It All Comes Down to Bakersfield

Wow, has the time flown by!  It is already October, and it is time for the California Hot Rod Reunion. It only seems like yesterday that we were all talking about going to “the Patch” to start the year of nostalgia drag racing, and now we are looking at closing the year.

Top Fuel Title

Many things have transpired over the year. We saw the last run for the “Crop Duster” top fuel car at Bakersfield in March. This resulted in a win for driver Jim Young and the Crop Duster team over Denver Schutz. However, the “Crop Duster” owned by Frank Ousley subsequently was sold to Jim Murphy.

Murphy then took delivery of the car just before the event at Bowling Green.  He then took the car and his tune up and took the win at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion and again Denver Schutz took the runner up spot.

Next for the top fuel teams was Boise and the Nightfire Nationals. Schutz stated that business concerns would prevent the team from making the trip north. This opened the door for Murphy to take over the points lead with a runner-up finish. The winner at Boise was a new team with a proven car and a proven commodity in a driver. Brett Harris driving the former Nitro Thunder car now owned by Colorado businessman Steve Harwood was victorious at the Nightfire Nationals.

It was then time to “again” travel back across the United States to Epping, New Hampshire, for the New England Hot Rod Reunion. This is where Tony Bartone finally broke through as he took the win with his Steve Boggs-tuned ride. Bartone was the class of the field and his 5.68 251 in the final round over Brendan Murry was proof of that.

So, coming to the California Hot Rod Reunion Murphy has the points lead. Young is still in second, 23 points back of Murphy.  The third spot has three drivers all within one point of each other:  Brendan Murry, Tony Bartone, and Denver Schutz -- 70 points behind Murphy.

Therefore, this means that all five (if they attend) will have a shot at the title. Now Murry, Bartone and Schutz need some help, but all have mathematical chances at the title.

One more thing that must be said for the fuel car fraternity: All the teams have worked very hard on their containment systems and oil-downs have not been an issue since the beginning of the year. Let’s hope it stays that way at the CHRR.

Funny Car

The plastic fantastic crowd has been busy over the year. With six events for the floppers, it promised to be an interesting year. These guys did not disappoint.

At the March Meet, it was Canada’s Tim Boychuk taking the win again over the sedate Mark Sanders. Boychuk was the winner last year, and then a technical infraction caused Boychuk to forfeit the win to Chad Head.  This year all was good and Boychuk was a happy camper.