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VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 2

A couple of weeks ago, while a lot of the National DRAGSTER staff was at the Virginia NHRA Nationals - Sportsman coverage and photo highlights of which can be found in this issue, beginning on page 53 - I was in Bakersfield, Calif., for my first visit to the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

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									                                                                                                                                                                        NATIONAL HOT ROD
 Staging Light                                                                                                                                                            ASSOCIATION
                                                                                                                          Founder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wally Parks
A     couple of weeks ago, while a lot of the National
      DRAGSTER staff was at the Virginia NHRA
Nationals — Sportsman coverage and photo highlights
                                                            and sold T-shirts and diecast. He looked great and is
                                                            fully recovered from a five-way bypass five years ago.
                                                            I was surprised to see currently sidelined Top Fuel
                                                                                                                          Board Chairman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dallas Gardner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1913-2007


                                                                                                                                                                              Board of Directors
of which can be found in this issue, beginning on page driver Alan Bradshaw a long way from his Texas                                                           Dallas Gardner Dick Wells
53 — I was in Bakersfield, Calif., for my first visit to    home. He had brought his father out with him,                                                Tom Compton Peter Clifford Graham Light
the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club            fulfilling one half of his dad’s two wishes: Go to the        President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom Compton
Famoso Raceway.                                             Reunion and go to Indy. I guess we’ll be seeing poppa         Executive Vice President/General Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Clifford
    Although so much of what we cover here in               Bradshaw at the Big Go next year.                             Senior Vice President-Racing Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graham Light
                                                                                                                                Director of Racing Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Josh Peterson
DRAGSTER revolves around current-day racing, the                I spent some time hanging with old pals Willie            Vice President-Technical Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glen Gray
creation this season of the nostalgia-based NHRA Hot        Wolter and Henry Walther, who both were part of the                 Director of Top Fuel & Funny Car Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Olson
Rod Heritage Racing Series and my own deep interest         magical Larry Minor team back in the early 1980s and                Senior Director - National Technical Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don Taylor
                                                                                                                                National Technical Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Gracia
and roots in our colorful and glorious past meant I         now work on the Paso Posse Top Fueler with their              Senior Vice President-Sales & Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gary Darcy
needed to take a long-overdue trip north to see this        world champ pilot Gary Beck, John Rodeck, and                       Senior Director of Sales & Business Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Siragusa
spectacular event for myself. I’d somehow managed to        others. Beck’s son, Randy, usually drives the car but               Director of Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Carmean
                                                                                                                                Director of Corporate Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kelly Clancy
miss the first 16 versions of this “gathering of geezers”   crashed it earlier this year. He got to shake down the              Director of Licensing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Thacker
at the fabled “Patch” but was determined to make up for rebuilt car, but Jack Harris wheeled it this weekend.                   Marketing Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gary Raasch
it this year, if only for a day.                                As I was finishing up a long conversation with            Vice President-National Event Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glen Cromwell
                                                                                                                                Director of Field Marketing & Contingency Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eric Lotz
    I gassed up the Pontiac and pointed it north over       them, I spied former Orange County Int’l Raceway and                Director of Advertising & Promotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Pesetski
the fabled Grapevine and, two hours later, stepped          Lions Drag Strip starter Larry Sutton across the way          Vice President-National Event Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don Kraushar
back in time some 40-plus years.                            — still with his familiar black cowboy hat and pipe —         Vice President-Public Relations & Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Archambeault
                                                                                                                                Director of Media Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anthony Vestal
    Exiting Highway                                                                               and had a great               Director of Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Michael Padian
99, I trundled down         “I’d somehow managed to miss                                          conversation with             Director of Broadcasting & Video Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jim Trace
the three-plus miles                                                                              him about the old       Vice President-Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adriane Ridder
of side road to the              the first 16 versions of this                                    and new days, then           Editorial Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phil Burgess
                                                                                                                               Director of Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Morton
track, wondering                                                                                  I ran into Rodney
how many quarter-
                             ‘gathering of geezers’ but was                                       Flournoy, who,
                                                                                                                          Vice President & General Counsel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Louie
                                                                                                                          Director of Customer & Ticket Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don Boudreau
mile greats had            determined to make it this year.” along with his dad,                                          Director of Human Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marleen Gurrola
                                                                                                                          Director of Information Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jared Robison
made this very trip                                                                               Eddie, fielded a                                                   NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
on this very road over the last 50 years, heading for       low-on-dollars, big-on-heart nitro Funny Car in SoCal in                                               2035 Financial Way, Glendora, CA 91741
what they hoped would be a dose of March Meet glory.        the 1980s. In a time before J.R. Todd, Antron Brown,                                                     626-914-4761; fax, 626-963-5360
    I hadn’t been to this track in more than 20 years,      Michael Phillips, and other African-American stars,                                                        OFFICE HOURS
since what is arguably the last time that the March         Rodney was out there making it happen.                                     Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                  For additional contacts, see NHRA Directory on page 114.
Meet was at all a relevant indicator of the best modern         I never thought I’d go to a drag race and not care
fuel cars in the nation. It was 1986, and Don Garlits       as much abou
								
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