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Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals to Unify Beech Bend Raceway and Famoso Dragstrip NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Events in 2023

For decades the best in nostalgia drag racing has drawn racers, hot rodders, and fans to Bowling Green, Ky., and Bakersfield, Calif., to experience how the sport of drag racing began.

It was always Wally Parks’ vision to unify hot rodders from coast to coast who were looking to measure themselves against the best of the best. The quarter-mile became their chosen measuring stick, and the cars were the stars.

Now, with 30 years of nostalgia racing under its belt, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum has announced its two 2023 Hot Rod Reunion events will relaunch as the Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals.

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits will serve as Grand Marshal of the Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals presented by Holley event at Beech Bend Raceway, and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will be the Grand Marshal of the Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals event at Famoso Dragstrip.

“We are excited as we prepare to take nostalgia drag racing to a whole new level at Beech Bend Raceway and Famoso Dragstrip in 2023,” said Dale Coleman, Chairman of the Board of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. “We aim to create an environment that looks and feels like drag racing in the golden era of our sport. These races will be an opportunity for drag racing fans young and old to experience heads-up quarter-mile drag racing the way it was.”

Both events will feature three days of nostalgia racing, the coolest hot rods, the finest show cars, unheard-of swap-meet finds, and legends of the sport. The Beech Bend Raceway event will take place in Bowling Green, Ky., June 15-17, 2023, and the Famoso Dragstrip event will happen Oct. 13-15, 2023. Both locations are hallowed ground for drag racers and are steeped in ’60s and ’70s drag racing history. 

The Wally Parks NHRA Nostalgia Nationals is produced by and benefits the NHRA Motorsports Museum, an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational and cultural organization. All proceeds (ticket sales, racer entries, merchandise sales, memberships, and donations) directly support the daily operations, program, and events of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

This story was originally published on April 4, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.