Gibbs remembers how the first Cacklefest® came to be.
When the CHRR first started, we had a section of The Grove, behind
the pit side grandstands, called "Memory Lane". Over
the year it attracted more and more old and restored racecars,
including The Magicar. In 1999 we started our "Twilight
Memorial", with a great deal of assistance from Bill Pitts
- including his wonderful idea of firing up (static start) the
Magicar after the list of departed comrades was read by Dave
McClelland. It was great, and stirred many emotions.
was after that first "Twilight Memorial" CHRR starting
line presentation, that the idea began to surface about "rapid
fire" push starting a bunch of vintage fuel cars, like the
old days of Famoso, as a feature of the 2000 CHRR. It was so
tentative that we did not even announce it in pre event promo.
When I began to take stock of the existing cars, capable of being
push started, there appeared to be about 6 to 8 realistic possibilities,
a few of which were "ready to go" (Chrisman, Kuhl &
Olson, & G-B-P) Bill Pitts had to put a clutch in his car,
and during this period. The Vagabond could be fired, but was
not capable of being push started. The Steinegger and Eshenbaugh
car was a pleasant surprise and emerged unannounced, but I believe
it was ready to go all along.
when I told Greg that it looked like I could probably put 6 to
8 cars on the track, cackling all at once, he said something
to the effect, "we'll have a regular Cacklefest". Little
did I know, or appreciate at the time, what Greg's simple play
on words would result in.
nine original Cacklefest entrants/drivers were:
Greer, Black, & Prudhomme - Steve Davis
Howard Cam Rattler - Larry Dixon, Jr.
Hustler 1 - Art Chrisman
Kuhl & Olson - Carl Olson
Magicar - Jeep Hampshire
Safford, Gaide, & Ratican - Kenny Safford
Steinegger & Eshenbaugh - Al Eshenbaugh
Vagabond - Terri Anderson
Without these guys there would
be no Cacklefest at the CHRR or anywhere else. For the Wally
Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum: Alan Miller, Steve Gibbs, George
Phillips, Greg Sharp and the late Bob Daniels.