Being a CHRR Honoree is a big
thing and along with the accolades come special awards like a
Wally and Shannon Olson portrait.
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.
Austin and Terry Capp
Back inside social hour
was winding down.
Gary Cochran and Walt
and Chris "The Greek" Karamesines
Donna Crowther and Greg
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
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
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.
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