March means a couple of things here at BangShift but most importantly it means that the greatest nostalgia drag race in the world, the Bakersfield March Meet will be happening and 2014 is no exception. We’re planning on being there to bring you the action but let’s be honest, you NEED to be there! The sights and smells of the March Meet are unrivaled in all of drag racing. Don’t believe us? There’s a reason you will find half of the big show NHRA drivers and crew chiefs roaming the pits and in the cockpits of various race cars. That reason is the simple fact that the fun, competition, and and chance to call yourself a March Meet champion is like nothing else in drag racing.
If you are on the fence about showing up, here’s what you need to consider. One, you could be dead next year. Hey, that’s a sad reality but the only thing you really have is today. Two, a weekend at one of the top three or four most historically significant drag strips in the world is something that IS on your bucket list. Three, these guys aren’t getting any younger. The beauty of the March Meet is that ALL of the legends show up. You can rub elbows with them, shoot the breeze with them, and hang out like long lost pals. Referring back to point one here, none of these guys are getting any younger and if you read BangShift with any regularity you know that the number of legends still mobile and sprightly enough to travel out to the races continues to shrink. DO NOT miss the chance to hang out with them now. Four, it’s the friggin March Meet. If we have to explain that to you on any more basic a level, turn in your BangShift card.
There’s lost of stuff coming for the race in 2014 from racers coming back into the seat, guys traveling clear across country to compete, and new cars rolling out for the first time. Here’s the full scoop on the the 2014 running of the March Meet straight from the horse’s mouth at Famoso Raceway –
Big & Little Changes for the 2014 March Meet – March 6-9, 2014
Bakersfield, CA – February 12, 2014 – Jim Murphy will be chasing his record setting 5th March Meet title piloting the front engined dragster that has won the last 2 March Meets. The car, formerly owned by Frank and Debra Ousley and driven by Jimmy Young, has been purchased by Murphy giving him what many feel is his best possible chance of securing a 5th March Meet win. The Ousley’s will be back at the 2014 March Meet with their “Crop Duster” funny car. Jimmy Young, will return in his own front engine dragster.Big & Little Changes for the 2014 March Meet – March 6-9, 2014
Funny car driver & owner Jason Rupert has had a stranglehold on the NHRA Heritage Funny Car championship. 2013 was his 3rd consecutive title and rumor has it that he may be preparing to field 2 Funny Cars at this years March Meet. Rupert wasn’t ready to commit to a “for sure thing” but we may see the “Black Plague” and the “Merritt Littlefield” flopper campaigning under the Rupert flag at the 2014 March Meet.
Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster pilot Mendy Fry will return to the Heritage series chase after taking a year off and helping Denver Schutz and his Top Fuel team. This time Mendy will find herself back in the familiar surroundings of a funny car. Larry “Smokey” Alleman wooed Fry to pilot his 1978 “Smokey’s Darkside” Challenger for the 2014 season. Alleman and crew will be running a 426-cubic inch Arias hemi, a “Hemi heads on a Chevy block” combination, unique to the 30 plus expected entrants for the 2014 March Meet funny car class.
Peter Gallen and his “Poverty Stricken” Funny Car will be making the long trek from Pennsylvania to California. Sick of the cold and snow, Peter decided to load the flopper up and enjoy some California Sun. This will be Gallens first trip back to Auto Club Famoso Raceway in 3 years.
Tim Boychuk in the Troy-Lee Designs funny car will pair up with nitro tuning guru Roland Leong for a run at the 2014 March Meet title. Boychuk and co-owner Ron Hodgson won the 2013 March Meet.
The top 8 points earners from the 2013 Boise-Bakersfield Blitz will compete in a special 8 car shootout during funny car qualifying on Friday & Saturday with the winner receiving a $3,000 bonus.
Tim Boychuk, Jason Rupert, Rick Rogers and Dennis Taylor (all tied for 9th place) have a chance to participate in the 8 car shootout now that 3rd place finisher Dennis LaCharite has vacated his driving position to Cory Lee (Lee will pilot the “Back in Black” ‘69 GTO funny car for the 2014 season).
Every year the crowds cheer the short wheel base flame spewing nitro burning altereds as they wiggle their way down the quarter-mile. Usually ran as an exhibition class, this year the fuel altereds will compete in a 6 second index class allowing all the drivers a chance to compete for a prized “Wally” and be crowned March Meet Champion. Another addition this year will be the 6.90 Door slammer class. These giant motored beasts will be a new class competing at the 2014 March Meet.
Auto Club Famoso Raceway has again partnered with TheFOAT.com. TheFOAT.com has handled the on-line ticket sales quickly and efficiently. Purchasing tickets online allows fans to bypass the lines at the gate and get right into the event.
Race fans can purchase a “Super 4-Day Event Pass” for $100 online. There are also specially priced passes for three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday: $75) and two days (Saturday and Sunday: $55).
Walk up tickets for the event will go on sale March 6 at the track. Ticket prices are $25 for Thurs., Mar. 6; $25 for Fri., Mar. 7; $30 for Sat., Mar. 8; and $30 for Sun., Mar. 9. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $10 each day and kids 5 and under get in free when accompanied by an adult with paid admission.
Other prices announced include, event camping: $125 for all four days; VIP parking: $50 (good for the entire event); and VIP four-day Quarter Mile Courtyard seating: adults $165, children $105 (space is limited).
March Meet tickets can be ordered online at www.autoclubfamosoraceway.com. Racer, Swap Meet and Vendor entry forms can be found on the website as well.
Fans can connect with Auto Club Famoso Raceway by following them on Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/Auto.Club.Famoso.Raceway
The Kern County Racing Association operates Auto Club Famoso Raceway (just north of Bakersfield, Calif.) and promotes a full schedule of races year round, including the world famous March Meet, which is recognized as the Mecca of nostalgia drag racing. For more details, visit www.autoclubfamosoraceway.com.