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Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 12:41 PM

Cottrell, Austin, Marottek Clinch NHRA Heritage Series Championships
Courtesy of NHRA Field Marketing

GLENDORA, Calif. - Bobby Cottrell, Drew Austin and John Marottek each claimed 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championships this past weekend at the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The three joined Mendy Fry who had already locked up her championship, along with nine other racers to clinch championships at the season ending event.

Cottrell had all but clinched the Nostalgia Funny Car championship coming into the weekend, then did so by qualifying for the 16-car funny car field. The Whittier, Calif., racer, driving for Bucky Austin, won three events this year on his way to the title. Cottrell fell to event winner Jason Rupert in the semifinals as Rupert went on to beat out Rian Konno in the Funny Car final with the quickest funny car run of the event at 5.634 seconds.

Drew Austin and Marottek not only clinched championships in A/Fuel and Jr. Fuel respectively, but they won the event as did Fry in Nostalgia Top Fuel. Austin beat Wayne Ramay in the A/Fuel final which moved him ahead of Kin Bates for the championship. The two have been locked in a battle all season. Marottek clinch early in the weekend, then beat out Don Enriquez in the final posting a 6.997, 155.96 mph victory lap for his third win of the year.

Fry, who was on a victory lap all weekend, qualified No. 1 then marched through the field and knocked out Rick McGee in the final with a 5.610, 259.36 mph lap. The win was Fry's third of the season in four final rounds.

Robert Johnson also doubled up on the weekend taking both the event win and the series championship in Nostalgia Eliminator II. Five racers had a shot at the title coming into the weekend with Johnson coming out on top with a win over Jaclyn Generalao Jones in the final.

Brad Denny, Frank Merenda and Kevin Riley each advanced to the final round and clinched their series championships on the way. Denny took the 7.0 Pro championship with a round 3 win before losing to Steve Faller in the final. Faller clocked in at 7.004 at 193.52 for his victory.

Merenda took the A/Gas Championship then fell to Brian Rogers in the final and Riley did the same in B/Gas giving in to Val Miller in the money round. Rogers went 7.650 for his win and Miller stopped the clocks at 8.555 on his winning run.

Dustin Lee and Ed DeStaute took home championships in Nostalgia Eliminator I and Nostalgia Eliminator III. Both came into the event leading the points as Lee advanced to the third round to win the championship while DeStaute needed just one round win to grab his title. Bernie Plourd raced to the event win in NE1 over Jim Seivers and former series champion Lindsey Lister took out Wes Anderson for the NE3 trophy.

Chris Rea, Ed Carey and Dale Hicks rounded out the series championships as Rea lost in round 1 of C/Gas but held on to the points lead and the championship when Scott Morgan fell in the round 2. Carey took care of business in round 1 to clinch in D/Gas and Hicks held on to his points lead with all contenders falling in early rounds.

Bill Becker took the event win in C/Gas over Mark Capps; Bill Norton put Larry Cook on the trailer in D/Gas; and Alex George won against Mark Dyck in Hot Rod.

There were several non-Heritage series classes in competition this weekend as well with second generation driver Brian Hope taking the win in AA/Fuel Altered; Scott White won in AA/Gas; Roger Holder beat Ed Thornton in Nostalgia Pro Mod; and Jack Goodrich won in A/FX.

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