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Media Day


Bakersfield, CA - October 09, 2008: Media Day for the 17th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion was held at Kiwi Konnection Hot Rod Shop in Bakersfield. Each year, the event brings in an estimated $4 million to the local community. This year hundreds of spectators from around the world attended the nitro-packed weekend. Some of these world visitors were on hand for the media day including Australian drag racer Roly Leahy and English hot-rodding couple, Mark and Melissa Gee. Guest speakers included Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (producers of the annual California Hot Rod Reunion), Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall and Famoso Raceway promoter Blake Bowser.

Those in attendance learned (plush radio & TV coverage) about the economic impact and increase of international tourism the annual California Hot Rod Reunion brings to the region. The event was coordinated by Media Director Bill Groak and hosted by Duane Jones, Kiwi Konnection Hot Rod Shop owner and the Double Tree Hotel.

Entertainment (i.e. lots of noise) was supplied by Australian racer Roly Leahy and crew with his "newstalgia" NE-1 blown alcohol dragster and the real deal cacklecar - representing the old guard - John Ewald's Mastercar AA/FD.

Here are a few photos recording the happenings for posterity.





Parking was at a premium so the Ewald rig had to go on the street after the car was unloaded by John, crew chief Bob Danly and Pete Starrett.












Tony Thacker started off the program by giving the background of the CHRR.




Among those in attendance was injured top fuel racer Brad Thomson.


Thacker then introduced Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall.






Even before the news conference even started Roly Leahy was in his Aussie Raider blown alcohol Chevy dragster. He obviously had the most comfortable seat in the house.


Blake Bowser then spoke on behalf of his dad, John and all the people at the Auto Club Famoso Dragway.






Following the formal part of the day, Blake Bowser was taken totally by surprise when John Ewald invited him to sit in the Mastercar for the fire up.  It took Blake, who had never been in the seat of a fuel dragster, about a nano second to say yea! John then explained the procedure to him.



Ewald and Danly fired the engine and Bower's famous smile lit up as well.








A picture says a thousand words.


John Ewald, Blake and Don Ewald following the fire up.


Tony Thacker did a one-on-one interview that was aired on the evening news.




Media Director Bill Groak stays behind the scenes but is always accessible to answer fan and press questions.


Tony Thacker received an a plaque from the Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau welcoming the NHRA Reunion to Bakersfield.


Roly Leahy and crew all the way from Australia posed with Mousie Marcellis.


A little over the top?

Untitled Document


If you appreciate our CHRR event and Cacklefest coverage (or would like to advertise) please take a second to shoot off an E-mail.

Ron Johnson - Cacklefest.com owner

Don Ewald - Webmaster



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