California Hot Rod Reunion

October 21-23, 2011

October 20, 2011

A few Thursday shots as the teams set up.

Bob Wilson and Bob Snyder photos

The rest of the classes are on this page


Sunday Eliminations

(Weekend wrap up is here)


Round two Funny Car

L. Mark Hentges vs R. James Day

A very good first pairing as Day gets the hole shot and extends it through the ¼ mile. With a stellar 5.71/242.02 to a solid 5.792 for Hentges

R. Dennis LaCharite Vs Kris Krabill

Another great side by side as the past champ Kris Krabill wins with a 5.78/247 to a very game 5.82 252 by La Charite.

L. Jason Rupert vs R. Steven Densham
Team mates face off here and Rupert needs to win to clinch the 2011 Heritage title. Densham needs to win here and go to the final and then the math has to be tallied. He may still be able to win the series.

A win for Densham that saw a 5.87 243 come up on the score board. An early shut off for Rupert after he went way red.

R. John Hale Vs L. Mike Halstead
Hale rips off a great 5.730/248 to defeat Halstead's 6.022/223

Semi finals

James Day took on John Hale and you could sense this one would be good. Both teams have had a few great runs so far with no real bad ones (both smoked em on the second qualifier going for a '60). Day got a big holeshot and lead for 300 feet but then Hale started to pull away and ran second low for the weekend a 5.700/249. Day went 5.816/246 to finish two car lengths back.

Kris Krabill had Steven Densham and one did not have too much excitement. Densham broke on the burnout and Krabill shook and rattled on the single coasting down track. Hale would have lane choice and a huge momentum advantage.

Final round


On paper Hale had to be in the driver's seat and he made solid runs throughout elimination's. Krabill's first two runs and his qualifier were solid 70's but they were too aggressive in the semi, luckily he did not need a quick run there. Hale took the right lane but there did not appear to be one lane that was better on Sunday. Solid burnout's and this one was tough to pick. Hale did want to leave his mark at this race, it was one he wanted bad so he would be going for it. Krabill is very savvy at Bakersfield and has had lots of success in Heritage races.

Krabill got a huge holeshot but was soft on the starting line (obviously not wanting to give it away like the tire rattler in the semis). Hale was .09 back at the hit but was .95 to 60 feet. For a car leaving at an idle that is stout. From there he kept up the aggressive tune-up, and was an amazing 3.682/210.44 mph at half track and had already past Krabill.. He kept up the charge and went through the 1320 at an amazing 5.589/255.97. Krabill ad a normally great run, a 5.78/248 but he was 40 feet back at the finish line.......... What a run for Hale! With the win he ends up in second place in the Heritage series one point ahead of Steven Densham and 43 points back of the series champ, Jason Rupert.

John Hale's incremental times: 60ft-0.953 sec., 330ft-2.482, 660ft-3.682/210.44 mph, 1,000ft-4.718, 1320 ft. 5.589/255.97. (courtesy DRC)
Kris Krabill's incremental times: 60ft-1.020 sec., 330ft-2.592, 660ft-3.826/199.88 mph, 1,000ft-4.884, 1320 ft. 5.783/248.75.


Top Fuel

Round two

Rick McGee 5.732/261 defeats Denver Schutz's 5.77/241 In a real quick side by side Schutz got a slight holeshot but he could not hold the lead and McGee takes the win.

Tony Bartone 5.61 over Rick White 6.110/199. Steve Boggs power makes this one an easy win for the New York based team.

L. Jim Murphy 5.85/ R. Brett Harris 5.757/259 Harris gets the win and the 2011 Heritage championship

L. Howard Haight vs R. Jimi Young
Wow it was a wild one as Haight takes a huge lead at 300 feet and then veers hard into the right lane taking out the cones dq'ing his effort. I don't know if he blew up and oil got on his tires but he went right really fast Young coasts down to a 9.23/75 and a date against Harris in the semis.

Semi Finals

Rick McGee had the daunting task of taking on Tony Bartone in the semis. But this one was not going to be a walkover. McGee had improved on every run from qualifying, running a best of 5.732@ 261 in round two. Bartone had gone in the 5.6's and 5.5's in prior rounds, and had gone over 260 once also. McGee got a slight .01 holeshot but Bartone was .05 quicker to 50 feet and he maintained a .03 advantage for the next 1260 feet, for a .0335 stripe. McGee made his best lap of the weekend, a 5.693/253.95. Bartone's # was a 5.648/248.89.

Tony Bartone's incremental times: 60ft-1.019 sec., 330ft-2.605, 660ft-3.796/211.10 mph, 1,000ft-4.789.
Rick McGee's incremental times: 60ft-1.062 sec., 330ft-2.644, 660ft-3.833/214.86 mph, 1,000ft-4.831.

In the other semi Brett Harris faced the "Crop Duster" Jimi Young. Young was quicker in qualifying, but he actually had struggled and got breaks in elimination's. On paper this one should be good though. Both drivers had decent .0 lights, with Harris having 23/1000ths. Harris was much quicker to 60 feet and was almost a 1/10th ahead at that point. The mid west driver started to charge hard after 69 feet and was catching the Utah driver at ever incremental. By 1000 feet he was 10 mph faster and only .04 back If that held through to the finish line Young would have been in the 5.70's as well, but the holeshot would have been too much to overcome. It did not matter though as right at the 1000 foot mark death smoke spewed out of the headers and he slowed a bunch in the final 320 feet. Harris took the win with a 5.724/257 to Young's slowing 5.90 at only 201mph.

Final round.

The best from the East Coast (Bartone) against the best from the West coast (Harris) . Harris was crowned the Heritage champion earlier so this was not bragging rights, the Wally and the cash.

What a race! Harris got a .033 holeshot and he charged much harder to 330 as he extended his lead to .08 seconds. From there the race was Bartone's as he took .02 back at half track and was 3 mph faster. At 1000 feet the lead was down to .041 and still Bartone was fast approaching. At the stripe you could barely put a tooth pick between the two cars and Harris took the stripe by .001 (less than six inches), Harris went 5.725 255.73 to Bartone's 5.693/269.29. If the race was 10 feet longer, Bartone would have walked home with the Wally. He was running 269 mph at the finish line compared to Harris' fast but slow in comparison 255mph blast.

Tony Bartone's incremental times: 60ft-1.036 sec., 330ft-2.677, 660ft-3.874/210.87 mph, 1,000ft-4.861.
Brett Harris' incremental times: 60ft-1.037 sec., 330ft-2.630, 660ft-3.839/207.88 mph, 1,000ft-4.853.


What a final and the two Fuel classes put on quite a show. This was the best Top Fuel showing in a while and it would be great to see this event bring some more excitement to the class and maybe more entrants. The Funny Car class is obviously Strong and it appears to be still growing. There are a reported more than 100 NFC's in the country, all at the expense of the Top Alky classes.

Will you see the NFC's as part of the NHRA any time soon?


Funny Car

Saturday round one eliminations

Round one

R. John Hale vs L. Jon Capps
What a great first pairing as the two cars were side by side the entire 1320. Hale wins with a 5.91 to a 5.92 for the driver of the Jungle Camaro.

L. Mike Halstead vs R. Dwayne Patton
5.84 for Halstead and an easy win. Patton smoked the tires.

R. Roger Garten vs L. Kris Krabill
Another good race as Krabill 5.7's them to death, going 5.749/248 to Garten's very game 5.874/239. A career best in the loss.

L. Jason Rupert vs R. Steve Nichols
A holeshot for Nichols but a solid run for Rupert as he keeps his title hopes alive with a 5.774/248. Nichols is right there if Rupert had an issue but his 5.95 is a car length and a half bad.

R. Ronnie Young vs L. Steven Densham
Young vs old on the line but two very veteran teams square off. Sophomore racer Densham under the tutelage of the 'teacher' and dad Gary Densham face off against one of the most famous of all funny car teams, the Blue Max.
The young gun gets a slight holeshot and holds off Young with a 5.90/234 to a close 5.93/236 for the Blue Max team.

L. Ron Capps vs R. James Day
James Day lead this right from the start as he runs a 5.82/243 to defeat a slowing Ron Capps

L. Dennis LaCharite vs R. Chad Head
Dennis La Charite got the win running a 5.86/249 when Head went into tire shake and he shut off early.

L. Mark Hentges vs R. Paul Romine
Lewis goes in as an alternate as Romine breaks and can't make round one.
Hengtes gets the win after leaving second. 5.83/247 for Hentges. Lewis had the lead but he gets loose and heads right and has to lift early.

Saturday Final Funny Car qualifying

R. Garrett Bateman Corvette… 6.331/215…. A long burnout by Bateman but it does not parlay into a good run as the Corvette labours down track with a 6.33. He will not make the field Sunday.
L. Dan Horan Jr. Mustang…. 5.994/229…. A real good run for Horan Jr. even though he double stepped the throttle fright off the starting line He still ran a five. I don't think it will be enough though as they are the first pair down in the final session.

L. Ed Dougan …. Camaro….6.487/201…. A solid first half of the run for Dougan in the Fighting Irish Camaro, but he has death smoke come out starting at Half track and then it gets worse at 1000 feet.
R. Brian Konno ….Mustang….7.40/ Not a good one for Konno as he fails to make the sweet 16.

L. Steven Densham…Camaro….5.85/237…. A real good run for Densham as he runs a mid '80 and will likely play on Sunday.
R. Lil Nate Bugg….Monza…..6.42/225… Lots of smoke out the left header banks while staging but the car cleans up at the hit. It runs hard for 300 feet then slows and Bugg hit a windshield hard and fails to make what is now a 6.01 bump. One more solid run and it is an all 5 second field.

R. Kebin Kinsley…..Camaro…6.80 190 In a Pisano tribute car is one of the busiest ¼ mile drivers anywhere. He pilots a TAFC this car a Top Alky Hydro and a Nitro Hydro in the Lucas Oil Drag boat assoc. The car launched okay but he did not run hard through the middle and top end so Kinsley will be outside the field.
L. Steve Rajcic….Camaro…6.57/182….. Racjic struggled like Kinsley and will not play on Sunday.

R. Dennis Taylor…. Mustang…. 6.22/222.. One of the pedal clutch cars and Dennis leaves real hard but slows on the top end and fails to make the field.
L. Jason Rupert…. Camaro….5.75/251.35…. A killer shot by Rupert and he leaves hard and the Camaro stays lit through the 1320 and moves to #2 with a 5.75@151

L. Shawn Nault…. Cuda…. 6.262/222 A consistent run for Nault but the Alaska driver will not run on Sunday.
R. Mike Halstead…. Duster ….5.80/253…Wow a real good run for Halstead, it might be the career best for the Nitro Angel team.

L. Mike Lewis… Camaro….5.908/…A great side by side here as Lewis leaves way before Head band turns in a 5.90 to sit in the field… for now.
R. Chad Head… Trans Am…. 5.84/250…Another pedal car (Worhams built and tuned.) Wow, what a great run for Head a career best 5.84/250. He should be safe with a quick 5.8 pass.

R. Lee Paul Jennings…Camaro…5.92/248....A late leave for Jennings but a solid run for the Jennings team but it is only #15 in the field.
L. Donnie Watkins….Arrow…6.36 not enough for the new team.

L. Will Martin… Camaro….5.981/ The best ever run for Martin but he falls short
R. Brad Thompson…Nova…6.097/ A decent pass but when 5.80's are needed the Thompson team will be on the side lines. Brad will have to console himself in the Top Fuel class.

L. Roger Garten… Mustang…5.886/ … Another 5.8 by Garten as the War Horse is in the field… for now. There are still 15 cars to run
R. Chris Bennett… Camaro…6.07…. It was a great side by side as Bennett was on a 5 second pass but he blew up big time at 700 feet and slipped the slippery stuff from the 700 foot mark through the finish line and beyond. We will be down for a while.

R. Mark Hentges… Arrow… smoked the tires, so Bucky and Mark and the team will have to hope their # holds.
L. Dale Van Gundy…. Cuda…5.901/ A career best for Van Gundy and they are in the field right now in the #15 spot.

R. John Hale… Camaro…7.66 Going for the big one, Hales blazes the tires and clicks it off early.
L. Dwayne Patton … Camaro….5.863/ Wow the hits keep on coming for a few teams as Patton destroys their previous best and is solidly in the field.

R. James Day… Trans Am… smoked the tires. The War Eagle team was going for it much like Hale did the run before and he too smokes the tires.
L. Claude Lavoie… GTX…5.997/237… I expected a bit more from the Sandman racing team, but two 5.9's are not enough this year.

L. Steve Nichols….Camaro… 5.882/235.... Two great runs in this pairing as Nichols gets what he needs and bumps into the field in the #15 spot.
R. Ron Capps…. Arrow…5.847/249……Capps repeats his earlier pass and that team is set.

L. Kris Krabill….Arrow….5.721/250.... Krabill goes 5.72/250 in the heat and is now #2 in the field.
R. Paul Romine… Mustang…5.704/246…. Wow, possibly the quickest side by side in Heritage series history as Romine repeats with a 5.70

L. Dennis La Charite…. A single run here and just as Dennis was set to stage the starter shut him off with a fuel leak.

L. Ronnie Young….Arrow…The car got a bit loose heading to the left and Ronnie lifted at 400 feet.

L. Rick Rogers… Trans Am…5.98/235 A solid run for Rogers but he fails to make the field.

And that wraps up final qualifying for the floppers with Paul Romine the class of the field with two run within 1/100th of a second, and his best, a 5.69. Mark Hentges in the #16 spot with a 5.886

Final qualifying

1 337 Paul Romine, Fishers IN, '79 Mustang 5.698 241.58 246.89
2 732 Kris Krabill, Orange CA, '78 Arrow 5.721 250.83 250.83
3 766 Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda CA, '69 Camaro 5.758 251.34 251.34
4 117 Jon Capps, Las Vegas NV, '70 Camaro 5.804 248.48 248.48
5 718 Mike Halstead, Fontana CA, '73 Duster 5.808 253.28 253.28
6 482 Ronny Young, Wylia TX, '78 Arrow 5.822 247.61 247.61
7 520 Dennis La Charite, Rolling Hills CA, '69 GTO 5.837 231.48 231.48
8 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '79 Arrow 5.840 240.64 249.26
9 724 James Day, San Dimas CA, '77 Trans Am 5.846 234.13 234.13
10 3111 Chad Head, Avon IN, '77 Firebird 5.848 250.83 250.83
11 700 Steve Densham, Bellflower CA, '69 Camaro 5.858 237.88 237.88
12 256 Dwayne Patton, Visalia CA, '69 Caramo 5.863 241.84 241.84
13 496 John Hale, Dallas TX, '69 Camaro 5.866 243.06 243.06
14 168 Steve Nichols, Newark DE, '70 Camaro 5.882 235.39 240.81
15 792 Roger Garten, Huntington Beach CA, '73 Mustang 5.886 241.67 241.67
16 6143 Mark Hentges, Federal Way WA, '78 Arrow 5.886 241.20 241.20


17 7704 Dale Van Gundy, Anaheim CA, '70 Charger 5.901 239.14 239.14
18 394 Mike Lewis, Avon IL, '69 Camaro Z28 5.908 242.63 242.63
19 720 Lee Paul Jennings Jr, Sonara CA, '78 Camaro 5.922 249.58 249.58
20 6800 Claude D. LaVoie, Sherwood Park AB, '72 GTX 5.930 240.38 240.38
21 7791 Will Martin, San Dimas CA, '69 Mustang 5.981 242.54 243.41
22 736 Dan Horan Jr, Sylmar CA, '66 Mustang 5.994 229.70 229.70
23 7917 Brad Thompson, Visalia CA, '70 Nova 6.010 228.61 228.61
24 730 Chris Bennett, N. Las Vegas NV, '69 Camaro 6.074 196.30 227.57
25 714 Dennis Taylor, Anahiem CA, '73 Mustang 6.225 222.58 226.66
26 657 Shawn Nault, Anchorage AK, '70 Barracuda 6.262 222.47 222.47
27 769 Donny Watkins, Corona CA, '79 Arrow 6.306 206.39 213.27
28 500 Garrett Bateman, Herperia CA, '78 Corvette 6.331 225.48 225.48
29 756 Nate Bugg, Orange CA, '75 Monza 6.426 225.37 225.37
30 739 Ed Dougan, Brea CA, '74 Camaro 6.487 201.28 201.28
31 484 Kebin Kinsley, Kennedale TX, '69 Camaro 6.521 212.90 212.90
32 701 Steve Rajcic, Orange CA, '69 Mustang 6.535 223.17 223.17
33 758 Rian Konno, Rosemead CA, '73 Mustang 7.400 131.42 131.42

October 21, 2011

Round one qualifying Funny Car

With a reported 40+ Nitro Funny Cars in the pits, along with a full field (16 cars) of Top Fuel Dragsters, the pro segment of the reunion was well represented. Add in a few fuel altereds, a wheelstander, a plethora of cacklefest dragsters and static display cars and the total effect is almost overwhelming.

We won't even list all the other categories, from 7.0 Pro and A/Fuel down to the A/FX'ers and exhibition cars, as the lineup of cars and the sheer diversity of the race cars in attendance is just too much to take in quickly.
Best taken in small doses, a class or group of cars at a time, and let the whole experience gradually sink in over the three days of the reunion.

But we're going to concentrate on the Pro Cars, since Murdoch has the other classes well in hand, starting with the first - of only two, so you'd better have your act together right away - qualifying session. With a scheduled start time of 1:00, the first pair were in the water box and burning out just a few minutes past the hour and the "War Eagle", driven by James Day, carded a strong 5.84 pass to get things going in the right direction.

In only the second set of the round, Paul "Man 'o War" Romine blasted a very strong 5.69 to take the early pole, and held it for the entire first session. The third pairing produced our first side-by-side 5-second contest, with Roger Garten's 5.89 leading Dwayne Patton's 5.96 to the finish line. Then thing started to go a little sideways with Mike Halstead smoking the tires in the "Nitro Angel" (formerly the Bomb Squad - and a much better race car name imho), followed by Steve Rajcic leaving before the tree was activated to receive the first NTR - DQ
of the round.

Things got back to normal with the DRO Funny Car Challenge Champion for 2011, John Hale, pounding out a strong 5.86 opening effort to move into the #3 spot on the ladder. A pair of pedal jobs followed, with Lee Paul Jennings in
the beautiful Dickie Harrell tribute car besting the Jam-Air car by a 6.04 to 6.28 margin. Getting back into the 5.80 column, Mark Hentges (5.88) and Kris Krabill (5.87) put on a great, close race to jump into the top five on the charts.

From that point, things went downhill considerably and quickly, as Dan Horan Jr. failed to fire in his early Mustang fastback, and Mike Lewis crossed the centerline, scattering a 1000' foam timing block on his single. Then Alaska's
Shawn Nault, making one of his first appearances since the March Meet, carded a career best 6.27 which trailed Dennis La Charite's number two qualifying 5.83 pass. Unfortunately, Nault wasn't the only thing trailing La Charite
as a major oildown was left in his wake, putting proceedings on hold for a very long time.

Things didn't get better very quickly either, as the first pair out after the cleanup produced a no-fire (or started and shut off right away) from Ed Dougan in the "Fighting Irish" car, while his singling opponent, Rian Konno (Kazanjian,
Lemon and Konn) shutoff at half track, with a hurt engine and a very small amount of oil on the track. The track crew gave it a good swabbing with tack mops, but the next car in the lanes was being driven by Chad Head and his father demanded a very thorough preparation of the racing surface before he was willing to send young Chad down the quarter-mile.

Joining in the situation was Paul Smith who also had an interest in seeing the track brought up to his standards, and the end result of the situation was another 30 minutes of downtime while Blake Bowser ran the tire dragger machine up and down the track and the hand sprayer was used to apply some extra glue to the first 100 feet of the track.

All that effort went for naught in the case of Head as he overstaged, double-stepped the throttle and rang up an off-pace 6.24 clocking, while Ronny Young took the "Blue Max" to the new #2 spot with a very good 5.82 pass. Two more pairs of so-so (or worse) efforts followed, with Jason Rupert surprising everyone by striking the tires at 60' and shutting off, and Steven Densham only putting down a mediocre 6.12 lap.

With just six more cars in the lanes, it was up to them to save the session, and Claude Lavoie and Ron (Big Show) Capps did their best, with Lavoie cranking out a solid 5.93 and Capps doing him one better at a very good 5.84. In a first for the day, Steve Nichols and Jon (not Ron) Capps did another side-by-side fiver, with Capps putting up a new number two clocking at 5.80, while Nichols trailed at 5.92.

Two cars left, and they both singled, with Rick Rogers turning a bubble-sitting 6.14, and nitro rookie Kebin Kinsley closing the "show" with a 6.52 lap. All in all, it took 90 minutes to run 34 cars and despite some great clockings,
including 13 5-second passes, the overall effect with the one big oildown, the track prep, and the confetti-ed timing cone, was a qualifying session that promised much but didn't quite deliver.

With only one more round of qualifying before eliminations start on Saturday afternoon, and more than twice as many cars as there are positions available in the field, the second and last session should be a barn-burner.























Romine was THE Man of qualifying with a 5.69 and a 5.70. Unfortunately he broke in his final qualifier and could not make round one

Mike Halstead saved his best for last as the "Angel" team ripped off a career best 5.80


Roger Garten layed down two career passes to make the field his best was a 5.88

Top left to right. Konno (out), Bugg (out), Kinsley (out), Rajcic (out), Taylor (out), Rupert in), Nault (out), Lewis (alternate), Jennings (out), Watkins (out),Capps (in), Hale (in), Hentges (in), Krabill (in), Nichols (in), Van Gundy (out), Young (in), Rogers (out), Lavoie (out), and Patton (in).


Top Fuel

Saturday round one eliminations

Denver Schutz .104 5.800 226.35 defeated John Everette .181 6.381 211.26

Brett Harris .126 5.774 253.99 defeated Brendan Murry .016 6.235 198.58

Rick White .234 5.677 253.56 defeated Michael Irwin .112 7.614 127.50

Rick McGee .100 5.848 215.55 defeated Brad Thompson .099 6.245 195.17

Tony Bartone .107 5.566 263.41 defeated Bill Dunlap 0.111 6.443 177.86

Howard Haight .033 5.913 232.59 defeated Terry Cox .083 5.979 254.81

Jim Murphy .159 5.747 239.95 defeated Mendy Frey .106 6.368 181.67

Jimi Young .114 10.830 65.08 defeated Jim Boyd (no show)

Saturday Top Fuel final qualifying

L. Mendy Frey... 6.26/181…. A lazy pass for both cars and Mendy clicked it off early.
R. Mike Irwin 6.88/177….. The same for Irwin as he is in the seat of the Mike Smith TF car (Smith is the operator at Sacramento)

L. Brendan Murray….. 6.25/200…. Brendan was on a decent pass but death smoth came out of the car at 1000 feet and he slowed
R. Brad Thompson…. 6.10/208…. Not the pass Thompson or the High Speed team wanted and they slow on the top end to a 6.10 pass. Both cars with be in the bottom half.

L. Brett Harris….. 5.827/255……Yesterday Harris' un was not what the team wanted so you know they are loaded for run #2.
R. Tony Bartone …….11.14/60…. Bartone shook big time Friday as he pedaled the car three time. Today he leaves hard but is off the gas early, coasting to a 11 second time slip.

R. Terry Cox…A five Friday and they were hoping for an 80 or better today. Unfortunately Cox broke while backing up from his burnout and he shut it down.

L. Rick White…. 5.69/ 231…. A real good pass for White as he moves up to the #1 spot in the field even though he slowed with a few burned pistons.
R. Rick McGee… 6.578/154…A slowing pass for McGee so he will use his Friday pass for his best qualifying effort.

R. Jim Murphy …. 5.81/237…. Murphy slows a couple ticks from yesterday but looked slow compared to Young run. He still sits #3.
L. Jimi Young ….. 5.593/255….What a run for the #1 qualifier Jimi Young in the Crop Duster FED rips off a 5.59@255 to solidify his #1 qualifying position.

That's it for Top Fuel. They run round one later today.

Final qualifying

1 380 Jimi Young, Salem WI, N&P-Rodeck 5.593 255.92
2 7131 Rick White, San Diego CA, Hansen-Rodeck 5.698 231.20
3 724 Denver Schutz, Fresno CA, Stirling-Rodeck 5.785 234.70
4 774 Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa CA, Thornhill-Rodeck 5.786 246.12
5 705 Brett Harris, Kaysville UT, N&P-Rodeck 5.827 255.15
6 701 Rick McGee, Exeter CA, Tedford-Donovan 5.861 214.83
7 716 Bill Dunlap, Capitola CA, Sterling-Donovan 5.868 237.38
8 308 Howard Haight, Brownsburg IN, Tuttle-Donovan 5.913 249.21
9 700 Terry Cox, Clarkburg CA, URC-TFX 5.990 253.47
10 457 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, McKinney-Ro 6.064 250.64
11 7917 Brad Thompson, Visalia CA, Uyehara-Rodeck 6.100 208.68
12 7188 Brendan Murry, San Jose CA, Rooman-Chevy 6.250 200.83
13 781 Mendy Fry, Aliso Viejo CA, Hansen-Donovan 6.261 181.32
14 736 John Everette, Williams AZ, Rooman-Donovan 6.281 214.31
15 748 Michael Irwin, Citrus Heifgts CA, -Rodeck 6.887 177.16
16 1550 Jim Boyd, Redondo Beach CA, Dragster-Donovan 7.588 133.33

Top Fuel round one Friday

After a series of less-than-optimal (and that's putting it mildly) performances - as a group - the Top Fuel Dragsters were eager for some redemption in their first qualifying session. Pre-race predictions projected a less-than-full field, but with 17 cars in the pits, the odds looked pretty good for a full 16-car field on race day.

Starting out strong with a pair of very good passes, Jim Murphy laid down a strong 5.78 opening lap, with opponent Rick White trailing slightly at a still excellent 5.86 clocking. The next pair showed a little
falloff as Tery Cox in the "Cheetah IV" carded a 5.99 as Brendan Murray crossed the centerline at half track to negate his off-pace anyway 7.60.

Terry Cox and Brendan Murry were next and Murry didn't get a shot it. Cox goes 5.990/253. Murry takes out the half track timing blocks and gets no time.

Another pair of fives came up in the next pairing, with the "Crop Duster" and Jimi Young setting a new low e.t of 5.77 to take the measure of the close, but no cigarillo 5.86 of the "Hannah Trucking" entry driven Rick McGee . And even more fives followed, as Howard Haight in the "Mr. Boston" car cranked out a solid 5.91, while Bill Dunlap pushed the "Circuit Breaker" to a good 5.86.

The score after four pairs of cars: seven 5-second passes, and one DQ (Brendan Murray crossing the centerline) and an excellent start to the session. The string broke in the next battle as Mendy Fry suffered a major fuel leak behind the starting line and was forced to shut off, while Tony "T-Bone" Bartone showed just how much power his Steve Boggs-tuned entry has, as he pedaled no less than three times and still ripped off a 6.06 at 250 mph. Scary potential in that car.

Another pair, another pair of fives, as Denver Schutz moved into the number three spot with an excellent 5.78, while Brett Harris trailed at 5.98 to move into the ninth slot on the list. After six great pairings, the next duo failed to break into the magic zone as Brad Thompson pedaled to a 6.20 and the "Reid Turney" car driven by Jim Boyd smoked the tires after no burnout and slowed to a 7.5 pass.

The round finished on a quieter note as two single runs, one by the local "Nitro Fever" (Michael Irwin) only produced a weak 6.89 clocking and the final pass of the session saw John Everett clock a 6.28. The entire round of qualifying took only 30 minutes, saw zero oil or parts spilled on the track, and a total of nine 5-second laps. With one more chance to improve in Saturday's final session, the show can only get better, with several cars capable of some serious improvements.


A Thursday gallery is here.

The Legend is back, what will Mike's burnouts be like this year?

The two car Worsham team. Ron Capps in the black car and Chad Head in the other.

Garlits Swamp Rat III. The Rattler Cackle car

Two of the favorites, Romine and Hale

Alaska's Shawn Nault is in tough. SpeedZone editor's Cousin Bob Haffner is assisting this weekend.

Mike Lewis is in the Burn N Money car

October 19, 2011


SpeedZone Magazine picks (Odds) for the CHRR.

This years addition of the CHRR is noticeable for a couple reasons. Firstly, it is the astounding number of new entries of NFCs for the 20th Reunion. Secondly, is the absence of a number of top hitters. Tim Boychuk was entered but apparently the TLD car won't be in attendance this year to to a personal issue with a key member of the team. Peter Gallen would have changed the odds in this deal for sure, but he too will not be in attendance. Mr. Explosive, one of the most visible teams in the class over the last three years is also absent. The "Iceman" Tim Nemeth won't be there. John Powers pulled out early this week and there are rumors that Dennis La Charite and Lee Paul Jennings will also be absent.

For all those who will be absent the new cars for the 2011 CHRR is amazing. Many of the drivers of these new cars are recognizable, as they have run with other teams or in other classes. Even for the lack of a few big name the event this year will be tough. There are a number of 5.60 cars in attendance and the 5.70 and 5.80 cars is almost endless.

That be said SpeedZone will try and put its best prognosticating skills to the test.

The list is a bit different than some odds makers best bets. I have separated first the top eight, as these are are the drivers I expect to go past round one. You notice a couple (at least one), who I would bet some would say are surprises. The top three are no surprise to anyone I would guess, and really all three are pick em's. Romine for his experience, Rupert for flat out being badazz, and for running in the 5.70's in extreme heat last weekend in his Phoenix win. John Hale was flat out fast at a couple events in extreme heat and humidity in the summer. Ron Capps while not in a Plueger car (maybe a good thing as that team did struggle this year), is in a very good Worsham owned and tuned car. How can't they be good? And that is why Chad Head is in the top eight as well. The Jim Head owned car will have an entire plethora of Pro tuners in his corner including the Worsham's and half the Kalitta crew. Mark Hentges in the Hitter tuned car is always a threat but Mark does have to be a little sharper on the tree. Kris Krabill is one of the winningest drivers in the class and has solid people turning the screws, led by Cory Lee.

The top eight (with their best ET for the weekend)

1. Jason Rupert 3-1
(A 5.64 best)
2. Paul Romine (4-1)
(A 5.77 best), likely the top speed around .255mph
3. John Hale 5-1
(A 5.68 best) Hale could be the winner and is to good to be the dark Horse
4. Ron Capps 6-1
....(A 5.76 best)
5. Mark Hentges 7-1
....(A 5.73 best)
6. Kris Krabill 8-1
....(A 5.79 best)
7. Mike Savage 9-1
....(A 5.86 best)
8. Chad Head 10-1
....(A 5.84 best)

The next four.

This grouping of four could make round two but more than likely they will be the fast losers of round one. Steve Nichols has been absent all season but I don't think it will take Ray Zeller much to get back to their 5.80 performance. James Day is in the 'War Eagle' from what I hear, and he kick ass earlier this year. Steven Densham in the 'Teachers Pet' Camaro is part of the Rupert/ Densham two car team and any of Frank and Jason's info to go along with Gary's will make this oft running car tough. Dennis La Charite went a round or two last year and has a good tuner in his corner (Jon Wurtz)

9. James Day 10-1 (will qualify with a 5.87)
10. Steve Nichols 10-1 (will qualify with a 5.88)
11. Steven Densham 10-1 (will qualify with a 5.91)
12. Dennis La Charite 10-1 (will qualify with a 5.92)

This foursome is just as tough as the one above and they too could be round two bound..... with a little luck.

13. Mike Halstead 11-1 (will qualify with a 5.92)
14. Lee Paul Jennings 12-1 (Will qualify with a 5.93)
15. Claude Lavoie 14-1 (will qualify with a 5.93)
16. Brad Thompson 15-1 (will qualify with a 5.94)

It is really hard to put this next four outside of the field but you do have to pick 16 qualifiers, and the rest are outside looking in, thanks Paul Page. The first two are both 5. second cars but are East Coast based and will not be used to this two session deal. Dwayne Patton has run quick and could be a top 16 car. The same for Roger Garten a real solid running car but he has struggled at times here. Lewis, Young, Konno, Horan and Taylor all have lots of experience via their West Coast heavy schedule or their top notch tuners but they will just fall short in my opinion. But to cover my butt they are all 16-1 shots so technically they could be in the top 16.

17. Jon Capps 16-1 (will run a 5 run it will fall just short)
18. Mike Smith 16-1 (See above for the Smith team)
19. Dwayne Patton 16-1 ((Just outside the field likely a 5.98-6.02)
20. Roger Garten 16-1 (Just outside the field with a high 5.9)


These next four will be close but no cigar......

21. Mike Lewis 16-1
22. Ronny Young 16-1
23. Rian Konno 20-1
24. Dan Horan Jr. 20-1
25. Dennis Taylor 20-1

This next group also has some well known names in it, but again, I can only pick 16 to make the field.

26. Jim Adolph 20-1
27. Ed Dougan20-1
28. Kebin Kinsley 20-1
29. Dale VanGundy 20-1
30. Chris Bennett 20-1
31. Will Martin 20-1
32. Garrett Bateman 20-1
33. Nathan Bugg 20-1

Rounding out the expected field are a couple newcomers and teams that compete mostly for the fun of it with no great expectations just good times.

In No particular Order

34. Steve Rajcic 30-1
35. Rick Rogers 30-1
36. Donald Watkins 30-1
37. Kurt Cruise 30-1
38. Chris Davis 30-1
39. Shawn Nault 30-1

If either of these two show up their odds are posted.
John Powers 12-1
Tim Boychuk 4-1



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