“Jungle Pam” Hardy puts the bleach to “Jungle Jim” Liberman’s slicks.
“Jungle Pam” Hardy puts the bleach to “Jungle Jim” Liberman’s slicks.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Mar. 9, 2009) – It was déjà vu all over again. Seriously, it could have been 1966, 1972 or even 2008 as perfect weather, packed stands and incredible drag racing competition all added up to another wildly successful March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, Calif. And speaking of 2008, the 2009 winner were certainly familiar: Bucky Austin once again claimed the Nostalgia Funny Car category and got a good jump on the competition as the March Meet is also the season opener for the NHRA’s eight-race Hot Rod Heritage Series.
Austin, who won the Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Funny Car championship last year, beat Garrett Bateman, Tacoma, Wash., in the Funny Car final with a record-breaking time of 5.72 seconds at a blistering 246.77 mph. Garrett finished with a 5.85 time at 245.36 mph. Both Austin and Bateman ran on cars owned by Steve Plueger.
Fife, Wash. may be home for Austin, but he now owns Bakersfield. He’s on the roll of lifetime here, winning four times in the two years at the legendary Auto Club Famoso, including two March Meets and two California Hot Rod Reunions. And he’s set a new record in each race, including Sunday’s with the lowest elapsed time (ET) in Nostalgia Funny history (5.72).
“We’ve accomplished a lot here in Bakersfield,” Austin said after the race, “but it takes a good car, a great crew and a little luck. Everything has to go right. My hat’s off to Steve (Plueger) and the whole team.”
More than 500 race cars in 14 classes were entered in this year’s March Meet, which is now celebrating 51 years of racing at Auto Club Famoso. Last year’s 50th anniversary drew record crowds, but there was concern that the soft economy would take a toll on the race entries and the crowds. Again, it was a blast from the past as the stands were full, as were the vendors’ midway, swap meet area and the hot rod/street rod-lined Grove.
“People came out to forget their troubles and enjoy themselves with some affordable family fun,” said Blake Bowser, vice president and general manager of the Kern County Racing Association, operators of Auto Club Famoso Raceway and producers of the March Meet. “That’s what has made this race and track so popular over the years: People want to see a great show and have fun. Hopefully we can continue to provide this for years to come.” — (c/o PCGCampbell)
NITRO FUNNY CAR FINAL RESULTS OF THE 51ST MARCH MEET/NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES, AUTO CLUB FAMOSO RACEWAY
Lee Paul Jennings Jr, Hilmar CA, ’69 Camaro, Left lane, (0.033) 5.992 221.34 def. Ed Dougan, Brea CA, ’74 Camaro, (0.112) 5.933 238.60
Mark Sanders, Maple Valley WA, ’70 Nova, Right lane, (0.243) 5.887 243.70 def. Terry Capp, Edmonton AB, ’77 Firebird, (0.547) 5.858 247.72
Bucky Austin, Fife WA, ’79 Arrow, Left lane, (0.174) 5.754 246.23 def. Dennis Taylor, Anahiem CA, ’72 Charger, (0.200) 7.565 115.41
Garrett Bateman, Tacoma WA, ’72 Mustang, Left lane, (0.150) 5.820 237.02 def. Chris Krabill, Orange CA, ’78 Arrow, (0.124) 5.870 246.91
G Bateman, Left lane, (0.161) 5.862 240.96 def. M Sanders, (0.140) 6.047 238.22
B Austin, Left lane, (0.157) 5.789 242.06 def. L Jennings Jr, (0.078) 5.876 244.56
B Austin, Left lane, (0.162) 5.723 246.77 def. G Bateman, (0.155) 5.853 245.36
Low ET: Bucky Austin 5.723 seconds
Top Speed: Terry Capp 248.13 MPH
FUNNY CAR CONSOLATION:
Mike Halstead, Fontana CA, ’69 Daytona, Right lane, (0.192) 5.990 240.25 def. Craig Michael, Las Vegas NV, ’72 Satellite, (0.111) 6.178 220.85
Jack Wright, Oakhurst CA, ’70 Challanger, Right lane, (0.154) 6.021 232.25 def. Bob Godfrey, Moreno Valley CA, ’69 Camaro, (0.173) 6.179 234.31
Stephen Romanazzi, Visalia CA, ’77 Firebird, Right lane, (0.133) 6.083 204.96 def. Dale Pulde, Sylmar CA, ’77 Trans Am, (0.143) 6.323 No Speed
Dennis La Charite, Rolling Hills Estates CA, ’69 GTO, Right lane, (0.092) 5.956 240.57 def. Mendy Fry, Aliso Viejo CA, ’73 Duster, (0.131) 6.036 240.96
J Wright, Right lane, (0.154) 13.235 56.50 def. S Romanazzi, NT-No Show
M Halstead, Left lane, (0.154) 6.091 237.59 def. D La Charite, (0.065) 6.504 233.34
M Halstead, Left lane, (0.140) 6.035 239.10 def. J Wright, (0.120) 6.491 188.67
Low ET: Dennis La Charite 5.956 seconds
Top Speed: Mendy Fry 240.96 MPH
Results courtesy of DragRaceCentral.com
In preparation for the upcoming 51st March Meet, Mendy Fry, Roland Leong and McCain’s Bomb Squad will test and fine-tune their Nitro Funny Car this weekend at Famoso…
more here: http://nitrokitty.com/2009/02/26/test-patch/
16 Funny Car Field At Sacramento Raceway Park
For Immediate Release
February 25, 2009
The 28th Annual Funny Car Fever is back April 24th – 25th at Sacramento Raceway Park. 619 Promotions has added a new marketing partner… Mickey Thompson Performance Tire and Wheels.
“Having such a valuable marketing partner as Mickey Thompson, has made it possible to put on the first ever 16 nitro funny car elimination field at Sacramento Raceway Park, giving the fans twice the show of last year’s event.” said Lisa Jennings at 619 Promotions. “We are looking forward to working with Mickey Thompson on this historical event and hope this turns into a long partnership that benefits us both in the years to come.”
Mickey Thompson will have a fully manned support trailer on hand at Funny Car Fever at Sacramento Raceway Park for those racers that run their tires for sales and tech support.
The Nitro Funny Car Association (NFCA) is guaranteeing the 16-car field. Therefore, this event is exclusive to the NFCA members. “With having the 16 Nitro Funny Car qualified field, and adding the Outlaw Pro Mods this year, we feel the fans are in for exciting side by side racing!” said Lee Paul Jennings of 619 Promotions.
Among those already expected to appear at Funny Car Fever is last year’s Champ Kris Krabill in the “Pedaler” Arrow, last year’s runner up Bucky Austin in the “Northwest Hitter” Arrow, Garrett Bateman in the “Plueger & Gyger” Mustang, Mike Adams in the “Coors” Corvette, John Powers in the “Powers Steel” Camaro, Mike Halstead in the “Nitro Charger” Dodge Daytona, Lee Paul Jennings in the brand new “An American Revolution” Camaro, and Bob Godfrey in the “Burn N Money” Camaro.
Other classes that will be competing at Funny Car Fever include Outlaw Pro Mods, 7.0 Pro, Top Sportsman, Top Eliminator West, Big Bucks ET, Pro Gas A,B,C, & D, Drag Bikes, and a Jet Dragster.
Friday night qualifying will begin at 4 PM.
Admission: 12 and under FREE with paid adult. 12 and over $20.00
Saturday: Pit gates open at 8:00 AM. Qualifying begins at 9:00 AM. First round of funny car eliminations begins at noon.
General Admission: Under 12 free with paid adult. 12 and over $20.00.
Or Pit Admission: 6-11 $5.00. 12 and over $25.00.
General Parking is FREE! Pit Parking $20.00 (Motorhomes $40.00)
Pre Buy Tickets Online and SAVE at http://www.619promotions.com.