BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The 26th annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California wrapped up the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage series season Sunday at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
Jim Young piloted his 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 to make the final round.
“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.
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 mph.
“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.”
Other winners of the event included Nick Davies in AA/Fuel Altered, Kin Bates in A/Fuel, John Marottek in Jr. Fuel, Pete Peterson in 7.0 Pro, Lloyd Harder 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.
NHRA Hot Rod Heritage champions crowned at the event were Murphy in Nostalgia Top Fuel, Ryan Hodgson in Nostalgia Funny Car, Bates in A/Fuel, Don Enriquez in Jr. Fuel and Cottrell in 7.0 Pro.