AREND TO DRIVE CALIFORNIA HUSTLER AA/FC
Don Nelson, owner of Nelson Racing LLC, confirmed the driver of his California Hustler nitro funny car for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series will be Jeff Arend, starting in testing this weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
“Arend is a solid race car driver and has driven just about every kind of fuel car, my crew chief Ronnie Swearingen and I looked long and hard at all the candidates available, both Ronnie and I agreed on Jeff Arend,” said Nelson.
Arend comes to the California Hustler nitro funny car with four career NHRA National event wins having competed in nine final rounds. He recently drove for funny car legend Steve Plueger and his Plueger Racing Chevy Impala as well as the Kalitta Racing Patron funny car, substituting for Alexis DeJoria. He’s driven in the NHRA Heritage Series in Dale Pulde’s War Eagle funny car, in the Black Sunshine AA/Fuel altered as well as the Cheetah front-engined top fuel dragster.
Arend said of the opportunity, “I’m really looking forward to this, the Heritage Series is a lot of fun, and I really want to mix it up with the other drivers in the class. The California Hustler is a first class operation and at the top of the class.” Arend is also part of the nationwide Frank Hawley Drag Racing School.
In its sixth season of competition, Don Nelson’s California Hustler ’78 Firebird finished fourth in points for the past four seasons and is headquartered in Paso Robles, California. The California Hustler races with help and sponsorship from Lucas Oil Products, Justice Brothers Products, DJ Safety, M&M Race Fuels, Ross Racing Pistons and utilizes Alan Johnson Performance parts.
The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series kicks off the season at the Good Vibrations March Meet, continuing on to Boise, ID, Bowling Green, KY, Salt Lake City, Mission, BC, return to Boise for the Nightfire Nationals and back to Auto Club Famoso Raceway for the season-ending California Hot Rod Reunion Finals. The team will also compete in the inaugural United Nitro Funny Car Championship this season, presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports.