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The latest update as of October 22, 2021

California Hot Rod Reunion logo

Yes, it's that time of year again when the California Hot Rod Reunion kicks off at Auto Club Raceway Famoso. Bob Snyder arrived yesterday and took a tour of the pits to see who's there and meet lots of old friends. It's more than a race, it's truly a reunion, with a great drag race added. Here's a sampling of pit shots before we get into the racing photos later in the weekend. We'll keep updating this page throughout, so keep refereshing it every time you visit.

We just found a live broadcast of the Reunion on Drag Racer TV's YouTube channel. Here's the link. The first qualifying session for the Nostalgia Funny Cars has just finished, and there were some very strong runs laid down, but with only 17 cars running, the 16-car bump spot ended up at a slightly less than scintillating 17-second timeslip. However, the #8 qualifier clocked a very strong 5.850 at an early shutoff 225.26 mph. This evening's second session should see even better numbers, and hopefully, more cars in the lanes. Here's the list, courtesy of Drag Racer TV.

Nitro Funny Car Q-1

Here's a short set of pics that our correspondent BIG Bob Snyder took while touring the pits on Thursday. And that's just the start of his weekend's work. He'll be supplying with heaps of action shots throughout the weekend. Stay tuned for more updates each day.

BIG dogie

Guarding the golf kart and the pit area behind it is the BIG dog.

Cory Lee - 'The Pedaler' - AA/FC --- Morey & Pettinato - 'Rat Posion' - AA/FA

(LEFT) Out of his part-time "Big Show" ride and back in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" is itinerant drag racer Cory Lee getting ready for another Nostalgia Funny Car weekend.

(RIGHT) All the way from South Carolina is the "Rat Poison" AA/Fuel Altered team of Morey & Pettinato, a modern day tribute to a famous team of the 60's and 70's.

Dan Horan Jr. - 'Infinity' - AA/FC --- Van Gundy, Clark & Monise - 'Quarter Pounder' 

(LEFT) It's Dan Horan (Jr.) with the body from his "Infinity Plumbing" AA/FC sitting behind the trailer, getting ready to contend for another race win.

(RIGHT) One of the real veteran teams, the group of Dale Van Gundy, Keith Clark, and Geoff Monise are still campaigning the "Quarter Pounder" after nearly fifty years of blasting down drag strips on the West Coast.

'Cacklin' Critter' - AA/FC --- 'Cacklin' Critter' - AA/FC

Two shots of the "Cacklin' Critter" team getting their AA/FC ready for action.

Don Knoblauch - 'Atomic Punk' - AA/FC --- Bob Snyder & Dave Kommel - 'Problem Child' pits

(LEFT) Just peeking out of the transporter as they begin the unloading process is the Washington state-based "Atomic Punk" AA/FC of Don Knoblauch.

(RIGHT) Making his version of a smile is our photographer, BIG Bob Snyder on the left, with veteran lensman (from almost the beginning of the sport) Dave Kommel hanging out at the "Problem Child" AA/Funny Car pits.

Ron Hope - 'Rat Trap' - AA/FA --- Randy Bradford - 'Bradford's Fiat' - AA/FA

(LEFT) It's the one... the only... "Rat Trap" AA/Fuel Altered, owned and driven by Ron Hope sitting in the pit area getting ready to run.

(RIGHT) Washington state's Randy Bradford campaigns the way-too-quick-for-that-short-narrow-car "Bradford's Fiat in the AA/Fuel Altered class. Unlike some of the other teams, it looks ready to head for the staging lanes.

Shawn Callen - 'High Heaven' - AA/FA --- 'Pure Hell' - AA/FA

(LEFT) Relaxing in the pits with the car ready to run is the "High Heaven" gang from Washington state. They are not to be confused (as I was :-) with the team of the same name from Colorado, the Jackson family, that competes in the Funny Car Chaos series. This altered is driven by Shawn Callen and the other team members are Brian & Hughie Callen.

(RIGHT) Another of the iconic names in AA/Fuel Altered racing from waaay back is the "Pure Hell" Bantam roadster, still owned by Rich Guasco, and now being driven by Brian Hope.

Ron Hope - 'Rat Trap' pit area --- VIP Media Parking

(LEFT) Even tough the car is not in sight, it's the "Rat Trap" pit area, with ageless Ron Hope on the left and (possibly even older) Larry Sutton on the right. Larry was one of the most famous starters in So-Cal drag racing history (Lions, Irwindale, Orange County, etc). He even drove Top Fuel and Alcohol cars in his "spare" time.

(RIGHT) Managing to snag a "VIP" media parking spot is our roving photojournalist, "BIG" Bob Snyder with his (very) incognito transporter.

Finishing off our photo "essay" is Bob Snyder trying - and failing - to disguise himself in what looks like a Mark Sanders mask while schmoozing in the "Cacklin' Critter" pits.

That's all we've got until tomorrow. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on what's happening today in qualifying at the California Hot Rod Reunion.