Former NHRA Top Fuel driver Jimmy King, right, with NHRA founder Wally Parks, will be the grand marshal for the inaugural New England NHRA Hot Rod Reunion.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum announced it will host the inaugural New England NHRA Hot Rod Reunion Sept. 12-14, 2013, at historic New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. The event is destined to be one of the largest gatherings of vintage drag racers and hot rodders in the northeastern region.
“With the storied New England Dragway and vibrant hot rodding culture in the northeast, the New England NHRA Hot Rod Reunion is a perfect fit," said Larry Fisher, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. "We’re looking forward to celebrating the role of hot rodding and nostalgia drag racing in the area and providing fans with a stellar reunion experience.”
The family-friendly reunion is a three-day festival of speed, hot rods, and American automotive enthusiasm. Race fans will enjoy rubbing elbows with many heroes of drag racing’s past and enjoy watching the heart-pounding nostalgia drag racing action on the track throughout the event. Fans will be able to cruise through the Show ’N Shine area featuring hundreds of beautiful hot rods, customs, and collectible cars. Saturday night’s grand-finale Cacklefest show promises to bring tears to your eyes as dozens of nitro-burning historic front-engine dragsters and other classic race cars are push-started and fired up on the dragstrip just as in the 1950s and 1960s. The roar of the engines and flame-throwing headers create an amazing symphony of “cackling” sights and sounds that only old iron motors can produce on nitro.
Legendary New England drag racer Jimmy King of Rhode Island has been named grand marshal of the inaugural event. King and the late Don Marshall made up one of the best NHRA Top Fuel drag racing teams in the East Coast during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, King continues to relive his glory days of drag racing as crew chief of the Helger Bros. Racing team, of Little Compton, R.I. King, along with the Helger Bros. team, is eager to head to his favorite track, New England Dragway, for the first New England NHRA Hot Rod Reunion.
The New England area has a long and storied drag racing history, with the sport making its debut at the old Newington Airport in 1953. New England Dragway was opened in September 1966 and became an NHRA member track in 2011.
“All of us at New England Dragway are thrilled about hosting the museum’s Hot Rod Reunion in 2013," said Joe Lombardo, New England Dragway general manager. "It is without a doubt the most prestigious nostalgia event in the country, and we’re honored to be chosen as the third location for this prestigious event. We are in the process of making some significant improvements to our facility. Our goal is to ensure everyone who takes part in this event comes away with a positive experience and eager to return.”
Ticket sales for the inaugural event begin May 9, 2013;at that time, log on to NHRAtix.com or call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Auto Club member discounts are available. Look for the AAA Northern New England affiliate at the event for membership info. Children under 15 are admitted free at the gate when accompanied by paying adult. For more information, log on to the museum website, NHRAMuseum.org.