ET Dragracing

NHRA Heritage Racing Series at Bakersfield, California

Group 2 Racers Clinch Championships

Words by Eric Lotz

Photos courtesy Kleet Norris, Auto Club Famoso Raceway

Brian Smith (far lane) against Dan Ballie in C/Gas. Smith won the event and the championship.


The first wave of 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Champions were crowned Sept. 15-17 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway and the Nostalgia Fall Championships.


The Group 2 classes consist of Nostalgia Eliminator I, Nostalgia Eliminator II, Nostalgia Eliminator III, A/Gas, B/Gas, C/Gas, D/Gas, and Hot Rod eliminator.


Dustin Lee and Brandon Frye topped the list taking home the championship in Nostalgia Eliminator I and A/Gas.

Lee, Palmdale, Calif., came into the event with a pair of wins on the season and the NE I points lead. He locked up his championship when he took the win in round one over Rick Nordess, coming off wins at the season opener in Phoenix and the June event in Sacramento.


Frye, Taft, Calif., had the points lead over Brian Rogers entering the event. He clinched the championship by advancing to the semifinals, and then took out Rogers in the final round for his third win of the year. This marks the second championship for the Frye brothers and Frye Family Racing as Brandon’s brother Austin won the NE I championship back in 2009.

Ed DeStaute


Ed DeStaute and Lindsey Lister were locked in a battle for the Nostalgia Eliminator III championship as each had one win and a runner up leading into the event. The pair met up in round one for all the marbles with DeStaute, Rosemead, Calif., taking the win and the championship. He went on to win the event for his second NHRA Wally trophy of the day.


In Nostalgia Eliminator II Dave Lawson grabbed the championship with a round one win, beating out Terry Lindblad who locked up second in points with the event win this weekend. Lawson, Mariposa, Calif., took wins in Phoenix and in Sacramento during his championship run.

Terry Lindblad took the event win, but Dave Lawson took the championship.


Rich Harrison seized the B/Gas championship when Cliff Boyles decided not to compete this weekend. Harrison was leading the points with two wins in three final rounds including the famed March Meet at Auto Club Famoso earlier this year. The Lakewood, Calif., racer continued to add to his lead as he advanced to the final round before bowing out to Jeff Carter who finished second in points.


Brian Smith defended his C/Gas Championship from last year and Mike Rabener regained his D/Gas Championship from 2015.

Smith, of Ojai, Calif., ultimately clinched when he advanced to the semifinals but then won the event for good measure, winning the last two events of the season.

Rabener, Paso Robles, Calif., beat Don Fournier in the final to complete his run winning the season opener and this the final event.

Dale Hicks


In Hot Rod it was Dale Hicks leading the points coming into the weekend with three others in the chase. Hicks, Goodyear, Ariz., went out in round two and played the waiting game to see how things would turn out. John Hildebrand lost in round one followed by Justin Crosby in round two and then AJ Thomas in the third giving Hicks the championship.  




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