For the 28th year, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum will conduct the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California. Held at Auto Club Famoso Raceway just north of Bakersfield, Calif., this three-day festival of drag racing is scheduled for October 25-27 and is, essentially a hot-rodder’s heaven.
In addition to quarter-mile nostalgia drag racing, the family friendly event features a vendor midway replete with speed parts and specialty equipment, a swap meet with acres of vintage parts and memorabilia, static hot rods, custom cars and muscle cars of all vintage and description. As ever, there will be a Cacklefest on Saturday night showcasing the sights and smells of drag racing.
Each year the California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR) marks the season finale for NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage Series, a year-long grouping of nostalgia racing events that begins at Famoso with the vaunted March Meet. Nostalgia Top Fuel, Funny Car, AA Fuel Altereds will showcase nitromethane-fueled cars and the biggest names in nostalgia racing always flock to the event.
Expect to see reigning Top Fuel champion – and current points leader – Mendy Fry, along with Funny Car points leader Dan Horan, who will compete against great competitors Jeff Arend, Bob Cottrell and Kris Krabell. Other Heritage Series classes include A/Fuel, where a match-up between Kin Bates and Drew Austin should keep the crowd enthralled. Only one point separates Don Enriquez from Brad Woodward in Junior Fuel, which should make their match-up a special one.
There will be 17 categories competing for coveted Hot Rod Reunion trophies and, for the Heritage Series championship Wally trophies throughout the late October weekend.
Additionally, the California Hot Rod Reunion celebrates those in the drag racing community who have dedicated their lives to the sport of hot rodding. The 2019 event grand marshal is the vaunted “King of the Northwest” Jerry Ruth, who joins fellow honorees Harry Burkholder, Mike Cook, Bill Dunlap, Phil Mandella and Gary Southern at a 7:30PM free reception on Friday, October 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bakersfield.
Another feature of the California Hot Rod Reunion is the parade of classic dragster push-starts on Friday and Saturday, followed by Saturday evening’s Cacklefest. Once the flame-spewing and nitro burning is complete, fans on-site are welcome to join the celebrants to see the cars up close.
Tickets are on-sale now for the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion and, if purchased prior to October 14, are $65 for a three-day pass or $25 for a single day. Three-day passes increase to $75 after October 14 and children 15 and under are free with a paid adult.