Volume X, Issue 9, Page 4

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 16, 08 | 11:26 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

We neglected to include the A/Fuel final results in our coverage of the California Hot Rod Reunion.  Dr. Kin Bates (shown) of Anderson, CA, drove his dragster to a (0.144) 6.232/226.30 MPH win over number-one qualifier Bill Wayne of Bullhead City, AZ, who turned in a (0.005) 6.568/213.11 MPH.

Bates, whose low-slung dragster chassis and body was fabricated by Dave Tuttle, had both Low ET and Top Speed for the class at 6.232 seconds and 226.92 MPH. Bates also became the first NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series A/Fuel Champion by winning the last round at the last race of the season over the only guy with a chance to catch him.

CHRR XVII Top Fuel

Oct 14, 08 | 11:06 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

In the Top Fuel final Rick White from San Diego defeated Brett Harris, whose car was shut off on the starting line giving White the Hot Rod Reunion trophy. White’s winning time was 5.819 ET 255.89 MPH and in the semi’s Harris set low ET of the meet at 5.696 seconds with a top speed of 261.02 MPH.

For White, it was the first time he’d won the Reunion in Top Fuel. “We had the perfect car for the weekend. It ran consistently strong.”

CHRR XVII AA/FC Consolation

Oct 14, 08 | 10:50 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Leah LeDuc in the “Plueger & Gyger” Mustang made a single in the Funny Car Consolation race with a hard charging 5.832/239.17 MPH.  Pruett’s final round competitor was Terry Capp in the “Bubble-up” funny car who failed to show.

CHRR XVII AA/Gas Supercharged

Oct 14, 08 | 10:29 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Jirka Kaplan from Calgary Alberta, Canada dominated once again with his beautiful ‘63 Vette running 6.624/207.18 MPH in the final round match with Mike Leonard’s 6.727/203.98 MPH pass driving his ‘69 Chevelle.  Kaplan set low ET of 6.390 seconds and a Top Speed of 216.50 MPH in his Bearspaw Petroleum-sponsored AA/GS racecar.

CHRR XVII Jr. Fuel A

Oct 14, 08 | 10:19 am

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James Drew photo

Scott Parks from Burlingame, KS in the near lane runs 6.838/194.59 MPH in his final round match winning over JD Zink’s 6.964/191.81 MPH. Parks 6.838 was low ET and also ran the Top Speed at 194.72 MPH.

CHRR XVII Jr. Fuel B

Oct 14, 08 | 9:59 am

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James Drew photo

Veteran Don Enriquez in the near lane ran a 7.138/186.87 MPH in the final round of Jr. Fuel B to defeat Fred Notzka’s 7.184/179.89 MPH.  The winner’s engines are built by Bob McKray builds for co-owner Mike Algire from New Mexico

CHRR XVII A/Gas Eliminator

Oct 14, 08 | 9:36 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Jimmy White won on a hole shot in the final round of A/Gas running a 7.731 in his ‘63 split window Corvette over Chris Beanes’ 7.712 ‘51 Henry J.

CHRR XVII Nostalgia Eliminator 1

Oct 14, 08 | 9:31 am

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James Drew photo

Rick High from Lake Havasu City, AZ in the far lane ran a 7.656 to defeat Bobby Runyon’s under index 7.569 in the final round of Nostalgia Eliminator 1.

CHRR XVII A/FX Final

Oct 14, 08 | 9:06 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

In the A/FX class Phil Featherston and his original ‘64 Ford Thunderbolt won at the green light as opponent Steve Whitemore drew a red light foul start. Featherston ran 10.256 ET on his 10.00 dial in.

CHRR XVII Sunday Top fuel

Oct 14, 08 | 8:59 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

High Speed Motorsports Team with Crew Chief Brett Johansen, Tom Shelar and the rest of the team!  “I’m proud to win the first Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel title,” said driver Troy Green. We lost the battle (the Hot Rod Reunion race) but won the war. I’m tickled to death.”

Pour the bubbly!

CHRR XVII Sunday Top fuel

Oct 14, 08 | 8:49 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

In the Top Fuel semi’s Rick White ran another solid 5.770/253.95 MPH, his best run of the weekend to defeat the newly crowned Hot Rod Heritage Series Champion Troy Green’s off pace 6.036/203.57 MPH run eating up pistons going into the lights.

White will meet Brett Harris in the final, with Harris having lane choice.

CHRR XVII Sunday Top fuel

Oct 14, 08 | 8:39 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Brett Harris and the Utah Posse saved their best for the semi’s against Jim Murphy in the WW2 Top Fuel Dragster.  Harris was on his game too when he left on a 0.079 light to Murphy’s 0.103 and Harris went on to set low ET with a killer 5.696/260.56 MPH run defeating Murphy who ran a 5.810/258.99 MPH.  With the loss on the track, Murphy also lost his shot at the Championship - handing it to Troy Green.

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 13, 08 | 4:13 pm

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James Drew photo

Driver Bucky Austin shares the trophy and ear-to-ear smiles with owner of the event winning “Northwest Hitter” Plymouth Arrow - Steve Plueger (right). 

Austin hit the “daily double” in Nitro Funny Car by clinching the Hot Rod Heritage Series title and winning the California Hot Rod Reunion race in the Sunday-only Chicago-style shootout. In the final round Bucky’s 5.749 ET 244.03 MPH low ET of the meet defeated Krabill who slowed to a 5.942 ET 245.83 MPH.

“I really feel fortunate to have such a great crew,” said Austin. “They did their homework and had a great game plan – all I did was drive.” Austin gave props to Krabill as well. “I’ve known him since he was a little kid.  He’s a scary-good driver. I was fortunate to beat him.”

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 13, 08 | 3:53 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

In the final round of the Chicago-style shootout, Kris Krabill had a hole-shot starting line advantage on Bucky Austin, but by 300 feet Bucky had regained the lead powering on to a 5.749/244.03 charge to Krabill’s 5.942/245.83.  With the California Hot Rod Reunion event win Bucky Austin also clinches the first NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Funny Car Championship.

Leah LeDuc in the “Plueger & Gyger” Mustang made a single in the Funny Car Consolation race with a hard charging 5.832/239.17 MPH.  Competitor Terry Capp with the “Bubble-up” funny car failed to show for the final.

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 13, 08 | 3:47 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Crew Chief Cory Lee makes the final adjustments to Kris Krabill’s ride before running 5.847/242.00… second quickest of the second round to meet Bucky Austin in the final.  If Austin wins the event, he’ll win the Hot Rod Heritage Series Championship.

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 13, 08 | 3:41 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

In the second qualifying round Mike Halstead slowed to a 7.415 ET from his first round 6.021/239.93 run, putting the Dodge Daytona well out of the finals.

Nitro Funny Car Standings after second round of qualifying:

1. Bucky Austin 5.794/243.70
2. Kris Krabill 5.847/242.00

------------ Not Qualified ------------

3. Terry Capp 5.872/248.34
4. Leah Pruett 5.901/238.85
5. Stephan Romanazzi 5.947/239.36
6. Mark Sanders 6.010/239.55
7. Mike Halstead 7.415/132.91

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 13, 08 | 3:09 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Nitro Funny Car Standings after one round of qualifying.

1. Bucky Austin 5.805/244.03
2. Kris Krabill 5.894/245.56
3. Mike Halstead 6.021/239.93
4. Leah LeDuc 6.064/233.58
5. James Day 6.082/233.40
6. Terry Capp 6.220/240.57
7. Stephen Romanazzi 6.323/234.49
8. Jack Wright 6.345/218.23

------------ Not Qualified ------------

9.  Mark Sanders 6.353/234.19
10. Bob Godfrey 6.41/198.76
11. Jeff Bennett 6.464/224.32
12. James Generalao 6.467/220.26
13. Nate Bugg 6.536/215.36
14. Dennis La Charite 6.941/179.21
15. Dan Horan Jr 8.782/104.59
16. Rian Konno 8.877/108.39
17. Dale Pulde 9.413/89.42
18. Lee Paul Jennings Jr. 11.975/59.09
19. Ed Schwartz 12.163/81.51
20. Mendy Fry16.431/56.62

Crew Chief Jake Sanders (right) readies the “Mr. Explosive” Nova for his father Mark after their funny car was inserted into the second round of AA/FC when James Day in the “Holy Toledo” Jeepster could not make the call for the Chicago-style Shootout final eight due to engine damage.

Sanders improved in the second round with a strong 6.010/239.55 pass.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 1:31 pm

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James Drew photo

James Day (near lane) cranked off a career best for Ron & Ed Lenarth’s “Holy Toledo” Jeepster topless funny car with a 6.082 ET at 233.40 MPH damaging a few pistons on the pass in the first round.  Day made it into the elite eight, but was unable to return for the second round, leaving the door open for first-alternate “Mr. Excitement” Mark Sanders to fill in.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 9:44 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

"Northwest Hitter” Bucky Austin pushed Kris Krabill out of the way with his 5.805/244.03 MPH charge to lead all qualifiers of the opening round.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 9:38 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Canadian Terry Capp ran 6.220/240.57 MPH in Ron Hodgson’s “Bubble-up” ‘77 Firebird with a Roland Leong tune-up.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 9:27 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Former drag boat racer Jack Wright in his “Joker” Dodge Challenger funny car nailed the last space in the 8-car short list with his 6.345/218.23 MPH pass.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 9:14 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Crew Chief Donnie Couch had “McCain’s Bomb Squad” hopped-up with too much power as driver Mendy Fry blew the tires off at the hit of the throttle. The team would come back later to make a 3/4 track check-out pass finding an intermittent magneto problem.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 8:54 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Kris Krabill who drove Gary Turner’s funny car to a recent win at Boise’s Nightfire Nationals, makes the first funny car pass in the five-second zone with this wheels-up 5.894/245.56 MPH run. 

Crew Chief Cory Lee has had this hot rod running as one of the most consistent funnies of this year and newly married driver Krabill has been doing his job on virtually every pass.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 8:43 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Dennis LaCharite piloted his cool GTO Judge to a 6.941/179.21 after pedaling twice in the one-shot Sunday qualifying session.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 8:35 am

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Michelle Reed backs up Bob Godfrey in his “Burnin’ Money” ‘69 Camaro funny car.  Godfrey ended up running 6.411/198.76 MPH landing just outside the elite eight.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 13, 08 | 8:18 am

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Jeff Bennett in “Pure Heaven IV” had some tire shake but he pedaled the family’s ‘69 Camaro flopper to a good recovery, running 6.464/224.32 MPH, missing the tight field in the 11th qualifying slot. 

Usually working hard on the racecar is Chris Bennett who is currently on active duty overseas in Iraq with the Air Force, but owner and driver of the original Pure Heaven Fuel Altered Leon Fitzgerald was on hand for guidance along with consultant “Famous Amos” Satterlee.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 6:09 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Leah LeDuc made it into the elite eight with her 6.064 in Steve Plueger’s “Plueger & Gyger” Mustang on the first pass.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 6:04 pm

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Going into this event Steve Romanazzi was the leader in funny car points and made it into the final eight qualifiers for the Chicago Style Shootout falling into the eight position 6.323/234.49.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 5:59 pm

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"Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders from Maple Valley, Washington owns and drives this Hemi-powered ‘70 Chevy Nova.  At the end of the first round of qualifying he was #9, first-alternate with an on and off the throttle 6.353/234.19 charge.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 5:52 pm

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Rian Konno in George Doty’s “Crazy Horse” Hot Wheels Mustang exploded the supercharger at about 800 feet blowing the burst panel over the right side guardwall, failing to qualify for the eight-car Chicago-style show.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 5:45 pm

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Dan Horan Jr. launched hard his ‘66 Mustang funny car shutting off with traction issues at mid-track.

CHRR XVII Sunday AA/FC

Oct 12, 08 | 5:42 pm

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Ed Schwarz in the “Beach City Chevrolet” Corvette gets crossed-up leaving the line in the first round of Nitro Funny Car shutting off at mid-track.

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 12, 08 | 9:35 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

Finally at 11AM on Sunday the Nitro Funny Cars get a shot at their game, sadly the twenty floppers on the ground at Famoso will only have one shot at a Chicago-style shootout rather than an elimination ladder as in Top Fuel.  Some of the quickest and fastest nostalgia funnies in the country will vie for the Hot Rod Heritage trophy and decide the first Series Champ. 

The points chase is lead by Steve Romanazzi and his stout “Warrior” Firebird followed by “Northwest Hitter” Bucky Austin in Steve Plueger’s hot rod.  Sitting in the third position is Mendy Fry making her first competition laps in “McCain’s Bomb Squad” Plymouth Duster, a first class ride tuned by Donnie Couch and at this event has been consulting with nitro legend Dale Emery. 

Leah LeDuc is filling in the seat of the Plueger & Gyger Mustang in place of Mike Grekul.

Pictured is the “Lil Nate” Cuda, winner of the Las Vegas Speed Spectacular is also ready to make a statement and move up in the standings as well.  “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders has been testing at Mission Raceway finding a fuel system problem that had kept them out of the consistent 5-second zone.  Son and Crew Chief Jake Sanders rigged a digital camera system during testing that found the intermittent throttle issue.

I have my favorite, but with so many strong cars here it is very hard to pick a winner in this field.  Let the games begin at 11:00!

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 12, 08 | 9:29 am

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Darr Hawthorne photo

The competition is serious, but the guys at Gruzen Racing have the right idea about having fun as Sunday Eliminations in the sportsman ranks begin.

CHRR XVII Sunday Eliminations

Oct 12, 08 | 8:57 am

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Tim Marshall photo

Troy Green (pictured) and Jim Murphy have been fighting it out all weekend at the seventeenth California Hot Rod Reunion for the Top Fuel title as they traded positions at the top of the charts.  Both drivers qualified on opposite sides of the eliminations ladder and both won their first round matches on Saturday evening without injured Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel point leader Brad Thompson in the mix. 

Jim Murphy in the WW2 dragster is merely four point behind Green for the crown, with plenty of possible upsets along the way to the finals.

It could easily come down the the Sunday afternoon final round to determine the first HRHS Top Fuel Championship!