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NHRA Lucas Oil Series - Beech Bend Dragway

SCraig

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I know not many here enjoy drag racing, and that's fine. I can understand how it can seem like straight-line, over-too-quickly, stuff to most but for those who do enjoy it here are a few shots from the NHRA Lucas Oil North Central Divisional event held at Beech Bend in Bowling Green, KY last week. It was a 4-day event but I could only manage to get there Saturday and even then had to leave about 1:30. Even so it was a lot of fun, and even decent weather for a change!

I didn't get to see all the classes run but I did get to see most of them. Lots more photos on My Web Site if anyone is interested.

Super Gas - This one is REALLY gorgeous up close
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Super Comp
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Super Comp
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Alcohol Funny Car - Ray Drew - Milwaukee, WI - Carrying the front left a little bit
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Top Dragster - Jared Dreher - Clinton, IN - Lost fire in #6 cylinder at the hit
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Great shots looked at your website lots more to see there fantastic stuff on there
 
That's a lot of go-fast! Nice panning.
Thanks, John. Yep lots of go-fast there. Beech Bend has been around forever, I went there a few times back in the late 60's and early 70's. They still have some big races there every year and this was one of them ;)

Great shots looked at your website lots more to see there fantastic stuff on there
Thanks, glad you liked it. Mostly a lot of junk there with a few decent nuggets thrown in, but I try. I love racing of any kind and for the past few years have been able to get to a few larger drag races. Would love to get to the Route 66 Nationals at Chicagoland Speedway one day, you guys have a nice facility for that one.
 
Raced many times at Beech Bend in the mid-60's. Lot's of fun with my M stock '50 Mercury.

Like most straightliners, I always lusted after the funnies and top fuel, but alas monetary reality always stood in the way. I campaigned my car for a summer, and like to went broke just keeping up with maintenance.

Great photos!
 
Raced many times at Beech Bend in the mid-60's. Lot's of fun with my M stock '50 Mercury.

Like most straightliners, I always lusted after the funnies and top fuel, but alas monetary reality always stood in the way. I campaigned my car for a summer, and like to went broke just keeping up with maintenance.

Great photos!
Thanks, Dennis. It hasn't changed much over the years; a new layer of asphalt, a little paint, and that's about it. The old wooden stadium chairs are still there on the left side of the track while the right side at least has aluminum bleachers. Both sides are covered though.

I was talking to a guy at the Hotrod Reunion in June who told me that to keep a top fuel team going (one car, one crew, etc.) would cost about $1 million the first year and about $800k thereafter. I don't know if he knew what he was talking about or not but he was racing Nostalgia Top Fuel so he might.

I raced a little bit back in those days but it was just my daily driver on weekends. Had fun though and that was all I was after.
 
Thanks, Dennis. It hasn't changed much over the years; a new layer of asphalt, a little paint, and that's about it. The old wooden stadium chairs are still there on the left side of the track while the right side at least has aluminum bleachers. Both sides are covered though.

I was talking to a guy at the Hotrod Reunion in June who told me that to keep a top fuel team going (one car, one crew, etc.) would cost about $1 million the first year and about $800k thereafter. I don't know if he knew what he was talking about or not but he was racing Nostalgia Top Fuel so he might.

I raced a little bit back in those days but it was just my daily driver on weekends. Had fun though and that was all I was after.

If anything 800K after the first year seems a bit low. The top guys haul around in custom trailers, and have mobile shops that look like operating rooms.

I drove mine everyday, and put on stock slicks at the track. We changed out plugs, and tweeked the timing a bit, but not much else.

A friend of mine also campaigned a 55 Chevy in C Modified Production/D Gas. His mom and dad kept him in the races.

Great days and memories.
 
If anything 800K after the first year seems a bit low. The top guys haul around in custom trailers, and have mobile shops that look like operating rooms.

I drove mine everyday, and put on stock slicks at the track. We changed out plugs, and tweeked the timing a bit, but not much else.

A friend of mine also campaigned a 55 Chevy in C Modified Production/D Gas. His mom and dad kept him in the races.

Great days and memories.

It could well be low, I don't have a clue. I do agree that some of the haulers resemble palaces though so you could well be right.

A friend and I were going to build a Modified Production car but never really got it off the ground. We have a '66 Chevy II rolling chassis we were going to base it on but then life got in the way ;)

I was there with a a group a few years back. Fun place.

Great job moving with the cars. I have not been able to good at that yet.

Thanks, Alan. It is an interesting place. Drag strip for some, amusement park for others. Something for the whole family ;)

Panning takes some practice. In my opinion the first 100,000 are the hardest and then it gets easier. Two tips that may seem obvious but I tend to forget:

1. Do NOT smash the shutter release. Smooth and easy to prevent getting pushed off the point of focus.

2. Just like golf the follow-through is critical. If I stop panning as soon as I trip the shutter I know it's going to be a bad shot before I even look at it. Press the shutter, stay with the car for a second or two and it really seems to help help. At least for me.
 
Great job! I didn't know Beach Bend still existed. My sister and her husband went to the park there a few times way back in the 70's. Seems I remember one weekend every year the park was pretty much taken over by motorcyclists back then.
I enjoy the great paint jobs on the cars more than the speed I think.
 
Great job! I didn't know Beach Bend still existed. My sister and her husband went to the park there a few times way back in the 70's. Seems I remember one weekend every year the park was pretty much taken over by motorcyclists back then.
I enjoy the great paint jobs on the cars more than the speed I think.
Thanks, Dean. Yep it's still there and doing well. They have probably a dozen large national races each year and when there isn't a major race going on race every weekend from March through November. The first nitro funny car I ever saw in person was "Fast" Eddie Schartman at Beech Bend in about 1972 or 1973.

Some of them truly do put a ton of work and money into the paint and finishes. I won't say I like that better but it is high up on my list. Sitting about 50' away from a pair of Top Fuel or Nitro Funny Cars when they launch is truly an experience. I've heard that people get accustomed to the eye burn from nitro fumes but I never have ;)
 

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