BAKERSFIELD, CA - So where was everyone this weekend? Most likely at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Organizers say more than 30,000 people attended the Hot Rod Reunion this weekend.
"Our Friday and Saturdays are growing which is over and above last year, 10,000 people," said Rose Dickinson, one of the organizers.
Ralph Howard brought his family from Omaha, Nebraska.
"It's wonderful," Howard said. "We (drove) 1,600 miles just to see it."
The Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that it was a sold out weekend for local hotels.
"One of the hotels called me and asked 'what are dates for next year?' because they had customers already wanting to reserve rooms for next years event," said Dickinson. "We have packed all the local hotels as well. Out to Wasco and up on the Grapevine."
Teams don't compete at this event because of a million dollar grand prize. They are lucky if they win a few thousand dollars. They compete because they love the sport.
"It's pretty if you hear a nitromethane car fire up," said Bob Richardson, owner of Circuit Breaker Racing. "If you are close to it, it shakes the ground. It's kind of a beautiful sound."
Even if some race teams can't afford to compete full time across the country the Hot Rod Reunion is a priority on the race calendar.
"Coming up here in March and October is like going back in time," racing icon Tom "Mongoose" McEwen. "It's why we like it. It's the nostalgia cars. It brings back memories of the 50's, 60's, 70's. It's a little more laid back. It's just a happening and a lot of fun."
If you missed this reunion, the next drag racing event will be held March 6th -9th, 2014 at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway.