58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Rain was the headliner of the 58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet, a huge four-day, action-packed event at the Auto Club Raceway at Famoso, near Bakersfield, CA, filled with nitro burning funny cars, dragsters, and hot rods. Saturday had some rain and on Sunday it poured, stopping the racing for almost two hours. This was the first race of the Hot Rod Heritage Series and the Famoso crew worked their tail off to keep the track running, and all the classes finished.

But there is more to the March Meet than drag racing. From a car show, clothing, automotive swap meet treasures to manufacturers midway, there is something for everyone at the event. No matter how many times you walk up and down vendor row, you’re sure to discover something new.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Nostalgia Funny Car: Kris Krabill of Tacoma, WA.(far lane) ran a 5.582et & 256.94mph in a close win over Steven Densham of Oceanside, CA. 5.640et & 254.57mph.

Once at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway you won’t have to wander outside the gates to have a euphoric experience. Past parties thrown in the pits and in the campgrounds have been of epic proportions. Fire up a fuel car at 2am? Sure, no noise ordinance or curfew here.

In the “Grove”, behind the grandstands, the beautiful Show & Shine cars stretched the length of the track. The “Rat/Vintage Rodders” occupied their usual spot at the end of the grandstands. The weather was perfect for the Hot Rod Heritage Series season opener, where 400+ racers, competed in 15 classes. The show also included three awesome jet cars!

Fans were able to mingle with the racers and hot rods all while enjoying food and drinks. Drag racing celebrities on-hand included Ron Capps, Tommy Ivo, Isky, Bob Muravez, Leon Fitzgerald, Del & Dad Worsham, Cruz Pedregon, Gary Densham, Steve & Gloria Gibbs, Dave Wallace Jr., and many others.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

A/Fuel: Drew Austin of Tacoma, WA (son of former Top Fuel pilot Pat Austin) ran a 6.418et & 220.04mph, beating Kin Bates’ of Anderson, CA, 7.583et & 132.31mph.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

B/Gas 8.60 Index Runner Up: Val Miller of Bakersfield, CA 8.592et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

A/Gas 7.60 Index Runner Up: Frank Merenda  7.655et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

B/Gas 8.60 Index Winner: Roy Castagnetto of Elk Grove, CA. 8.606et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

A/Gas 7.60 Index Winner: Jerry Jahnnsen Jr. 7.604et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

C/Gas 9.60 Index Winner: Jim Finn from, Rancho Cordova, CA. 9.676et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

C/Gas 9.60 Index Runner Up: Wayne Hoover from Alta Loma, CA. 9.528et.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Fuel Altered 6.00 Index

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Shawn van Horn in “Choo Choo Mama”, great name!

’38 Chevy Coupe

AA/Supercharged Winner(near lane): Howard Anderson, ’38 Chevy Coupe 7.494et. Runner Up – Gary Reinero, ’48 Austin 7.706et.

’38 Chevy Coupe

AA/Supercharged Winner(near lane): Howard Anderson, ’38 Chevy Coupe 7.494et. Runner Up – Gary Reinero, ’48 Austin 7.706et.

Nostalgia Eliminator lll 9.60 Index Winner

Nostalgia Eliminator lll 9.60 Index Winner: Ed DeStaute from Rosemead, CA. 9.592et. Not pictured: Runnerup Wes Anderson from Wales, UT. Foul. Nostalgia Eliminator ll 8.60 Index Winner was Charlie See of Bakersfield, CA. 8.560. Runnerup: Jay Huckleberry of Long Beach, CA.

Randy Winkel

Randy Winkel smokin’, driving the “Revelution” Top Fuel dragster.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

’70 Cuda Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car

Chris Moral of Reno, Nevada launched his ’70 Cuda Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car and it very quickly made a left turn toward the wall where several photographers were standing.

A small fire broke out in the car

The car to rolled over on to its roof, sliding along the wall upside down for several 100 feet. A small fire broke out but it was quickly extinguished by the safety crew.

The crew extracted the driver who was unhurt.

The crew extracted the driver who was unhurt.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Cruz Pedregon

Cruz Pedregon takes a break from his “California Charger” nitro Funny Car.

Leon Fitzgerald

Leon Fitzgerald and his “Pure Heaven” altered are legendary.

John Bowser

John Bowser does everything at the track.

Adam Sorokin of Top Fuel dragster

Adam Sorokin, driver of “Champion” Top Fuel dragster.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.