I was properly stressed out. Moving into the new shop… trying to get settled in a maybe think about making a few dollars…. I hadn’t stopped for a minute since blasting back from Speed Week. A break was called for and when Wendell Burns called and asked what my plans were for World Finals my response was “Smoking cigars with you and taking pictures, sir.” I was so excited to go I tried to leave a week early…
What happens when 2020 comes around and shuts all the local shows down? You drive 1689 miles across the country to spend the day someplace new….
I spent 2 days behind the wheel to spend a day partying down Iowa style with the guys from Torque Fest and The Rod Tossers CC. I won’t lie, this ‘coverage’ is lacking in the ‘coverage’ department and is more of a showcase of the action going on and around the dirt track at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds. And there is plenty of action… from the minute I pulled up to the back gate, until I had to split on Sunday, there was somebody, running something around the track; dirt bikes, mini-bikes, vintage dirt track bikes and hot rods. There were a few sessions of ‘run what you brung’ style grudge racing and the Summit Dirt Drags on the front stretch. The ‘main-event’ went down on Saturday night. Chain racing was new to me but an absolute hoot, two cars are chained together, front car has an engine and no brakes, rear car has no engine and may or may not have brakes. It’s a shit show like none other and we will be back to participate. Bet.
Earlier last week, management at the Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix announced their decision to pull the plug and shutter the nearly vacant shopping center. What came next was a flood of nostalgia and reminiscing from disappointed locals, many of whom spent countless evenings circling the property in their youth, a time long before pop up meets and two way communication apps for your phone, you just went and cruised Metro. A simple idea, “let’s go cruise the mall one last time” exploded into an unbelievable send off that nobody expected, turning out to be what will be remembered as one of the largest cruise nights in Arizona history….
As happy as I am to have something to point cameras at, you could feel the excitement as these drivers were finally able to make some road course laps on the west track at Wildhorse Pass Motorsports Park. Congratulations to Bobby Tanner making the show in his first road racing event, you can check out Bobby’s #198 Miata mixed in with the rest of the group in the gallery below. Don’t see your car? Shoot us a message, I shot a few thousand pics and just didn’t have room to post them all here.
It was one of those weird Arizona days where it’s about a hundred and ten degrees out, yet a ‘cool’ northbound breeze threaten to drag in a sky high wall of dust followed by flash flood warnings and gully washers. It was actually two days like that. Luckily the wind merely threatened, leaving behind two pleasant evenings to kick off the West Coast Hot Rod Association’s 2020 season.
As the sun crept below the horizon we were treated to some phenomenal sunsets setting the scene for some great racing action on the Tucson Dragway. We’ll get the official results posted once Danny and crew have a chance to get those over to us but for now enjoy some shots from the event.
Disclaimer; I crashed this party and didn’t really stick around for much of it… definitely not our best event coverage… I was feeling the need for speed so I treated it a bit like a chase, got some live video on the Facebook page, hauled ass ahead, got a few shots, hauled ass ahead again, got some shots on the mountain and then spent the rest of the day driving aimlessly around the backroads of Yavapai county.
“Dude…. I got to talk to Don Prudome!” Jessie was on another planet…. I mean, he kinda always is, but this time the galaxy he was orbiting around was the Wildhorse Pass Motorsports Park dragstrip and he had an all access press credential hanging around his neck. “Should’a asked him for an interview bud,” I suggested, giving his media bling a tug, “It’s your fault we’re even here!” And it really was his fault… or… idea to come here. About then, a pair of top fuel cars pull up about nine feet from us as they roll out of their burnout, Jessie, suddenly transported to planet focus and intensity aiming that two hundred millimeter glass towards the track, “I wanna see the whites in their eyes….”
It’s mind bending. I swear you go blind for a split second as the cars go by… eyeballs overcome by the pressure of twenty thousand horsepower exploding, visible shockwaves punching their way through you, leaving behind a nitromethane and tire smoke cocktail for the sinuses. Eyes burn… noses run… mind how you and when you breathe. Be ready in case one of these suckers makes a break for the wall….
Ground zero for incredible speed, the fuel fed blower cars are celebrities of the day, and fans follow them around the track from pit to staging lane, some spending big money on seats in stands that they never see, choosing instead to stand along the fence truly getting the maximum possible bang for their buck.
After hours at the track is where the similarities to celebrity athletes ends however as many of the drivers and crews can be found interacting with fans and sharing the cars, answering questions and occasionally offering up some 330mph souvenirs.