and team took home all there was to take from Famoso. Bartone
not only won the race but sealed the deal for another Hot Rod
Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Championship.
In Funny Car,
it was a popular win for Jason Rupert who absolutely dominated
the class from day one. It was a convincing win for Rupert who
spent the season on tour running the IHRA schedule.
cinched the Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Funny Car Championship
in the stout Austin & O'Brien entry. Krabill was also runner-up
to Rupert at this race.
CA - 10/26/16: The
25th edition of the California Hot Rod Reunion is in the books
and what should have, and could have been one of the greatest
events ever, wasn't. Since starting our coverage of this great
event online 17 years ago I've
never given it anything but glowing reviews. Until now.
There were rumbles
and rumors about a take over as the CHRR approached and none
of them were good. When we rolled into the pits on Wednesday
the feel was different, much different. Sally's smiling face
was absent. Racer parking was in total chaos. It was no wonder
considering NHRA took the event away from the museum and made
it their game. First off, in their infinite wisdom, they "dismissed"
the best pit tender/parker in the business, Gino Gastelum, and
replaced him with people who had no clue and I mean NO clue.
Tempers were already starting to flare - and it was only Wednesday.
We who have supported this event for 25 years foresaw a big problem
when Steve Gibbs bowed out and it was worse than anyone could
On Friday things
really came off the rails. The parking issue was still a mess,
but it was the cacklecar guys and their loyal legion of fans
who really got screwed, but that is a story too long and ugly
to share here.
As the cacklecar
rules changed hourly, and after more schedule confusion, the
first session of Funny Car went off midday. It seemed early on
that the so-called schedule was turning into a whatever the powers
to be wanted to do at the moment. When asked for clarifications,
many of the staff, from the race director on down were rude and
dismissive. Nothing like the folks from years past. Oh yea, how
nostalgic is it to have people running the deal with Mellow Yellow
nitro qualifying did get finished and went on to feature some
great racing. It will be very interesting to see where this once
sacred event will go from here. Many, and I mean many, spectators,
cacklecar owners and racers said they will never come back. If
the so-called leadership and "new format" remains the
same, I'm sure they won't. Leave it to Glendora to take something
that was really working great and ruin it in 4 days.
PS. Kudos to
Don Irvin who did his usual great job running the safety crew
and Heather Roberts who got thrown into the difficult and thankless
job of coordinating the staging lanes. And to Larry Fisher and
Greg Sharp who did the best they could in an impossible situation.
were: A/FUEL Drew Austin, JUNIOR FUEL Alan Hull, 7.0 PRO Allen
Taylor, NOSTALGIA ELIMINATOR 1 Hans Jakob, A/GAS Keith Morovich,
NOSTALGIA PRO MOD Bret Williamson, AA/SUPERCHARGED Mike Molea,
A/FX Bob Moreland, GEEZER GASSER Greg Porter.
For the full
event story visit: 2016 CHRR at: NHRA Museum News
*There are A LOT of photos
in this coverage because: (1) Several photographers contributed
and I want them all represented. (2) The driver's and teams really
deserve the recognition they don't get anywhere else.
Car Qualifying Session One
session for the floppers went off on Friday midday.
The first pair
to test the track was Rich Townsend in the "Nitroholic"
'69 Camaro and Richard Hartman from Anderson SC, in his '69 Camaro
at 238.30 and Townsend's 5.870 at 249.76 serviced notice that
there was a track with teeth.
Pair two featured
James Day in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" Challenger and
Chris Davis down from Spokane WA, in his '77 Arrow.
had problems on the burnout and the engine went dead.
pistons, the clocks came up with a 5.77 at 236.39.
Next out was
the newly crowned 2016 Funny Car champ, Kris Krabill in the Austin
& O'Brien Trans Am and Matt Bynum in the Mathews Motorsports
a 5.776 at 225.18 while Bynum stopped the clocks with a 5.983
Out next was
Danny Gerber in his "wasn't easy" Trans Am and Alex
Miladinovich in the "Hot 4 Teacher" '69 Mustang.
Gerber got there
first with a 6.01 at 234.21 while Miladinovich could only muster
a 6.16 at 186.36.
Up next was the
newly married Mendy Fry Coonce in the "Dark Side" '78
Challenger and Big Show driver John Hale in his "One Bad
carried the front end past the tree and then clicked it.
it early to a 6.240 at 197.10 while Hale coasted through.
Next pair was
the 2015 FC champ, Steve Densham in the "Teacher's Pet"
'69 Camaro and Geoff Monise in the "Quarter
Pounder" '77 Monza.
got a 6.03 at 233.96 time slip while Densham coasted through.
Next pair pitted
Marc White out from Chicago IL. in Frank & Debra Ousley's
"Crop Duster" '77 Monza and fresh off the IHRA tour,
Mark Sanders in the "Mr. Explosive" '70 Mustang.
Sanders had problems
and shut off early, not so for White who went to the pole with
a sterling 5.694 at 234.78 which was slowed by piston eating.
in Paul Shakelton's stunning '74 Camaro "Shark Attack"
and Tim Boychuck in his "Happy Hour" '69 Camaro.
a 5.91 at 242.76 slip while Thompson shut off early to a 6.19
Up next was Tim
Nemeth down from Chilliwack BC in his "Iceman" '77
Firebird and Don Hudson in the Sizemore Construction TrasAm.
Nemeth got in
the top 16 at the time with a 5.838 at 239.06 while Hudson was
right there was 5.88 at 239.06.
Next out was
Rick Rogers in the "Fighting Irish" '74 Camaro and
Cory Lee in the California Hustler '78 Trans AM.
squared the tires before tree and was done.
a nice 5.740 at 253.61 while Rogers took the early turn out.
Next up was Dan
Horan Jr. in his '69 Camaro paired with Ryan Hodgson from Edmonton
AB, in the Pacemaker '69 Camaro.
Hodgson ran a
baseline 5.95 at 246.71 while Horan had problems and shit off
to a 7.93.
In what seemed
to be an endless stream of floppers, Bill Windham in his "Shakedown"
'69 Camaro and Paul Romine in his Man-O'-War '69 Mustang rolled
into the waterbox.
went into tire smoke before the tree.
the clocks with a 5.81 at 238.85 but for whatever reason, the
run was disallowed and marked a DQ.
Out next was
Marcus Lawson in his '78 Trans AM and Barrie "Bazz"
Young in the "Thunder Down Under" '69 Camaro.
carded a sub-par 6.11 at 238 while Lawson shut off early to a
6.45 at 218.
in the bunch was Nathan Sitko in his '77 Arrow in the left lane
and Mike Halstead in the "Code Red" '78 Camaro.
was added to the list of FC's smoking the tires in the right
cars had problems, no chutes necessary.
Next to last
pair featured Jason Rupert in the Littlefield & Rupert "Rolling
Thunder" '69 Camaro tribute car and Jim Maroney in the 1970
Candies & Hughes Cuda.
Rupert was off
like a rocket while Maroney encountered handling problems early
on and shut off.
Rupert went low
for the session with a great 5.67 at 255.10. This was just the
beginning of his weekend domination of the plastic fantastics.
The final pair
was John Weaver and in his '78 Omni and Shawn Van Horn in the
Choo Choo Mama '77 Trans AM.
went into tire shake before the tree resulting in a premature
Make Your Reservations