RODDIN’ @ RAN­DOM

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Contents -

Photo con­test win­ners, Dragfest re­turns, good­bye Gas Ronda, and on the scene at the Cal­i­for­nia Hot Rod Re­u­nion, Nitro Revival, Hot Rod Hill Climb, and RPM Na­tion­als.

Roy Robin­son, Lions Drag Strip’s track pho­tog­ra­pher in the mid1960s, has won the 2017 Les­lie Lovett Me­mo­rial Photo Con­test for a para­chute shot of the Adams, Ras­mussen & Ste­wart sling­shot in the shut­down area of the famed Wilm­ing­ton, Cal­i­for­nia, fa­cil­ity.

Staged in con­junc­tion with the an­nual NHRA Cal­i­for­nia Hot Rod Re­u­nion (cov­ered just a few pages from here), drag rac­ing’s most pres­ti­gious art show honors the mem­ory of Lovett, the late Na­tional Drag­ster pho­tog­ra­pher, with ac­tion and static images at least 25 years old. Coin­ci­den­tally, pic­tured drag­ster driver Rick Ste­wart served as this re­u­nion’s grand mar­shal and proudly posed with the Lions im­age dur­ing Sun­day’s awards cer­e­mony.

Robin­son was not aware that his win­ning print would be en­tered into com­pe­ti­tion, let alone lead the vot­ing by a panel of vet­eran writ­ers, ed­i­tors, and pho­tog­ra­phers. Roy and fel­low pho­tog­ra­pher Don Hale, who man­ages their joint film ar­chive (li­on­srpm.com), in­tended the print as a sur­prise for the grand mar­shal, ask­ing con­test co­or­di­na­tor Dave Wallace Jr. to per­son­ally de­liver the gift to Ste­wart. Wallace de­layed that gift pre­sen­ta­tion for the du­ra­tion of con­test judg­ing, dis­play­ing the photo along­side other entries in trib­ute to a lo­cal hero who lived and worked in Bak­ers­field be­fore re­tir­ing to Texas. When the bal­lots were counted, Robin­son and Ste­wart came out on top.

Vet­eran free­lancer Doug Adams fin­ished a close sec­ond for cap­tur­ing the Hemi en­gine that broke free from Jimmy Nix’s blownover fu­eler dur­ing the 1992 NHRA Win­ter­na­tion­als.

The third-place tro­phy and rib­bon went to one of the pop­u­lar con­test’s youngest-ever par­tic­i­pants, 47-year-old Marc Gewertz, Les Lovett’s suc­ces­sor as Na­tional Drag­ster’s cur­rent lead pho­tog­ra­pher. Gewertz was 22 when he cap­tured rare side-by-side fire­balls ig­nited by Eddie Hill and Clay­ton Har­ris at the 1992 NHRA Mile­high Na­tion­als.

Tro­phies, rib­bons, and prime dis­play space in Famoso Race­way’s mid­way are sup­plied an­nu­ally by the staff of NHRA’S Wally Parks Motorsports Mu­seum in Pomona, Cal­i­for­nia. —DAVE WALLACE

• PICS: MARC GEWERTZ & DAVE KOMMEL

SHUT­DOWN SHUT­DOWN: Roy Robin­son’s shot of the Adams, Ras­mussen & Ste­wart sling­shot in the shut­down area of Lion’s Drag Strip won the an­nual Les­lie Lovett Me­mo­rial photo con­test at the 2017 Cal­i­for­nia Hot Rod Re­u­nion.

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