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NHRA Rulebook Section 10
Cacklefest® Vehicle
Updated 8/08/17 - see PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

The Cacklefest is an event created to celebrate the era known as The Golden Age of Drag Racing. Simply put, restored and/or accurately recreated race cars are push started by an era correct car or truck. After the engines are started, the race cars are lined up in a designated area in front of spectators and left running at an idle making the distinctive cackling sound of a nitro fueled engine. The NHRA Motorsports Museum created the event in 2000 with an exhibition of nine cars. Since then, the Museum is proud and grateful that dozens of functional Top Fuel dragsters now provide a nostalgic look back at early drag racing for older fans and an educational and exciting event for those too young to remember.

All vehicles must be in good working order, with all components in proper mechanical condition including frame construction, brakes, steering, wheels and tires, etc. All drivers - of both cacklefest car and push vehicle, must have demonstrated experience to participate in push start Cacklefest activity.

Prior to any engine starts at Cacklefest events, including National and California Hot Rod Reunions®, and select NHRA National Events, all participating cars must have complied with a tech inspection. Inspections will be conducted by experienced personnel. Proper Waivers and Releases must be signed prior to any engine starts - both static and push start.

Must have functional, positive action, ON/OFF switch located in driver’s compartment capable of de-energizing the entire ignition system. Driver must be able to easily access and operate ignition switch when seated in normal driving position, with all belts secured. “Momentary contact” switch prohibited. Magneto switch is to be used to shut off engine if fuel shutoff does not function properly.

Each vehicle must have a foot throttle incorporating a positive-acting return spring attached directly to the carburetor/injector throttle arm. A positive stop or override prevention must be used to keep linkage from passing over center and sticking in an open position. System must be free of binding.

Each vehicle must be equipped with a fully functional, quick-action, fuel-shutoff valve. Valve must be positioned at the outlet/pressure side of fuel pump. Valve must be controlled with positive-action device/cable where driver has full ON/OFF control. Driver must be able to easily access and operate fuel shut off system when seated in normal driving position, with all belts secured.

All vehicles must be equipped with automotive-type clutch using single or multiple disks.Fully centrifugal type clutches (Crower Glide, etc.) prohibited**. Use of supplemental counterweights prohibited. Spring pressure is not to exceed normal operation requirement to start engine. Clutch adjustment settings must provide for full disengagement at any and all rpm. Clutch linkage must be in proper working order and provide driver with full range of control. Driver must have adequate leverage/control of clutch pedal to easily and fully disengage clutch at any and all rpm. Vehicles equipped with fully centrifugal clutches permitted to perform static starts only if driveline is fully disconnected.

Drivelines must be completely disengaged during any static starts when drive wheels are touching the ground either by disconnecting coupler or use of “in and out” device. Exception would be when undergoing a mandated tech inspection static start in a designated and secure area. Vehicles not equipped with driveline disconnect devices must have drive wheels off the ground using fixed-position jack-stand devices for static starts in populated areas. If necessary to make static start, with driveline engaged and tires on the ground, the car must be relocated to a designated remote area free of spectators.

All participants making static starts must have a functional fire extinguisher near the car at any time the engine is running. Extinguishers must be carried in all push-start cars or trucks.

Seat belts and shoulder harnesses must be in good condition and fully utilized during any push start procedure.

During any push-start procedures, including “practice starts,” drivers are required to wear a jacket meeting SFI Spec 3.2A/1, full-length pants, closed-toe shoes, socks, gloves, helmet, mask, and goggles. Nylon or nylon-type clothing (i.e., gloves, pants, socks, or shoes) prohibited.
NOTE: During any static starts, drivers are required to wear shirts (no tank tops), full-length pants, socks and closed-toe shoes.

ll drivers participating in push-start Cacklefest events must have demonstrated full capability to operate vehicle with multiple starts required to be included in feature events. Drivers may be asked to demonstrate the ability to locate, and operate, all controls even when blindfolded. Drivers of all Cacklefest vehicles, and drivers of all push vehicles, must possess a valid state driver’s license.

Each entrant must have a “period correct” push vehicle for the Cacklefest presentation. All push vehicles must be in good mechanical condition and must display a current license and registration. Proof of insurance may be requested before the vehicle can operate. Push vehicle should be known to be free of leaks and have adequate cooling system to prevent coolant overflow or spills. Watch signals from official controlling the flow of cars. If the driver of the cacklefest car is unable to start the car in the area designated by the official, DO NOT MAKE ANY FURTHER ATTEMPTS TO START THE CAR. Drivers of cacklefest car and push vehicle must be able to communicate a failure to start and then proceed to carefully push the car to its designated parking location or return to the pits by the path indicated by the official.




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