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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