2008-01-26 / News

Hot Rod Reunion returns to Kentucky

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON- The NHRA Hot Rod Reunion is returning to Bowling Green, Ky. this year after Hebron's National Trail Raceway successfully hosted the event last summer. While the event was prestigious for National Trail Raceway, Sales Manager Mike Fornataro said the event's move back to Kentucky does not present a significant financial loss for the Hebron raceway.

Fornataro explained that the event is sponsored by Holley Performance Products, which is based in Bowling Green, Ky. The Hot Rod Reunion was held in Hebron last year because Bowling Green's Beech Bend Dragway had problems with traffic access. He said Beech Bend improved access to its facility and the event is returning to Bowling Green, home of its sponsor. "That really is it," said Fornataro.

Bright sunshine and lots of room helped to make the 2007 Hot Rod Reunion a spectacular event at National Trail last summer. But, said Fornataro, the purpose of the event is raise money for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pamona, California. So, while the event provides outstanding exposure, it doesn't generate much revenue for its host.

Fornataro expects National Trail Raceway to book another "nostalgia event" similar to the Hot Rod Reunion, although it may not take place until 2009.

According to cruisintimes. org, the NHRA museum and Beech Bend signed a five-year contract to host the Hot Rod Reunion. Ironically, National Trail hosted the first Hot Rod Reunion in 1998. Afterward, the event was on hiatus until moving to Beech Bend in 2004. Each following year it drew larger crowds until the event outgrew the Beech Bend facility in 2007, prompting the move back to National Trail Raceway. With its traffic issues resolved, Beech Bend is ready to host the event again.

This certainly doesn't mean National Trail Raceway will be idle this year, said Fornataro. Much of the 2008 season is already booked. Upcoming events include the 16th annual Chrysler Classic and No Rules Nationals in May, and the 13th annual Super Chevy Show in June. In July, the raceway hosts the 21st annual Night of Thunder and the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and, in August National Trail hosts the 28th annual Mopar Nationals and the NMRA.

Fornataro said events are easily booked at National Trail in part because of its convenient access to I-70 and because of the support it receives from the surrounding area. "You can't buy the kind of support we get from the community," he said.

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