A jaunt out to Eagle Field for any event is always a step back into history. A time machine would offer no advantage to locals who can just hop into their vehicles. A few minutes’ drive down West Althea Avenue leads to a right turn on Eagle Avenue.

From May 17-19, the Dos Palos Lions Club will provide another back-to-the-future opportunity. The club presents the 14th Annual Eagle Field Fresno Dragways Reunion. This is a family-style opportunity to relive the golden days of drag racing.

The special guest this year is the historically significant Berry Brothers and Hughes Top Fuel Team and their last fast front engine dragster. Known as the last front engine dragster of the 1970s, it is among the last top fuelers to race.

This Central Valley dragster is considered a West Coast darling. Locals have a rare opportunity to see the Berry Brothers and Hughes classic dragster in motion. The Berry Brothers and Hughes is one of the top fuel dragsters that raced July 4, 1971, at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.

Irwindale’s Independence Day Championships featured only the best of the best racing cars. Crowds paid dearly to attend. Along with amazing races they were treated to a fantastic fireworks display.

Bret Kepner at bangshift.com revisited that historic time in racing. He explained that raceways throughout Southern California in the 1960’s and 1970’s competed for fans, racers and records.

The Berry Brothers and Hughes classic dragster stood out among other racing cars of its time. Kepner described the racer as “beautiful.”

The original Berry Brothers and Hughes front engine car is meticulously renewed by current owner Pete Jensen. In 2014, the Selma Athletic Hall of Fame inducted Berry Brothers and Hughes Top Fuel Dragster.

Recorded in the Hanford Sentinel on March 26, 2014, the induction committee explained, “Dwight Hughes drove the drag race car for the Berry Brothers team. The team was a very successful drag race team in the 1960s and 1970s.” The article further explains it was “the first to complete times and speeds at that time only a few had accomplished.”

The Berry Brothers were in Selma, California during the time of the front engine top fuel dragsters. The Berry Brothers team faithfully made the four-hour drive to the Fremont Drag Strip in Fremont, California.

As one of the last competitive front engine dragsters, Berry Brothers and Hughes was one of the only ten built by famous dragster builder Don Long. An amazing feat for an old vehicle, the car was about thirty years old when it won the 1991 March Meet, an annual event at Famoso Raceway north of Bakersfield.

Fittingly for the Fresno Raceway Reunion, the Berry Brothers and Dwight Hughes ran their top fuel dragster at Fresno’s Raisin City Dragstrip. Enjoy a 1973 photo on the Facebook page for Drag Racing’s Golden Era.

Eagle Field Drags extends a heartfelt “thank you” to Dust Control Etc. with headquarters East of Kingsburg. Given the local prevalence of dust and wind, enjoyable drag racing necessitates dust control. Dust Control Etc. offers its expertise to make the dragster reunion as pleasant as possible.

The dust professionals have more than 60 years of experience. On their website, they describe themselves as “experts in the field.” They add, “using the highest quality products, we have helped eliminate dust for hundreds of companies throughout California.”

Eagle Field Runway Drags is an alcohol and glass free, family friendly event. The weather is unpredictable. Come prepared with a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Meet the Berry Brothers and Hughes classic, and enjoy an in person historical experience. The Dos Palos Lions Club and other vendors offer food and beverages.

Find information at eaglefielddrags.com. Eagle Field is located at 11100 W. Eagle Ave.

(Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email jmiller@dospalos.org.)

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email jmiller@dospalos.org.