Once again Greg Sharp, Sam Jackson,
Steve Gibbs and the entire NHRA Motorsports Museum staff gave
us yet another unforgettable weekend. CHRR 14 was three days
of hot weather filled with non stop action and events punctuated
with a 49 car Cacklefest on Saturday night. Emotions ran high
as old friends were reunited, fallen comrades remembered, legends
honored and some incredibly close racing contested. Everyone
is way done saying, "It can't get any better than this."
Because every year it does.
The CHRR is way
more than a race - its THE social event of the year. When he
wasn't tending to his cars Ron Johnson was tooling around the
pits visiting with friends like Ron Miller.
On Friday night
everyone goes to the CHRR Honoree presentations and once again,
have fun, enjoy some adult beverages and see old friends. Here
Ron gets shot with the infamous John "Tarzan" Austin.
Our race experience at CHRR 2005
was both good and bad, like our entire year, which has been mixed,
highs and lows. The high of the year was when we went to the
semis at the 1st Northwest Nationals in Seattle.
Shoobie to and
in "The Grove" where it spent its weekend when not
out cackling. "The El Camino suffered an engine failure
on the way back from Inyokern in April. It now has a McKray massaged
460" big block with roller cam and etc's, an overdrive automatic
transmission and a set of Boyd's Billet wheels. It doesn't even
know Shoobie's back there on the trailer."
Saturday afternoon the S&H
car with Zane Shubert in the seat waits to do a test push start
prior to Cacklefest.
On the racing
side, Kol Johnson's first qualifying pass on Friday netted an
disappointing 8.258 at 141.64.
the tires for his second and last qualifying attempt on Saturday
makes final adjustments before sending Kol to stage.
picked up a ton running a nice 7.628 at 176.71 to qualify # 6.
Back in the pits the car is serviced
and prepped for the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
Engine builder Bob McKray
checks out the injectors.
was all about "Cacklefest". The word alone sparks excitement
in the heart of any drag racing fan. Since it was first coined
five years ago by Steve Gibbs, this strange word has spread all
over the world and spawned dozens of "spin off" events
at race tracks big and small. Although you won't find it in any
dictionary, Cacklefest has become one of the most alluring words
in drag racing vocabulary. Since its inception at the 2000 CHRR,
Cacklefest has grown from 9 cars to 50 entries in 2005. Any and
all superlatives have long been used to describe this phenomenon
so I won't try to make anymore up for this one. Without further
ado, here is Ron Johnson's Shubert & Herbert recreation in
the fifth and by far largest edition of the "Original Cacklefest"
with first hand commentary by "Big Yohns".
We have been gradually stepping
up the percentage of Nitro. I had Meyer build a new larger fuel
tank so we could run longer and at this event we had 35% in the
tank. Considering that Zane and Chet ran 15% and maybe on occasion
upped it to two-bits, I feel we are being pretty daring.
Zane joined us again. He spent
the whole weekend at the track and had a great time! He came
through the Chemo last year with flying colors and has his strength
back and is having the time of his life, literally!
Prior to the Cacklefest all the
participants were paraded up in front of the stands while Dave
McClellan introduced the drivers and gave a brief history of
The new tank is about 4 1/2 gallons
and we kept it a little rich on the barrel valve. We did put
a fresh plug in #1 which has been dropping, and that stopped.
It ran clean on all 8 and just ran and ran. I kept checking it
but it didn't get too hot. I finally shut it off because I figured
we were getting close to empty and I didn't want to run out.Zane
is agitating now, about letting the clutch out with a head of
steam! We'll have to find a friendly venue and let that happen.
Cacklefest over - Shubie
at rest as the fans swarm the track.
In the first
round of eliminations Johnson was paired with the eventual class
winner, Bud Hammer. Below is a rare look at the entire sequence
of this race from the staging area to down track. Unfortunately,
in spite of a huge holeshot, Kol lost with a 7.552 at 177.93
to a quicker 7.335 at 182.14.
Kol Johnson waits for
the signal to fire up and move into the water box.
Ron into the burnout area.
the tires wet Kol starts his burnout.
Kol back into his "tracks".
into the staging beams.
Hammer at the tree with a sterling 0.035 reaction time (to Bud's
0.096) but it wasn't enough.
Our race efforts
have been hampered somewhat because Marc McCormick, our crew
guy now has his own car and we are trying to run both our car
and his "A" field Junior Fueler with little extra help
over what we had to run our car. It's hard to say how this will
all resolve itself, but it will continue to be interesting. At
least, to us! See ya at the races. Ron
Update: My El
Camino is working pretty good now, both as an occasional driver
and a tow/push car for Shoobie. Since I got it, we have put disc
brakes on the front, new master cylinder and booster, new suspension
bushings, rebuilt the radiator, installed new air condition condenser
and compressor etc. with new type refrigerant, rebuilt 460 Big
Block motor, R 700 overdrive automatic tranny, new drive shaft,
new mufflers and tailpipes and a month or so ago, a set of Boyd
Coddington billet wheels and caps. We also added a new 1000 watt
amplifier for the sound system, new steering wheel and a custom
built receiver hitch. Now, it's worthy to tow Shoobie. But the
mileage is crap. Big Yohns