NHRA Heritage Series
GLENDORA, CA – Bobby Cottrell, Drew Austin and John Marottek each claimed 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championships this past weekend at the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The three joined Mendy Fry who had already locked up her championship, along with nine other racers to clinch championships at the season ending event.
Cottrell had all but clinched the Nostalgia Funny Car championship coming into the weekend, then did so by qualifying for the 16-car funny car field. The Whittier, Calif., racer, driving for Bucky Austin, won three events this year on his way to the title. Cottrell fell to event winner Jason Rupert in the semifinals as Rupert went on to beat out Rian Konno in the Funny Car final with the quickest funny car run of the event at 5.634 seconds.
Drew Austin and Marottek not only clinched championships in A/Fuel and Jr. Fuel respectively, but they won the event as did Fry in Nostalgia Top Fuel. Austin beat Wayne Ramay in the A/Fuel final which moved him ahead of Kin Bates for the championship. The two have been locked in a battle all season. Marottek clinch early in the weekend, then beat out Don Enriquez in the final posting a 6.997, 155.96 mph victory lap for his third win of the year.
The third race this year for Groups 1 and 2 of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series was hosted at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park May 5 – 6. The weather really tested the mettle and stamina of the racers with temperatures in the triple digits. The track’s starting line crew did a terrific job providing a racing surface that was both fair and safe for the drivers. Despite the heat from that fireball in the sky, the competitors did not seem to be fazed by it and put on a thrilling show with plenty of close races in every class.
In Nostalgia A/Fuel Dragster, Drew Austin and his team made the long tow from Tacoma, Wash., worthwhile with their win. Points leader Kin Bates had the performance edge in qualifying, but it was the Walt Austin Racing horsepower that dominated on Sunday. Austin recorded the only 5-second run (5.990) of the weekend in E1 and his 6.050 in the final round was enough to defeat Rick Ewens’ 6.380. Points leader Kin Bates led qualifying with a 6.006 and recorded top speed at 230.49, but came perilously close to the wall in E2 and had to slow to a 6.824 in a loss to Ewens.
Jr. Fuel Dragster turned into a real duel between No. 1 qualifier John Marottek and No. 2 Kevin Carter. Right on script, the two performance leaders met in the final round. Carter got out first with Marottek in hot pursuit. At the stripe, Kevin’s 6.989/187.68 was just enough to hold off Marottek’s 6.940/159.12 by a MOV of .008! The Wally in 7.0 Pro went to Lake Havasu City’s Richard High. Crew chief Terry Caldwell had the dragster purring on Sunday taking out points leader Brad Denney in E1 and the ever-tough Ed Middlebrook in E2. In the final round against Derrick Moreira, the quick-leaving High’s starting line advantage (.184) was enough to leave Derrick’s late, hard charge and better ET, 7.083 to 7.027, for naught.
Arend led qualifying with a 5.68-255.77 (which stood for low e.t. and top speed of the event at the high altitude facility). The balance of the field included: Mark Sanders (5.77), Shawn Bowen (5.78), Bobby Cottrell (5.81), Tim Boychuk (5.93), Scott Stanger (6.04), Garth Widdison (6.59) and Jon Rice (7.16).
In round one, Sanders pounded Widdison with a 5.85, Bowen flew to a 5.78 over Stanger who had his parachute deploy early, Arend cruised to a 5.72 over Rice (6.37) and Cottrell ran 5.80 to beat Boychuk.
Bowen then dispensed of Sanders with a 5.89 when “Mr. Explosive” redlit, while Arend nailed low e.t. of eliminations with a 5.70 pounding of an up in smoke Cottrell.
Boise, ID – The oldest major event in the Pacific Northwest, the NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor Opener presented by Peterson Chevrolet returns to western Idaho over the May 4-6 weekend. Continuously since 1971, the track’s first major event has been a fixture on the Firebird track schedule. The first champion was Don “the Snake” Prudhomme.
Taking place in the northwest foothills above Idaho’s capital city of Boise, nearly 400 racers are anticipated for the opening stop in the Division 6 Lucas Oil Drag Race Series.
The Ignitor will also mark the second stop in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series in what is recognized as the Stinker Stores Nitro Knockout for the AA/Funny Car class.
Racers pre-entered into this year’s Nitro Opener include the #1 car in the national standings – Bobby Cottrell driving the “Northwest Hitter” Camaro of Austin & O’Brien. Prime challengers will include the likes of “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders, Shawn Bowen at the wheel of Michael Bartone’s New-York based team, the “Happy Hour” of Tim Boychuk, Jeff Arend driving the Don Nelson “California Hustler, Chris Davis, Scott Stanger and Jon Rice.
This will be the forth stop on the Heritage series tour, and will feature some of the best nostalgia drag racers from around the country as they compete for over $20,000 in cash and prizes. Categories include A/Fuel, Jr. Fuel, 7.0 Pro, Nostalgia Eliminator 1-2-3, A-B-C-D/Gas, and Hot Rod.
Along with this exciting event, Wild Horse Pass will also be running a Team Summit race on Saturday afternoon and into the evening, featuring not only the best of our local bracket racers in Sportsman, Pro, Super Pro, and Motorcycle categories, but also giving the opportunity for the Heritage Series racers to try and win a little extra cash!
SACRAMENTO – Kin Bates, Dan Schrokosch and Ed DeStaute each snagged their second win of the year this past weekend at the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Reunion – Funny Car Fever event at Sacramento Raceway.
Bates, Anderson, Calif., qualified No. 1, then took out Sabrina Kumre and Dennis Allen to take home the trophy in his A/Fuel nostalgia dragster. Bates beat out Kumre in round one, then laid down a 5.983 second, 236.22 mph lap for the win over Allen in the final. Allen crossed the line in 6.194 at 225 mph for his runner up finish.
It was Schrokosch in Nostalgia Eliminator I taking home his second win in as many races coming off a season opening win in Bakersfield last month. The San Marcos, Calif., racer beat out Sabrina Pekora of Sonoma, Calif., running 7.927 at 138.54 while DeStaute ended Wes Anderson’s day in the final of NE III. Anderson, La Mirada, Calif., qualified No. 1 but DeStaute took the starting line advantage and held on for the win in 9.646 seconds at 126.90 mph.
There is a drag strip on Famoso Rd., Kern County, California that has been hosting the Good Vibrations March Meet presented by Lucas Oil for sixty years. Originally, the one square mile patch of asphalt surrounded by grape vines and fruit trees, was called the Famosa Drags. Under the auspices of the Smokers Club of Bakersfield, the 1959 U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships set in motion and established a drag race that has endured for decades and remains the destination as the best nostalgia drag race in the country.
The nitro classes are the bedrock of this classic event, and now boast five categories with the addition of 5.90 Funny Car and Rear Engine Top Fuel Dragster. The 16-car open Funny Car attracted 25 entries paced by 2017 CHRR winner Bobby Cottrell driving the Austin-O’Brien ’69 Camaro with a 5.650. To say this team dominated the class would be an understatement. In addition to being #1 qualifier, Cottrell set low ET at 5.588, and in the final round, beat Ryan Hodgson the 2017 Heritage Racing Series champion. Norco, CA’s, Dean Oberg won the 5.90 Funny Car class behind the wheel of the “Holy Toledo” ’67 Jeep.