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Thu, 26 Oct 2017, 17:54 PM

Murphy, Hodgson, Bates, Enriquez and Cottrell Take Championships
Courtesy of NHRA Field Marketing

GLENDORA, Calif. - Jim Murphy and Ryan Hodgson captured NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championships this past weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway and the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of California. Joining the pair were Kin Bates, Don Enriquez and Bobby Cottrell who also locked up 2017 Heritage Series Championships.

Murphy, Santa Rosa, Calif., came into the weekend leading the points over Mendy Fry and Adam Sorokin in Nostalgia Top Fuel. He first won the postponed Firebird Raceway Nightfire Nationals final round on Saturday to extend his points lead. In Sunday's California Hot Rod Reunion eliminations he again beat out Sorokin in the semifinals to seal up his second championship. Fry, Los Angeles lost to event winner Jim Young in the semifinals to secure the number two spot in the championship.

Murphy finished the season with two wins in four final rounds taking wins in Bowling Green, Ky., and at the Nightfire in Boise, Idaho, along with final round finishes at the season opening March Meet and the California reunion to close out the year.

Hodgson, Sturgeon County, Alb. CAN., and former Nostalgia Funny Car Champion Jason Rupert entered the event one and two in Nostalgia Funny Car points. Rupert won the delayed Nightfire final to close the gab but failed to make the weekend's 16-car field ending his championship run. Hodgson secured the 2017 title with a pair of wins in three final rounds. He started the season with a win at Auto Club Famoso and the March Meet then won at Rocky Mountain Raceways outside Salt Lake City.

Bates out of Anderson, Calif., continued his run of championships as he beat out third generation driver Drew Austin in the A/Fuel final round and the final points standings. The pair battled all year with Bates taking home three wins to close out the season to Austin's one win at the season opener. Bates now tops the charts with nine NHRA Heritage Series Championships.

The Jr. Fuel Championship went to Mission Viejo, Calif., racer Enriquez who scored wins in Bakersfield along with a pair in Sacramento for his forth championship. His three wins in five final round appearances amassed more than a 200 point lead on the rest of the field. Alan Hull finished in second with a pair of final round appearances.

Bobby Cottrell captured his third championship in the 7.0 Pro class along with the event win in the Nostalgia Funny Car class driving for Bucky Austin. The Whittier, Calif., racer started the year with a win in 7.0 Pro in Phoenix then another at the June event in Sacramento. Steve Faller and Richard High finished second and third as their championship chase ended in round one loses in Bakersfield.

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