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The latest update as of July 20, 2018

NHRA Heritage Series Funny Car race updates

With just two races remaining in the NHRA Heritage Series Nostalgia Funny Car season after this weekend's event at Mission Raceway Park, almost all the serious contenders are expected to be in the pits and ready to fight for the championship. Realistically though, only two drivers, Shawn Bowen and Bobby Cottrell, have a chance for the 2018 title. Three of the next four racers in the standings will be competing this weekend so there will almost certainly be some shuffling of the points deck come Saturday night.

With a maximum of 118 points available at this race, there are chances for racers to move up - or down - the list, and an early round loss could put a serious dent in a team's championship aspirations. Of note is the position occupied by the three-time series champion, Jason Rupert, who sits all the way down in 17th place currently. He's not going to be a factor in the title chase - other than to upset a few applecarts - if the car runs the way it's shown it's capable of recently. A final round 5.62 at 261 mph in Seattle two weeks ago is a seriously stout number for anyone to handle.

After Mission, the Funny Cars will compete at Boise's famed Firebird Raceway in their 47th annual Nightfire Nationals, before finishing the season at Bakersfield's California Hot Rod Reunion. A leveling factor is at work in the points as racers can only count their best six of seven events. That helps racers who can't afford to travel to every event - with almost all of the west coast racers skipping Beech Bend Raceway's Holley National Hot Rod Reunion - and the midwest and further east racers - usually not attending the Mission race. With costs of traveling and racing far exceeding the financial returns in the class - and serious sponsorship being nearly non-existent - the series regulars have to pick their spots, while racing smarter, and not necessarily more often.