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NHRR Cacklefest

The Parade




A great part of the Cacklefest show is the pre-fire up parade where the fans get to see the cars and crews up close and personal while getting a verbal history of the car. This is also a fun deal for the folks participating in the event.


Dave McClelland did the introductions.



For the second year in a row, the Stephens & Venables fueler was the first in line for the dragsters. Dickie with dad Dick Venables in the seat with car co-owner Natalie Wiley.


First out were the self start cars (floppers, gassers and dragsters) led by this Jungle Jim Camaro.



Since Bowling Green is still way down on their car count compared to the grand daddy CHRR in Bakersfield, self start cars that by definition are not cacklecars are included in the show. In this case several quality gassers rolled by the stands including the Stone Woods and Cooke cars.




Barb Hamilton - a legend in this area of the country - in her record holding gasser.


The S&S Racing Team was represented by these two classics.




Bruce Larson was on hand with his 1967 USA-1 Camaro funny car.



Randal Davis is the fellow who was Hubert's crew chief on this '70 Camaro Funny Car back in the day. Randal searched for the car for many years and finally found it in Nova Scotia Canada. Having been the crew chief, he was able to ID the chassis. The restoration was finished in 2008.



First timer "Pinocchio" AA/C. Rich Venza built this as a tribute to all the great comp coupe cars form the 50's and 60's. Started with a '69 Woody frame, added a custom Rod 'n Race Fiberglass body, (similar to the Pedregon body he made) and a blown alky 358 SBC. Not a clone of any particular car, just a tribute to a long gone era.





"The Hooligan" owned by Kevin McDonald with his young friend John Francis in the seat. Unfortunately for McDonald, his car ended up parked first in line on the spectator side, next to Fred Hurst. The car fired the car very nicely but they were at the edge of the stands so far they couldn't be seen by many of the fans or the photographers. There was an 8 foot concrete wall in front of them behind the starting line and because of this there are no photos of the car fired up.







Dick Venables was next out in the Stevens & Venables car. He may have wrenched it in the day but with Steve Stevens unable to make this years even he got the seat.








The first push start car to go down was also the oldest car in the show - the Bronson Special built in the late 40s or early 50s (the actual date is unknown). Original owners grandson, Bill Bronson restored the car and was in it here.





Al Bergler, who has become a Cacklefest staple, in the seat of his More Aggravation AA/FC.






The Logghe Stamping Co car - another Bergler restoration. John Logghe, son of Gene (who was also present at the event and even sat in the car for a fire up). John runs the Logghe business now with his cousin.





Another car out of the Bergler camp was the Gang Green entry of the late Larry Payne. Ron Bergler was in the seat.







Bobby Langley's Scorpion V - owned by Bill Crosby and restored by Don Ross... Crosby in the seat.






Another Cacklefest newby was the Ditmar Bros. AA/GD. This is a very nice car that would be really nice with the original 3 point cage. It is owned and restored by Shawn Dill, co-tuner along with Rahn Tobler on Cruz Pedregon's F/C. Shaw is pictured here in the driver's seat.

On the three point cage observation Shawn had this to say: "I "restored" the Ditmars Bros. car with a five point cage so I can actually run it! Some of us were born a few years too late to experience the thrill of a real dragster so this is my way of reliving that. I went to extremes to make sure every detail on this car was exact to 1970, including plumbing, fasteners, etc. All of the necessary safety improvements were made as transparent as possible-that aluminum clutch can is actually a brand new Browell steel can I had aluminum ceramic coated and polished for example, and how many people would notice that the top frame rail from just in front of the motor all the way around the driver is now 1 1/2" instead of 1 3/8". That was a huge undertaking, and the two hoops on the cage are perfectly in line with one another so head on shots look like a three point, sorry there was no way to hide it in the side view. I could have built a "Cackle Car" and sat in a lawn chair at a car show. Or I can go over to the local track on one of my few off weekends and run my car for fun and try to recapture what racing was like before sponsors, dial-ins, and race-pak computers!"

Editors Note: After an impromptu poll of other cacklecar owners and fans the overwhelming consensus is - lose the five point cage.






Bobby Langley, the oldest driver in Cacklefest, in his recreated Scorpion 1B.








2009 NHRR Honoree Jerry Baltes in his Croshier-Baltes-Lavato AA/FD. And by all accounts, nobody had more fun this weekend than Jerry and his gang.









Jim Adolph in the Pure Heaven II AA/FA.





Yet another Bergler restoration is the beautiful "Probe" owned by Ed Golden who has his 17 year old son Loren in the seat for the parade. Loren is being groomed to be the driver in next years Cackelfest.







Brian Perrenot was back for his second NHRR in the restored Perrenot Family "The Gizzle Hopper" Lincoln powered AA/C. Third generation Perrenot (Fred's granddaughter) Gretchen was in the seat.








NHRR staples are the Barnes & Gladstone "Michigander" AA/FD owned by Bud Barnes and Bob Gladstone. Original and Cacklefest Driver: Bud Barnes.








"Cox & Amos" AA/FD restored as last raced in 1975. This would have been one of the very last front engine TF cars and the only one to try to qualify at the 1975 U.S. Nationals.







Wale & Candies 1963 AA/FD that was restored by the late Pat Foster and owned by Paul "Tugboat" Candies with Bob Fulton (Reb) in the seat.








The Hilton Family were on hand again with their restored ex-Tom Hoover car. This is another very nice piece that one can only wonder why there is a 5 point cage on it. The original 3 point would really bring this car to life.







David Hoyh's "Swamp Fox" with Cammron Hoyh in the seat.







Gibson Gill Special, the only injected fueler in the program. A 1968 A/FD now owned by Mike Roth.






This year ex-Top Fuel driver Jim Walther got the seat in Raymond Godman's "Tennessee Bo-Weevil".






Preston Davis opted to be in the Raymond Godman's "Tennessee Bo-Weevil" funny car that he drove in the 70s.






Kenny Safford flew back to be in the seat of his Safford-Gaide-Ratican Olds powered A/FD. The car is based in the NHRA Motorsports Museum and was one of three hauled back for the event.







The meticulously Hanna restored Creitz & Donovan AA/FD. Butch Maas was in the car for the push start - no ID on driver here.








Big Mac took a moment to recognize one of the best drag racing photographers of all time - Steve Reyes.


Tom Hanna - nothing more can be said about this masterpiece that already hasn't been echoed by many.










Larry Dixon Sr. was reunited with the seat of the Smirnoff fueler and had a ball doing it.











Larry Dixon Jr. was featured in the seat of the Howard Cams Ratter and got a huge Kentucky welcome from the thousands of fans.












As he always does, Don "Big Daddy" Garlits finished off the parade.











It's Showtime -



The calm before the storm.



Dickie Venables waited for the signal for the static start cars to fire their engines.





The first nitro car to start and it just went crazy from here. Push starts would be coming down track at a pace that precluded any silence.

Enjoy the photos - you know who's who by now!






























































































































Yea, that was fun!



The fans flowed out of the stands and those of who had seen this act before retreated to the safety of the pits. In hindsight it was a great idea because 45 minutes after this shot was taken the sky fell out - the first and only rain storm of the weekend. It cooled things off for a few minutes but only added to the intense humidity on Sunday.






What a difference a few hours make. By Sunday morning the cacklecar pits were all but a ghost town. Unlike the CHRR, most of the people here don't stick around for Sunday if they are not in the show. That pretty much left the photogs to shoot eliminations.



See you all (hopefully) at the CHRR in October!





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