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Honoree Awards


Bakersfield, CA - October 10, 2008: Friday night at the CHRR is one of drag racings major social events of the year. Hosted at the DoubleTree Hotel, the Honoree Awards Ceremony always draws the who's-who of drag racing. It's a great time to see old friends and meet new ones.

This years Honorees were Grand Marshal Junior Thompson, Steve Davis, John Edmunds, Georgia Seipel, Walt Rhodes and Butch Maas, while the Justice Brothers’ Reunion Spotlight shined on Gas Ronda.

The Honorees Ceremony also kicks off the official start of Cacklefest. We will start at the beginning and share some of what went on inside before the six cacklecars stared outside.




Being a CHRR Honoree is a big thing and along with the accolades come special awards like a Wally and Shannon Olson portrait.


Steve Davis


John Edmunds


Walt Rhodes


Butch Maas


Georgia Seipel



The seats are at a preimum and fill up early.


While the banquet room was filling up inside, the parking lot was getting the mini-cackle set up in "Ring of Fire" fashion.




John "Tarzan" Austin and Terry Capp








Back inside social hour was winding down.



Gary Cochran and Walt Rhodes


"Bones" Balogh and Chris "The Greek" Karamesines


Donna Crowther and Greg Sharp



Perennial Master of Ceremonies Dave McClelland opened the night.





From the NHRA Motorsports Museum, Tony Thacker and Bill Groak.


Track sponsor AAA was represented by Rick Lalor.


Tony Thacker thanked everyone on behalf of the NHRA Motorsports Museum.




The most emotional segment of the ceremonies came early when Judee Shoemaker was given a special award in honor of herself and her late husband, John who lost his life in his Top Fuel dragster at the 2008 March Meet. Their contribution to drag racing has decades of legacies.








Cindy Gibbs Arias presented Judee with one of her incredible pencil sketch of John. Emotional indeed.








The California Hot Rod Reunion Golden Age Award was created to honor racing's past heroes. The 2008 recipient of the Award is Frank “Ike” Iacono.



Ed Justice Jr. announced the recipient of the Justice Bros. Spotlight Award - Gas Ronda.







Honoree Steve Davis


Honoree John Edmunds



Cameras everywhere...


Honoree Butch Maas


Honoree Jr. Thompson


Honoree Georgia Seipel



Honoree Walt Rhodes




Following the presentation of his Wally and portrait, Walt was held on stage for a huge surprise. To make a long story short, Walt won Top Gas at the 1967 Hot Rod Magazine race at Riverside. When it was time for his trophy presentation it seems they were out of them. The good folks at Hot Rod promise to send his but never did.

When the story was told to Steven C. Wallace he became compelled to undo the wrong and went on a mission to have the trophy recreated and presented to Rhodes at this event. With the help of several people including Roland Leong, Gary Cochran, Don Ewald and Bruce Dyda Steven pulled it off and with the help of Big Mac laid Rhodes away when it was unwrapped and handed to him. Pictures tell it all.











After the awards there was an auction benefiting the NHRA Motorsports Museum. Items included this great Ivo collage and touching painting of the late Scott Kalitta.



This piece literally grabbed Don Ewald's eye when he realized it was him in his BankAmericar AA/FD. The artist told him he saw the photo (taken at OCIR in 1971) on WDIFL.com and thought it depicted the best of front engine top fuel. The mind blowing part of the whole deal was it was the last piece auctioned off and netted a whopping $3,000.00 - the highest price paid for any item. Ewald was asked to autograph it and was glad to do so.


Walt and Adam Rhodes


Ken Logan, Jack Jones, Walt Stevens and Dale Pulde.


























Untitled Document


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