THIRD-GEN DRAG RACER AUSTIN CLAIMS TOP PRIZE AT CHRR
Third-generation drag racer Drew Austin carried on the family tradition of winning big as he claimed his first career California Hot Rod Reunion Funny Car title, beating Jerry Espeseth in the final round at Famoso Raceway, located outside of Bakersfield, Ca.
Joining Austin were Dan Horan Jr. (Top Fuel), Ed Marx (Pro Modified), and Randy Bradford (Fuel Altered).
Austin, who entered eliminations as the No. 11 qualifier, opened with a victory over Geoff Monise. In what was a huge stunner, unleashed low elapsed time of the event in the second round, a 5.548, 260.11 to beat Billy Morris. Austin "backed-up" to a 5.639 to beat Horan's much-quicker 5.582.
“We knew we had a good car,” Austin told Bakersfield.com. “We ran it a few times and dynoed it. We knew it was good. You can make as much power as you want but getting down the track is the trick.
“My dad (Pat) definitely figured that out today. Luck was on our side today and it was a lot of fun.”
Austin again left first in the final round and led Espeseth to the stripe for a 5.636 to 5.663 victory.
Horan was in total control of the Top Fuel division as he started from the No. 1 qualifying position and easily handled Brendan Murry in the first round and then Tyler Hilton in the semis. He then overcame a significant holeshot from Adam Sorokin in the final round.
Horan was likely racing his final Top Fuel event as told Bakersfield.com that he plans to transition the dragster driving role over to his son Ryan.
Marx entered Pro Modified eliminations as the No. 2 qualifier and then scored wins over Eric Petersen, Josh Kalish before getting a bye run into the final round. He then strapped a .002 light on Karl Wilson and led him to a 5.950 to 5.968 victory.
In Fuel Altered, Bradford beat Shawn Callen for the CHRR title.
Sportsman winners included Kin Bates (A/Fuel), Don Enriquez (Jr. Fuel), Kevin Ropozo (7.0 PRO), Mike Molea (AA/GS), Ray Padget (A/Gas), Kris Dollinger (B/Gas), Chris Rea (C/Gas), Dan Fournier (D/Gas), Ed Silbermann (Nostalgia Eliminator-1), Sam Tucker (Nostalgia Eliminator-2), Lindsey Lister (Nostalgia Eliminator-3), Larry Warne (Hot Rod), and Mike Rogers (Hot Rod).