* If you wnat the photos larger, just hit your ctrl button and tap the + button.




Jim Young was overdue for another win, running on a limited schedule and budget, he has made his presence known at the races he did contest this year.

After the car he had won 2 previous CHRR titles in was sold to Jim Murphy, Young was left without a ride. Over the last couple of years Young put together his own NTF team and has been a player on numerous occasions.

Young piloted his Young Guns dragster to a 6.310-second pass at 137.86 mph in the Nostalgia Top Fuel Final. Young ran the final uncontested after Jim Murphy was unable to make repairs to his WW2 dragster to make the final round. A great weekend for a small team who decided to come west for one more shot at a 2017 win.

"We're really happy. We went to most of the races this year. We were number one qualifier and top speed at every event, we just weren't able to seal the deal," Young said. "We came out here with a goal to run a 5.50 and we missed that a little in the final, but we ended up winning the race, so we're real happy. I can't thank the crew enough, everybody, this is a group effort, right from the finances down to the brain trust involved here. We all make the decisions together and it's paying off."




No. 1 qualifier Bobby Cottrell took home the event Wally when he ran a 5.670-second pass at 253.61 mph in the Bardahl Bucky's Auto Service Center 1969 Camaro bettering Matt Bynum's 5.744 pass at 258.62.

"It was a busy weekend. We hurt some parts and we just, I mean, I'm so thankful for my crew," said Cottrell, who is from Whittier, Calif. and also clinched the Hot Rod Heritage 7.0 Pro championship. "They've worked their tails off. Every single round we had to change stuff. To get the win here in front of my family and my kids and stuff is pretty special. I'm happy."



Jim Murphy and his "best ever" WW2 Racing team set out at the March Meet to win the championship. Five races in 4 states later, here they stand, mission accomplished.

Coming into the final race of the season Murphy had a mere 7 points lead over Mendy Fry for the title. By beating Adam Sorokin in the rain delayed final from the Boise Night Fire Nationals on Saturday he increased his lead by another 20 points. This made the hill a little steeper for Fry and the High Speed Motorsports team, but not impossible.

Both Murphy and Fry won their first round of racing on Sunday as did Sorokin and Jim Young. This left the four best cars in the country to dictate the champion. If Sorokin beats Murphy and Fry beats Young, the title would go to the winner of the final. If Fry won she would be the champ. However, none of this happened.

In the semis, Murphy got the best of Sorokin again. Although Adam grabbed a hunk on the tree his 5.724 at 241.37 was not enough to keep Jim's 5.604 at 246.08 from running him down. Murphy's MOV: 0.0650 seconds (approximately 23 feet).

At that point is was over, we had a champion. However, on the run Murphy suffered an oil in and scraped the left guardwall, damaging the left front suspension and canard. Although they had another engine, Mushy and Leong decided to err on the the side of caution and not run the final. Jim had won the war, but lost this battle.

That still left Jim Young and Mendy Fry to see who would single for the event win. In another great drag race Young left first and needed it. His 5.653 at 261.78 held off Fry's quicker and faster 5.638 at 260.66. Young's MOV: 0.0240 seconds (approximately 9 feet). He would single for the win although we know he would have given Murphy one hell of a race.





Ryan Hodgson came into the race with the points lead and by advancing to the semi finals he secured the 2017 championship. In round 3 Ryan lost a close race to eventual event winner, Bobby Cottrell who ran a stellar 5.659 at 237.00 to better Ryan's off pace (for them) 5.882 at 243.37.





Bakersfield, CA - 10/23/17: The 26th edition of the California Hot Rod Reunion was billed as back to the way it used to be, and it was. After last years debacle the folks at the NHRA Motorsports Museum and those in Glendora made every effort to not only make the cacklecar group feel welcome, but the racers as well. From improvement in pit parking to Cacklefest push starts in front of the stands, those who did come back were rewarded with a smaller but on par show. Folks who passed this year are already planning to come back and give the event a second chance in 2018.

On the racing side, Jim Murphy and Ryan Hodgson captured NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championships this past weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway and the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of California. Joining the pair were Kin Bates, Don Enriquez and Bobby Cottrell who also locked up 2017 Heritage Series Championships.

Murphy, Santa Rosa, Calif., came into the weekend leading the points over Mendy Fry and Adam Sorokin in Nostalgia Top Fuel. He first won the postponed Firebird Raceway Nightfire Nationals final round on Saturday to extend his points lead. In Sunday's California Hot Rod Reunion eliminations he again beat out Sorokin in the semifinals to seal up his second championship. Fry of Los Angeles lost to event winner Jim Young in the semifinals to secure the number two spot in the championship.

Murphy finished the season with two wins in four final rounds taking wins in Bowling Green, Ky., and at the Nightfire in Boise, Idaho, along with final round finishes at the season opening March Meet and the California reunion to close out the year.

Hodgson, Sturgeon County, Alb. CAN., and former Nostalgia Funny Car Champion Jason Rupert entered the event one and two in Nostalgia Funny Car points. Rupert won the delayed Nightfire final to close the gap but due to 3 straight oil down penalties,failed to make the weekend's 16-car field ending his championship run. Hodgson secured the 2017 title with a pair of wins in three final rounds. He started the season with a win at Auto Club Famoso and the March Meet then won at Rocky Mountain Raceways outside Salt Lake City.

Bates out of Anderson, Calif., continued his run of championships as he beat out third generation driver Drew Austin in the A/Fuel final round and the final points standings. The pair battled all year with Bates taking home three wins to close out the season to Austin's one win at the season opener. Bates now tops the charts with nine NHRA Heritage Series Championships.

The Jr. Fuel Championship went to Mission Viejo, Calif., racer Don Enriquez who scored wins in Bakersfield along with a pair in Sacramento for his fourth championship. His three wins in five final round appearances amassed more than a 200 point lead on the rest of the field. Alan Hull finished in second with a pair of final round appearances.

Bobby Cottrell captured his third championship in the 7.0 Pro class along with the event win in the Nostalgia Funny Car class driving for Bucky Austin. The Whittier, Calif., racer started the year with a win in 7.0 Pro in Phoenix then another at the June event in Sacramento. Steve Faller and Richard High finished second and third as their championship chase ended in round one loses in Bakersfield.

The event was bittersweet as we lost popular AA.FA driver Brett Henry to a topend incident during the first qualifying session on Saturday. Brett Henry succumbed to his injuries Sunday night. He will be missed by fellow racers, business associates, friends and more so, family


*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.

For the full event story visit: 2017 CHRR at: NHRA Museum News




Funny Car Qualifying Session One

Friday, midday. Let the oil downs begin.


After a weather delayed start, Friday's program was off schedule by about 2 hours. Not something you want on "leakers day". If you are a gambler, you know that 7 to 1 odds is entering longshot country, but the odds that session one of funny car will be the longest of the weekend, are like 3 to 5. This was no exception. 6 oil downs accounting for well over an hour and a half of down time. The class needs to reel themselves in like Top Fuel did and develop much better containment systems. Jim Murphy's is a great place to start. All that said, let the games begin.


To open up the first session of Funny Car qualifying was James Day in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" and the sleeper from the Kalitta camp, Matt Bynum driving the Nitro Nick Camaro.










Neither car made a representative run with Day slowing to a 7.01 at just 115.36. Bynum clicked it about the same time to a 7.81 at 117.38.








Pair two featured Chris Davis from Spokane WA, in his '77 Arrow and Geoff Monise from Buena Park CA, in the VanGundy & Clark "Quarter Pounder" '77 Monza















Davis stopped the clocks with a 6.02 at 234.09 while Monise ran a quicker 5.92 at 225.52.









Pair three was Don Hudson from Atascadero CA, in the "Beachcomber" '77 Trans AM and Dan Horan Jr. from Sylmar CA, in his '69 Camaro.



















Horan went to the top with a 5.662 at 257.53. Hudson followed with a 5.91 at 238.81.






Next out was Steve Densham from Oceanside, CA, in the "Teachers Pet" '69 Camaro and Kris Krabill out of Tacoma WA, in the "Darkside" '77 Challenger.














Densham was done early while Krabill carded a decent 5.85 at 246.17.









After a topend clean up, the next pair was Cory Lee from Oceanside, CA, in the "Non-Compliant" '70 Challenger and Steve Easton out of Riverside, CA, in the "Burnin Money" '72 Barracuda.



Lee went into instant tire shake and clicked it.








If Easton looks like he's out of shape its because he was. Sliding in his own oil, Easton managed to get the car straight but left many quarts of synthetic oil in his wake. Massive oil down, one of six this session.









Shawn Bowen out from Goodrich MI. in the Bartone & Lebor '69 Camaro and Tim Nemeth down from Chilliwack B.C. driving his "Iceman Racing" '77 Firebird.















A great drag race with Bowen carding a 5.72 at 254.52 while Nemeth ran a bit quicker with a 5.71 at 247.25.








Next pair was Mike Halstead from Sonora CA, in the "Code Red" '78 Camaro and Rian Konno who hails from Rosemead CA,driving the Kazanjian-Lemon & Konno '73 Mustang.











Just past the tree Halstead experienced a wardrobe malfunction when the chute came out about 1300 feet to soon.








Konno's chute came out when it was supposed to after carding a 5.83 at 231.36.







Next pair pitted Bill Windham who resides in El Dorado Hills, CA, driving the "Shakedown" '69 Camaro. In the other lane was Danny Gerber from Orange, CA, in his beautiful "Wasn't Easy" '77 Firebird.


















Two clean runs with Windham stopping the clocks with a nice 5.760 at 238.13 which would put him the top 16. Gerber slowed to a 6.062 at 210.87.









Up next was Jon Capps in from Las Vegas, NV, in John Weaver's '77 Arrow and Shawn Van Horn from Paso Robles, CA, driving the slick "Cho Cho Mama" '77 Trans AM.




Capps got away cleanly while Van Horn had all kinds of issues.




Capps slowed to a 6.38 at 154,06 while Van Horn coasted to a 7.680 at 131.59 time card.








After another clean up it was the red hot rookie Bobby Cottrell out of Whittier, CA. in the Austin & O'Brien '69 Camaro and the vet Mark Sanders from Maple Valley, WA. in his "Mr Explosive" '70 Mustang.














Cottrell won the battle but lost the war as his stellar 5.62 at 241.89 was tossed for oil on the track. Sanders got a good baseline with his 5.77 at 238.17.





This puppy and all the rest of the safety crews arsenal of track cleaning equipment got a lot of use, especially on Friday. Kudos to Don Irvin and his team who rose to the occasions as needed. Fabulous job one and all.




Following yet another clean up it was local favorite Brad Thompson from near by Visalia, CA. "Jail Break" '69 Camaro. In the left lane was Mike Peck from Oceanside, CA. driving the "California Hustler" '78 Trans AM.












Peck scored with a 5.72 at 289.91 to Thompson's abbreviated 6.02 at 182.95.








Championship contender Jason Rupert from Yorba Linda, CA. in his Littlefield & Rupert '69 Camaro rolled through the waterbox for his burnout. Jeff Utterback in the Pisano & Matsubara '73 Vega could not fire so Jason had a single.










In what would prove to be a brutal weekend for team Rupert, Jason's 5.69 at 251.49 was disallowed for oiling the track.








WDIFL photog Arlene Eliason on assignment.




Following the track clean up from Rupert, it was Rick Rogers up from San Diego, CA. at the wheel of the Fighting Irish '74 Camaro. In the right lane it was Marc Meadors hailing from Alamo, CA. in his Fuel Curve '70 Camaro.















Rogers was done way early while Meadors carded a 5.78 at 238.17.









In what seemed to be an endless stream of floppers, up next was John Hale from Addison, TX. in his "One Bad Texan" '69 Camaro and Barrie "Bazz" Young all the way from Pleasant Prairie, WI. in his "Down Under Thunder" '69 Camaro










Hale squared the tires before the tree.








Young ran a sub par 6.126 at 235.76, Hale coasted through.









Choosing to run at the back of the pack was points leader Ryan Hodgson from Edmonton, AB. driving the "Pacemaker" '69 Camaro. In the opposite lane was Rob Markworth from Fullerton, CA. driving the "War Horse" '73 Mustang.










Hodgson carded a nice 5.688 at 249.90 while Markworth carded an off pace 6.05 at 239.23.







Two hours and thirty minutes from the first pair, a very sticky session one of FC was finally over.




Funny Car Qualifying, Session 1

Top Fuel & AA/FA Qualifying, Session 1

Funny Car Qualifying, Session 2

Top Fuel & AA/FA, Session 2

Funny Car Qualifying, Session 3

Top Fuel & AA/FA Qualifying Session 3

Funny Car & Top Fuel Round 1

Funny Car Round 2

Top Fuel & Funny Car Semis

All Finals & Winners Circle

Other Cars

NEW 11.23.17   2017 CHRR Cacklefest Coverage  4 pages




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