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Normally Cacklefest.com would not cover an event that only had two cacklecars but the 20th annual Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada had to be an exception. Without question it is the largest gathering of "iron" in the world. It draws more than 700,000 people over its 7 day span. The masses come to experience nearly 6,000 of the best hot rods, street rods, race cars and show bikes in the country. And, for the third year in a row the Firestone Complete Auto Care exhibit has been one of the focal points of the event and within their exhibit the most popular attraction has been John Ewald's "Maxed Out Racing" vintage Top Fuel (cacklecar) dragsters.

Over this year Ewald and his crew (Alex Mikkelsen, Bob Danly and Mario Garcia) will make a dozen or so appearances with both cars and do upwards of 250 fire-ups - more than all the other cacklecars combined. Thus they are considered by many to be our most visible goodwill ambassadors all the while doing volumes to educate people on drag racing history. And that is the main crux of this coverage ... not so much the photos of the cars but the huge crowds they attracted. A large number of these folks had never seen a front engine top fuel dragster and now they will never forget them. And for those who have seen them, the memories flood back. How many will attend events like the CHRR just because of what they saw here? Then there's the indelible impression left in the minds of all the kids who went home wanting to know more about our sport.

Finally, there's the possibility that this may spur other cacklecar owners to get more involved in events outside of the drag strips. Firestone Complete Auto Care has seen the value in sponsoring the Ewald cars and who's to say other brand name corporations, or even local businesses, won't see the huge market we are just scratching the surface of.  We need all the ambassadors we can get to insure our history will live on for generations to come and we hope others will beat down doors to further that cause.

Now enjoy the photos.




Ewald's traveling road show set up within the Firestone Complete Auto Care display.





A constant flow of little kids and ...


Big kids grin too!



Mario has the "job" of helping folks into the cars.




Ya think she had fun?


Famed artist Kenny Youngblood is present at several Firestone functions through out the year to do free custom drawings for fans. Needless to say, he is never short of customers.



There's nothing like nitro at night and X2 is even better. Alex had the hemis in both cars rocking the Reno skies and at one point overriding out the featured band - Herman & The Hermits.








Although the nights were hot, the day were HOT. With temps in the 90's a little shade never hurts.




The fire-ups aren't limited to pretty girls, more that a few guys got their turn in the seats.





As did all the fire-ups, this one at twilight had them packed in.



There were no shortage of blonds who were more that willing to get a lifetime thrill.



Ewald doesn't just fire-up the cars and call it good. He has a PA system and uses it to "warms up" the crowd with the history of the cars, what they did, what they will do and why. As you can see, it works - very well.



Catch this show any time you can. During their 3 days at Hot August Nights the Ewald cars did 13 fire-ups and used over 55 gallons of nitromethane.



Parting shot: Firestone also "cackled" Bigfoot through downtown Reno.




Check back for more event coverage as they happen.


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