Canada’s most formidable nostalgia nitro Funny Car class racers have again upped the anti …..
The dynamic Edmonton-based Hodgson & Papirnick racing team, which features driver Ryan Hodgson as well as tuning guru Bob Papirnick, have sent some more serious shockwaves through their class category following last weekend’s infamous March Meet held at Bakersfield CA.
Racing their cutting edge and Victory Race Cars built 1969 Camaro and now bolstered by both a slick new look and additional sponsorship dedication – this team prevailed to win in impressive fashion during the 2017 annual classic event.
Ryan and his team prevailed over a very spirited and competitive Nostalgia Funny Car category, and with that continued their team’s propensity for success at the fabled Auto Club Famoso Raceway facility.
After qualifying fifth (@ 5.662 secs) for the 16-car field that attracted 27 entries overall, Ryan first rolled through three consecutive round wins to advance to the championship final round. That included decisions over opponents Danny Gerber, Dan Horan and the event’s low qualifier, Mike McIntire. Ryan’s 2nd round decision over Horan was historical – being the quickest side-by-side match in class history – a decision which he won with a holeshot at 5.678 to 5.672 secs.
Those round successes earned him a final round date with Pacific Northwest powerhouse Kris Krabill, who was an obvious pre-event favourite. Kris (who is from Washington state) is the defending NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Funny Car champion and also is who Ryan finished 2nd to in final points last season.
But that final round confrontation — which was in fact deferred until Monday afternoon because of rain storms on Sunday — proved to be more exciting then most anyone expected.
After a pretty even start – Ryan did earn the victory recording a winning 5.609 secs at 259.91 mph – but it was Krabill who grabbed the attention when his all new Austin & O’Brien Chevy Camaro erupted into flames at about the 900 foot mark. Krabill rode out that very intense and long burning fire – but thankfully ultimately escaped injury following some fast arrival of track safety personale.
Immediately following his win light coming on – and despite all the adrenaline from that – Ryan’s first concern was for his fellow racer in the other lane.
“I knew the car was running well because it felt real good during it’s burn out,” said Ryan. “I also knew I had to make zero mistakes racing Krabill. We left the line and I never saw him. Then I pulled the chutes and he still never showed up. I instantly was concerned so I got my car stopped as quick as I could and jumped out. I saw he was on fire so I started running to his car as fast as I could. I was wearing my suit and wanted to waste no time to try to help him. But the fire truck did beat me to him and when I finally got there he was out of the car and OK – and that was a big relief. Wow – what a finish!”
Following some cool down time – Ryan was able to then reflect on his team’s event accomplishment.
“After a while it began to sink in that we had just won March Meet!, “ he continued. “Our car ran great every pass and I really never saw a car in the other lane all weekend — to me it was almost like I was just doing single passes. I may very well have the best crew on the planet — thank you Team Pacemaker and thank you God for looking over all of us (and especially Kris).”
Ryan confirmed too that the win was also a testament and credit to his valued sponsors that support him including: Oceanus Resources Corporation, Ron Hodgson Chevrolet Buick, Yeti Snow MX, NAPA, Castrol Canada and Ace Racing.
This win was also yet another big feather in the cap for wily Bob Papirnick who is a Canadian racing tuner of legendary stature based from Vancouver. Bob has now guided the Hodgson-Papirnick Racing team to three major Bakersfield event titles; including with driver Tim Boychuk (March Meet 2013) and also in 2015 when Ryan won the California Hot Rod Reunion event – as a rookie driver.
“It’s pretty incredible for Ryan to win two of the most prestigious races for Nostalgia FC – already,” said Bob. “At this race we had a hard running and consistent car the entire weekend. Our talented crew worked extremely hard — and I am happy for them to be rewarded with this big win.”
Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Marc Gewertz and courtesy of Chris Graves (www.maxcacklephotos.com)