behind Dragfest was to put on a real nostalgia drag race. When
you looked out across the track, they wanted it to resemble a
real, early, 1960s drag race. To do this the people at
Rod & Kulture made the more period correct and history cars
their main focus for both the drag racing and the car and bike
show. Though the focus of the car show area was more traditional
nature, there was an additional preferred parking area in the
pits for the guys that show up with their streetrods and muscle
The racing featured a fuel altered show with 14 entries including
the Winged Express and Bradfords plus many others. There were
several nostalgia classes like pre 72 top fuel rails and
funny cars, straight axle gassers, pre 64 door slammers,
and a vintage bike class just to name a few. They also offered
a $500.00 first prize for the best 60s back-up girl. They
encouraged back-up girls to participate in all classes.
The featured cacklecars were John Kiley's newly completed
Ewell, Bell and Stecker entry, plus Ron Johnson's "Shubert
& Herbert" and Ron's wildly popular Tommy Ivo "Barnstormer".
The fans were also treated to a push start and short pass by
Bob Muravez in the Barnstormer complete with the deployment of
its huge ribbon parachute.
To keep the entertainment going after dark on Saturday night
there was a drive-in style screen set up in the pits showing
vintage drag racing footage provided by Scot Hamilton from The
Dreams of Legends. They also had a couple of honky-tonk bands
playing to keep that traditional Bakersfield feeling alive well
into the night. Finals were held on Sunday and wrapped up with
the winners receiving their trophies from a sweet little 60s
style trophy girl.
Editors Note: We supported this event right from inception.
In view of the fact that there were so few cackle cars, we couldn't
make a page of those that were there. Additionally the event
is not likely to be covered anywhere else. We thought, this one
time, that adding some general coverage to give a feel for the
whole event would be appropriate. Plus the girls were "bitchen".
If any one has a comment, good or bad, please direct it to us.
Photos by: Mike Morgan Racing Photography and Sharon
There was a fully operational
beauty salon giving hair-style and make-up assistance to give
the ladies the correct "period" look.
Among the vendors was a Hooters
booth with a handful of Hooters girls improving the view!
The pits were full of vendors
and a fair number of race cars. There were many stockers, gas
coupes, roadsters and a few Nostalgia Eliminator cars.
The "Grove" area behind
the grandstand was the site of a mini car show with a variety
of cars including the original "Bluesmobile" which
cruised the grounds from time to time.
There were some H.A.M.B. type
dragsters that were not even close to contemporary rules. Because
they run so slow they were allowed to compete with the rudimentary
Part of the content of Rod and
Kulture magazine is pin-up girls. With that thought in mind it's
pretty easy to see how the idea occured, to have some attractive
girls on-hand. Dressed in "interesting" outfits, they
performed back up duties competing for a prize of $500 for the
Ron Sterbank and his flathead,
crewed by "Mad max" Romero, and the "Flathead
Jack" twin Flattie were both making strong passes.
The featured attraction was a
field of 14 AA/FA's which included Randy and Pops Bradford and
their historic Fiat. The Winged Express" of Marcellus, Borsche
and Boyd was there as well.
This Daytona Charger
alcohol funny car was a fan favorite.
Although they weren't booked
into Dragfest program the fans got a huge treat when 5 of the
best Top Fuel dragsters in the country came out to do some testing
prior to the Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Feature at Bakersfield
May 30 - June 01.
They included Mike McClennan
in Mike Fullers car, Evan Eirich in "Ground Zero",
the two locals - Brad Thompson and Rick McGee along with Adam
Sorokin in the RB Entertainment car and the hometown hero, Brad
Thompson in the Thompson and Bless fueler who were testing the
new Hoosier tires.
Several of the cars came out
to test the new Hoosier slicks that are now legal in the NTF
class. Thompson ripped off a stout 5.64 at just 235 and was quite
happy with the tire.
Muravez still remembered
how to pack one of these bad boys.
Ready to go as soon as the last
pair runs. They were using the return road in front of the grandstand
"Kol Johnson and
Marc McCormick put extra water on the tires prior to staging".
It's on a trip! Boy, was Johnson
surprised. It never spun a tire. They think they were a little
light on clutch pressure and the track was really good. You could
see the clutch dust coming out of the cockpit. Since it's a brand
new Crower top-of-the-line competition 2 disc pedal clutch, it
wasn't an issue of concern. It was just a surprise.
Bob ran it for about 400 feet
and then popped that big old ring slot parachute. Red, White
and Blue Deist, just like what Tommy had on the car originally.
The chute worked perfectly and
totally stunned the people in the grandstand, and the competitors
as well. Most had never seen a 12 foot ring-slot chute like this,
and certainly not a Red, White and Blue one. Only the "Old
Guard" had been around 40 years ago when these became obsolete.
The response from the people
was almost as positive as if the tires had smoked, as planned.
They really loved it. It was a really nice event, too bad there
weren't more people there to enjoy the day.
We believe this run scored a
"Cackle Car" first. To our recollection it was the
first time a parachute had been deployed on a Cackle Car.
With a pair of wheelstanders
and the "Pick-a-part" Jet Truck thrown in for good
measure, there was a little something for everyone.
back for more event coverage as they happen.
While the spectator count was
less than what may have been hoped for, those that were there
got their moneys worth as the track was generally busy all day.
The number and quality of cars in the pits was very good and
some excellent runs were made. The owners of the track continue
to improve the facilities, both on the track and back in the
pits. Racers were uniformly treated well and we heard no grumbling
The Rod and Kulture staff seemed satisfied with the outcome,
especially since an NHRA Heritage race was scheduled against
them at Las Vegas, 200 miles away. We were told that the event
would be run again next year. All in all, it was a fine weekend
with no "downers" and we hope this was the first of
Except for some of the Barnstormer
sequence by Sharon Muravez and Ron Johnson, all the pictures
in this report were lent to us by Mike Morgan. He has over 1,000
images in a Fotki album which you can access with the link below.