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The latest update as of October 26, 2021

California Hot Rod Reunion logo


These are not NHRA "Big Show" Pro Mods, or one of the multitude of "Outlaw" series that have proliferated. It's just a bunch of West Coast cars that gather for a fun event at Bakersfield twice a year. Lots of less-than-perfect aerodrynamic bodies and not as polished, and certainly not as well sponsored as you might expect at a national event. Hmm... sort of like Funny Car Chaos with doorslammer bodies. Pro Mod Chaos anyone?

Andy Kouerinis - PM --- Kirk Kuhns - PM

(LEFT) Leading off the Pro Mods was Andy Kouerinis in his Camaro S/S and he put down a good 6.179 - 214.69 to sit fourth in the field at the end of Friday's qualifying.

(RIGHT) Long-time West Coast hitter Kirk Kuhns is still at it after three decades of wheeling Pro Mods, but it's Jeremy Hanger behind the wheel of his '59 'Vette now. He covered the field by a bunch with a very strong 5.806, coupled with a BIG speed of 257.92 mph.

Karl Wilson - PM --- Josh Kalish - PM

(LEFT) In contrast to the early model 'Vette of Kuhns, the '93 'Vette of Karl Wilson showed a very different look, and unfortunately, a very different result as Karl's best effort of the day was an early shutoff of 9.997 - 75.98 to sit at the bottom of the 11-car field.

(RIGHT) This very sinister looking '53 Stude of Josh Kalish blasted out a solid 6.297 - 240.51 to slot into the middle of the field in the #5 spot.

Sean Renteria - 'Borrmann's Steel' - PM --- Troy Ferry - 'Bunker Motorsports' - PM

(LEFT) The totally unique '65 Valiant of Sean Renteria doesn't look like it should be able to run that fast, but his 5.955 - 244.56 landed him in the #2 position on the ladder, however, well behind the #1 (Jeremy Hanger) car by a tenth and a half.

(RIGHT) The only late model car in the field, the Bunker Motorsports '14 Challenger driven by Troy Ferry almost broke into the 5-second zone, carding a 6.026 - 242.58, good enough for the #3 position.

Dan Myers - PM --- Eric Petersen - 'The EFI Store' - PM

(LEFT) The clean looking '57 Chevy of Dan Myers didn't get all that he wanted, with a leaving him in the #7 spot on the charts.

(RIGHT) Something totally different is the flat black '51 Chevy of Washington state's Eric Petersen, who had a troubled day with a best of only 7.379 - 186.95 to his credit.

Robert Bingham - PM

It took a bit of digging (and a closer look at the permanent number on the side window) to deduce that this is Robert Bingham in a '67 Nova, running Pro Mod and qualifying in the #10 position with a 7.089 - 162.33 timeslip.


Billy Morris - 'Problem Child' - NFC --- Geoff Monise - 'Quarter Pounder' - NFC

(LEFT) From the outhouse to not quite the penthouse, car owner/tuner Eddie Knox sorted out whatever problems his "Problem Child" had and it resulted in Billy Morris cranking out a 5.635 - 239.36 to jump from #13 to #3, despite the early shutoff, evidenced by the sub-240 mph speed.

(RIGHT) Running in the lane next to Morris, Geoff Monise tried to duplicate his first session career best 5.68 pass, but he was forced to lift just before the 1000' mark. The timeslip showed some great incrementals to half track, nearly three hundredths and five mph ahead of Morris, but the quarter-mile time was only 6.234 - 137.01 and that saw him drop from #3 to #4 on the qualifying list.

Tony Jurado - 'Capitol Punishment' - NFC --- Drew Austin - 'Pro Max' - NFC

(LEFT) With the car up For Sale as he moves deeper into the "Big Show" nitro funny car world, Tony Jurado was trying hard to improve on his first session 5.729, but fell just short with a still very good 5.780 - 250.88. He didn't drop back and stayed in the middle of the field at #8 on the ladder.

(RIGHT) In the other lane was the overnight success story of the meet, Drew Austin and the Austin clan turned the screws on the tuneup in the right direction, as they stepped up nearly two tenths from a 5.952 to an excellent 5.772 - 241.89 to #8 from #10. Steady progress and the car still wasn't run all the way to the finish line.

Dan Horan - 'Infinity Plumbing' - NFC --- Don Knoblouch - 'Atomic Punk' - NFC

(LEFT) Coming out of the burnout with the motor set on "mean", Dan Horan was ready to rock the scoreboards and he did just that. In fact, to the tune of 5.614 - 256.70 to close the gap to #1 Bobby Cottrell.

(RIGHT) With Jeff Diehl helping sort out the Don Knoblouch car, the second session saw the car run hard to half track, before coasting to a much better (than his earlier 7.058) e.t. of 6.542, at a very early shutoff 155.01 mph. With other cars stepping up, that moved the "Punk" down from #12 to #14 going into the final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

Jerry Espeseth - 'Rolling Thunder 2.0' - NFC --- James Day - 'Speed Sport Special' - NFC

(LEFT) After a solid 5.729 e.t. in the first qualifying session, Jerry Espeseth went absolutely nowhere when he ignited the tires on the launch and didn't cross the finish line until the clocks had reset for the next pair.

(RIGHT) It was a good looking launch for the "Speed Sport" Omni, carrying the front wheels past the 60' mark, but it went south shortly after as James Day could only manage a 8.693 - 93.85 to drop into the #17 spot with just one qualifying session left.

Chris Davis - 'Old School Nitro' - NFC --- Kamaka Pocock - 'California Hustler' - NFC

(LEFT) Another consistent pass, in the 5's and over 240 mph, but his 5.957 - 241.20 left him Chris Davis in the #13 spot at the end of Friday's second qualifying session.

(RIGHT) After an early shutoff (5.892 at just 195.05 mph) in the first session, Kamaka Pocock really picked up the pace in Don Nelson's "California Hustler", knocking two tenths of his e.t. and moving up to the #5 spot with an excellent 5.684 - 252.52 timeslip.

Terry Haddock - 'Fool's Errand' - NFC --- Terry Haddock - 'Fool's Errand' - NFC

Making his Heritage Series debut with a solid burnout, then launching with the butterflies wide open on the old-style Hilborn "Shotgun" injector, Terry Haddock labored down track in the ex-"Mr. Boston" car. It's now the "Fool's Errand" but still pays homage to it's "Bawstin" origin. The clocks stopped for Haddock at 7.434 - 196.27; nothing to write home about, but good enough for the #15 spot and a provisional spot in the show.

Heidi Austin - BUG - NFC

Always seen in front of the "Austin & O'Brien" car, backing up Bobby Cottrell, it's Heidi Austin performing her "reverse gear assistant" duties with style.


Adam Sorokin - 'Champion Speed Shop Special - NTF --- Tyler Hilton - 'Great Expectations III' - NTF

(LEFT) In far-and-away the most unique car in Nostalgia Top Fuel racing, second generation driver Adam Sorokin had his hands full when the small-block Chevy powered "Champion Speed Shop Special" got waaay too close to the wall before he wisely lifted and coasted to a 9.738 - 82.18 to leave him on the outside of the field in the #9 spot going into Saturday's final qualifier.

(RIGHT) Another non-conventional powerplant came out next as a big-block Chevy sat between the frame rails in the Jim & Allison Lee-owned "Great Expectations III" car. This team has been running since the early 70's and one of the original driver's sons is now in the hot seat. It's young Tyler Hilton and he ran strong until the power went away on the top end, stopping the clocks at 6.024 - 201.76 to show there was a lot more potential in their new combination after blowing it up BIG TIME at Bowling Green in June.

Frank McBee Jr. - 'Valley Thunder' - NTF --- Bret Williamson - 'Forever Young' - NTF

(LEFT) At the end of the burnout, Frank McBee Jr. brought the "Valley Thunder" to a halt before preparing to launch into his first qualifying attempt. It went well to the 1000' mark, then the throttle closed and McBee coasted across the finish line at 6.263 - 203.09 to slot into the #4 position.

(RIGHT) Running alongside McBee was the "Forever Young" team with jack-of-all-trades Bret Williamson behind the motor. He was running away from the Valley Thunder at half track before shutting off to a 6.567 - 161.50, only good enough for the #6 rung on the ladder.

Brendan Murry - 'Runnin' Wild' - NTF --- Tyler Hester - 'Overtime Special' - NTF

(LEFT) Now running a late-model Chrysler, former Chevy stalwart Brendan Murry didn't have much better luck as his "Runnin' Wild" had to shut off early to a 7.433 - 129.59 clocking that left him in the #7 spot.

(RIGHT) Launching hard in the "Overtime Special" with the flames high, but unfortunately, not for long, was Tyler Hester as he slowed to an 8.043 at 99.11 mph to end up on the provisional bubble for the 8-car field.

Mark Tarabochia - 'Bad Medicine' - 7.0 PRO

Down from Oregon to test the 7.0 PRO waters again, Mark Tarabochia wheeled the "Bad Medicine" '70 Barracuda (the only Funny Car in the class) to a 7.642 to hold down the 16th place in the all-run 22-car field.