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Wed, 17 Jul 2019, 17:23 PM

Cacklefest, Nostalgia Get-Together Highlight NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Courtesy of Diana Brennan

Raceway Celebrates 50 Years of Drag Racing History, July 26-28

SONOMA, Calif. --

Sonoma Raceway celebrates 50 years of racing in wine country throughout its 2019 season, and race fans can take a step back in time during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 26-28, with an array of nostalgic fan experiences.

To highlight its anniversary celebrations, the raceway will bring back long-time NHRA announcer Bob Frey to participate in the event festivities. Frey, who announced drag races for 46 years and served as the voice of NHRA until his retirement in 2012, will host a variety of at-track events and return to the booth for a few rounds of pro action throughout the weekend. Frey will kick-off the weekend by returning to emcee duties at the Thursday evening Eric Medlen Nitro Night Speedway Children's Charities fundraising dinner, which will honor Jack Beckman.

For the fifth consecutive year, a collection of nostalgia dragsters will light up the sky during a can't-miss Cacklefest on Friday, July 26. Ten dragsters, including the Waterman-Hampshire Fuel Dragster, which raced in the first NHRA event in Sonoma, and Jim Wearanga's "Varmit" Dragster, will fire up their engines in front of the Main Grandstand during the second round of Nitro qualifying under the lights.

These dragsters and many more will be on display throughout the weekend in the 10th annual Nostalgia Get-Together, which will feature more than 30 vintage racing machines and hot rods in the main paddock garage. Entry to the Nostalgia Get-Together is free with admission into the raceway.

The display will feature vintage front-engine nostalgia Funny Car floppers, Top Fuel dragsters, AA/Fuel dragsters, Gassers and more. Plus, race fans can talk with the owners of these historic machines and get autographs. Some of the highlighted cars include John and Roxie Hertzig's "The Tramp" AA/FA and "Good News" AA/FA, the Brunelli & Dunn twin-engine dragster, "General Jerry Lee" with his wheel stander, the "Cacklin Critter" Funny Car owned by Matt Melendez and Jesse Schrank's "The World's Fastest Desoto" dragster.

Car enthusiasts will also enjoy the 9th annual Blast on the Grass Car Show, located on the Piccinini Plaza lawn behind the staging lanes. Featuring hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods and exotics, it's a great chance for fans to show off their rides. A limited number of Blast on the Grass spots are still available for Saturday and Sunday, and can be purchased at or by calling 800-870-7223.

These elements and many more round out a jam-packed weekend of drag racing at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. This marks the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series' only stop in Northern California, and the only chance to witness 11,000-horsepower dragsters rocket down the drag strip. For more information or to purchase tickets for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, visit or call 800-870-7223.

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