14th Annual Holley Hot Rod Reunion cont...
Beech Bend Raceway Park Bowling Green, KY
Photos by Wayne Gierke - Martin Libhart - Mike Sopko Jr. - Mike Sopko Sr.
Other winners included Robbie Freels in his Crower sponsored canopied altered in the 7.0 class, Steve Matthews in his slingshot in the 7.50 class, Competition Eliminator class was won by Russell Snyder of Cordova, TN in his 23 T altered, tuned by his grandfather Jack Thompson , and Bob Mitchell in his “Borrowed Time” Dodge in the Nostalgia Gas class.
7.0 Winner, Robbie Freels at the wheel of his canopied Hal Canode built altered
In a very close Steve Matthews (far lane) beat Bo Boles 7.490 to a 7.489.
Top Fuel were not the only nitro vehicles on the premises as there were six funny cars for the booked in show as well as two fuel altereds. Rocky Pirrone in his “Frantic Ford” match raced Bruce Larson in his second gen “USA I” Camaro. Other funny cars included Eric Larson in his Arnie Beswick tribue “Boss Bird” Firebird with a Pontiac engine, Anthony Bronge in the “Iowa Punisher” Corvette, Bazz Young in his “Down Under Thunder” Camaro, and Marc White in the “Crop Duster” Monza. White recorded the best run of the weekend while Larson had the two most eventful runs including nearly running off of the track after the chute blossomed late, and a blower explosion 100 feet off the starting line that could be felt in the chest of the spectators.
(L-R) None other than Bruce Larson, hiking the front end on a hard charge in the funny car exhibition class
Rocky Pirrone in the seat of his classic ‘Frantic Ford’ nostalgia funny car
Anthony Bronge in the "Iowa Punisher" and Marc White in the "Crop Duster" use two chutes to slow down from a Friday exhibition run.
Eric Larson ran a career best 6.21 on his first pass, exploded the blower on his second pass.
Bazz Young's Down Under Thunder. It was late afternoon Friday and the burnout looks like he is riding off into the sunset
Kyle Hough and the Hough family’s “Nanook” entry again squared off against Ron Hope and the “Rat Trap” Bantam. Hough won all three rounds recording a best of a 6.21 at 230 mph.
(L-R) Ron Hope in the unmistakable Rat Trap - Kyle Hough in ‘Nanook’, match racing Rat Trap at the event, and eventually winning the final.
No Hot Rod Reunion would be complete without a Cacklefest and this event was no exception. As dozens of fuel burning machines lined up and lit the wick. Big Daddy Don Garlits closed out the show in his Swamp Rat and as his motor went silent after belching flames for several minutes a roar from the crowd emerged thanking the drivers and teams for their efforts. Fans then joined the cackle cars on the track as the sun had now completely set and the 14th Annual National Hot Rod Reunion had come to a close.
Ross Howard in his beautiful Custom Body Enterprises funny car. This is the ’73 funny car that Tom Prock drove to numerous championships. Ross acquired the car in early 2015, after it appeared in the NHRA Museum for 2 years.
No nostalgia event would be complete without those well-known Backup Girls.
Cassandra Hicks has become a favorite at numerous tracks, and is a stunning example of beauty, poise, and personality.
See you at the drags,
Mike Sopko Jr.
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