Lucas Open House


The Cars

Event Photos





On Saturday June 11th, the Lucas family and their oil company were hosts to their employees and a collection of sponsored racers at a gathering at their West Coast plant in Corona, California. They had a mammoth Bar-be-que served inside as well as a stupendous car show in the parking lot. Late in the day, a few of the attending "Heavy Duty" vehicles were started up to the delight of all those in attendance. It was a family affair to the nth degree with pony rides, a petting zoo, a "Big Wheel" ride for the little kids, an inflatable castle and a BMX bike double ramp set-up which was utilized all afternoon.

The Bar-be-que ran for the entire afternoon and early evening and was accompanied by a draft beer bar, a liquor bar and soft drinks enough for a small army. Estimating the attendance it around 500.




The Corvette in the foreground belongs to Lucas oil employee, Tom Bogner, a friend of Bobby Hansen's from their days with Tom's son Zac and Bobby's grandson racing with Junior Dragsters. It was through Bogner that the cacklecars were invited to participate in the event.


The variety of types of racing that Lucas does sponsorships is pretty amazing. Here is a selection of shots of various vehicles etc.




The dirt track car is a Midget that Zac Bogner drives, having gone beyond
Junior Dragsters.








Other types of dirt racing were represented as well. There were a nice
collection of off-road vehicles in attendance, not at all surprising since
Lucas Oil's involvement with off-road extends as far as producing their own
television program in an in-house production company for the Lucas Oil
off-road series.


Some of the current off-road vehicles are absolutely amazing in the degree
of technical sophistication employed in their construction. This was an
example of a fiendishly complex suspension.


And then there was the front line. The white tent on the right was the deejay stand and announcer booth. Behind it are the array of bar-be-que grills that were operating all afternoon doing hundreds of pounds of pork ribs, chicken, hot links and hot dogs. On the left is the Johnson's, first Bobby Hansen's "Wynns Spoiler", next the ChiZler, then the Barnstormer, then a four hemi-engined "Pulling Tractor", followed by Jason Rupert's and Gary Densham's nostalgia AA/FC's.

The backdrop is the Lucas Oil plant. Originally these building were for the citrus industry and date back to the 1920's. They were temperature controlled back then to a constant 74 degrees for maximum storage life of the fruit. There is a railroad siding behind the huge three building complex and there are a number of large oil storage tanks off to the right of where we are looking.


There were a surprising number of Nostalgia Funny Car drivers in attendance as well. Mike Halstead, who drives the renamed Bomb Squad car was there with his wife Tracy, who had been in the ChiZler for a fire-up at March Meet. Here she tries out the drivers seat of the Barnstormer.


Mike showed up while Tracy was still in the Barnstormer, in an animated conversation with it's original owner/driver TeeVee Tommy Ivo. Ron Johnson popped Mike into the ChiZler for a photo op. In the background is Johnson's ez-ups. Marc McCormick is standing next to the ChiZler, Bobby Hansen is seated left, then his pal Bill Shilling standing, and Kol seated.


Second from left is Bob Godfrey who runs the "Burnin' Money" funny car, next is Bob Bradley who races with Godfrey. Then Mike Halstead. Also in attendance without their cars were Roger Garten and Mike Tocco, and Dennis Taylor who will soon be running his new entry.


About 7:00, after the Pony ride and the petting zoo were trailered and removed, others were able to do "their thing". First, the 4 motor tractor started up and ran for awhile. In close proximity, it's pretty awesome. Then they were told to fire up so Bobby lit the "Wynns Spoiler" with Charlotte Lucas in the seat. She hated every minute of it as you can see.


Then it was "The Kid's" turn. Morgan Lucas got into the Barnstormer and we lit it up on 80 percent as usual. This may well have been the first time that Morgan sat behind a Nitro engine and he liked it. Ivo, who joined the festivities, was hamming it up for the camera. Doesn't even seem to matter who's camera. He and Morgan have known each other for some years and Tommy was really jazzed to be there and see "The Kid" in his seat. Much fun for all.


"The guys and gals in the direct path of the headers have got to be Nitro junkies of the first order. I have mistakenly moved to where they are once or twice and it is like an assault on the senses. Barnstormer has an ungodly roar, it vibrates your whole body when the throttle is winged, and the fumes are so bad that I simply can't take it. But these folks were there for the experience and they got it. Good for them, I say. They'll be back too, I betcha." Ron Johnson

When it came time for ChiZler, Johnson had thought Forrest Lucas was going to sit in it, but he got waylaid by Jason Ruppert who asked him to sit in his car. Mike Halstead was standing behind the car so Ron asked him to jump in and they lit the ChiZler. Barnstormer is pretty impressive as a cacklecar.

But the ChiZler, fittingly for a Karamesines car, is a real "Bad Boy". It has a exhaust thump that is just awesome and it's maybe still a little rich at idle so the exhaust is really tough to stand up to. You'll notice Mike's with Tracy sitting next to Jake McCloud (with his fingers wisely in his ears) and Tracy has her face buried in a wet towel, also wisely. You'll notice that all the brave hearts who were standing there with the Barnstormer running have fled the scene and this is maybe a minute and a half after the Barnstormer quit running.


Ivo caught this shot of Ron Johnson, flanked by Bobby Hansen and # 1 son Kol. The guys are always relieved after everything starts and runs like it's supposed to... happy guys.


"Ivo and our gracious host, Forrest Lucas. It was a great outing, the line-up of cars was stupendous, the depth of variety and all winners or potential winners in their respective phase of motorsports. The facility is extremely nice and the food and drink were top-shelf all the way. The weather was cooperative and aside from a little more breeze than necessary to stay comfortable, the weather was perfect. Ivo, Kol, Marc, Bobby H, Bill Schilling and I had a good time, hope you enjoyed seeing how we spent our Saturday." Ron Johnson



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