Malcolm Media Ag Publishing Production Manager Mike Lawless set to Compete in the 55th Bakersfield March Meet
Historic Famoso Raceway will be the setting for the 55th Bakersfield March Meet. The event is considered “Ground Zero” for Nostalgia drag racing in the United States. 500 racers will be participating at various levels, from the nitromethane burning dragsters and funny cars, all the way to the weekend warriors with every conceivable type of car in between.
“There’s a lot of history here at Famoso Raceway,” says Mike. “Many racers, myself included, consider this place to be hallowed ground. Many of us at this event made our very first runs down a drag strip right here at Famoso. Virtually all of the legends of the sport have raced here. That’s only a part of what makes it special. For us, this is our biggest event of the year. We won our class here in 2009, and to date, that’s been the high point of my entire racing career!”
The March Meet came to be because of the ban on using nitromethane as a fuel during the formative years of the sport. Considered an “Outlaw” event, it was one of the only places in the country that allowed the stuff to be used as fuel. Mishandled, it can be very explosive and sometimes lethal. The danger is the attraction for many.
Mike races with an unusual car in the drag racing world. A vintage 1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Not your typical VW, it covers the quarter mile in ten seconds at close to 130 mph and competes in the “D/Gas” class. The turbocharged engine makes over ten times the power of the original VW’s 40 horses. “We’ve had this car for almost 15 years now, and it has always been a “work in progress.” I rescued its rotting carcass from a central Fresno backyard in 1998, and over the next year, performed a ground up restoration. There’s not a single screw or bolt on this car that I haven’t touched. It even has a lot of my blood in it. Probably enough to be considered a direct relative!”
Mike has been with Malcolm Media Ag Publishing just about as long, joining the company in 1998. He oversees production of the magazines and websites, and does any ad creation for those clients that need that service. Malcolm Media publishes American Vineyard, California Dairy, California Fresh Fruit, Pacific Nut Producer and Vegetables West magazines. If you are a farmer in California, it’s a good bet that you receive at least one of those magazines!
Another interesting fact concerning Mike and March Meet history, is that with his win in 2009, his car is the only Volkswagen to win in any class in the entire 55 year history of the Bakersfield March Meet.
If you are a fan of drag racing, particularly nostalgia style racing, and you find yourself at Famoso Raceway on March 7th through the 10th, make it a point to stop by Mike’s pit area and say hello!