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2009 CHRR



Bakersfield, CA - October 16-18, 2009: The 18th NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion and 9th annual Cacklefest not only lived up to their star billings but in fact may have surpassed them. In spite of a shaky economy the record crowd was blessed with Chamber of Commerce weather, great racing and a record number of cacklecars. And that record was the straw that broke the camels back.

For the first time in its history, the actual Cacklefest ended with less than rave reviews from many fans and racers alike. The problems that really came to the surface this year were on the horizon the last couple of years but since the Cacklefest is but one part of the program, it has not been the major focal point. Add to that ring master Steve Gibbs falling ill and MIA for Saturday and some aspects ended up less than perfect.

In a nutshell, there were probably too many cars in 2008 and over 100 made it way too many cars this year. This is both a good thing and a problem. It's good the people want to participate in CHRR Cacklefest and will go to the lengths that many do to find and restore or even recreate old cars. But it has become so popular that there are more cars than can be dealt with in the allotted time on Saturday night.

The situation has not gone unnoticed however, and a group of people who have been directly involved with various aspects of the cackle car activities are discussing changes to the format that will speed thing up and eliminate potential causes of confusion.

Some of the things being considering for next year are:

Condense the parade presentation.

Saturday Cacklefest will be limited to true push start cars only. None of the fake starts where the teams blower start the car - and then drive down the push road.

Line the push road with cones, creating a single lane to keep cars away from fence, and to prevent push trucks from pulling along side race cars.

All self start cars will be featured on Sunday - just prior to first round of eliminations.

Thursday will be dedicated to Cacklefest preparation. All day available for practice push starts, and a "seminar" for all participants to discuss procedures. Establish a means to "certify" all drivers in Cacklefest. And we are sure there will be more.

With the down side out of the way, the good stuff was more than abundant. There was a full complement of return cacklecars and 13 first timers including but not limited to the stunning Hawaiian AA/FD, Jim & Alison Lee AA/FD, Brissette & Sutherland AA/FD, Adams Wayre & Mulligan AA/FD, Tommy Allen "Trick Car" AA/FD, another Jerry Ruth AA/FD, Stephens & Venables AA/FD, Tennessee Bo-Weevil AA/FD, Shelby Super Snake AA/FD, Cupit & Cunningham A/FD and the Kaiser Bros. AA/FD.

By all accounts our event coverage here is overkill, but nonetheless this is the genesis of Cacklefest and it is our pleasure to present the end result of the efforts of Tony Thacker, Steve Gibbs, Greg Sharp, Dusty and Gwen McWilliams, Wayne Allison, Monique Valadez, Cindy Gibbs Arias and the rest of the staff of the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum. Kudos as well to John and Blake Bowser and the Famoso Raceway staff for a superbly prepared facility.


Photos by: Bob Brown, Arlene Eliason, Stephen Justice, Steven C. Wallace, Dan Kaplan, Jason Ellis, Tim Hanaseth, Pam Schavrien, Paul Hutchins, Darrell Conrad, John Ewald, Jim Phillipson, Howard Hagen, Don Atkinson and Don Ewald.



Untitled Document


Media Day

Honoree Awards & Hotel Cackles

A View From the Pits

Push Start Practice

Parade Part One

Parade Part Two

The Big Show - Part 1

The Big Show - Part 2

Photographer Contact Info


Special Price




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