Famoso Raceway, near Bakersfield, CA, hosted the NHRA Nostalgia Fall Championships September 15-17, 2017.
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After several very hot days in Southern California, thankfully this week-end there was no “bake” in Bakersfield. The temperatures were in the upper 80’s giving us great weather for the race.
Nostalgia Fall Championships was the final points race for the Heritage Series Group 2 racers. Group 2 includes A, B, C, and D, Gas, Hot Rod, NE 1, 2, and 3. The track was also open for testing throughout the week-end – a handful of AA/FC cars were working out the bugs before the upcoming California Hot Rod Reunion; a couple of drivers made licensing passes. The racing was continuous throughout the week-end. Saturday the event closed at 5:00 p.m. with qualifying for the Group 2 cars complete. Eliminations for Group 2 racers were held on Sunday along with continued testing. The final pair of A Gas cars took the lanes for the last elimination round at about 1:30 p.m.
NE 1 This 7.6 index class had a 6-car field in the elimination rounds. Dustin Lee, No. 1 qualifier, went out in round 2 letting Mark Engle meet Jason Barta in the final round where Barta took the win. Engle red lighted giving Barta the win on a break-out with an ET of 7.581. In the photo below Jason Barta sits next to Kenny Upton at the line. Barta put Upton on the trailer in round 2 of eliminations.
NE 2 – NE2 is an 8.6 index class. Terry Linblad met Tim Beeman in the finals. A double break-out gave Linblad the win. Linblad ran an ET of 8.585 to Beeman’s quicker ET of 8.556. Terry Linblad starts his burn-out while on the way to winning NE 2.
NE 3 – Ed DeStaute took home Wally’s as both the race and series winner. DeStaute and Lindsey Lister were tied in the points before this race. DeStaute prevailed over Lister in the 1st elimination round. Lister gave up the race with a reaction time of .057 to DeStatute’s .005. DeStaute met Jim Miller in the final found and ran an ET of 9.612 while Miller turned in an ET of 9.630.
A GAS – This class runs on a 7.6 index. Brendon Frye, the No.1 qualifier, ran the ladder, and took home the Wally. Brendon Frye advanced through the elimination rounds even after turning in break-outs in rounds 1, 2 and 3. Frye met Brian Rogers in the finals and ran an ET of 7.663 at 176.58 mph. Rogers had an ET of 7.726 at 178.21. Frye was quicker. Below is a photo of Brandon Frye’s happy crew after he makes the winning pass to take home the A Gas trophy.
B GAS – This 8.6 index class ran four rounds of elimination and Jeff Carter took home the trophy. Carter qualified at number 10 but beat the No. 1 qualifier, Neal Westbrook, in the semi-finals. In the final round Carter met Rich Harrison, the No. 2 qualifier, at the line. Once again, the finals saw a double-break out with Carter turning in an ET of 8.599 while Harrison had an ET of 8.588. Carter broke-out less than Harrison which gave him the win. Below is Jeff Carter, the B Gas winner.
C GAS – Brian Smith went into this race sitting in the No. 1 spot in the points race. Smith advanced to the finals after a double-break out in the semi’s to meet Dan Barrie. Barrie lost the race at the line with a reaction time of .055. Smith’s reaction time was .024 and this .031 of a second made the difference. Barrie was quicker with an ET of 9.6 to Smith’s 9.61 and faster at 139.98 mph to Smith’s 139.46, but Smith got to the finish line first and took home the Wally for both the series and the race. Below is a photo of Brian Smith holding both Wallys.
D GAS – Mike Rabener won after a double-break out. Rabener met Don Fournier in the finals. Rabener turned in an ET of 10.585 to Fournier’s 10.556. Rabener was series points leader and took home the Wally for both the race and series. Below is Mike Rabener holding both of his Wallys.
HOT ROD – Mark Kirby took the win in the final round of this 19 car field. Kirby ran on a dial-in of 11.12 and ran 11.089. He met Josh Wagner who turned on the red light at the start. Below Mark Kirby does an impressive wheel stand.
There were a lot of cars racing this week-end. Below are a few:
And a few more:
There were a bunch of cars doing testing this week-end:
Below is a gallery of the Nostalgia Fall Championship winners:
The photos below are of Heritage Series winners that did not win the race this week-end – Dale Hicks and his Hot Rod ’68 Camaro and Dustin Lee and his NE1 dragster.
The finals for the fuel cars will be on October 20-22 at the California Hot Rod Reunion. While the fuel cars are well — fast — they don’t provide the wheels up launches or the assortment of different cars we saw this week-end with the Group 2 racers. It was a perfect week-end.
See our SmugMug page for all the photos shown above. All photos, and more, are available for purchase as either print or download. Click on the SmugMug icon:
SUNDAY RACE RECAP
We’ll have complete coverage of the 2017 Nostalgia Fall Champion race, including photos, Monday evening. Until then – below is a list of the winners of the various classes:
A-Gas Brendon Frye
B-Gas Jeff Carter
C-Gas Brian Smith
D-Gas Mike Rabener
Hot Rod Mark Kirby
NE 1 Jason Barta
NE 2 Terry Linblad
NE 3 Ed DeStatute
Photos of a few winners are below. More will be posted tomorrow. See our SmugMug page for photos of all the winners. All photos are available for purchase as either print or download. Click on the SmugMug icon:
SATURDAY RACE RECAP
Today was a full day of racing and testing. Several AA/FC cars were testing – getting ready for the upcoming California Hot Rod Reunion. Among those present were Beachbomb, Burin’ Money, Darkside, Pisano & Matsubara, and Nitro Mafia.
This race is the final points race in the Heritage Series and the classes racing were NE 1, NE 2, NE 3, A Gas, B Gas, C Gas, D Gas. At the end of the day the ladders for the first round of elimination were set.
NE 1 – This class has an 8 car field and Dustin Lee ran an ET of 7.601 at 176.79 and sits in the number 1 spot. Tomorrow in the first round Lee will meet Rick Nordess, the No. 5 qualifier. Mark Engle will meet Chris Edwards. Kenny Upton will meet John Brewer. Jason Barta will meet Eily Stafford.
NE 2 – This class has a 10 car field with Michael Beebe in the No. 1 spot. Beebe will meet Tim Beeman in round number 1 tomorrow. Jerry Espeseth will meet Gregory Barrett, Danny See and Jeff Brochheuser will meet in the third race, Terry Linblad will meet Steve Matteson, and the 5th pair-up will be Dave Lawson John Lyon.
NE 3 – This class will field 6 cars in the elimination round. No. 1 Alex Taros will meet Jim Miller, Lindsay Lister will pair-up with Ed DeStaute and Ron Anzalone will meet Kenny Brush.
A Gas – A 10 field class with Brendon Frye in the No. 1 spot. Frye will meet Jim Teague tomorrow, Casey Treuer will take on Keith Morovich, Eric Bush and Rick Logson will meet up, Terry Newton and Brian Rogers will run in the 4th race with Frank Merenda and John Saliani running the last race in the first round of eliminations in A Gas.
B Gas – This class has a 14 car elimination field which is the largest field this week-end. No. 1 Neal Westbrook, No. 1 qualifier, will meet Doug Hampton, while Kevin Pope will meet Jeff Carter, and Brent Handley will sit next to Nathan Hop. R. Harrison will take on Brian Stalinaker. Randy Armstrong will meet Ernie McAllister in the 5th face. Mark Laeger and Tim Mulvihill will pair up in the 6th race while Roger Stalnaker will take on Kevin Riley in the final race.
C Gas – will have 13 cars in the first round of elimination with No. 1 Dan Barrie having a bye in the first race. Mike Munoz will meet Meghan in the 2nd race and Bill Becker will take on Mark Capps in race number 3. Gary Lynch will meet Alan Greer and Chris Robbins pair up with Brian Smith. Chris Rea and John Friel will met in race number 6. Scott Morgan and Wayne Hoover will meet in the final race of the first round of elimination.
D Gas – This class will field 7 cars. Don Fournier, No. 1 qualifier, will have a bye in the first race. In race 2 Bruce Boardman will meet Ed Carey followed by Steve Barta and Mike Rabener in race no. 4. The final race of the first round of elimination will find Bill Norton and James Burt side-by-side.
Hot Rods were running too.
Even a pro-mod showed up to do some testing.
Tomorrow promises a another good day of racing. Not only will all elimination rounds be run, but testing will continue. Thus far, the weather has been good and the racing safe. We will have the complete race results posted Monday evening.
This race will be the season finals for Group 2 racers in the NHRA Heritage Series Racing. Group 2 includes:
Nostalgia Eliminator 1
Nostalgia Eliminator 2
Nostalgia Eliminator 3
Friday September 15
Parking Only 5pm – 9pm
Saturday September 16
Gates Open 8am
Time Trials & Qualifying as called starting 10am till 5pm
Open Test & Tune All Day
Secure Track 5pm
Sunday September 17
Gates Open 8am
Heritage Series Eliminations 9am starting with Hot Rod
Open Test & Tune All Day
Finish All Eliminations