CHRR to crown champions, honor Kelly Brown and five others

Mendy Fry has already clinched the Top Fuel Hot Rod Heritage championship. 


The NHRA Motorsports Museum’s 27th annual California Hot Rod Reunion® presented by Automobile Club of Southern California returns to Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, for a three-day gathering on Oct. 19-21.


Hot Rod Heritage champions will be crowned for the 1st time in all NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series at the event. The biggest names in nostalgia racing will compete at the event, including Mendy Fry, who has clinched the championship in Top Fuel. In Funny Car, points leader Bobby Cottrell will look to finish the year on top against the likes of Shawn Bowen, Dan Horan and Jeff Arend. Other classes include A/Fuel, where Kin Bates will attempt to hold off Drew Austin’s bid for championship success, supercharged Gassers, classic Super Stock, Hot Rods and more for a total of 17 classes.

Kelly Brown and Shirley Muldowney at the 1978 Winternationals. 


The 2018 Grand Marshal will be Kelly Brown, who won the Top Fuel world championship in 1978. The other 2018 honorees include Bob Brandt, Jerry Darien, Jim Murphy, Rick Voegelin and Dave Wallace Jr. The Honoree Reception will take place at the Doubletree Hotel at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. Admission to the honoree reception is free.  

Gateway’s ‘Fall Bracket Battle’ guarantees $5K to Super Pro winner

The Fall Bracket Battle will be held at Gateway Motorsports Park (www.gatewaymsp.com) on Oct. 5-7. Friday afternoon “Battle of the Brands” Box and No-Box brackets will run on the eighth mile.


The winner of the Super Pro class on Saturday, Oct. 6, will get $5,000 with no minimum car entry requirement. Door cars and dragsters will run separately for the first four round of eliminations. Classes for the Bracket Battle include Super Pro, Pro, DOT, Street, Sportsman, Trophy, Index Battle, and All-Run Jr. Dragster Shootout.


On Sunday, the National Dragster Challenge will include Super Pro and Pro running on the eighth mile and Sportsman classes on the quarter mile.  

Off the Track: ‘Driving American Jobs’ Coalition formed

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a September 26 hearing on the impact of tariffs on the U.S. automotive industry. The hearing addressed an ongoing U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) investigation into whether tariffs should be imposed on imported automobiles and auto parts if it is found that they pose a threat to America’s national security (manufacturing base). The DOC will issue its findings and recommendations for presidential actions, if any. President Trump requested the investigation and has stated that he is considering global tariffs of 20% to 25%. The investigation applies to all types of cars and parts, including new cars, classic cars, OEM parts and specialty auto parts.


In their hearing statements, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) made clear that concerns about the impact of auto tariffs are bipartisan. Chairman Hatch cautioned tariffs “will have a negative impact on the U.S. auto industry and our economy.” Sen. Wyden echoed that tariffs would have the effect of “stifling investment, likely costing jobs in the long-run and raising costs for American consumers.”


The “Driving American Jobs” Coalition has been formed to oppose the tariffs. The Coalition includes SEMA and represents the broad scope of the auto industry, from automakers and dealers to parts manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers.  

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