Canada’s uber talented Hodgson & Papirnick Racing Team are well positioned to win a season championship….

The Edmonton-based race operation, who are arguably Canada’s most formidable nostalgia nitro Funny Car racers, were victorious last weekend during the NHRA’s most recent Hot Rod Heritage Series event – held at Salt Lake City Utah’s Rocky Mountain Raceway.

At that event, by winning, driver Ryan Hodgson managed to move back to the top of the season standings now ahead of Jason Rupert, who lost during round one of eliminations for Salt Lake’s Summer Sendoff feature.

Ryan prevailed over an 8-car field. After qualifying #3 (at 6.137 secs) Ryan took out opponents Steve Easton and Mike Peck to advance to the championship round versus Bobby Cottrell, the driver of Bucky Austin’s equally torrid Chevy Camaro, which had qualified #1 (@ 6.032 secs).

But in a surprising development Cottrell (who is new to Bucky’s team this season) went .077 red in the final – and that allowed Ryan to skip to an uncontested 6.154 secs at 229.70 mph for the victory.

Ryan Hodgson is in serious running and controls his own destiny for the NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage Series 2017 Championship

“During the weekend it felt like we were splitting hairs,” said Ryan post race. “It seemed if we gave it too much power or too much clutch — we got ourselves in trouble. So the team sat down as a group and had a very long conversation and we set things right. I cannot say enough about the people that work with us and the support our team has – I feel blessed.”

This win for Ryan’s team does set up both some serious high drama and also a unique possibility.

The NHRA sub circuit’s much anticipated season finale (coming Oct. 20-22nd) during the California Hot Rod Reunion at Bakersfield, will decide the overall 2017 Championship title. That race will also include a re-scheduled final round from Boise Idaho’s rained-out Pepsi Night Fire Nationals race (which Ryan will participate in). So should he win that event and go on to then win the California Hot Rod Reunion on Sunday – that end result could give him three titles in one weekend!

And it should be noted that living legend team tuner Bob Papirnick has won at Bakersfield 3X in his career and that Ryan himself has also won twice there as a driver (2015 CHRR and earlier this year at the 2017 March Meet).

Alberta fans should also take note that they will have a opportunity to see the Hodgson & Papirnick team in action locally first as they are scheduled to be at Castrol Raceway for another re-scheduled event this coming Labour Day weekend. They will race in the conclusion of the Castrol Raceway’s Rocky Mountain Nationals, which rained out on July 16th.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler