The 2006 NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, Sunday 2nd July 2006
from Shakespeare County Raceway
Report and pictures by Richard Stirling © 2006
The weather forecast for Sunday was predicted by most sources to be a ‘roaster’ and after a day in the sun, taking pictures trackside and in the pits, I can confirm that it truly was hot, but worse still was the humidity. I hate to moan about the heat when our weather can be so paltry at times, but it was hot enough to make everyone feel a little ‘downtrodden’, if that’s not a contradiction in terms! Needless to say, the racing was really good and as we went through rounds of competition in this unbearable heat, but it was with a measure of disbelief that racing was curtailed later in the day, due to heavy rain! That was not before we had all had a great time and had had plenty of action.
Out in the pits, whilst I was on walkabout, I had a brief chat with Lawrie Gatehouse, promoter, organiser and Primary Sponsor of the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association and he said that his newly acquired weather station had the air at an adjusted 3500 feet – which is directly equivalent to Phoenix, Arizona. I was surprised, as the air is generally the one really good thing we have going for our racing over here. The Nitro powered cars would have to make a number of adjustments to avoid expensive mechanical mischief in air like this.
I love this NSRA meeting and it’s Sister meeting (NSRA Hot Rod Drags) in September. It’s the mixture of the racers, the Nostalgic rodders and the street rodders. The cars are all superb and some of the really early stuff was built when my Grandparents were youngsters. What really surprised me was that some of the oldest rods on the premises still made it down to the line to race. Superb!
The Wild bunch racers were in attendance and the car of the category for me, this weekend, must go to that crazy chappie, Chris Hartnell. I love his sizzling burnouts and I just had time to zip round to the line for Chris to oblige me with four frames or so of wheelying sling shot, which I was pleased to see I’d got the whole sequence centre-framed (for a change!).
The NFAA Altereds were again superb, but Bob Glassup with the Xtreme Wheels altered seemed to have a few problems after delivering another superb burnout. Jim Usher in the Mob Altered got a freebee as a result and I’m sure Jim was pleased just to get another lap under his newly-licensed belt. Frank Bennett and Clayton Round laid down fantastic side by side passes with Frank getting the better of Clayton with another low 7 second pass. Dave Grabham seemed to be struggling a little, today in the Freddy’s Revenge altered as he seemed to labour up the track on his first appearance and I didn’t see him later in the day. It was great to see Joe Bond line up for his first full pass – his license was up for signing off, if this first full pass went well. He needn’t have worried as it went tremendously and Joe is now the proud owner of a competition license to race his Nuthin Fancy Altered. Later on in the pits he had to do his observed (blindfolded) exit routine out of the car (in less than 10 seconds) and he easily achieved this in half the time.
Johnny ‘Mental’ Hall was having fun with his sling shot dragster, though I thought I could hear it missing occasionally when he laid down his burnout. He made a less than full and a little laboured pass at his first attempt and on the second, Johnny appeared to lose fire, to the disappointment of himself and the crew. I couldn’t help noticing B & J Nostalgia customer Jon Best helping out on Johnny’s crew. We look forward, indeed, to seeing Jon coming to the track himself in his soon to be completed slingshot dragster, in due course.
Talking of laboured, I was feeling absolutely ‘Cream Crackered’ with the heat, by just after lunch and I took refuge with quite a few others in one of the only places at SCR that always appears to have a breeze, no matter how hot it is on the track.
In the second round of Wild Bunch, I was quite taken by the appearance of an altered that I had seen before, nor had I been acquainted with the driver. The brightly coloured ‘Frantic’ altered was being competently driven by Ant Harris and is a welcome addition to the ranks of the Wild Bunch.
The Honky Tonkin 57 Chevy Bel Air has definitely had some work done in the engine department, I can tell you. It was never tardy away from the line before, but I found myself astonished as he carried the front wheels from the starting line to past the Christmas Tree. The horsepower required to perform that little trick is in the region of 900-1000bhp, at least.
Another car that I have not seen for.. goodness gracious, it’s got to be 15+ years, was the Heavy Breathing Austin A40. The driver didn’t put his name on the outside of the car and I am not sure whether he is the original owner, descendant or a completely new owner, but it was definitely a blast from the past and the original paint work looked great.
It’s always great to see Super Gas legend Al O’Connor and he was out to play in Outlaw Anglia, today. Picture of the day, I think has to be the tremendous wheelie-launch of Al in the second round of OA. Paul Wright was looking very dangerous in his Anglia and, for round two, he was up against Derby’s Simon Barlow in the recently repaired and completely sorted Orange Pop Anglia. Unfortunately, Paul had got far too much power under the hood this afternoon for Simon get past him. Never mind! Next time, Simon might turn on the NOS…. He ran a personal best of 10.1 without the laughing gas as well. Paul was down towards the 7 second zone again. His Anglia seems unstoppable.
Unbelievably, the heavens opened around 3:30 and that, as they say, was just about that. When the showers stopped then restarted and then turned into stair rods of rain, the meeting was wisely called by the race director, as there would have been little chance of drying the track before curfew anyway, even if the rain had stopped, which it didn’t. I can’t say I was too disappointed, as I was feeling thoroughly sizzled in the heat, but I had a great day. Thanks to one and all at Shakespeare County Raceway for all their courtesies and an especially big thank you to Tracy Cowen from the media centre who ceaselessly produced cold bottles of water whenever your hapless reporter trudged wearily into view! Thanks very much indeed!
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