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July 15-17, Thompson Raceway Park, Thompson, OH-The 4th installment of the Nostalgia Gasser Reunion enjoyed much success, as spectator and car counts eclipsed previous years.  Although the weekend was plagued with persistent rain showers left over from Hurricane Dennis, plenty of racing action went on during the 3-day event.  In all, there were only 11 racers remaining in eliminations before rain put a permanent end to the event.  The event will return to Thompson Raceway Park in 2006, so stay tuned to the Thompson Raceway Park web site for future event dates.  The following photo highlights are just a portion of what went on during the event. Enjoy! Dawn & Mark

Ron Robb competed in the Nostalgia Gas class in pretty "Old Rascal" '40 Willys and won his first round, but was a no-show in round two.

 

The "Damn Yankee" '78 Vega Funny Car is owned by Chuck Horvath, while sons Mark and Brad serve as driver and crew chief, respectively.  It took three years for the men to complete this car, which features paint scheme similarities to Don Cook's "Damn Yankee" Cuda from the early 70s and sports a blown 392 Hemi on alcohol.

 

Willowick, Ohio, resident Jacin Barnes spent the weekend fine-tuning his Hemi-powered '64 Rambler during time trial sessions.
Tom Nowicki, of Goshen, Indiana, owns this "Haulin' Ass" '56 Chevy which sports a blown small block chevy with a 5-speed tranny!  Awesome!
Roy Bear, left, and Dick Gaylord spent some time making changes in the injection system in Bear's nostalgia Top Fuel entry.
This gorgeous "Russo and Santo" Willys is operated by the father and son team of Jack and John Olcott, with son John handling the driving duties.
Dave McCauley, out of Pickerington, Ohio, owns Jim Zakia's National Record Holding C/G 1955 Chevy. 

 

The father and son team of Bob Yust, near lane, and Scott Yust paired their respective Henry J entries up during Saturday time trial sessions.

 

Eric Rath personally painted and recreated the "Speed Specialties Co." 1951 Chevy as a tribute to local Cleveland area racer and legend Gene Schwartz.  

 

Al Pridemore, a former 2-time Supercharged Outlaws champion with his "Risky Business" funny car, made a long awaited 2005 appearance in his "Risky Business" nostalgia Top Fuel entry.  While Pridemore was only able to make an 1/8 mile check out pass, he does have hopes of competing against his west coast counterparts very soon.  As the team's motto goes, "We bust ours, to beat yours!"  We sure hope to see them again soon.
Ben Barnes, near lane, and Ron Malmsten competed in the first round of Nostalgia Gas.  Barnes red lit handing the win to Malmsten.  Malmsten, who was runner-up to Ron Doran at the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, owns quite a collection of vintage gassers including the World Champion Panella Trucking Anglia and Virgil Cates' 33 Willys.  Malmsten's "Barn Stormer" '41 Willys is the former Lloyd & Lloyd gasser.
Twinsburg, Ohio, resident Kurt Neighbor has been a long time racer of TRP, and brought his flamin' hot 1966 Comet out for some test laps.  Neighbor competes in a variety of organizations that support the Nostalgia Super Stock Series.
Concord Twp., Ohio, resident Dave Lohr, a machinist by trade, drove the wheels off this smokin' 1930 Model A Pickup.

 

Army and Robin Armstrong campaign this sharp looking 1972 Vega funny car.

 

Jason Skonieczny owns "Testy" a 1936 Chevy Coupe.  This all-steel relic was built and raced in the 60s as a C Altered, and Skonieczny has attended every Thompson Gasser Reunion. 

 

Ryan Sacksteder has taken over driving duties in the family's '67 Corvette.  A college student at the University of Tennessee, Ryan has run mid 8-second times.

 

Al "Mousie" Marcellus takes a moment to autograph Earl Scott's 8-second '34 Ford Coupe.

 

The "Rubber City THUNDER" 1977 Monza, owned by Dennis Salzwimmer and driven by Chris Gerber, features an all-iron 392 Chrysler and has run a best of 7.82/175.00.
Jeff and Holly Hobgood brought their "Whittler" 1941 Willys Pickup from Newburgh, Indiana, to compete in the Nostalgia Gas category. 

 

Erik Carlson blazes the tires on his '55 Chevy prior to a grudge race with Don Benedict in the far lane.  Carlson won his first match in the heads-up race.
Gasser legend Bones Balogh made a pass in Mark Benjamin's gorgeous "Contagious" '33 Willys. 

 

Mike Hill and the "Pain in the Ass Racing" team brought this pretty flamed '53 Studebaker (with 1960 fins) all the way from Villa Ridge, Missouri.  Sporting a blown 392 Hemi, this car has been in the family since 1961!
Tracy Klingerman's "Fuelish" 77 Monza Funny Car was among several of the booked in show cars able to stick around for Sunday's program.
Doug Nichoson decided to bring his 1930 Coupe over from the show car area and make some time trial passes.  Nichoson was having waaay too much fun in the bleach box though.
Jeff Miller warms the "Time Bandit" nostalgia Top Fuel entry prior to the their exhibition run.  Miller scored low e.t. of the four cars in attendance, as well as the event, with an 1/8 mile 4.90 time slip.
Randy Sacksteder drives and owns this beautiful 392 powered "Hemi-Fied" Willys, which has competed in a variety of Gas classes at Thompson, Indy and Bowling Green.

 

Gregg Grubel uses an Algon Injected 455 Olds to move this "Class Reunion" 1951 Chevy Sedan down the 1320. 

 

The Dragster/Altered class featured a variety of entries and Bill Tovlin's 1929 Ford Coupe fit the bill.  Tovlin credits popular alky racer Mike Kosky with tuning help.

 

Hot off his recent Geezer Gasser win at the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, Ron Doran brought his all-steel 1940 Willys up to Thompson in hopes of getting a second event win.  Remnants of hurricane Dennis prevented those dreams. 

What a gorgeous pairing of gassers!  Carlos Cedeno, near lane, made his first appearance at the Gasser Reunion in his beautifully restored "King Kong" Anglia, while Jeff Cryan owns the stunning Ron Bizio restoration Willys Pickup. 

Bob "Hellacious" Sarkisian is one of many drivers to have attended each Nostalgia Gasser Reunion since 2002.  His chopped '48 Anglia is a crowd pleaser with its out-of-shape burnouts and wheels-up mid 8-second runs.

 

This is a shot of an approaching storm from the southwest around 4:30 P.M. on Saturday afternoon.  By 5:00 P.M. torrential rains, lightning, and high winds made a direct hit on the facility.  (Shades of the Spring Nationals in Columbus)  It stopped raining by 5:30, and there was a window of opportunity in the weather system to pull off the evening show.  Track drying was quickly underway.
While the track crew finished prepping the track, an enthusiastic crowd gathered and listened to the Winged Express being fired in the pits.  Unfortunately, heavy rains returned at the start of the evening session forcing cancellation of the show.  Due to a work commitment, Mike Boyd was unable to stay for Sunday's program.
Jim "Handshaker" Wilkens hikes the front end up in his 1940 Willys Coupe during Friday's time trials.  This all-steel body is motivated by a small block Chevy and gear-winding 4 speed. 

 

Earl Scott, of nearby Ashtabula, OH, has kicked his '34 Ford Coupe up a notch by adding a blower to his motor combination.  Scott, a regular participant at the Goodguys Hot Rod Nationals in Indy, is getting the hang of these wheels-up and chassis twisting launches.
Rocky Pirrone traveled from eastern Pennsylvania to make exhibition runs in his "Big Time Memories" '41 Willys.
Dan Bilyk competed in the nostalgia gas program with his "Chilly Willy" '41 Willys.  Bilyk's Willys is a replica of an original that competed in the 60s, and debuted with the original version at last year's 50th Anniversary event at Cayuga Dragway.
Dennis Corso stepped his "Senile Delinquents" nostalgia Top Fuel combination up when he purchased Troy Green's potent power plant.  While Sunday's program featured only 1/8 mile racing, Corso has run a 1/4 best of 6.52 earlier this year.

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