2009 Holley National Hot Rod Reunion Honorees

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

April 28, 2009


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Top drivers from every era of NHRA drag racing,

the first woman to win an NHRA division championship and the inventor of the tire-screeching

burnout make up the Honorees for the 2009 Holley National Hot Rod Reunion on June 19-21 at

Beech Bend Raceway Park, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Grand Marshal – Darrell Gwynn

Selected as one of NHRA’s all-time Top 50 Drivers, Florida’s Darrell Gwynn

won 28 national events in a short ten year career. At age 18 he was runner-up in

Pro Comp at the U.S. Nationals. He scored ten wins in Alcohol Dragster before

moving up to Top Fuel at age 23. In March, 1990 Gwynn made the quickest run

in drag racing, at the time 4.90. Just weeks later, he crashed at England’s Santa

Pod Raceway, changing his life forever. He was paralyzed from the chest down

and lost part of his left arm. Even while recovering, he changed roles to team

owner where his car scored 14 victories. He is dedicated to the cure of paralysis

and maintains a very active schedule of public speaking, technical consulting

and enjoying life with his wife and daughter.

Chuck Nelson

Chuck Nelson has been NHRA’s South Central Division Tech Director

since the position was created nearly a half century ago. Nelson’s

dedicated career began at the NHRA Nationals in Oklahoma City in 1958.

He was selected by NHRA founder Wally Parks to be just one of nine

attendees at the first official NHRA rules meeting in 1959. When he

began, the racers had to build everything themselves, and he’s seen the

tech side of the sport evolve into cars that are professionally

manufactured. Nelson says, “You learn every day because the racers keep

you on your toes. I keep trying to retire but Craig (Div. 4 Director Craig

Hutchinson) won’t let me.”

Bob Creitz

Known as an engine wizard, the inventor of the burnout and the most prominent

Top Fuel racer in Oklahoma, Bob Creitz was a member of the unofficial group of

hard-core fuel racers known as the “Greek Fleet”. Creitz’s cars have been runner up

at the ’67 Winternationals, made the first six-second pass in NHRA Nationals

history, and at the PDA meet at Orange County in 1968 won the last 64-car Top

Fuel show ever held. He won the inaugural PHR Championships in 1969 and

runner-upped at the ’72 Supernationals. He has restored his last front engine

fueler for Cacklefest events.

Vance Hunt

A name synonymous with Top Fuel racing in the southwest from 1960 to 1971 is

Vance Hunt. As an owner/tuner, the Arlington, Texas racer fielded a long series

of dragsters driven by Ed Mabry, J.L. Payne, Ted Arnold, Jerry Ellis, and Watus

Simpson. Hunt began racing in the late ’40s at “any place we could.” Fuel racing

beckoned in 1960, and with J.L. Payne driving Hunt defeated both Don Garlits

and Chris Karamesines for the Number One spot on the Drag News Mr.

Eliminator list and won the ’62 AHRA Nationals. In his final season he even

briefly raced a Mustang Funny Car. In recent years he’s remained active as a tuner

on nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters.

Jerry Baltes

Beginning his drag racing career in 1951 at Paradise Mesa near San Diego,

Jerry Baltes raced for over two decades. He worked his way up from gas

coupes, through altereds to a gas dragster, then in 1962 to Top Fuel. He made it

to number 3 on the Drag News Top Ten List, set an NHRA speed record, won

the 1964 World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova, and finished number 2 in

1964 NHRA points. After a crash ended his driving career in 1967, he fielded

the Tom and Jerry Mustang Funny Car as a member of the Coca-Cola

Cavalcade of Stars. He has recently restored his 1964 Top Fuel car for

Cacklefest events.

Amy Faulk

Experienced in Stock, Super Stock and Competition eliminator categories, Amy

Faulk was the first woman to win a national event in Alcohol Dragster and the

first woman to win an NHRA division championship. In 1979 Faulk won the

Super Stock national championship and in 1980 was elected to Car Craft

Magazine’s All-Star team. In addition to her racing career, Amy has held

management roles in the automotive aftermarket and currently serves as the

chief administrative officer of Hypertech. She has served on the

SEMA Board of Directors, was named SEMA’s Person of the Year in 1996, and is a member of

the SEMA Hall of Fame.


About the 7th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion

The 7th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, June 19-21 at Beech Bend Raceway in

Bowling Green, Ky., is a 3-day festival of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm.

Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of

Southern California and located in Pomona, Calif., the Reunion is part of the museum’s “living

history” philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history

in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.

Unique among motorsports events, the Reunion honors some of the top names in hot

Rodding from the past and features a fabulous array of fast drag cars, hot rods, street rods and cool customs.


Media contact: Monique Valadez, 909-622-3389 office, 909-287-6029 cell, mvaladez@nhra.com


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