Jim Young admits he lurked in the shadows, perfectly content to let championship combatants Jim Murphy and Mendy Fry snag all the headlines during the California Hot Rod Reunion. In the end, the only headline he wanted was the event championship.

In an anticlimactic final round, Young match raced Adama Sorokin in a guaranteed victory when Murphy was unable to make the semi-final call following a dust-up with the retaining wall in the shutdown area following a semi-final round win. 

“We’re really happy," Young said. "We went to most of the races this year. We were number one qualifier and top speed at every event; we just weren’t able to seal the deal. We came out here with a goal to run a 5.50, and we missed that a little in the final, but we ended up winning the race, so we’re real happy. I can’t thank the crew enough, everybody, this is a group effort, right from the finances down to the brain trust involved here. We all make the decisions together, and it’s paying off.” 

Keeping a low profile in the Murphy and Fry show was not hard at all. 

"We always knew that we could run with them, and even beat them, so I just went out there with the mindset that we’re going to win this round, and that’s what ended up happening," Young said. "It’s a shame for Murphy not to be able to run the final, but congratulations to him for winning the championship."

Make no mistake about it; Young wanted to run Murphy. He said he had something for the seasoned veteran. 

"We were running 5.60’s at 260 and not hurting it," Young said. "We know we’ve got a 5.50 in it; it’s just a matter of when we need to pull it out. So, if we were running him, we probably would have not done what we did, we would have backed it down a little more. But we were shooting for a 5.50 at over 265 is what our goal was and the track kind of went away a little bit for those conditions."

The victory gives Young plenty of momentum for 2018, even though a measure of uncertainty remains about the future.  

"I’m not sure what that’s going to bring," Young said. "The March Meet’s a tough one; it’s just a bad time of year with the snow plowing and everything out in Wisconsin, so we’ll see what happens. We’d like to run the full circuit, it’s just finances, it’s an expensive class to run, and we’re just lucky to be able to do it at the level that we do it right now."