R&C Top Tin PicksThere's always a mixture of excitement and anticipation, coupled with apprehension when attending a new event (imagine how the organizers feel then!) and though Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts the Hot Rod Reunion and other events, this was Goodguys' first visit to the facility.
If there were any early fears about attendance, they were allayed, with the grounds filling fast on Friday morning, under clear fall skies, despite rain the previous evening. I have to admit I was nervous driving up from Nashville late on Thursday night in the pouring rain, so finding the grounds and the track dry on Friday was a relief. The usual Goodguys pre-'72 format ensured a varied turnout, with a notable number of street-driven Gassers on show, but the added feature of nostalgia-themed cars out on the strip made the event for me.
I should just briefly mention the track itself, as I can't remember the last time I was allowed (admittedly with a photographer's pass) to stand so close to the cars on the starting line, and even the roof-equipped bleachers were near to the action. It's a great old track-a step back in time that I could really appreciate. The NHRA is coming back to the track for the Hot Rod Reunion June 19-21, 2009, if you want to get a look at some more vintage racing action.
It's difficult to gauge the success of a new event as there's nothing to compare it to, but given the decline in attendance at many events this season, and the number of cars in attendance on Saturday (around 2,000), we'd call this a success. But then when a venue just "works" and everyone has a good time, what's not to like? Except a couple more food vendors next time maybe...