Bakersfield B-Sides

Bakersfield B-Sides

Once you pass through the little town of Wasco, you hit a relatively long, relatively straight stretch of road that takes you directly to the drag strip best known as Bakersfield. On your right you’ll find a few dusty buildings between fields of green; on your left you’ll see the citrus groves. Eventually these groves take over both sides, creating a leafy aisle that cuts through the arid landscape. I watch the telephone lines, then the trucks, then the telephone lines, then the road ahead.

As we drove along, I couldn’t help but think back to all the hot rodders who took this exact same route in the past 60 years. Don Prudhomme, Tommy Ivo, Don Garlits, “Big John” Mazmanian, Stone, Woods & Cook, the list goes on and on. It’s hard to overstate the history that’s wrapped up in Famoso Raceway—both ancient and recent. This weekend I’ll be wandering around the pits, glancing at the track and taking it all in at the California Hot Rod Reunion.

In today’s digital age, event coverage has gotten pretty damn good. Thanks to everything from the H.A.M.B. to the ’Gram, you’re able to tune in from across the globe and watch your favorite cars in action. I’m all for it. But when I’m at the events themselves, I find myself taking extra time to take photos of the details of these cars, both big and small—details that are so often overlooked mainly due to space constraints or lack of “editorial direction.” These shots are usually for my own enjoyment, never meant to be posted or published anywhere. In a way, they’re like my digital scratchpad.

All that aside, I was flipping through my 2017 CHRR snapshots and I figured some of you might get a kick out of seeing a few of them. Comprehensive coverage? Far from it. Instead, I like to think of these outtakes as my Bakersfield B-sides.

See ya at the track!

Joey Ukrop

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