BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Drivers are putting the pedal to the metal at the National Hot Rod Reunion. It's one of the largest events Beech Bend Raceway Park hosts all year. While it's a good time for the fans, drivers say they look forward to this stop.
"I love this place. There is such great history and the people are the best. They are friendly wonderful people. We made lots of good friends," says driver Ron Huegli.
"I love me some Kentucky. We actually spent out vacation here this summer and came back out here to the Hot Rod Reunion so we could blast down the quarter mile and give these fans a little bit of a show," says jet car driver Elaine Larsen.
Larsen and her jet car have the capability of going 300 MPH. Going fast is part of her job, but she says the success of racing relies heavily on interaction with the fans.
"This is what drag racing is all about. You get to get belly to belly with the fans. Every pass is a pit pass so when you get to come out here you get to meet some of your heroes," says Larsen.
Fans have come out in strong numbers. The Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates more than 35,000 will attend this weekends reunion. NHRA officials are pleased with our areas passion for motorsports.
"This is a lot bigger than last year. We've had more attendance on the race car side and then our car counts have been up on the show and shine side so this whole Beech Bend Raceway Park grounds have been full of race cars all weekend long," says Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith.
The racing excitement isn't just impacting Beech Bend. Area hotels and restaurants have been hosting fans and drivers all week.
Racing will continue Saturday, with gates opening at 8 a.m.