~ Byron's Gasser Madness! ~

~ March Meet 2008 ~

~ 50 Years Of Racing ~


8 June, 2008:  I was reminded recently, by Kenny Moorehead, that I had not finished putting up the photos from the March Meet.  I do apologize.  I'm afraid I do my best to get the photos up, then get distracted by other things (the next event, making a living, spending time with my family, you know, all that other stuff) and then never get back to it.  Well, thanks to Kenny, all of the March Meet photos are now up!


  Gorgeous weather, big crowds, record times and speeds.  The March Meet, now a part of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, was a resounding success. 

While they don't say anything about Gassers (that's why you're here at GasserMadness!) here's what the NHRA had to say about the March Meet:

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Fifty years of racing are officially in the books for the fabled March Meet. The 3-day nostalgia drag racing event, which drew record crowds to Auto Club Famoso Raceway, featured intense competition with Jack Harris winning Top Fuel and Bucky Austin taking Funny Car.

"This was a March Meet that will still be talked about in 50 more years," said Blake Bowser, vice president and general manager of the Kern County Racing Association, operators of Auto Club Famoso and producers of the event. "The crowds, the racing.everything was fantastic for our 50th anniversary. As always, the March Meet made Bakersfield shine."

Racing always shines brightest at the Meet and 500 nostalgia racers made the trip to compete in the momentous event. At Sunday's finals "Sheriff" Jack Harris, of Kaysville, Utah, rocked the crowd as he piloted his dragster to a 5.568 at 263 mph for the fastest run ever in a front-engine Top Fuel car. He followed it up by beating Brad Thompson, of Vasalia, Calif., in the Top Fuel final. Harris claimed his third March Meet title with a 6.064 run at 239.36 mph.

Bucky Austin
Bucky Austin took the Funny Car title by beating last year's winner, Stephan Romanazzi of Vasalia, Calif. Austin, from Fife, Wash., won with a time of 5.836 at 243.63 mph.

Along with celebrating a half-century of racing, the 2008 March Meet was the inaugural race of the Hot Rod Heritage Series, the NHRA's new seven-race nostalgia racing series. The Grand Marshals were drag racing legends Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen.

Plenty of excitement could be found in the hot rod-packed Grove, vendor row and swap meet. Fireworks and a WWII fighter-plane fly-by sent cheers through the stands as well as in the sold-out camping area. Throw in picture-perfect weather and it was no surprise the March Meet drew an estimated 35,000-plus fans to Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

Tragically, the March Meet was saddened by the death of Sacramento veteran Top Fuel driver John Shoemaker. The 65-year old racer crashed during Saturday's competition and was airlifted to the Kern Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Judee and son Jim.

"Our hearts go out to John's family and racing community," said Bowser. "It's a terrible loss."

Shoemaker, and the 50th March Meet, will live on in the memories of all who attended.

  AA/GS Qualifying AA/GS Eliminations  
  A/Gas Qualifying A/G Eliminations  
  B/Gas B/Gas Winner  
  C/Gas C/Gas Winner  
  D/Gas D/Gas Winner  

HotRod:  Sorry, I don't really have any information available on these cars, in terms of who won or lost.  What I can tell you is that it's a pretty interesting bracket class with a lot of very different and very cool cars! 


Altereds, Comps, and More

(added 8 June 2008)


People Pics

(added 8 June 2008)


Cruising the Pits with Dean Court

(added 8 June 2008)


A Fan's Eye View by Ron Podsaidly

(added 8 June 2008)