The NHRA Motorsports Museum’s California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California came to a thrilling conclusion Sunday at the legendary Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Racing icons like grand marshal Butch Leal, honoree Larry Dixon Sr., Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme ,and countless other racing stars played in the nostalgia playground that’s been going strong for 22 years at the famed Famoso Raceway.
In the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series season finale at the event, points leader Jim Murphy clinched the Nostalgia Top Fuel world championship. In a nail-biting final round in Nostalgia Funny Car, Jason Rupert celebrated his third consecutive Heritage Series world championship title when John Hale defeated Dan Horan.
Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Adam Sorokin took home his first-ever win at the 22nd California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.
The California native powered his Champion Speed Shop dragster to a performance of 5.912 seconds at 216.76 mph to hold off Denver Schutz at the legendary McFarland track in the final round. Sorokin outran Rick McGee, Rick White, and Jim Young to reach the final round.
"We wanted to win this race really bad for a long time now. This is really sweet,” said Sorokin of his first Reunion win at Famoso Raceway. “I have a lot of great people that gave me a great car.”
Don Enriquez o (Junior Fuel), Mike Smith (7.0 Pro), Richard Phillips (7.0 Pro B), Mitchell Akers (AFX), Tom Fowler (A/Gas), Bakersfield native Jason Barta (Nostalgia Eliminator), Ryan Davenport (A/Fuel) and Dan Myers (Nostalgia Pro Mod) also were winners at the 22nd annual California Hot Rod Reunion.
Texas native Hale claimed his second California Hot Rod Reunion Funny Car championship title by Dan Horan in the final round. Hale powered his ’69 Camaro to a performance of 5.685 seconds at 251.06 mph to hold off California native Horan. With the win, defending Heritage Series world champion Jason Rupert clinched his third consecutive 2013 Series title.
“It was definitely an exciting race and having the championship resting on our shoulders for Jason [Rupert] really drove us win,” Hale said. “We had a good time and it means a lot to win here at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway and the amazing, tradition-rich California Hot Rod Reunion.”
“We’d like to thank our dedicated sponsors as well as those who joined us this year and made the event even bigger and better than last year,” Larry Fisher, executive director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California said. “The success of the California Hot Rod Reunion makes it possible for the museum to collect, preserve and share stories of our sport’s pioneers and innovators.”