Plenty of Hot Heads Qualifying Today at Beech Bend Raceway

Posted on June 18, 2010


8th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, June 18-20

The 8th Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion is off to a great start with beautiful clear skies, temperatures in the low 90s and plenty of things to see and do. From the sea of Show N Shine cars blanketing Beech Bends rolling hills to the nostalgic action on the drag strip, the first day of the Reunion was outstanding.

"Everything from racer registration and ticket sales to the nostalgic racing and track conditions has been running smoothly for our first day of the Reunion," said Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Director Tony Thacker, event's producer. "We hope to see even bigger and better crowds throughout Father's Day weekend at Beech Bend."

Over 1200 show cars rolled into to the glorious Beech Bend Raceway early this morning and found their spot under the shaded green lawns. Thousands of spectators shopped the vendor midway for Reunion apparel, car parts and other fabulous finds while more treasures awaited their next owners at the expansive Swap Meet.

Hot Heads Racing Qualifying brought out some exciting action - over 400 race cars to be exact - to the strip and the crowds were sweltering with excitement at the historic grandstands. In Nostalgia Funny Car, Peter Gallen driving "Poverty Stricken" was the top qualifier with a 6.000 et at 236.09 mph. In Nostalgia Top Fuel, Denver Schotz of Fresno, Calif. placed first in qualifying with a 6.006 et at 240.77 mph.

Nostalgia Funny Car

Low E.T.     6.000 Sec    Peter Gallen
Top Speed   236.09 mph   Peter Gallen








Top MPH 



 Peter Gallen

 Broomall, PA

 '74 Vega





 Anthony Bronge

 Marengo, IL

 '69 Camaro





 John Hale

 Dallas, TX

 '69 Camaro



Nostalgia Top Fuel

Low E.T.    6.006   Denver Schotz
Top Speed  240.77 mph  Denver Schotz







Top MPH 



 Denver Schotz

 Fresno, CA

 '95 Stirline





 Brad Thompson

 Visalia, CA

 '02 Sterling





 Howard Haight

 Brownsburg IN

 '10 Stirling





 Troy Green

 Purcell, OK

 09 Neil Parks





Diamond Dave Miller 

Cedar Hill MO

07 R&B 





Keith Burgan 

Brownsburg IN 

10 Rooman 





Roger Lechtenberg 

Cedar Falls IA 

07 Parks 





Lincoln Hassell 

Raleigh NC 

01 Stirling 





Randy Bridges 

Virden IL 

99 Dragster 





Brendan Murray 

 San Jose CA

 09 Rooman



On the strip, the Mopar Hemi Challenge competitors made two qualifying attempts, fuel dragsters were running in the low 6-second range, and the sportsman racers were hanging their front wheels high. In Mopar Hemi Challenge Qualifying news, Charlie Westcott Jr. put a thumping on the field, grabbing the number one spot with an 8.61/156-mph blast that gave him a tenth of a second advantage on second place qualifier Larry Perkins Sr.

Here's the qualifying order for the Mopar Hemi Challenge

1.) Charlie Westcott Jr.   8.619

2.) Larry Perkins Sr.       8.71

3.) David Barton            8.71 

4.) Gary Wolkwitz           8.75

5.) Charlie Westcott       8.91

6.) Don Bales                9.12

7.) Russ Campbell         9.71

8.) Jim Pancake            9.78

9.) Bob Buntin              11.81


Following a great day at the track, fans rushed to the Holiday Inn Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green to participate in the Honoree Reception. More than 200 fans filled the reception hall to congratulate and cheer for this year's great lineup of drag strip legends.

Big Daddy Don Garlits joined the Justice Brothers Car Care Products to present the Ford Drag Team with the Spotlight Award for the 2010 Reunion. The team's leader Dick Brannan managed to bring together an incredible group of racers from the original team including Gas Ronda and Paul Harvey.

Master of Ceremonies Dave McClelland and Reunion Race Director Steve Gibbs presented Wally trophies to Grand Marshal Chris the Greek Karamesines and Honorees Joe Jacono, Leffler Brothers & Loukas, Tom T.C. Lemons, Larry Reyes and Bobby Rex accepting on behalf of Honoree J.E. Kristek who was unable to attend due to family health issues. 

The Honoree Reception concluded with a mini-Cacklefest in the hotel parking lot and gave fans a preview of Saturday night's amazing Cacklefest at Beech Bend Raceway.

Saturday promises more thrills on track featuring the Mopar Hemi Challenge, Nostalgia Top Fuel, Funny Cars, and Fuel Altereds. Show N Shine judging will continue through Saturday and before the end of the day only the Top 50 and 10 Best of the Best will be heading to Indy. Then Saturday's festivities close out with the spectacular Cacklefest, where dozens of old-time front engine dragsters fire up in unison and put on a dramatic nitro-flame show.

Stay tuned for more stories and photos.

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