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2009 CHRR

A View From the Pits




Every story has a beginning and for me the trek to The Patch is 600 miles from my front door in Grants Pass, Oregon to Gate 1 at Famoso. I make this drive twice a year. Once in March (go figure) and again in October. What I'll get at the end is pretty much a constant but in between is the proverbial box of chocolates weather wise. This year myself and good bud Dan Kaplan left GP at 7 a.m. Wednesday and by the time we reached Sacramento (1st In N Out stop) we'd been through rain, wind, fog and patches of sun. From there on it was windy but dry. Aside from the stretch on I-5 from Red Bluff to Sac it's a pretty scenic drive.



This first page is literally a hodgepodge of pit shots from the weekend... no rhyme or reason at all just an overview of some of the players.


Pulling in the pits, even on Thursday, it was apparent that the cacklecar count was going to be huge. They were given about 1/5th of the entire Famoso pit area starting at the staging lanes. One of the early arrivals was Cacklefest.com owner Ron Johnson and his two cars.



A short rocks throw away was the Yeakel camp.



John Dearmore breaking in a new driver.


Tom Hanna and Steve Gibbs


Gibbs, Geno and Harley



Mike English and Rick Shute


With over 75 fuel dragsters on the grounds it wasn't hard to find a static start. Here Rick McDonald helps get the new Walt Prufer "Power King" car dialed in.



Ron Bement was on hand again with his amazing mini-engines including and Ardun and an Offy. These are truly works of art.


This Hays clutch vividly illustrates the actual size of the fully functional Ardun.





Jerry Ruth was on hand to drive his newly restored 1969 Don Long car. Like his 1970 car, this too was restored by Bucky Austin.




Them good ol' rat rod women.


NHRA Museum pit featured two of the new cars - the Lou Baney owned, Don Prudhomme driven Shelby Super Snake and the Arfons Allison powered car.



Don Prudhomme and Art Chrisman.







One of the most anticipated debuts was the Brian Beattie owned Jim & Alison Lee "Great Expectations" restoration done at Dyda Race Eng. Beattie found the basic car in a barn several years ago and once it was confirmed it was the Lee's piece he got their blessings to restore it to its former glory. And as usual, Dyda nailed it.




The rear tires were actually run on this car in 1970.




Poison Ivy static start. with Dominic Cardoza in the seat. Dom was a Bean Bandit and raced in the 60's, primarily in the San Diego nexus.


Rumor has it that Tommy Larkin sold the Weiss & Larkin AA/GD and this appears to be the new owners.


Pete Eastwood static fired his Samurai.



Legendary chassis builder Kent Fuller was just one of the hundred of legends who signed the Project 1320 - Pioneers of the Quarter Mile banner.



Old time Texas racer and chassis builder Boogie Scott signed next. Over the weekend over 200 pre 70s drag racing figures signed the banner that went to the SEMA show following the CHRR.


Speaking of autographs, Rip Whiley has been hauling this digger nose from coast to coast for two years.





Camp Bucky had five entrants this year.







Natalie Wiley was caught walking a "new" blower for their Stephens & Venables car over to Mike Kuhl. Trust me, they don't get any more stock than this one. Like right off the bus engine stock. Speaking of bus engines, I can attest to the fact that there were many Long Beach city busses, trucks, tractors etc. that didn't start on a Monday morning. You figure it out....





Preston Davis and friends came west with four cars in one of the biggest non commercial rigs many of us have ever seen.







Two of the driving forces behind Cacklefest - Bill Pitts and Ron Johnson.


Jerry Ruth holding court for Tom Hanna, Tom Cirello and Bob Creitz.


Another newbee was the Colorado based Kaiser Bros. These guys were hard core and very good drag racers throughout the 60s and 70s.




Don Prudhomme brought out the ultimate cacklecar rig with his fully restored Hot Wheels rig from 1970 that is rumored to have 6 figures in it. The original window sticker for the truck and the custom upgrade was less than $6,000.00. What a difference 39 years makes.



Prudhomme, very proud of his rig, gave NHRA announcer Bob Frey the grand tour.








A classic shot of Tim Beebe adjusting the valves on Dave West's Beebe & Mulligan cacklecar.


The two cars that started it all.




Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson warm up for Cacklefest.


Roger Lee warmed up his new toy with Ken Riley in the car.



Don Prieto tweaked his Hustler VI.


Roger Lee doing some maintenance on his Brissette car.




A static start offers a good look at Tom Hanna's very trick injection system.




George Bothoff was one of the many cars inhabiting The Grove.


Tommy "The Watchdog" Allen debuted his unique Woody Trick Car.


Roger Lee's Brissette & Sutherland entry was yet another debut.






Glen Cupit in his newly restored Cupit & Cunningham Chevy fueler out of Louisiana.



The Schrank Bros. entry was readied for Cacklefest from their spot in The Grove.



Two historic Woody Cars, Brissette was the 5th car ever off the jig and Lou Baney's car was #10 out of Race Car Engineering which went on to build hundreds of dragsters and funny cars.



With the likes of T.C. Lemon, John "Tarzan" Austin, Dale Funk, Bob Creitz, "Fats" and Spider around there was no shortage of fall on the ground funny stories and exchanges.






Yet another debut was the fabled Adams Wayre & Mulligan Woody car from 1967. This brought back a ton of memories - especially for all us SoCal racers.






One of the many Vipe photo opps was the Vipe taking photos. On Friday John Ewald put photographer Rick Shute into his Mastercar for a fire-up and on his way to the car Rick handed Don his camera and told him to take his picture. Steve Reyes and Dave Kommel were also on hand.


Don was clearly perplexed with this big black thing in his hands. But to his credit, after a crash course from John Ewald and Kommel he did take some shots. No report on how they came out.


Steve Reyes told Shutz to not wimp out.





Ivo in the Cupit & Cunningham car.


Art Chrisman tweaking his Hustler I.



Automotive author Tom Cotter is writing a book about TV Tom so he tried out the Barnstormer up close and personal.







Roland Leong was on hand for the debut of his Dave Jeffers repopped 1965 Hawaiian.




A new twist to this years Cacklefest was Herm Petersen's Cackle Thunder Contest. Entrants paid $25.00 a car and after they were placed on the pre determined marks the engines were fired and their decibel level was recorded by two meters (below). The first 3 "loudest" cars won trophies provided by DragCARTOONS.





The first car up was the Ewald Bros. BankAmericar with photog Steve Wallace in the seat. (photo credits are Randy Webster his camera)


After the fuel was checked (90% maximum) the car was put on the chalk marks made so all the cars headers would be the same distance from the meters.










Ash Marshall's "Scorcher" was next.




Childs & Albert Addict took its turn.







Keeping with the photographer in the seat theme, shooter Dave Kommel was in the Mastercar for its turn.







Next out was the Roger Gates AA/FD owned by Dennis Fenstermaker. The lone Chevy on the field went on to be the surprise winner. All the hemi guys chalked it off the the totally different harmonics of the wedge head.





Dave West entered his Beebe & Mulligan car. Loud but no cigar.






The Kaiser Bros. took full advantage of their first Cacklefest and gave it a shot with their 1967 car.




The Cross-Mann-King Jr. Fueler just wanted to see how they stacked up with the big kids.



Then Herm fired his own car (which was not an official contestant) and even he couldn't beat the noisy Chevy.



Bill Pitts "Magicar" also fell short.





The last entrant was Tom Hanna who did make a lot of cackle but was disqualified for a fuel violation - he had 98% in the tank.





Herm Petersen presented the winners (Gates & Fenstermaker) the trophy & cash.


Event sponsors, Orah Mae and Robyn Millar.



No clue - just a cool shot from the pits.


Team Hanna didn't make any friends when they came in with bags of In N Out burgers and didn't bring enough for everybody.


The Kaiser Bros. tried to finance their trip from Colorado with this huge parts sale in their pit. They did have a lighter rig on the way home.


Sunday morning Greg Sharp awarded Tom Hanna, Bob Creitz and Butch Maas with the 2009 Cacklefest Outstanding Presentation award give to a car that best typifies, overall, the era.


Then there's the end result of Bob Hirsch's third attempt to start during Cacklefest. Even with the mag off there was enough nitro in the cylinder to hydraulic, explode and send some scrap metal into the stands. This is one of the issues that will be seriously addressed before next year.



The last fire ups of the weekend on Sunday afternoon found photographer Bob Brown in the Mastercar and Cindy Gibbs Arias in the BankAmericar.












Bob is having a thrill of a lifetime but...


Cindy is REALLY enjoying herself.



Read between the lines....




A little different end result.


Big still does it all.




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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