California Hot Rod Reunion 2018 – Nostalgia Funny Car – Sherm Porter Photos

Words & Photos by Sherm Porter

As in the past years the 27thCHRR drew a large contingent of funny cars, all with the goal of going home with the final Wally of the year for the NHRA Heritage Series. Bobby Cottrell had only to qualify for the 16-car field; Cottrell, driving for Bucky Austin in the Bardahl Camaro had won three events this year and secured the championship by qualifying number 7 in the field.

While we won’t go round by round, suffice it to say the field had several big show veteran drivers go by the wayside, Jeff Arend over Cory Lee, Brad Thompson knocking out John Hale in just the first round.  Second round saw Bobby Cottrell best Dan Horan, Rian Konno shelving Geoff Monise, Arend sending Brad Thompson home to Visalia and Jason Rupert over Matt Bynum.

The semi-final round pitted Rian Konno against veteran Jeff Arend in one of the closest runs of the day, Konno laying down a 5.912/230.96 over Arend’s 5.920/232.79; next up Jason Rupert sent Cottrell to the trailer, recording a quick 5.653/254.47 to a 5.727/250.27 of Cottrell’s.

The final round saw Jason Rupert take the 27thCHRR Championship over Rian Konno, a 5.634/259.51, the low E.T. for the event, over Rian’s 5.855/241.84.

Some thoughts from the eliminations, # 6 qualifier Jason Rupert ran consistent, hitting the clocks with a 5.638, 5.653, 5.653, 5.634 round by round; Rian Konno, #8 qualifier came in with a 5.838, 5.826, 5.912 and finishing with a final round 5.855, again, consistency…Overall there were top entries from the West Coast as well as Canada, veteran drivers and teams, that actively participate across the nation as well as Canada, continually attempting to improve, as seen in the qualifying rounds, with the bump spot being set lower through the years…next up, the Annual March Meet, look for more than 30 NFC’s attempting to make the final 16-car field.

A recap:

Top Speed: Matt Bynum #707– 260.41 mph

Low E.T.: Jason Rupert #2– 5.634

#1 Qualifier: Steven Densham #700—5.679/252.90

R/U: Rian Konno #758—5.855/241.84

Champion: Jason Rupert #2—5.634/259/51