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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (June 19 2021) – After a full year we would all like to forget, the 2021 NHRA Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance roared to life with an action packed Thursday featuring classic cars, nostalgic quarter-mile drag racing, and legends of the sport at Beech Bend Raceway Park. The three-day event paid tribute to the love affair America has with the car culture and celebrates the passion of the owners and their machines.

The Reunion was conceived as a celebration of the "good old days" with participants in all forms of the all-American activity known as hot rodding on hand. A swap meet, early drag racing cars and stars and hundreds of street rods, muscle cars, and customs cover the spacious grass areas at beautiful Beech Bend. There is plenty of nostalgia-style drag racing including front engine Top Fuel dragsters, Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds and traditional gassers and a manufacturer's midway.

Since its inception, the cacklefest portion of the NHRR has been an integral part of the show. Amid the quality racing and incredible hot rod displays fans can see these restored and re-created memories from the past throughout the pits. Over the weekend they get to see the practice push starts on the track. Then of course, the event is capped off by Cacklefest® on Saturday evening.

Now enjoy our coverage of the cacklecar portion of the event.




To open our coverage, Friday concluded with the Honoree Reception at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

GRAND MARSHALL: It's hard to find an area of automotive activity not influenced by Carl Casper. Designer, builder, craftsman, promoter, racer, restorer, artist, and collector are all terms that describe him. His high school '51 Chevy that he customized into the Empress show car won countless honors including Top Custom at NHRA's 1961 Nationals Show in Indianapolis. Named one of 1962's Top Ten customs in Car Craft magazine, it put him on the national map. The Undertaker modified roadster took Sweepstakes at the 1963 NHRA Nationals Show, and was the first of dozens of model kits scaled from Carl's machines. Next was Casper's Ghost, a wild hand formed roadster powered by a twin-supercharged Pontiac. It won Sweepstakes at the 1964 NHRA Nationals Show, the Rod Championship at the '65 Winternationals show. and he won the coveted America's Most Beautiful Roadster at the Oakland Roadster Show. A series of wild show cars and movie cars followed through the '80s. A series of Top Fuel dragsters was topped by his championship Young American. He produced over 1000 custom auto shows, including the extremely popular Louisville show he founded in 1963. He is a member of countless Halls of Fame and continues to be active building and restoring new projects.

Other Honorees included the late Funny Car racer Carol "Bunny" Burkett, Indiana racer and chass builder Hal Canode, Hall of Fame Pro Stock racer and racing school owner Roy Hill, Modified Eliminator standout with his six-cylinder Pocket Rocket Chevy II, Cotton Perry, and Pennsylvania race car and hot rod builder Ed Quay.






MC Bob Frey made his opening remarks to start the program.



First up was the new Director of the NHRA Motorspots Museum, Martin Betz.



Holly rep welcomes everyone from the event sponsor.





Opening the Honoree presentations was Gary Prichett accepting for veteran funny car driver Bunny Burkett who passed away earler this year.







Accepting for himself was the popular Hal Canode who has been building race cars since the 60s and had some of his cars competing over the weekend.


Hal chose to wear a Bunny Burkett T-shirt as a tribute to his fallen friend, whom he had raced against and for whom he had much respect.







NHRA Museum Curator Greg Sharp presented the Award.





Out next was another proxy, Kenny Nowling accepting for Roy Hill.




Hill's award was presented by museum board member Graham Light.





Introduced next was Modified Eliminator icon Cotton Perry.









Since 1973 Ed Quay has built a solid reputation for providing excellence in performance products and services.








Lastly it was Grand Marshal and legendary custom car builder Carl Casper.









There were two glaring omissions from this Honoree Ceremony. For the first time there were no Wally's in hand, but they were sent to the honorees a couple of weeks later. And, no cacklecar fire-up at the conclusion.






Dave Kommel, Hal and Bob Brown


Greg Sharp, Hal Canode and Graham Light






There were two autograph sessions over the weekend.



"Ohio George" Montgomery and Hal Canode, lots of drag racing history here.





Ed Quay


Carl Casper and Bruce Larson








In the pits there was plenty of eye candy like Hal Canode '33 Willys.




















































Page 2 - Practice Push Starts & Parade

Page 3 - Cacklefest - Lite em' up


Race Coverage on WDIFL




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