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Day One of the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion is Picture Perfect!

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. ­ (June 14, 2012) ­ Show cars in red, yellow, orange, neon green and every color in the rainbow dotted the rolling green hills at Beech Bend Raceway Park for the opening of the 10th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA, June 14-16.

“Every year they say it can’t get any better, but it does,” said Steve Gibbs, event director. “Families and kids enjoy this incredible weather and spectacular cars and racing. We can’t ask for anything more!”

Hundreds of racers blasted down the track on day one of Hot Heads Eliminations Nostalgia Drag Racing. Temperatures were warm which kept the fans fired up for the amazing day of racing down the quarter mile. Over in the Vendor Midway and Swap Meet, fans shopped, gawked and played at the largest hot rod and nostalgia drag racing gathering in Bowling Green.

Defending 7.0 Pro Champion Ron "Tikiman" Huegli drove from Oregon to celebrate in the 10th Anniversary. He's eager to get behind the wheel and create some heavy smoking burnouts for the fans. "I love Bowling Green,” Huegli said. “We come here every year to give fans a great show. And of course to win it. We hope we can celebrate in the Winner's Circle once again which will make the ride home a whole lot easier.”

Qualifying Results for Thursday, June 14:

In Junior Fuel, Tera Wendland is bringing her Texas charm to Bowling Green in her Reunion debut. She is top qualifier with an 7.356 et at 180.74 mph. Mike Millsap, Jimmy Scott, and Ted McCord follow behind Tera.

In 7.0, Kentucky native Robbie Freels blasted down the track past Huegli clocking in at 7.064 at 188.31 mph. Huegli, Steve Walczak, Larry Harlan and Adam Douglas round out the top five qualifiers.

The remaining top qualifiers are Russell Snyder of Cordona, TN (Comp Elimin) 8.006, 163.65; Rob Davis of Lawrenceburg, IN (Gas Eliminator) 8.501, 159.02; Ray Smith of Milford, OH (Modified Eliminator) 10.511, 126.77; Mike Moss of Paducah, KY (Nostalgia Super Stock) 10.001, 134.74; Jimmy Gower of Leitchfield, KY (Top Stock) 12.512, 104.90; Chuck Lipka of Eureka, MO (Geezer Gassers) 10.017, 122.96; and Gene Brigance of Booneville, AR (Hot Rod) 8.689, 153.60.

Dozens of nostalgia drag racing's royalty celebrated the first day with fans signing autographs, making friends, and reminiscing of the early days. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, "Ohio George" Montgomery, Larry Dixon Sr., Mousie Marcellus, Grand Marshal Tom Hoover and many more were all spotted having a wonderful time.

After a day at the track, thousands of people crowded the Holiday Inn and Sloan Convention Center parking lot for the official 10th Anniversary Kick Off Party and Cruise In sponsored by Heacock Classic Insurance. It was a wonderful start to another Reunion that'll surely mark the history books.

And this was only Day One….

Photos and updates posted on

Photos by National DRAGSTER


The annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA, is produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, located in Pomona, Calif. The National Hot Rod Reunion is part of the museum’s “living history” philosophy, which works to bring to life the sites, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.  The Reunion includes a wide variety of activities and events, including:

*   NHRA vintage drag racing, featuring some the sport’s most famous and historic cars and drivers, racing in such classes at Top Fuel, Supercharged Gassers, classic Funny Cars and Super Stocks
*   SoffSeal Show N Shine with thousands of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, custom cars, classics and muscle cars.  “Memory Lane” will have a display of nostalgic race cars..
*   Free Honoree Reception at the Holiday Inn
*   Cacklefest on Saturday evening, where nitro-burning historic, front-engine top-fuel dragsters and other classic race cars are push started just like in the “old days.”
*   Swap meet and Reunion Midway filled with manufacturer exhibits and demonstrations
*   A separate amusement park with rides and games for all ages adjacent to the park.

Tickets are available at Beech Bend Park, 798 Beech Bend Rd., Bowling Green, Ky. For more information, visit <>  or call 270-393-8632