The 21st NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California wrapped up today with much fanfare at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The three-day event featured intense nostalgia drag racing with exciting exhibition runs and a spectacular Cacklefest grand finale while fans shopped in the vendor’s midway and swap meet.
“We had wonderful weather and amazing racing all weekend long – we couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Director Larry Fisher who attended his first Hot Rod Reunion since joining the Museum in August. “We want to thank all the fans and participants for coming out to Auto Club Famoso Raceway, and contributing to another incredible Hot Rod Reunion.”
Nine classes including Nostalgia Top Fuel, Nostalgia Funny Car, and Nostalgia Pro Mod made the trip to Famoso to compete in the California Hot Rod Reunion as well as the 2012 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series finals.
Mike Lewis, senior vice president of Don Schumacher Racing, traded in his business suit for a race suit at the Hot Rod Reunion this weekend driving Henry Gutierrez’s Brand-X themed, Paul Smith-tuned Funny Car. Lewis celebrated his first Hot Rod Reunion win in Nostalgia Funny Car on Sunday night following some eventful runs. In the final round, Lewis’ winning performance of 5.785 seconds at 244.38 mph held off Steven Densham, whose 1968 Camaro had engine trouble mid-track.
“The California Hot Rod Reunion win means a lot to me. I never knew if I’d race again and when given this opportunity, it was a blessing. I couldn’t be happier,” said Lewis. “The team gave me a tremendous amount of confidence and we had a great car. We had a little bit of work when we met Chad Head in the semis but we stuck together to win it at the Reunion, truly hallowed ground.”
After a spectacular run in the Nostalgia Top Fuel final, Rick Williamson of Stockton, Calif. raced to his first California Hot Rod Reunion victory when final round opponent Adam Sorokin took the lead at the light but blew down the track giving Williamson the win. Williamson powered his dragster to a performance of 5.809 at 235.23 mph.
“It feels real nice to win the California Hot Rod Reunion and to be a part of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championship. I’ve been racing since I was 16 years old and to finally win my first title, no matter who I was racing, it feels pretty amazing and I can’t wait to return next year,” said Williamson.
Marc Meadors (Pro Mod), Ronnie Lennon (7.0 Pro), Bud Hammer (Junior Fuel), Les Davenport (A/Fuel), Rob Patten (A/Gas), Don Taros (Nostalgia Eliminator I), Dewayne Sanders (7.0 Pro Group 2) and Doug Hampton (AFX) are also winners of the 21st NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion in their respective classes.
In the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series finals, Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Adam Sorokin of Champion Speed Shop won his second championship while Jason Rupert clinched his second consecutive Nostalgia Funny Car Series championship at the California Hot Rod Reunion this weekend. For complete race results, please visit www.competitionplus.com and www.dragracecentral.com.
The 2013 NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway will be held Oct. 18-20. For more Hot Rod Reunion information, visit the NHRA Museum website at www.nhramuseum.org.