NHRA’s thriving and popular co-production Hot Rod Heritage Series presented it’s highly entertaining California Hot Rod Reunion event recently…..

The 26th annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California wrapped up the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage series season (on Oct. 22nd) at Auto Club Famoso Raceway – located just north of Bakersfield CA

Jim Young piloted his Bay-area and Champion Speed Shop-sponsored “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 after collecting the guard wall on the top end while winning in the semi final round.

Top Fuel winner – Jim Young

“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.”

Despite the runner-up finish, Murphy was crowned the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel world champion by winning in the semifinals.


Jim Murphy went for this wild ride right after winning his  title-clinching semi final round!

Nostalgia Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Bobby Cottrell took home the event Wally when he ran a 5.670-second pass at 253.61 mph in his 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.”

Bobby Cottrell qualified #1 and ran low ET of the event while winning the AA/FC class title during the CHRR

Other winners of the event included Nick Davies (from England) in AA/Fuel Altered, Kin Bates in A/Fuel, John Marottek in Jr. Fuel, Pete Peterson in 7.0 Pro, Lloyd Harder (from Canada) in Nostalgia Elimination 1, Terry Newton in A/ Gas, Jeremy Hanger in Pro Mod, Gary Reiner in AA/Gas, Bob Moreland in A/FX and Bob Tingler in Super stock.

Nick Davies (from Great Britain) won the AA/FA class feature.

Lloyd Harder (far lane) who is from Saskatchewan won a hard fought NE1 eliminator — defeating Pete Krona in the final round.

The Pro Mod class winner was Jeremy Hanger racing local legend Kirk Kuhns’ Corvette.

Kin Bates ran record quick and fast times while winning both the event and Hot Rod Heritage Series season championship for A/FD

The A/G class winner was Terry Newton in the great looking McClure Racing Studebaker.

NHRA Hot Rod Heritage champions crowned at the event included Murphy in Nostalgia Top Fuel, Western Canadian Ryan Hodgson* in Nostalgia Funny Car, Bates in A/Fuel, Don Enriquez in Jr. Fuel and Cottrell in 7.0 Pro.

(*Editors Note: Click HERE for more details on Ryan Hodgson’s championship win!)

All of the positive and exciting event festivities were however tempered by a very consequential incident involving AA/FA class driver Brent Henry during the first round of qualifying on Friday.

Henry, of Wichita, KS had the throttle inexplicably re-engage after crossing the finish line and his car ran off the end of the race track at very high speed. He was transported to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, but regrettably succumbed to his injuries. Brent was 50 years old. Everyone at DragRaceCanada offers it’s thoughts to the family, friends and teammates of Brent Henry.

To view DragRaceCanada’s very extensive photo gallery from this event link to our LoudMusicLoudCars gallery media co-production presentation >>  HERE

Posted with files by Sara Slaughter and Bruce Biegler
All photos by Bruce Biegler