I'm personally pleased to see vintage Funny Cars at this event, especially as I was 6,000 miles away when they were racing in anger the first time around. It's the closest you can get to a time machine, with the staging lanes full of Funnies, fuelers, Altereds, and gassers. It's also one of the few places outside of a museum where you can see historic cars, such as the Art Arfons' Green Monster, the Stone, Woods, and Cook Willys (two of 'em this year!), and Don Garlits' early Swamp Rat cars, along with a few surprises. Considering these are race cars, and as such were almost dispensable after they ceased to be competitive, it's amazing how many survived and continue to be unearthed. Long may it continue!
A Funny Thing Happened ...
For me, one of the best sights of the Reunion was seeing the Funny Cars in eliminations. Although they use modern parts just like the top fuelers, they can be hidden under the bodies, preserving their period appearance. I just hope they keep to nostalgic bodies, as one or two seemed to be a little too aerodynamic for their era. However, low 6- and high 5-second runs in the 230-mph region from these early bodied Funnies made our weekend!
Garret Bateman in the Plueger & Gyger Mach 1 Mustang qualified in the No. 1 spot, and although he dropped out in Round One with mechanical problems, he had enough of a points lead to take the championship, with teammate Bucky Austin holding onto Second Place despite also exiting competition in Round One.