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The latest update as of October 28, 2021

Today we've got the last set of photos from Saturday, which include AA/Fuel Altered qualifying, Pro Mod first round of eliminations, the first round of Nostalgia Funny Car eliminations, and the final qualifying sessions for Top Fuel and AA/Fuel Altered. Captions will be added throughout the day. Just keep refreshing each time you visit to see the latest additions.

AA/FUEL ALTERED - Qualifying Session #1

Dave 'Nasty' Benjamin - AA/FA --- Nick Van Horn - 'Panic' (near lane) vs 
Randy Bradford - 'Bradford's Fiat' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) The ageless veteran from Washington state, Dave "Nasty" Benjamin opened his account with a solid run. Despite a lazy launch (1.076 in 60'), he had it up on the tires soon after and kept the pedal down until the 1000' mark before coasting across the finish line with a 6.346 - 185.36 time.

(RIGHT) In the next pairing, two period-correct cars faced off with Nick Van Horn (near lane) in the "Panic! '23 Bantam cranking out a pair of career bests at to show that they meant business. In the other lane Randy Bradford kept pace with him until the top end, but still clocked in at a very good 6.258 - 236.34 to take the second spot on the ladder.

Jeff Bennett - 'Pure Heaven' (near lane) vs 
Brian Hope 'Pure Hell' (far lane) - AA/FA --- Brian Hope 'Pure Hell' - AA/FA

(LEFT) Two more nicknames that are synonymous with Fuel Altered racing came up next, with Jeff Bennett in the late Leon Fitzgerald's "Pure Heaven" (near lane) running into trouble early and shutting off to a 8.699 - 101.88, while (mostly obscured in the far lane) Brian Hope fared even worse in the Rich Guasco-owned "Pure Hell" entry, finally stopping the timers at 10.485 - 91.59 to close out the qualifying session.

(RIGHT) Here's a closer look at the Pure Hell car as it slows with the Pure Heaven chutes in the foreground.

PRO MOD - Eliminations Round #1

Robert Bingham (near lane) vs Karl Wilson 
(far lane) - PM --- Sean Renteria - 'Borrmann's Steel' (near lane) 
vs Wade Sjostrom (far lane) - PM

(LEFT) Eliminations in Pro Mod began with Robert Bingham in his flaming '67 Nova (near lane) facing off against Karl Wilson in the '93 'Vette (far lane). Bingham stepped up hugely from his so-so 7.08 qualifying time to a 6.266 - 225.00 in the "Shoebox", but a late (.280 light) launch cost him the win as Wilson 's slower took the win by a car length despite his mediocre (.188) reaction time.

(RIGHT) The next pair saw the winner, Sean Renteria, step up but it wasn't needed as opponent Wade Sjostrom, the lone Canadian in the field, headed for the wall when the light turned green, forcing him to lift. Renteria ran away to an even quicker time than his qualifying efforts, with a 5.848 - 247.47 lighting up the scoreboards.

Troy Ferry (near lane) vs Josh Kalish (far 
lane) - PM --- Dan Myers (near lane) vs Andy Kouerinis (far 
lane) - PM

(LEFT) Another runaway victory was the story for the third pair, but this one came with a twist as Troy Ferry in the 2014 Challenger literally blew off his own passenger-side door on the launch, and he limped to a 21.077 - 34.79 time. The crew on Josh Kalish's '53 Stude got it all figured out as he stepped up to a winning 6.052 at a big speed of 248.52 mph.

(RIGHT) Early model Chev versus later model as Dan Myers (near lane) pushed his '57 Chevy to a winning 6.295 at an early shutoff 195.93 mph, while in the far lane Andy Kouerinis popped the blower at the 330' mark and slowed to a 10.494 - 77.80 clocking.

Ed Marx - PM --- Jeremy Hanger - 'Kirk Kuhns' - PM

(LEFT) The next pair turned into a bye run for #2 qualifier Ed Marx in his '53 Vette as scheduled opponent Eric Peterson broke during qualifying. Marx put on a show for the fans with a half track burnout, then backed up and launched to a 5.985 - 231.04 despite a quick early pedal job.

(RIGHT) Closing out the round was the bye run for low qualifier Jeremy Hanger in the Kirk Kuhns '59 'Vette, and he took it easy with an early shutoff to "only" a 5.899 - 208.07 mph pass to advance to a second round match against Sean Renteria.

NOSTALGIA FUNNY CAR - Eliminations Round #1

Chris Davis - 'Old School Nitro' (near lane) 
vs Jerry Eepeseth - 'Rolling Thunder 2.0' (far lane) - NFC --- Billy Morris - 'Problem Child' (near lane) 
vs James Day - 'Speed Sport Special' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) Nitro flopper eliminations began with a wire-to-wire win for Jerry Espeseth (far lane) as he left first by a tenth, and came close to matching his qualifying numbers with a 5.741 - 253.56 to run away from Chris Davis's good try 6.292 at a slowing 171.08 speed.

(RIGHT) The "Problem Child" Camaro of Eddie Knox and Billy Morris (near lane) was only a problem for opponent James Day in the far lane. The child dispatched Day's "Speed Sport" Omni with a career best 5.615 - 250.13 that took the winlight by two car lengths. Day left first by nearly half a tenth, and ran a very competitive 5.812 - 245.94 that just wasn't quick enough. At the top end it banged the blower, but the ensuing fire went out quickly.

Terry Haddock - 'Fool's Errand' (near lane) 
vs Bobby Cottrell - 'Bardhal Special' (far lane) - NFC --- Dan Horan - 'Infinity Plumbing' (near lane) vs 
Don Knoblouch - 'Atomic Punk' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) It took eight years to put together the "Fool's Errand", but big show nitro racer Terry Haddock (near lane) started getting on top of the nitro nostalgia tuneup quickly as he progressed from a 7.343 (first qualifier) to a 6.524 (final session) and finally a decent 6.180 - 234.00 in the first round. However, it wasn't nearly enough as Bobby Cottrell (far lane) left first (by a tenth) and put up a 5.632 - 242.71 to turn on another winlight as he's been doing since starting to drive for Bucky "Northwest Hitter" Austin.

(RIGHT) Former Heritage series champion Dan Horan in the near lane cut a slow (.175) light and had to pedal early, but his 5.960 - 251.58 was more than enough to handle Washington's Don Knoblouch as the "Atomic Punk" reacted even slower with a .287 light, and shut off early to a 6.201 - 199.88 for the loss.

Justin Taylor - 'Evil, Wicked, Mean & Nasty' 
(near lane) vs Tony Jurado - 'Capitol Punishment' (far lane) - NFC --- Geoff Monise - 'Quarter Pounder' (near lane) vs 
Drew Austin - 'Pro Max' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) Coming in as an underdog, the Taylor Motorsports team with young Justin Taylor (near lane) in the seat faced an uphill battle against the "Capitol Punishment" Camaro of Tony Jurado in the far lane. Taylor gave it his best shot with a very good 5.794 at only 228.81 mph, but it wasn't close to Jurado's quickest of the weekend 5.638 - 258.17.

(RIGHT) Holding lane choice was Geoff Monise in the "Quarter Pounder" (near lane) but the advantage evaporated instantly on the green as he struck the tires and could only watch (from a distance) Drew Austin (far lane) turn another career best with a 5.720 - 253.61 in the family's "Pro Max" car. Monise had outqualified Austin with a career best 5.681 (#6) to Austin's 5.772 (#11), but the Clark, Van Gundy & Monise team just went "over center" in the first round.

Rian Konno - 'Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno 
(near lane) vs Cory Lee - 'The Pedaler' (far lane) - NFC --- Matt Melendez - 'Cacklin' Critter' (near lane) vs 
Kamaka Pocock - 'California Hustler' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) The sharp looking Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno" Mustang (near lane) left with veteran big show racer Cory Lee in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" (far lane) but Lee steadily pulled away to take the win with a 5.705 - 258.86 over Konno's close, but not close enough 5.789 - 252.10 effort. The gap at the stripe was less than two car lengths in what was a close and entertaining race.

(RIGHT) The final race of the round was also the closest, as the "Cacklin' Critter" (near lane) left with the flames up, but driver Matt Melendez was three hundredths of a second behind Kamaka Pocock (far lane) in Don Nelson's "California Hustler". However, at the finish line Melendez turned on the winlight with a 5.729 - 240.94 to barely - and we mean just barely - outrun Pocock's 5.765 - 230.37 pass. The gap at the finish line was just six thousandths of a second and the low speed (only 230 mph) for Pocock might just have been the difference. An incredible race to conclude a great round of Nostalgia Funny Car racing.

NOSTALGIA TOP FUEL - Qualifying Session #3

Sunset over the olive groves

Due to a few oildowns during the other eliminator category eliminations, the final qualifying session for Nostalgia Top Fuel began with the sun fully set and the flames really starting to show.

Jim Murphy - 'WWIII' (near lane) vs 
Tyler Hester - 'Overtime Special' (far lane) - NTF --- Brendan Murry - 'Runnin' Wild' (near lane) vs 
Adam Sorokin - 'Champion Speed Shop Special' (far lane) - NTF

(LEFT) With the field already set when Dusty Green failed to better the 6.351 bump spot in the first pair of the round, the table was set for position changes for the remaining cars in the lanes. Sitting on that bump spot was Tyler Hester (far lane) in the "Overtime Special" and he managed to leapfrog over Jim Murphy (near lane) as neither driver made it to the finish line under power. Murphy's powerplant expired in a cloud of smoke at the 800' mark, clocking in at 6.266 - 144.00 as Hester made it a little further and quicker as his 6.216 - 181.59 moved him up to #6 and Murphy down to #7 on the ladder.

(RIGHT) Dropping down to the #8 spot was Brendan Murry (near lane) and he failed to retake the #7 spot as he left soft and was in trouble right away, as can be seen in the photo. In the far lane Adam Sorokin was running hot in the "Champion Speed Shop" small-block Chevy until he took out the 1000' cones and DQ'd both runs. That left both racers in their respective #3 (Sorokin) and #8 (Murry) positions on the qualifying sheet.

Tyler Hilton - 'Great Expectations III' - NTF --- Frank McBee Jr. - 'Valley Thunder' - NTF

(LEFT) Running a single was Tyler Hilton in the big-block Chevy powered "Great Expectations III" and he jumped into the #4 spot and the top half of the field with a very good 5.889 - 219.04 to show that the overnight camshaft change was paying dividends.

(RIGHT) The final pair of Top Fuel qualifying was also a very special race-within-a-race in memory of longtime fuel racer Tom Shelar, the owner of the "High Speed Motorsports" team who passed away suddenlty two years ago. A group of companies, spearheaded by Custom Floaters put up a $12,000 winner take all purse for the two drivers with the best average elapsed times over the past year. We're not sure if the Tom Shelar Memorial Drag Race will become a fixture on the schedule but it was a very worthy memorial to a great drag racer.

In the near lane Frank McBee Jr. burned out in the "Valley Thunder" in preparation to face Bret Williamson in the "Forever Young" entry (not shown). They left together, but Williamson started opening a gap almost from the starting line and it was all over by half track when McBee lifted, making Williamson's 5.799 - 250.92 the winning time over McBee's slowing 8.200 - 102.05 effort. And that was it for Nostalgia Top Fuel qualifying.

AA/FUEL ALTERED - Qualifying Session #2

Brian Hope - 'Pure Hell' - AA/FA --- Brian Hope - 'Pure Hell' (near lane) vs 
Ron Hope - 'Rat Trap' - AA/FA

(LEFT) Burning out first in the near lane was Brian Hope in Rich Guasco's iconic "Pure Hell" '32 Bantam roadster as he prepared for his second and final qualifying session.

(RIGHT) Opposing Brian in the far lane was his father Ron Hope in the similarly historic "Rat Trap". Both racers sat at the bottom of the qualifying list with 12-second times in the first qualifier, and hoped for some serious improvment on the rapidly cooling track. It was over quickly as Ron Hope headed for the centerline again, and Brian sped to a much imrproved 6.642 - 216.24 to slide into the #5 position on the ladder.

Dan Pettinato - 'Rat Poison' - AA/FA --- Dan Pettinato - 'Rat Poison' (near lane) vs 
Randy Bradford - 'Bradford's Fiat' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) Leaving a nice trail of burnout smoke, South Carolina's Dan Pettinato in the "Rat Poison" looked to improve on his 9-second pass in the first session.

(RIGHT) Leaving first on opponent Randy Bradford (far lane) in the period correct "Bradford's Fiat", Pettinato ran into trouble first, striking the tires, then pedaling his way to a 9-second pass, while Bradford headed for the centerline, lifted then limped to the finish line with an 11-second clocking.

Shawn Callen - 'High Heaven' - AA/FA --- Shawn Callen - 'High Heaven' (near lane) vs 
Kyle Hough - 'Nanook' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) Burning out in the "High Heaven" '32 Bantam is Shawn Callen in what was the Jackson Bros. AA/Fuel Altered of the early 70's, fully restored and running a big-block Chevy powerplant.

(RIGHT) Callen (near lane) left first, but started smoking the tires immediately and was forced to pedal before giving up on the run to the tune of a 10.177 - 95.96, while in the far lane, third-generation driver Kyle Hough nearly tagged the wall in the "Nanook" as he lumbered to a 10.901 - 69.86 pass. Obviously neither driver improved on their previous elapsed times and remained in their respective positions of #4 (Callen) and #6 (Hough).

Jeff Bennett - 'Pure Heaven' (near lane) vs 
Nick Van Horn - 'Panic!' (far lane) - AA/FA

Closing out qualifying for the Fuel Altereds was Jeff Bennett in the "Pure Heaven" (near lane) and Nick Van Horn in the "Panic" '32 Bantam. Both cars got down the track, with Van Horn getting out of shape and shutting off just past the 660' mark to a 7.791 - 120.16, while Bennett kept on it past the 1000' mark to record a 6.692 - 185.95 clocking. While Van Horn remained in the top qualifying spot with his earlier 5.948, Bennett's much improved 6.692 moved him up one spot to #6 on the ladder.