Saturday got off to a
slow start - at least for Ron Johnson and the Chizler camp.
Larry Dixon was back
home in the seat of the Howard Cams "Rattler".
The pace picked up quickly
when Tom Steed fired up Sy Sidebotham's "King & Marshall"
restoration for a burnout and short squirt.
With the engine sounding
stout, Steed staged and left full throttle but the excellent
bite on the Beech Bend track was too much for the clutch set-up
and the car was very soft.
One of the Cacklefest
Rules is that anyone who has not done a push start must do one
on the track prior to the actual Cacklefest event. Several cars
did so early Saturday afternoon. First out for his test was Mike
Hilton in the Hilton Family ex-Tom Hoover car.
Ray DiNoble, driver of
the late Lou Smiths first Probe dragster returned
to the seat following a 41 year absence. Ray, driving for current
owner Ed Golden, did his test push start with no problems.
Steve Gibbs waits for
the track to clear before sending David Hoyh in the "Swamp
Steve Gibbs and Bob Phillips
bring the "Flying Englishman" out for its test.
Phillips kinda missed
on the "period correct" push car... to say the least.
Shortly after the first
qualifying session ended, the dark clouds rolled in and within
minutes the sky was falling. Not what anyone wanted to see.
Due to the rain Greg
Sharp and Steve Gibbs called a cacklecar owner/driver meeting
to lay out the new plan. Since the track was deemed unsafe (too
wet) for push starts, all the cars would be towed onto the track
and parked diagonally across the centerline and be self started
all at once. This didn't set well with many of the participants,
but nobody would second guess the call.
Note: This format made
it very difficult to photograph all the cars. With the push starts
everyone gets a variety of shots and the coverage is more expansive,
orderly and fair. If your car did not get included here it was
not by purpose, but by happenstance.
With Cacklefest scheduled
for around 8:30, the cars, in no certain order, started moving
into the staging lanes. Jerry Baltes is seen here.
One of Floyd Head's original
drivers, Nick Polosen brings the Texas based beauty into the
lanes. "Good 'Ol" Olin Davis leads the way.
Kenny Safford brings
the Safford-Gaide-Ratican "Sour Sisters" digger up
the lanes. And parked next to the Probe.
Hilton Family, The Probe
and Safford-Gaide-Ratican in wait.
Jim Adolph got the call
in Pure Heaven.
David Hoyh making the
call in the "Swamp Fox".
Don Trasin's "Mongoose"
Vette funny car ready to be pulled out.
I belive this is the first bike to ever take part
in a Cacklefest - The Freight Train nitro Harley twin.
Steed in the King & Marshall car.
Steinegger & Eshenbaugh
to the lanes.
The cars were brought
from the staging lanes and introduced to the crowd by Dave McClelland.
Grand Marshall Barb Hamilton
was first in line with her Willis gasser.
While the other cars
took their positions on the track, the only two cars that would
push start were being readied. Above TC Lemon and George "The
Bushmaster" Schreiber help Garlits get ready.
Ray Godman had all three
of his cars together - what a show.
In the staging lanes,
Ron Johnson and crew were ready to move Karamesines onto the
Preston Davis was in
his old seat of Godman's last dragster.
Bobby Langley taking
it all in.
It took quite a while
to get all the cars out and parked. Crews were patient... like
the Bergler camp.
Ralph Kitron waits to
fire up the Swamp Fox.
Barnes & Gladstone
ready to go.
With all the cars in
place it was obvious that there were way too many people involved.
Although the teams were told to only have two crew members per
car many chose to ignore the directive. This made for a very
poor view for fans and photographers.
With all the other cars
ready to go, Chris Karamesines was pushed to the top end for
his push start.
Right behind The Greek
was Don Garlits in his Swamp Rat VIII.
The plan was for all
the static start cars to fire-up after The Greek and Garlits
lit and were passed them. Chris' car fired on cue and sounded
great. Due to a faulty fuel pump, Garlits failed to fire at all.
This very surreal shot
by Plum was taken on the fly (swing around) as The Greek, fired,
headed for the starting line. It is included because this is
exactly the way it came out of his camera. No PhotoShop here.
Once The Greek was back
to the starting line, parked and running the other cars started
to fire-up but hardly all at once. Some teams had multiple cars
sharing the same starter and others opted to fire late to be
the last dog standing.
Pat Foster gets lit.
Langley is lit, Bo Weevil
Jerry Baltes had the
Croshier-Baltes-Lavato fueler barking.
As always, the King &
Marshall car ran loud and long.
The Hilton Family car
was stout in its own right.
The Probe sounded just
fine, thank you.
The Howard Cams Rattler
with Larry Dixon in the seat got a lot of attention.
Kenny Safford ran his
fuel tank dry and the fans loved it.
The Steinegger &
Eshenbaugh fueler performed flawlessly.
from Bowling Green
John Peters and his Freight
Train post cackle.
The Probe is done for
The Swamp Fox was the
last dog standing - it was running a full 45 seconds after all
the other cars had gone silent. Unfortunately this is the only
photo we have.
Jess VanDeventer has
some cold water post Cacklefest.
Barnes and Gladstone
wait for their tow car to retrieve them.
We want to thank all
the photographers who shot this event amid numerous obstacles
and under unusual circumstances. We are grateful we were able
to get as many shots as we did.
Photos by: Paul Hutchins, Walter Huff,
Bob Plumer, Vic Cooke, Don Ewald, Warren Merriman, Ernie Boughton,
John Ackerman and Roy Steffy.
Check back for more
event coverage as they happen.