In preparation for a rare match race with Shirley Muldowney on Wed.
night July 31, Big Daddy Don Garlits will arrive at Englishtown four
days early. Though world known for his Top Fuel machines Garlits owned a
couple floppers in his time and will be on hand at the Funny Car Reunion
to sign autographs and talk with fans. Don has also told us he will
bring the Jungle Jim car out of his Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Fla.
as well for display at the FCR. No true drag fan should miss this event.
If you've never been to Don Garlits' Museum of Drag Racing, GO! To see
this JJ Vega outside the museum is a rare treat, especially with Jungle
Pam standing next to it.
FUNNY CAR REUNION COMES TO ENGLISHTOWN
The long history of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is a colorful one.
Many thousands of cars have run the famed quarter mile. Many drivers
have made names and careers here as well. When you reflect back on some
of the greatest memories from Englishtown, there was probably a funny
car in it. Funny cars have been a cornerstone in the growth of Raceway
Park and now with an idea set in motion by long time RP photographer
Steve Bell, we're going to bring some of those memories back.
On Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, 2002 in conjunction with the
23rd Annual Old Time Drags & Rod Run, Raceway Park is featuring the
1st Annual Funny Car Reunion. The racing portion of the event will be
held on Sunday. Gates will open at 9 am. Saturday will be an open day;
funny cars will be parked and can be prepped for the next day. This will
be a good opportunity for racers to meet others they have met on the
internet and spend time with fans, without the pressure of having to
ready the car for racing. Due to local noise restrictions, no unmuffled
cars will be permitted to race or start their engines on Saturday.
This event promises to draw more funny cars in one place that any track
in the past 20 years. Funny cars that looked like cars, '72 Cudas, '69
Camaros, '71 Mustangs, Challengers, Novas, Vettes, the list goes on. The
event is open to all 1983 and earlier funny cars. Classes will consist
of an injected/carb class, a blown alcohol class, and a blown nitro
class. Not limited to racing only, owners of nostalgia cars are
encouraged to bring their floppers out of their garages in whatever
state of completion, to display and help thousands of fans relive the
memories each car built.
Perhaps even more popular than the funny cars themselves will be our
Grand Marshall, "Jungle Pam." She needs no more introduction
than that to funny car fans. Pam was as popular as the man behind the
wheel during the mid and late 70's. Guiding Jungle Jim back into his
tracks after his monster smoky burnouts. Probably as notable as JJ
during the early years of funny car racing (and some of the later years)
is Bruce Larson, owner/driver of the famed USA-1 funny cars. His '68
Camaro has been restored and will bring it to Raceway Park for the first
time in 30 years to make exhibition runs with his nitro powered Chevy.
The restoration is complete and will cause instant flashbacks to 1968.
Picking up the microphone for this event will be none other that
"Berserko Bob" Doerrer. His style, wit, and knowledge of drag
racing kept the Raceway park fans on the edge of their seats for over 20
years. Bob has agreed to come out of retirement to announce this show.
These three icons lead the list of celebrities that will be on hand for
Some other things we have planned include all the cars participating in
the race portion to be lined up on the track for their warm up.
Afterward all cars will be towed up the fire up road, bodies raised
high, awaiting their turn to race. In the pit area, fans will be free to
roam and watch between round work or pick up a T-shirt of their favorite
car. A large display tent will be set up to house memorabilia, photos,
and a model car display. Outside the tent will be collectors and vendors
with historic magazines, books, race wear, and photos for sale. In
addition to the funny cars, the North East Timing Organization will be
here with altereds, gassers and front engine dragsters. The car show
portion, will bring together some of the coolest hot rods and customs
from Maine to Maryland.
We have heard from racers from as far as Georgia, Canada, and California
interested in participating. We also want to hear from funny car drivers
from the 60's and 70's that would like to participate in the event,
possibly sign some autographs and visit with fans and old friends.
Additionally anyone with a 1983 or earlier funny car that wants to sell,
display or try to find more in formation on their car should bring it
out to the reunion. Though still early in the planning stages, the Funny
Car Reunion is promising to be a "Woodstock of Fiberglass" and
a must see for any true funny car fan this side of Irwindale!
Check Raceway News at Raceway Park for the latest updates or, to get on
the Funny Car Reunion email list, contact Steve Bell at email@example.com
Saturday July 27, 2002
Gates open for F/C parking 10am
Meet and greet all day until 7:30 pm
Sunday July 28, 2002
Gates open at 8am
Lanes open for time trials, 10am
F/C round 1 at 1pm
Raceway Park has agreed to the following pay schedule for the 1st Annual
Funny Car Reunion. Thanks to the co-operation of Michael, Alex, and
David Napp, the payouts and conditions will be as follows. Payout will
be based on performance alone. There will be no guaranteed pay, other
than the pay scale below. Prices are on a per run basis. Pay will be
applied to only runs designated as 1st and 2nd round. Any time trials
before 1st round or after 2nd round will be the responsibility of the
racer and are not included as paid runs.
6.00 to 6.49 seconds = $750.00
6.50 to 6.99 seconds = $600.00
7.00 to 7.49 seconds = $400.00
7.50 to 7.99 seconds = $300.00
8.00 to 8.49 seconds = $150.00
8.50 seconds & slower = $75.00
Pre-entry is required by July 1, 2002 to be eligible for this pay.
Racers not pre-entered at that time may receive a reduced pay. Pre enter
by contacting Steve Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owner: U.S. Male Funny Cars
Big Daddy Don Garlits
T/F World Champion
Gold Coast Challenger
Poff's Super Puffer AA/FC
Driver for Ken Poffenberger
Wind & Fire BB/FC
Arnie Karp & Keith Hughes
Boston Strangler BB/FC
King 'Cuda F/C
Pat "Mouse" Walsh
U.S. Male BB/FC
Swensen & Lani AA/FC
Black Magic AA/FC
Ron Leaf AA/FC
Black Shadow AA/FC
Driver: Jim Wemett
Driver: Vindicator Pinto A/FC
Italian Stallion BB/FC
Tom Sneden & Dave Reitz
Bob Banning Dodge AA/FC
Driver: Crazy Jake AA/FC
#2 Driver for Jungle Jim
Driver for Swensen & Lani
Driver: Sam Miller AA/FC
Vanishing Point Rocket F/C
Driver: Rollin Stoned AA/FC
Drivers have indicated they will attend; however, appearance is not
guaranteed. Drivers interested in attending should contact us for
details. Through the site or by calling Steve Bell at 732-738-0010
Not all the cars at this event will be Funny Cars. Here are some of the
Ed Golden's beautiful restoration of the "Probe" AA/FD out of
The new reproduction of the Hemi Hunter AA/FD will be on hand Saturday
Pat Quinn's Zombie A/FX will be on display and may make a pass on Sunday
PLUS , some of the painters and letterers that gave these machines their
Steve & Karen Bell
Skip "the Brush"
Donnie Reeves will offer church services to all who are interested on
Sunday morning. Service begins at 8:30 am at a place yet to be
determined but we will let you know. No sign-up is necessary.
NITRO NICK IS THE EVENT SPONSOR
"Nitro" Nick Boninfante, president of Boninfante Performance
Clutch Parts, announced today that his company will become the title
rights sponsor of the Inaugural Funny Car Reunion, July 27-28, at
Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ.
Boninfante Performance Clutch Parts of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania is one of
the largest suppliers of the clutches used by most of the Funny Car and
Top Fuel teams in both NHRA and IHRA competition. Boninfante Performance
Clutch Parts also manufactures supercharger burst panels used in all
blown classes of competition.
Nick Boninfante said "I'm very happy to begin what I hope to be a
long association with the Funny Car Reunion. I raced my U.S. Male Funny
Cars at Englishtown in the 70s and 80s and have many fond memories from
that time in my life. Now I have an opportunity to give back to the most
popular class in all of drag racing, Funny Cars, by sponsoring the
Inaugural Funny Car Reunion."
Nick will be bringing the last Funny Car he and his long-time driver Pat
Walsh campaigned to the Funny Car Reunion for display and maybe make a
pass if they can get the car ready in time.
We are proud to announce the addition of American Racing Wheels as an
associate sponsor of the Boninfante Performance Clutches Funny Car
Reunion. American has been involved in funny car racing since their
birth in the mid 60's. Their more recent involvement with the nostalgia
scene has prompted them to sign on as an associate sponsor of the event.
The American Racing wheels display will be on hand with a full line of
wheels and products. Additionally they will host the autograph tent at
their display. We are looking forward to seeing some of our favorite
drivers there signing some autographs for their fans between rounds of
the funny cars. American will also debut a new racing wheel at the 2002
Special awards for the Inaugural Funny Car Reunion were announced today
at a lavish ceremony at Bob's Berserko Lounge in Charlotte, NC. An
additional $1,250 in cash and merchandise is up for grabs for drivers
participating in what is going to be a history making event. Awards
Bob Gettys of Computer Magic Online has stepped up to sponsor the
Inaugural Funny Car Reunion with the "Computer Magic Online Best
Appearing Car" award. The award will apply to the featured
category, Classic Funny Cars, and will pay $250 in cash to the owner of
the flopper the fans feel is the best looking machine at E-town on July
28. Computer Magic Online is a high performance web hosting and
promotions company. As web host of Draglist.com, Computer Magic Online
serves over 2,300 active pages to racing fans more than 350,000 times a
month. In association with Draglist.com, Computer Magic Online also
promotes the Southern Fuel Coupes, the Southeastern Gasser Tour, and the
upcoming Classic Southern Thunder racing circuit.
The Doug Herbert Performance Parts/Draglist.com Burnout Challenge will
award $250 in cash from Draglist.com and $250 in merchandise from Doug
Herbert Performance Parts to the driver who, in the crowd's opinion,
does the best burnout. This is a contingent award; decals from the
sponsors must be on the race cars in order to take advantage of this
award. They will be available at the Funny Car Reunion.
The DragRacingOnLine.com Dry Hop Contest will award $250 in cash to the
driver who does the best dry hop in the opinion of Jeff Burk,
Publisher/Editor of DragRacingOnLine.com. Again decals will be required
to cash in and will be available at the event.
And here's a real special award. Freddy Frey and Jim Fox, owners of the
"Frantic Ford" Mustang Funny Car in the late 70s have put up
$250 for Low E.T. and $250 for Top Speed of the event in the memory of
their driver "Dodger" Glenn who was killed in a racing
accident in 1978. This is a non-contingent award.
If a driver does everything right by running below 6.50 twice, wins both
contests, sets Low E.T. and Top Speed, he can walk away with $2,750 for
two runs, not a bad payout for a "Classic" Funny Car.
Inaugural Boninfante Performance Clutch Parts Funny Car Reunion
T-Shirts! The artwork was a collaboration from Steve Bell and Chuck
Adams. These shirts will be sold at the Raceway Park souvenir stands and
tent throughout the facility during the event. Remaining shirts, if any,
can be purchased through www.
funnycarreunion.com after the race. FCR decals and hard cards will
also be for sale in the Photo Shop next to the staging lanes underneath
HOT ROD Magazine will cover the Boninfante Performance Clutch Parts
Funny Car Reunion on the pages of the November Issue. Hot Rod has been
around as long as anyone can remember and is one of the most respected
magazines in the history of motorsports. We are proud to have them at
the race and excited to see the nostalgia funny cars grace the pages of
Shirley Can't Make it.
Due to a match race date a week before her match race with Big Daddy
at Englishtown, Shirley will not be able to make the Funny Car Reunion.
Time would be too tight to maintain the car and get it ready for the
July 31 date. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
TOP FUEL TV will tape the Funny Car Reunion
The show will appear on the Sunshine Network available to most people
with the dish network. There is also a good possibility that the event
may end up as a 1-hour show on The Nashville Network. We will have more
details posted on that later if it comes through.
Jon Asher has agreed to run results from the Funny Car Reunion in his
new magazine, Drag Racing Action. Jon is a well respected photo
journalist in the racing business for many years including getting his
AA/FC license in the Sein & Lankford Brand-X Mustang. Make sure to
pick up Drag Racing Action when you see it on the news stands and
support it. We need more magazines with people like Jon at the wheel.
Looks as though Berserko Bob has challenged Jungle Pam to a best of
three match race during the Cartek Corvette Challenge on Sat. July 27.
Pam has accepted the race and they will drive identical Vettes provided
by Cartek. The question is: who will back Jungle Pam up from her
Question asked...question answered. You can back up Jungle Pam from her
burnouts. Simply make a tax deductible donation to the Hematology
Research Fund in any amount you choose. Send your check to Raceway Park,
attn: Michelle Marchese. The honor of backing up Pam will go to the
person who makes the largest donation by July 26,2002.
Drag Racing Online has been named the official web magazine of the
Inaugural Funny Car Reunion. Information prior to the event and results
after the Reunion will be posted on www.dragracingonline.com
A meeting of driver will take place on Saturday afternoon for any
drivers interested in working out details for future circuit racing.
Maintaining equity between the cars is crucial to good racing, so this
is a great chance to get some guidelines together. There probably won't
be this many drivers in one place again until the 2nd Annual Funny Car
Reunion in 2003. If you are a driver or team owner and plan on attending
Saturday, it will be a good time to speak up.
When you are at the Funny Car Reunion be sure to stop by the Photo Shop
located next to the pit side staging lanes. Longtime Raceway Park
photographers Steve Bell and Dave Milcarek will have photos new and old
for sale, including photographs from Sunday's racing. Racers will be
able to view the photos taken of their car before they go home. Other
official FCR souvenirs will also be on sale as well as famous Bob's
Berserko Lounge T Shirts.
Berserko" Bob Doerrer