The streets closed
at 3 p.m. and the transporters unloaded in this one city block
long "arena" set up to recreate a little of everything
short of the "green light". As the cars fueled up for
the first "single" push downs, Mother Nature saw fit
to shower the cars and stars of drag racing's past. But yours
truly sprung to life and scared the clouds away with a rain dance
yielding style points of near zero. Slowly but surely Broadway
dried, much to the delight of those present.
And after a brief
"driver's meeting", the first two cars backed to the
fire up area, where period correct push cars awaited them. Each
car fired and made a "qualifying single" which amounted
to a gentle push towards the starting line--a dress rehearsal
in preparation for the pairings that night.
One of "Nitro
Night's" unique aspects is the goal of recreating the tension
of the starting line. A time when all eyes are focused on the
competitors while they wait out the starter's flag or green light
that signals the beginning of "a pass". Other aspects
that add to the show's unique feel are the hometown atmosphere
of downtown Escondido, as well as the active pit area and push
from the darkness into the light just before the "starting
of Escondido's Cruisin' Grand worked hard to acquire the funds
that helped to partially cover some of the team's expenses, and
Ron Johnson worked to assemble this group of fine cackle cars.
Connie Braun, President of the Cacklecar Owner's Alliance, took
care of insurance needs as well as waiver forms and wristbands.
Donnie Irvin and Jack White worked the arena, keeping their eyes
peeled for safety issues. And a crew of volunteers kept the very
substantial crowd under control.
Then after a
brief cool down, the pairings began at 7:30 p.m. sharp. Lone
"single runs" conducted in the midst of the pairings
were performed by the beautiful Anaconda and a final "two
in one" single--by the amazing "Syndicate" twin.
Not one fan left
the scene until the Syndicate's twin hemis rolled to a halt,
ending the show at around 8:30 p.m.
All teams packed
up and left the scene by 10 p.m. and I loaded my brooms, shovels,
and kitty litter, happy that no oil downs occurred.
My thanks to
all those teams who brought a portion of golden age night time
drag racing back to life, for all those present to enjoy.