Volume X, Issue 4, Page 11

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 2:14 am

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Nate Bugg drove the “lil Nate” Barracuda into the #6 slot with his 6.553 elapsed time, he’ll be racing Steve Romanazzi on Sunday morning.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 2:09 am

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Mendy Fry (near lane) and Steve Romanazzi made late afternoon qualifying passes, with the “Future Flash” remaining #1 qualifier at 6.137 to the “Warrior” flopper’s 6.229, now sitting #3. Romanazzi will race Nate Bugg in round one.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 1:55 am

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Ed Dougan from Brea, CA completed his licensing and qualifying 5th for the field in Charlie O’Neill’s “Nitro Psycho” Plymouth Arrow AA/FD with a solid 6.445 late afternoon Saturday pass.  Dougan will race Jeff Bennett in the “Pure Heaven IV” ‘69 Camaro on Sunday who qualified 4th running 6.368.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 1:46 am

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Jack Harris brought his newly finished Donovan-powered ‘77 Firebird to Las Vegas from his Utah home netting a best of 6.820 elapsed time at 222.58 MPH on the the flopper’s fourth pass.  ‘The Sheriff’ will race the Steve Montrelli-tuned Pisano & Matsubara Vega driven by Jeff Utterback in Sunday’s first round of eliminations.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 1:38 am

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Legendary funny car owner and current AA/FC crew chief Roland Leong came to Las Vegas to support the event.  The Hawaiian added color commentary to the Saturday nitro funny car qualifying rounds along with announcers Dan Lea (center) and Nathan Hirschi.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 04, 08 | 1:34 am

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After qualifying ended a Saturday afternoon Pin-up Girl contest had many entries, here are the finalists.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 7:00 pm

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At Las Vegas Motor Speedway Speed Spectacular, a smattering of altereds, dragsters, funny cars, gassers and shoeboxes are marching up the Vegas Strip, trying to garner points for the seven race NHRA Heritage Points Series.

But just like DRO majorodomo Jeff Burk said about the NHRA Big Show in a recent “Burk’s Blast” editorial, the political dissent and back room dealings are more provocative than the racing itself.

Which does not bode well for the health and fettle of the entire nostalgia racing scene… and with the first session of qualifying for the Nostalgia Funny Car “Punk Rock Scab Tour: (as coined by Pisano & Matsubara driver Jeff Utterback) is in the books, racers and race fans are trying to come to grips with what statements are being made.… both on and off the track...

It is a political act to just show up and race? Or is it a bigger act of civil disobedience to boycott the race? Really, what the assembled motorazzi is looking for is perspective.

Earlier in the week, this writer was told by a p.r. rep of the Nostalgia Funny Car Association that the group’s resolve to boycott the Vegas race was a “business decision.”

Which begs the question about racing a nostalgia funny car: Is it a hobby or a business? The last barnstormers who ran funny cars for their actual livelihood slept in their trucks, ate potted meat food product sandwiches, rarely bathed and stole parts from junkyards. And, often as not, trafficked in control substances.

Is anybody in the NFCA doing that? No. They have real jobs and lead real lives. They’ve grown up. And—if the shitstorm of opinions on drag racing chatrooms is indicative—apparently they have broadband internet connections. But their lack of participation here proves the axiom that every time somebody lights up a nitro motor they get immediately delusional about what they think they are worth.

And if this is business, then the LVMS purse is pretty close to what the Vegas market will bear… judging by the 1,200 or 1,300 bleacher bums lounging in the sun… But it is the opinion of the racers, journos and scenester here that the NFCA needs to get over itself.  Nostalgia funny cars have NEVER proven themselves as a draw in Las Vegas. Until they do, they have no bargaining power.

My personal opinion is that the real labor movement heroes are the funny car racers who actually show up at Vegas, trying to make inroads into a new market, raising the series’ profile and—if they are successful with the event—creating leverage and bargaining power.

Indeed. Last night, one night funny car racer told me, “Welcome to our golf.” I told him, “Yes, funny car racing is the new poker which is the new cycling which is the new golf.” —Cole Coonce

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 6:54 pm

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After the first Saturday qualifying session Mendy Fry sits #1 in AA/FC with a 6.137 at 231.68 MPH.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 6:46 pm

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James Generaloa and Ricky Ruiz are at the Las Vegas Speed Spectacular this weekend for a vintage fuel altered match race.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 5:39 pm

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The supercharger on Ruiz’ engine exploded right off the starting line and went silent.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 5:27 pm

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Jim Black’s ‘32 Bantam Roadster from Paso Robles CA sits in the #1 qualifying slot with his dead-on 8.750 in Nostalgia Eliminator 2.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 5:00 pm

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A/Gas racer Bart Smith from North Las Vegas is just too quick for this field as he runs a 7.551 on the adjusted index of 7.70, Smith is -0.149 under.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 2:45 am

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Chris and Jeff Bennett debuted their “Famous Amos” Satterlee-tuned “Pure Heaven IV”.  Jeff Bennett is driving the new ‘69 Camaro AA/FC and brought the legendary Leon Fitzgerald with them to this event. 

Fitzgerald commented that he drove a flopper one time at a 1972 32-Funny Car event at the old Orange County International Raceway.  He’d been asked to fill in for an ailing driver that weekend, but when the body was lowered felt claustrophobic and quickly returned to piloting Fuel Altereds for the remainder of his racing career… “I could see everything when I was sitting in a fuel altered,” quipped Fitzgerald.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 2:37 am

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Ed Dugan driving the “Nitro Psycho” Plymouth Arrow AA/FC ran 6.769 on his way to completing his nitro funny car licensing… one more pass to go.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 2:30 am

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Visalia’s Steve Romanazzi driving his Warrior Pontiac Firebird netted a strong 6.068 elapsed time at 231.64 MPH.  Romo will save his next pass for Saturday’s AA/FC Qualifying.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 2:25 am

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The “Bomb Squad” AA/FC has only been on a handful of runs in the short life of the car. 

On the first pass of the evening the driver took out two top end timing cones knocking off some of the Kenny Youngblood designed paint… on the second pass the Donnie Couch-tuned Duster carded a 6.385 elapsed time at 230.92 MPH.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 2:10 am

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’Sheriff’ Jack Harris put away his record setting AA/FD, a 5.65 elapsed time at Boise last weekend, to debut his trick new Pontiac Firebird AA/FC.  On his second pass Harris netted an on-and-off throttle 7.078 elapsed time.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:54 am

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Jeff Utterback is driving the Pisano & Matsubara Vega and hit some hard tire shake on his first pass of the test session.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:50 am

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Mendy Fry netted a best of 6.283 at 230.03 MPH in Gary Messenger’s “Future flash” Dodge Charger during her single pass of the night in the Friday testing session.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:29 am

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Seven alcohol funny cars, that compete in the Canadian Pro Nostalgia Association made the long haul to compete at the Strip at Las Vegas.

Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:28 am

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Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:27 am

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Hot Rod Heritage Series Event at the Strip at Las Vegas

May 03, 08 | 1:16 am

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Members of the Canadian Pro Nostalgia class towed down to run at the Strip...Joey Steckler from Edmonton Alberta Canada drives the yellow Corvette and built most the cars as well as laying down the paint.

SEE THE LAS VEGAS ‘SPEED SPECTACULAR’ ON DRO

May 01, 08 | 3:54 pm

Darr Hawthorne, Tim Marshall, James Drew and Cole Coonce will be handling the updating chores from this weekend’s Speed Spectacular at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It won’t be live round-by-round coverage (we just don’t do that here) but you’ll get some great photos and inside info.

Stay clicked!