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2009 CHRR

Media Day


Bakersfield, CA - October 15, 2009: Media Day for the 18th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion was held at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway track. 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. Guest speakers included Don Cohen, Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager, Cruz Pedregon and Famoso Raceway manager Blake Bowser.

Those in attendance learned (local radio & TV reporters and invited guests) about the economic impact and increase of international tourism the annual California Hot Rod Reunion brings to the region. The event was coordinated by Monique Valadez, Manager of Education and Public Relations for the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum and hosted by Tony Thacker.

The smell of nitro in the morning was courtesy of Graciela Sanchez, NHRA Licensing and Field Marketing director who got the lone fire-up for the press in the Ewald Bros. BankAmericar.

Here are a few photos recording the happenings for posterity.




Unlike years past when Media Day was staged in town, this year it was kept at the track, smaller and hosted at the Auto Club display behind the grandstands. The four featured cars were the two Stone Woods & Cook AA/GS cars, the Fireside Inn fueler and the Ewald Bros. BankAmericar AA/FD.






Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (producers of the annual California Hot Rod Reunion), was the host and his first intro was Cruz Pedregon.




Pedregon was on hand to address the media and announce the debut of his new Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car - a Joe Pisano tribute. He was far more relaxed and candid than he would be under the pressures of the "Big Show" and made more than one comment that was "not for publication".




Car builder and tuner, Donny Couch


Tony with Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager Don Cohen.



Monique Valadez did a great PR job for her first CHRR.


Graciela Sanchez was barely big enough to see over the top of the cowl but got a big thrill doing a nitro fire-up.










Many found Cruz to be "not a bad guy" when you get him away from the pressures of the Big Show. He even initiated a Q&A session about front engine fuelers in general and the BankAmericar in particular. Bob Danly, Don and John Ewald found him truly interested.




Announcer Mike English had his time with the Cruzer as did the local media.



Couch did an excellent job putting this whole car together in just 28 days. Goes to prove that talent and money can get things done much faster than desire and budget.





Some people do better at 5 a.m. than others. Before sunrise Friday KERO TV was on hand to do a live PR spot for their morning news. Melissa Vreeman, Morning Weather Anchor was all smiles while Blake Bowser, not so much.


On cue Blake put on his PR face and the whole deal went as planned.




Between live shots Vreeman did some PR shots of her own.



The second live spot was with Tony Thacker.



That's all folks...


Thee guesses who's car this is on.

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




2021 National Hot Rod Reunion

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