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The March Meet Auto Club Famoso Raceway - 03/08/09

The March Meet Auto Club Famoso Raceway - 03/08/09
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The March Meet 
Auto Club Famoso Raceway
March 8, ‘08
Story by and photographs by Roger Rohrdanz

The 51st annual March Meet is the lead-off event in the NHRA’s 8-race Hot Rod Heritage Series. The 2009 Hot Rod Heritage Series, now in its second season, gets the green light at historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Mar. 6-8. Competition was tough in all categories. 500 race cars from around the country were competing in 14 classes during the 3-day festival of speed. This high octane combination generated a field of 16 Top Fuel Dragsters, 28 Top Fuel Funny Cars and over 35,000 spectators from around the world. The Kern County, CA . economy is expected to see $5 million from this single event. All available race slots were filled 4 weeks before the event! The Grand Marshal this year was Cruz Pedregon, the reigning NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champion.

Spectators and racers enjoyed comfortably cool weather. Along with the Hot Rod Heritage Series running on the track, hundreds of Hot Rods packed “The Grove” with many vendors showing their wares, and a cool swap meet provided plenty of excitement. Saturday night after the races, Famoso put on an awesome fireworks show.

  Sunday began with a little warmer weather. The racing was a little behind schedule, but the Bowser’s and their great crew got the show back on track. The Top Fuel class saw Brett Harris pilot his dragster to a 5.674 et at 263.77 mph victory over Rick White’s 5.689 et at 259.36 mph. Nostalgia Funny Car was won by Bucky Austin with a 5.723 et and 246.77 mph over Garrett Bateman’s 5.853 et at 245.36 mph