Ardmore Dragway’s 9th Annual Hot Rod Reunion
August 29-30, 2014
by Brad Klaassen
So, how does the longest continually operating drag strip in the country celebrate Labor Day Weekend every year? That’s right, they hold their Annual Hot Rod Reunion. This track has been witness to thousands of epic runs down the strip for 56 years and is still going strong today thanks to the current care takers, the Carrell Family. And generations of racers and fans have never quit supporting this track located in what many lovingly refer to as a cow pasture in far southern Oklahoma.
Ardmore Dragway’s Hot Rod Reunion has your usual assortment of old school cool period correct drag cars, nitro cackle cars and the mandatory exhibition passes by alky and nitro powered machines down the 1/8th mile. But, what makes this event so special for so many is it really is a big ole picnic and family reunion rolled up into one. The track even puts on a free BBQ feast for the racers and crews on Friday evening before the drag racing festivities kick off. And even if you’re new to the racing family at Ardmore Dragway like me, the folks down their will make you feel welcome and part of the clan quicker than you can make a 4 second pass down their track.
Oh, did I mention the racing action at Ardmore Dragway’s Hot Rod Reunion is always as scorching hot as the Labor Day sun too? Well it is, and I for one can’t think of any other way to celebrate summer’s end than with racers and friends at this down home old school cool facility. The Southwest Heritage Racing Association and Southwest Junior Fuel Association put on a great show each year. Plus, this year’s bonus passes were laid down by Cecil Morrison in his blown alcohol powered Corvette Funny Car, the Singleton & Raber “High Risk” Outlaw Fuel Altered and Ronnie Young’s nitro powered Blue Max Funny Car, which debuted an original old new stock Ford EXP body originally owned by none other than Mr. Blue Max himself, Raymond Beadle. Editors note: article written before Raymond Beadle's passing, Rest In Peace
So, that’s the way it went down at the 9th Annual Ardmore Dragway Hot Rod Reunion. And a shoutout is in order to Ardmore, Oklahoma’s own Rob Ragland for concocting the idea of a reunion race all those years ago and helping making it happy every Labor Day Weekend just like clock work. This racing junkie can’t wait until next year to see what the folks down in Ardmore will cook up for the 10th Annual Hot Rod Reunion, but you can bet I’ll be there once again to see all my southern racing family and friends. Until then, see you at the drags.
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