Archive for September, 2014

September 24, 2014

The Night of the Living Nitromaniacs: Bakersfield Cacklefest 2013

(photo by Ted Soqui)

(photo by Ted Soqui)

Drag-strip journalist Cole Coonce on the nitro-guzzling Cacklefest phenomenon: “As (Bill) Pitts pushes the MagiCar down the dragstrip during the parade, the crowd is silent and reverent. The announcers’ descriptions reverberate through tinny speakers, like Gary Cooper giving his farewell speech in Pride of the Yankees. Finally, Pitts makes the turnout, and the MagiCar creeps down the return road. Behind the scoreboards, the push-cars and the dragsters are stopped and lined up at the behest of Gibbs, who will orchestrate the Cacklefest. On the other side of a chain-link fence, campfires burn as gearheads huddle around to stay warm, like peasants in a Russian novel. Whatever the announcers are saying is indistinguishable in the nether regions of the track. More fuelers gather at the top end of the dragstrip on the return road. It really feels like the moments before an epic battle. It’s all laughter and nervous energy, as Pitts helps Jeep Hampshire put on his firesuit, gloves, helmet, and goggles. It is a muted ritual all the assembled teams perform in the moments before show time.”

Read more in Car Craft’s Elapsed Times:  http://www.carcraft.com/dragtimes/1420_bakersfield_cacklefest_2013/

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September 24, 2014

2013 March Meet: Nitro Marauders Motor on and Famoso Fuelers Fight back

(photo by Cole Coonce)

(photo by Cole Coonce)

In “Nitro Marauders Motor on and Famoso Fuelers Fight Back,” Cole Coonce reports in Car Craft’s Elapsed Times about the state of NHRA’s Heritage Series drag racing.

Read the story here: http://www.carcraft.com/dragtimes/1342_march_meet_2013/

September 24, 2014

Lions Drag Strip’s Last Drag Race

… as told by Cole Coonce to the Elapsed Times.

“Lions Drag Strip’s undoing was that America changed in the ’70s, and too much was no longer enough for some people. Hip capitalism was passé, and the new ethos became making as much money as you can—and who gives a damn about the neighbors and what they think? No more free lunches, ma’am. Like Mike Kuhl was to his Top Fuel engine: Just flog it until it dies. You’ll either win or leave a trail of absolute carnage. Or both. ‘Who cares? It’s behind you!’ Yes, 1960s drag racing, if not the 1960s in totum, died that bleary-eyed night in December, 1972. Cold and stoned.”

More here: http://www.carcraft.com/dragtimes/1342_lions_drag_strip/

The Last Drag Race

The Last Drag Race