Volume IX, Issue 10, Page 5

Hoping for an Announcement at the CHRR

Last night, I was awakened from a fitful sleep by a shrill faceless
voice (Burk? An ex-wife? Former car owner?). I couldn't make out who it was in the dark. I asked, "Can you talk a little louder?"

This voice said to me, "I want you to tell the people the truth; not an easy thing to do because the people don't want to know the truth."

I countered, "What the hell do I know about the truth? You've read my columns."

The voice said, "Don't worry about the words, I will put the words at your fingertips."

I said, "Whose public relations contact are you? The NHRA? The Goodguys? For god sakes, I'm no John Drummond."

The voice said to me, "...and I'm not Wally Parks...or Marc Meadors!
What does that have to do with it?"

The voice boomed, "We're not talking about eternal truth, or absolute truth, or ultimate truth. I don't expect you people to be capable of that kind of truth but dad-gum you are at least capable of self-preservation and support for a nostalgia drag racing series."

"Why me?" I said

The voice said, "Because you're on the Internet, dummy!"

This month we have been busy getting the Pisano & Matsubara Funny Car ready for the CHRR and doing a little tire testing for M and H. Just some ramblings you folks get from me this time.

That brings us right where I want you: here, next to me, hoping that soon we get the formal announcement about a nostalgia series that has some clout. I have heard about the track owners' meetings; I have seen the moniker "Hot Rod Heritage Series" on the NHRA website; I have seen the emails mentioning the Fontana track as being a major player for nostalgia racing in the future. All we are lacking is the formal announcement. Maybe at the CHRR? Maybe at the SEMA Show? Speaking of SEMA, if you are attending, look for me and the Pisano & Matsubara Funny Car in the Purepower Lubricants booth. I'll be the one pretending to belong at a trade show and trying not to stare at the "booth girls." But, before we get there, fall is upon us.

Fall brings us the highest of high-brow nostalgia events and that would be the California Hot Rod Reunion. Jeez, it's already the 16th edition. The 16th! And I can truthfully claim to have been at every single one of them, but I also truthfully claim to never have been to the Friday night inductee deal at the Doubletree. This year, my car owner Danny Pisano has given me "team orders" to be there. So, I'm there. With bells on. I'll pack clean dickies and a t-shirt.

Speaking of Famoso, while testing this past weekend, one of our guys who can't make every outing proclaimed after getting out of the truck, "What is that smell? God, it stinks!" (This having to do with the putrid piles placed precariously in proximity to the property). Mikey Mallory stepped up at that comment, and donning his Colonel Kilgore cap, no doubt at a jaunty angle, proclaimed with a straight face, "That smell? It smells like Drag Racing…" and I agree. Mikey, incidentally, is the king of body lowering and latching; in fact, when he lowers and latches the body, the rear wheels come up off the ground.

The CHRR has always been the next to last stop on the West Coast nostalgia racing series. This year, it's the last. Our big finale. The fat lady will be warming up when I (hopefully) stage for the Funny Car final and warble in full effect when Top Fuel leaves the line. This one is big.

Can I bitch for a second? Like you have a vote. Anyway, the Funny Cars get one qualifying lap on Sunday morning. Most of the teams in Funny Car can and will get down the track with one hit. What about the newbies? I just read on a popular message board one car owner stating that with only one hit, he's going to lean on his (new and unproven) stuff to try and make the show. Nice. Let’s throw our shit on the ground. Like the Funny Cars need a bigger black-eye after the chest-puffing posturing this past season by some folks.

It's tough as a driver because with one hit, you need to get the heap down there the best you can, even if it's not right, and hope they can fix it to make the call. I would like to see one lap Saturday before Top Fuel's first round and one on Sunday morning. That way I can squelch all the folks asking, "Your car has been here for three days; when the hell are you going to run the damn thing?" I'm tired of answering, "After I'm done with my beer, we're towing up."

Cacklefest news… my boss, Bobby Hansen, has been thrashin' to get his "Wynns Spoiler" AA/FD ready for the CHRR. This car ran a 6.82 at Carlsbad in 1966. Forrest Bond wrote a nice little column about it in Drag News shortly after the run. It is the original pipe, body, front axle, wheels (front and rear) and rear end. This car is a true restoration and not a recreation. I hope to God he gets it done. For both our sakes…

So there you go, the nostalgia world will be watching this year's edition of the CHRR and looking for any signs of a future series. It looks like the Goodguys are teaming up with the NPCA for some dates in the Midwest next year and that is great news! That's all I got this time. See you at the CHRR! 


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