(Photographs by Dyan Lover and Darr Hawthorne) – Final weekend’s 27th California Sizzling Rod Reunion completed up competitors at Auto Membership Famoso Raceway, crowning not solely occasion winners but additionally many NHRA Heritage Collection champions.
Mendy Fry, who has pushed a large number of nitro-powered humorous automobiles and prime fuelers, piloted her Excessive Pace Motorsports dragster to victory with an superior 5.610-second elapsed time cross at 259.36 miles per hour within the High Gas ultimate taking out Rick McGee who ran a 5.749 ET at 256.50 mph.
Fry was the primary qualifier for the weekend and achieved the low ET for the occasion within the semi-finals with a 5.550 ET. Her High Gas victory at Famoso marked a three-peat season clincher for Fry and the staff after successive wins the Nationwide Sizzling Rod Reunion in Bowling Inexperienced and Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Boise’s Firebird Raceway.
“To win the 2018 NHRA Sizzling Rod Heritage Collection championship and the California Sizzling Rod Reunion – I’d name good day on the races,” mentioned Fry. “We misplaced just one spherical of racing this 12 months, ran the desk on Low ET and High Pace at each occasion aside from High Pace on the Nationwide Sizzling Rod Reunion. I’d say (proprietor) Tom Shelar and the crew have it dialed in. My staff gave me the automotive to beat, and I didn’t screw it up. So this win is theirs. I’m simply glad they picked Me.,” mentioned Mendy.
Jason Rupert and his “Rolling Thunder” Nitro Humorous Automotive took dwelling the Wally when he ran a 5.634 ET cross at 259.51 mph in his Rupert & Littlefield 1969 Camaro bettering Rian Konno’s 5.855 cross at 241.84, within the Kazanjian Lemon & Konno Mustang for the ultimate spherical victory.
“The automotive ran so good final evening (within the first spherical of eliminations), I hoped this could occur,” mentioned Rupert. “I am going to each race with the intention of successful however everybody else does too. We had loads of bizarre stuff occurs within the pits however my guys persevered. They do a terrific job.” Though plans are nonetheless up within the air, Rupert lately bought the late Steve Plueger’s Mello Yello Collection humorous automotive operation, waiting for the 2019 season.
Rupert received the occasion, however the season-long Heritage Collection Championship was dominated by journeyman Bobby Cottrell, driving the “Northwest Hitter” nitro humorous automotive owned by Bucky Austin and Mike O’Brien. Earlier the Austin & O’Brien staff additionally received the inaugural Good Vibrations United Nitro Humorous Automotive Collection Championship as nicely, all whole, the staff received eight of 11 occasions over the 2018 season.
The Whittier, California race store proprietor mentioned of his staff’s season, “I’m ready for any person to slap me upside the top, the chance to drive this humorous automotive is a dream come true… and driving for Bucky Austin is unreal!” In anticipation of the 2019 season, which begins with the Good Vibrations March Meet at Famoso, Bobby added, “Is it March but?”
For humorous automotive rookie Billy Morris, he had the chance to maneuver over from 300-foot prime gasoline racing on sand to wheel former boat racer Eddie Knox’s “Downside Youngster” Camaro. Morris was additionally awarded the inaugural Legends of Nitro Rookie of the Yr over drivers Nancy Matter and Lyle Greenberg.
Low elapsed time qualifier went to Stephen Densham driving for his father Gary with a 5.679 clocking. Sadly, Densham was the sufferer of a purple mild loss within the first spherical Saturday evening.
Second technology driver Drew Austin, within the household’s Austin & Dinsmore A/Gas Dragster doubled up as nicely, successful the Reunion and the Heritage Collection Championship along with his grandpa Walt’s Ford Hemi. Drew ran the desk qualifying #1 with low ET of the meet at an epic 5.850 and prime velocity for A/Gas at 233.88 miles per hour. In keeping with pops Pat Austin, their aim, going into this season, was to win the Championship of their final season earlier than making the leap over to the nitro humorous automotive class with a Ford-powered ’70 Camaro.
Austin mentioned of his weekend, “What a approach to cap the season off, with a win within the race and successful the Championship all within the ultimate spherical! My dad had the automotive dialed all weekend working 5.80’s and 90’s, low ET of each spherical and qualifying primary. I’m past blessed and joyful to have carried out this with my household and buddies that supported this staff all weekend!”
Different occasion winners included Brian Hope in AA/Gas Altered, driving the massive block Chevy-powered “Rat Entice” ’32 Bantam over Rodney Flournoy driving “Godzilla” ’23 Ford (under).
John Marottek in Junior Gas, Steve Faller in 7.zero Professional, Bernie Plourd in Nostalgia Eliminator 1, Robert Johnson in Nostalgia Eliminator 2, Lindsey Lister in Nostalgia Eliminator three, Brian Rogers in A / Fuel, Val Miller in B / Fuel, Invoice Becker in C / Fuel, Invoice Norton in D / Fuel, Scott White in AA / Fuel,
Roger Holder ’17 Camaro defeated Ed Thornton’s ’70 Camaro in Professional Mod.
Jack Goodrich in his altered wheelbase ’64 Plymouth Belvedere received within the A/FX class over Ken Moreland’s ’66 Chevelle.
Alex George wheeled the newly completed duplicate of Hedman Headers founder Kenny Headman’s Ford Maverick to a win in Sizzling Rod.
Mike Boyd made one other one in every of his spectacular runs within the fames “Winged Specific” gasoline altered.
To recap, the 2018 NHRA Sizzling Rod Heritage Collection champions are Mendy Fry in High Gas, Bobby Cottrell in Humorous Automotive, Drew Austin in A / Gas, John Marottek in Jr. Gas, Dustin Lee in Nostalgia Eliminator 1, Robert Johnson in Nostalgia Eliminator 2, Ed DeStaute in Nostalgia Eliminator three, Frank Merenda in A / Fuel, Kevin Riley in B / Fuel, Chris Rea in C / Fuel, Ed Carey in D / Fuel, and Dale Hicks in Sizzling Rod.
Brad Denny received the Heritage Collection Championship in 7.zero Professional
Right here’s the primary of our Galleries from the 27th California Sizzling Rod Reunion!
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