CA - March 09-11, 2007: The 49th edition of the March Meet was,
in a word, incredible! John and Blake Bowser - with a lot of
help from their staff - put on a drag race for the ages. From
the full pits on Thursday to the Winners Circle shots on Sunday
this was an event blessed with Chamber of Commerce weather, an
accommodating facility, incredible racing surface, friendly staff,
full bore fans and upbeat attitudes throughout.
The 2007 March Meet was a grand slam home run by anybody's
standards. The 35,000+ fans that packed the facility over the
three-day event were treated to over 500 race cars, a packed
manufactures midway, a wide variety of cacklecars, a swap meet,
show cars, rat rods and many of the sports greatest stars. By
Sunday everyone was already making their reservations for the
2008 event - the 50th Anniversary of the March Meet. One can
only imagine what a blast that will be!
Although there wasn't a Cacklefest per se, the cacklecar presence
was palpable and drew huge crowds all weekend. There was push
starts, burnouts, static starts and displays. Here is a sampling
of the fun had by all and since this event was a "wing it"
there is no rhyme or reason for the photos or their order.
Photos by: Bob Brown, John Ewald, Dan Kaplan,
Warren Merriman, Don Ewald and Stephen Justice
The cacklecars were spread out
from the Top Fuel pits to The Grove. The cars were given ample
space as the management wanted them to have the best exposure
possible. Here is Dave West's Beebe & Mulligan beauty which
was pitted just as you enter The Grove.
Next door to West was
Wayne King's "Doss-Clayton-King" restoration.
- A/A was also on loan from the Wally Parks NHRA museum.
Norm Weekly had his entire
Frantic 4 display also in The Grove.
As usual, Dennis Prater's
Stellings & Hampshire beauty was in the Frantic 4 camp.
NHRA museum resident,
Safford-Gaide-Ratican was enjoying a weekend in the sun.
Peter Broadribb brought
his popular honorary cacklecar "Moody's Garage" D/Gasser.
Peter spent 5 years restoring this 1965 World Champion car to
its original trim.
There were an abundance
of static fire-ups over the weekend including several by Dusty
McWilliams and the Howard Cams Rattler.
In the car for this cackle
was Gwen Drury who is obviously much smaller than the original
driver, Larry Dixon Sr.
Norm Weekly had several
takers for his "Nitro Experience" in the Frantic 4
Model builder extraordinaire
Roger "Riceman" Lee got his first seat in a nitro car
and in a word - LOVED IT!
The Anderson's were not
shy about making noise with their "Vagabond".
The Speed Sport roadster
was sharing the Big Yohns camp with the Shubert & Herbert
Positioned on a premiere
corner of the Top Fuel pits and Midway was the Cacklefest.com
pit that featured the Shubert & Herbert A/FD of Ron Johnson.
Pit action aside, the
most popular cacklecar exposure over the weekend was the push
starts and in a couple of cases, burnouts. First out was Dusty
McWilliams in the Howard Cams Rattler being pushed by Larry Anderson.
Dan Fenton is getting
suited up prior to his Saturday afternoon "push-start"
in Ron Johnson's Shubert & Herbert digger. His son, Richie,
is doing the honors. Dan and Richie run a Junior Fueler which
Dan now crew chiefs and Richie drives. Dan was pretty happy after
the experience, his first time in a Nitro car and his first push
Fenton and Team Big Yohns
heads up track for the turn around push start.
Take the same shot in
black & white and it could be 1964.
Ron Johnson (above) waits
for the signal from Steve Gibbs (below).
Go for it....
Johnson gets some solid
whoops from the fuel Chevy and shuts it off ready for Sunday.
Mike Boyd got the new
Winged Express some track time Saturday afternoon. A real milestone
for he and Mousie.
Before the last Top Fuel
qualifying session Dave West took the Beebe & Mulligan AA/FD
to the topend for his push start.
With the help of wife
Charlie, West gets suited up.
Dave had to sit in the
car until Top Fuel qualifying was over. By the time he pushed
down it was too dark to shoot anymore at the topend.
After a successful push
start West made the turn and lined up for a dramatic burnout
that literally put the fans on their feet.
While West was finishing
up his spectacular burnout a group fire-up was arranged in the
staging lanes. Since it was not announced most of the photographers
missed it so the coverage is sparse.
Here Wayne King works
the throttle on his car.
As it often is, it seems
the Howard Cams Ratter was well covered for this deal.
Fred Noftska, driver
of the Evans Neumann/John Farr Junior Fueler sat in Shoobie Saturday
Night. He remembered seeing it at Lions when he was a little
kid and was thrilled with the experience.
Ron Stearns had his nitro
Olds barking at the crowd.
Next to the Rattler was
Another crowd favorite
was flawlessly restored Austin & McKendry twin engine AA/GD
with original driver, Rich Rogers in the seat. Aside from several
static starts in their pit, Austin and Rogers did this great
push start and burnout on Sunday. The only thing that would make
this the full meal deal would be if Rogers would wear a period
correct mask and helmet.
Sunday afternoon Ron
Johnson put Top Fuel pilot Howard Haight in the seat of his Shubert
& Herbert (aka Shoobie) for a push start and burnout.
A little later on Sunday
two pair pushed down and unfortunately the Vagabond had a problem
firing and blew the top front of the #2 cylinder out.
While the Anderson's
surveyed the damage, Haight, who had gone out in round one of
Nostalgia Top Fuel, wheeled the Shubert & Herbert car around
Car owner, Ron Johnson
makes sure the engine is happy before sending Howie on his way.
No rookie, Haight, he
eases into the throttle and starts the burnout.
Trying something new,
Big Yohns had taken the idler pulley off the engine and under
good advice ran it ala Surfers. As can be seen here, the belt
wasn't liking the idea.
Just when the burnout
was getting really good the belt exited, without any damage,
After the show Johnson
and Haight pushed back down in front of an appreciative crowd.
Back to Camp Big Yohns
- all is good.
Check back for more
event coverage as they happen.