The Legends Nitro Series returns in 2024 with a 10-race schedule spanning the six-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series and four NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series events.

The NHRA Legends Nitro Series was developed in 2008 to help preserve NHRA’s rich history and tradition of Funny Car drag racing for enthusiasts who enjoy nostalgia drag racing competition.

New for the 2024 race season is the announcement of Nathan Sitko will take over the driving duties from Ryan Hodgson as the driver of the iconic Bubble Up Funny Car. Along with his dad, Ron Hodgson, Ryan is co-owner and will support the team in 2024.

Nathan adds his name to a well-recognized list of drivers to have previously wheeled the fabled Bubble Up Funny Car, joining the likes of original driver Gordie Bonin, who drove the car from 1972 to 1981, winning six national events and setting multiple speed records. Also on the list are Tom Hoover, Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, Kenny Achs, Terry Capp, and Tim Boychuk.

Good Vibrations March Meet

The Canadian-based Pacemaker Bubble Up Funny Car (AA/FC) team begins the 2024 season at the famed Famoso Dragstrip, just north of Bakersfield, California.  Known as the largest nostalgia drag race in the nation — the 63rd Good Vibrations March Meet features the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series.  kicked off its 2024 season with the 63rd annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Famoso Dragstrip. March 1 – 3, 2024.

The Bubble Up AA/FC started the weekend on Friday with a 5.82 ET at 252 mph in round one of qualifying before the race was called due to rain. Saturday brought better conditions and the team ran a 4.65 ET at 237 mph to capture the number one qualifying spot.

After running a 5.725 ET at 245.45 mph in round three and the final round of qualifying. Their second-round ET of 4.65 was rewarded by winning the Chris Minor Racing (CMR) Low Qualifier Bonus and securing the number one spot going into eliminations.

During eliminations on Sunday, Nathan Sitko lost to Kamak Pocock in round one due to tire shake.

The Bubble Up Funny Car will prepare for the 2024 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Dragstrip March 22 – 24, 2024.

NHRA Winternationals

Nathan Sitko and the Bubble Up Funny Car was one of eleven AA/FC teams heading into Friday’s round one qualifying session. After running a 4.881 ET at 231.52 mph the team sat 5th overall. The team moved to the number one qualifying spot with an impressive 4.653 ET at 237.38 mph at the end of two rounds of qualifying.

With the Legends Nitro Series set to run round three at Pomona just after noon on Saturday, the session was interrupted by rain. The afternoon stayed cloudy with rain and the day was finally called at 5:30 pm.  The first round of eliminations was scheduled for Sunday.

Nathan Sitko and the Bubble Up Funny Car faced Pocock in the first-round eliminations. Then went on to move onto second round of eliminations with a time of 4.771 ET at 196.30 mph against Pocock’s 4.927 ET at 231.04 mph to take the win.

Nature prevented the final rounds with a rain delay. The 2024 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals were concluded for the day due to current and projected rain. NHRA decided to complete the final rounds at the Arizona Nationals on April 5 – 7, 2024.

The Bubble Up Funny Car would hold on for now with a first-round win going into the 39th annual Arizona Nationals at the newly renamed Firebird Motorsports Park.

Duel in the Desert

For many race fans the “Duel in the Desert” has always been a highlight on the NHRA drag racing circuit.  When plans began to add it back to the schedule, officials, fans and race teams were thrilled to return to the track for the NHRA Arizona Nationals, an event that has delivered countless drag racing historical moments for nearly four decades.

The NHRA Arizona Nationals marks the third stop on tour for the Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series.

The first day at Firebird Raceway the track presented several challenges for race teams going into Q1. Even after shaking the tires and pedalling to the finish line, the Bubble Up Funny Car still ran a 4.986 ET at 218.97 mph putting them in the number 6 spot.

On Saturday, April 6th, from the Arizona Nationals, the Legends Nostalgia Funny Car series Winternationals elimationals resumed. Sitko faced Bobby Cottrell during semi-round action but struggled to get down the track, posting a 5.313 ET at 171.10 MPH to Conttrell’s winning 4.705 ET at 242.10 mph.

Then Bobby Cottrell claimed the Legends Funny Car win from the rain-delayed Winternationals final, defeating Jeff Arend, who had to abort his effort at half-track.

Now the Legends Funny Car teams went back to qualifying in the third and final round of qualifying for the Arizona Nationals. The Bubble Up Funny car ran a 4.910 ET at 228.54 MPH, to squeak into eliminations with the last spot at #8.

On Sunday during eliminations a NHRA Arizona Nationals sold-out crowd witnessed some great drag racing. Sitko faced number one qualifier, Bobby Cottrell in round one of eliminations. Cottrell had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win, posting a 4.728 ET at 240.29 MPH to Sitko’s 4.742 ET at 236.80 MPH


“We gave it our best shot and laid down a great pass in round one of eliminations, but came up just short at the finish line, said Sitko”

Geoff Monise pulled off an upset in the finals of the Legends Nitro Series beating Bobby Cottrell, who won the Winternationals crown on Saturday. Monise denied him a double-win weekend with a 4.75 ET to 4.81 ET final-round decision.

Next Up

After an exciting and nerve-racking last three races, the Bubble Up Funny Car team is coming off impressive low qualifier (Famoso), two number one qualifier spots (Famoso & Pomona) and first and second round elimination appearances (Pomona & Phoenix).

The next time the Bubble Up Funny Car race team put the AA/FC to the test is at the NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor Nitro Opener at Firebird Raceway in Boise, ID on May 17-19, 2024.