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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
*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
Car Qualifying Session One
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"
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.
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
Shawn Bowen out
from Goodrich MI. in the Bartone & Lebor '69 Camaro and Tim
Nemeth down from Chilliwack B.C. driving his "Iceman Racing"
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
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"
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
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.
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
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
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"
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
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