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
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
Other types of dirt racing were
represented as well. There were a nice
collection of off-road vehicles in attendance, not at all surprising
Lucas Oil's involvement with off-road extends as far as producing
television program in an in-house production company for the
Some of the current off-road
vehicles are absolutely amazing in the degree
of technical sophistication employed in their construction. This
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
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
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
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