The Mon­goo$e Jour­nals

Drag Racer - - Contents -

MY FRIENDS, THE 2016 DRAG RAC­ING SEA­SON HAS FI­NALLY WRAPPED UP. I say “fi­nally” be­cause from

Cal­i­for­nia Hot Rod Re­union (CHRR) ’til the Fi­nals at

Pomona, the sea­son seems to hit its busiest pe­riod.

The 25th an­niver­sary of the big­gest nos­tal­gia event, prob­a­bly the grand­daddy of them all, the CHRR, took place the mid­dle of Oc­to­ber. Hosted by the Wally Parks NHRA Mo­tor­sports Museum, it’s an amaz­ing event. If you’re into nos­tal­gia drag rac­ing and drag rac­ing his­tory in gen­eral, it’s a must-at­tend show. The race is al­ways first rate, and you won’t be­lieve the num­ber of his­toric drag cars that have been re­stored or recre­ated. As al­ways, it’s the peo­ple who show up, the old rac­ers, that make it an amaz­ing re­union. I hate to say it, but the herd of us old drag rac­ers is get­ting thin, so you need to at­tend while we’re still around to jaw with. You never know who’s gonna make an ap­pear­ance.

Fol­low­ing the CHRR and the NHRA Ve­gas race, SEMA gears up. I’m amazed by the num­ber of peo­ple who at­tend, more than 160,000 in 2016! It’s so crowded, you can hardly walk down the aisles. The NHRA Break­fast is al­ways one of the high­lights. This year, NHRA’s cel­e­bra­tion of 50 Years of Funny Cars was closed out at the break­fast. The Snake, John Force, Del Wor­sham, “Jun­gle Pam” Hardy, your old Mon­goo$e, with Bob Frey MCing had the honor of “en­ter­tain­ing” the more than a thou­sand in at­ten­dance. Force brought his A-game. He’s one heck of a driver, but friends, if you’ve ever seen him in front of a large crowd, you know he missed his call­ing. He should have been a TV preacher, politi­cian or stand-up comic. Be­tween Force and the rest of us, we shared some great tales. After the break­fast the five of us did a sign­ing at the NHRA booth.

Dur­ing SEMA I had a chance to meet and talk with a ton of you folks. In ad­di­tion to the NHRA sign­ing ses­sion, I had the op­por­tu­nity to do the same at the McLeod booth with the owner of the com­pany and ac­com­plished flop­per driver Paul Lee. The NHRA Mo­tor­sports Museum had a dis­play, and the museum’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Larry Fisher, and Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor, Rose Dick­in­son, in­vited me to visit and sign. Also, my old friends at Danchuk, pur­vey­ors of just about any­thing imag­in­able for 1955-57 Chevys, had me in their booth for a sign­ing. If you re­call, they were the ma­jor spon­sor on my ’57 Chevy Funny Car. I at­tended the first SEMA event some 50 years ago. Back then the “SE” stood for “Speed Equip­ment.” It’s hard to be­lieve how it has grown.

Of course, ev­ery­thing wrapped up at the AAA Fi­nals at Pomona. The NHRA Mo­tor­sports Museum folks asked me to, once again, par­tic­i­pate in its Night of Cham­pi­ons. This year it fea­tured Paul Lee, Roland Leong, Jun­gle Pam and my­self, hosted by Jack Beck­man. The sto­ries and good­na­tured “lies” flew fast and fu­ri­ous. Roland took a lot of heat! It was good see­ing Jun­gle Pam again. Here and at the SEMA NHRA Break­fast she shared some great Jun­gle Jim sto­ries, as only she could.

Dur­ing the race, I hung out at the Red­line T-Shirt Club tent, and again, got to talk with a lot of you, which brought the 2016 sea­son to an end. But friends, the rac­ing New Year isn’t far off. I’m look­ing for­ward to meet­ing you once again at the fa­mous Bakersfield March Meet, hosted by Good Vi­bra­tions Mo­tor­sports, March 2-5 at Auto Club Famoso Race­way. As my old friend, Steve Evans, used to yell in his drag race ra­dio ads, “Be There!”

/ There were a lot of lu­mi­nar­ies in at­ten­dance at SEMA’s NHRA Break­fast (L to R): John Force, Snake, ’Goo$e, Jun­gle Pam, Del Wor­sham and Bob Frey.

/’Goo$e and com­pany owner/F/C driver Paul Lee manned the McLeod booth at SEMA.

/The Danchuk booth at SEMA was hop­ping all week long.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.