the event's 16 year history. events began to lose competitors to the NHRA and IHRA national events.
The rest of the points races will be more interesting and potentially more competitive as a result of the shakeup. Rather than retreat to the office or blow their brains out, the Bowsers were everywhere Sunday, smiling as if their bet had paid off in spades. Gloomy forecasts scared off the fair-weather rodders that otherwise pack the Famoso Grove, but the patina suggests that a little rain never kept this old warrior in the barn.
Second-qualified veteran Bret Williamson won his first-round race the hard way. After qualifying with a safe 6.
Imagine bouncing towards the traps on cold pavement in a super-short, wingless Bantam, slightly sideways, with your steering wheels in the air and the injector wide open. We wonder whether aiming Air Force jets was ever hairier for retired pilot Chris Bennett. Leon Fitzgerald, now 85, still owns and helps tune Pure Heaven. Eventual-winner Dan Hix low-qualified with an unreal, on-the-index 6.
March Meet - Wikipedia
Owner-driver Gary Lynch is assisted by neighbor Arnold Comproni. Central California sunsets were spectacular during a stormy weekend. Tim Turgeon left and Antonio Rivera enjoyed a break in the storms.
Posts vehicles rarely get a second look from HRD contributors, let alone scarce space from editors. Until then, Don Garlits had been the event's only repeat winner. That would all change with the 17th Annual March Meet.
Nitro Nostalgia Dragsters, Funny Cars, and Fuel Altereds Highlight Bakersfield’s 2018 March Meet
In winning the first of three consecutive March Meets, James Warren and Roger Coburn atomized the field by clocking six five second runs. Warren qualified the digger number one at 5. Warren and Coburn would complete their trifecta with victories over Tony Nancy and Don Garlits in andrespectively.
Dwight Salisbury beat Randy Allison in T. Smallwood's entry to win the '73 March Meet; the highlight of the meet was Dwight's 3rd round 6. Gary Edwards photo Classic confrontation at the '76 March Meet: James Warren; the Rain for Rent special got there first with a 5. Warren-Coburn was the only top fuel dragster to win three consecutive March Meets, which included a new track record of 5. Dennis Baca finally ended Warren-Coburn's streak inbut the gloss of the March Meet was beginning to fade.
The timing of the Gatornationals was particularly troublesome coming just two weeks after the March Meet. Ironically, the March Meet, impacted by declining fields, came to be dominated by the out-of-staters in the last decade of its initial run. With the exception of Danny Dannell in and Butch Blair inall the other winners starting with Connie Kalitta in were from out of state.
The end for the original March Meet came abruptly in when the Miller family decided it could no longer underwrite the race. Although the March Meet succumbed to natural causes, one thing was certain-the east vs. Garlits always drew a crowd-here at the '88 March Meet he's checking the controls and tweaking the barrel value on Fred Farndon's top fuel dragster.
Thirty March Meets were contested from thru ; Butch Blair won the last one in that time span. After a five year hiatus, the March Meet was resurrected by the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association as part of their Vintage Racing Series-front engine dragsters on nitro were back.
The nostalgia drag racing movement had started off as informal reunions and get-togethers back in the late s in an effort to preserve the heritage and history of the "golden age of drag racing". But, interest in it was such that it evolved into a structured series of races.
When Mike Fuller called up his old buddy Bill Dunlap in with a proposal to go nostalgia top fuel racing, Bill got his '72 Woody Gilmore chassis down from the rafters.
They also won the first Goodguys March Meet in and a second one in In recent years, however, the star of the nostalgia movement has been a team from Santa Rosa, California. Murphy, a veteran of both drag boats and the drag strip, has been one of the dominant nostalgia top fuel dragsters at the March Meet winning four events between and ; With Jack "The Sheriff" Harris behind the wheel, the team from Keysville, Utah won both the and March Meets; they also won the event with son Brett driving.
The car has recorded the fastest speed ever for a nostalgia top fuel dragster They have been running so strong lately that it might better be called 'Orange Crush'. Winner of the and Californnia Hot Rod Reunions, Brad Thompson recently unloaded a monster exhibition run of 5. They are also the current class record holder for elapsed time at 5. There are 24 top fuel dragsters expected at the 50th March Meet, and any one of them is capable of making it to the winner's circle.
I was standing there chatting with Rodney and Eddie when up rolled Pat "Ma" Green, a longtime friend to anyone who haunted Orange County and Irwindale back in those days. She was one of Bill Doner's trusted "A team" when he owned half a dozen tracks up and down the West Coast, and it was Pat who had the keys to the kingdom in the form of credentials for which racers and media people like me begged and bribed their way into the track.
She's on the board of directors of the Standard group, a frequent contributor to this column, and, oh yeah, the mother of fuel crewman to the starts Randy Green currently with Morgan Lucas. I never thought I'd go to a drag race and not care as much about what was happening on the track as I did in the pits, but that's what was happening.
Not to exclusion, mind you. We all reminisced for a while then, as the Top Fuel cars headed to the lanes, we took off, me riding on the back of Ma's golf cart behind her and Anita "Shoe Goddess" Smith. We grabbed some beers and headed for the stands to watch Top Fuel, just like Joe Fan. It was a great return to my roots, sitting there among all the fans — well, I also was sitting next to former Top Fuel racer Gary "Mr.
C" Cochran, also part of the Standard group, quizzing him about his career between runs -- and watching the fuelers. Yours truly, right, with Steve Reyes. You're definitely transported back in time, sitting in those small wooden bleachers, hearing famed announcer Jon Lundberg call out "Attention in the pits It was getting Bakersfield- cold about that time, so I scuffed my way to the parking lot for a heavy jacket, but before I could get back to the stands sorry Maone of your favorite cars and mine, the Winged Express, was on the line and I just had to watch that up close.
Driver Mike Boyd ended up in the other lane, which I think brought more cheers from the crowd than if he had made a full pull in his own lane. He's one sesquipedalian scribe look it up. Paul Hutchins photo Before I knew it, it was time for the annual roll call of the lost, a somber — and way-too-long — reading of the names of the hot rod heroes who have left us since last year's Reunion.
It's a somber couple of minutes and, following that and an introduction of the plus cars in the Cacklefest, it was on with the main attraction. Car after car was pushed down the Famoso fire-up road, cackling to life in front of the fans lining the fences three deep, all waving to the newly-fired heroes.
Bill Pitts, who owns and pushed the Magicar down with Hampshire at the wheel, said later, "Jeep requires respect from those along the fence and if they didn't tip him their hat, he blew it off with a friendly whack of the throttle.
Them, it was time to go. I fueled up on Jack in The Box tacos and climbed back into the Pontiac for the long drive home, having taste-tested my first Reunion and enjoyed it to the last drop.
Cruising home into the night, it was hard not to smile to myself about the excitement I had felt. Next year's California Hot Rod Reunion does not fall on a national event weekend, so I'll be back, and for more than one day. If this keeps up, I have to join Reunionoholics Anonymous to combat this addiction. Actually, the track is in neither Bakersfield nor Famoso, but in the town of McFarland.
Anyone who's ever been to "the Patch" knows that these signs along Highway 99 mean that you just five minutes east of drag racing history. I couldn't help myself. I've spied the sign on the freeway and driven by the Rain for Rent offices many times before, but never stopped.
This time I did.The March Meet, 2017. Thursdays Nitro Testing Session.