MENDY FRY WINS REUNION FOR THREE-PEAT AND NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY

CHRR18-6BAKERSFIELD, California – Mendy Fry drove into the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion with the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel championship already in hand and drove the High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel Dragster over the finish line for the event win. Her Top Fuel victory at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield marked a three-peat season clincher for Fry and the team after successive wins the National Hot Rod Reunion and Nightfire Nationals.

“We lost only one round of racing this year, ran the table on Low ET and Top Speed at every event except for Top Speed at the National Hot Rod Reunion. I’d say Tom Shelar and the crew have it dialed in. My team gave me the car to beat, and I didn’t screw it up. So this win is theirs. I’m just glad they picked me.” said Mendy.

Fry drove the High-Speed Motorsports dragster to number one position in explosive qualifying rounds and set event Low ET and Top Speed with a 5.55-second, 261 MPH Semi-Final win. Fry took the event win with a hard-charging 5.61 ET at 259 MPH over Rick McGee, who launched the Overtime Special to a 5.74 ET at 256 MPH for Runner Up. The final round was a dramatic conclusion to the 2018 Hot Rod Heritage season following a frenetic weekend of Top Fuel qualifying and racing action at the California Hot Rod Reunion.

BY THE NUMBERS

Through three Top Fuel qualifying sessions, some drivers saw newfound success and others met surprising disappointment as teams pushed to run the numbers while chasing Fry and the remarkably consistent High-Speed Motorsports entry. Dan Horan Jr. blasted out of the gate with a 5.87 ET at 253 MPH but hurt the Fritz Kaiser-tuned late-model Hemi in the Second Session. Irreparable damage to Horan’s mount brought Tyler Hilton and the Great Expectations III back into the show from the bump with his 5.90 ET and 255 MPH qualifying Top Speed.

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The qualifying shocker was 2017 Heritage Series Champion and Event Honoree Jim Murphy, who was unable to get the WW2 entry into the show. After missing the tune-up twice, Adam Sorokin lit the candles down the entire quarter-mile and blasted the Champion Speed small-block Chevrolet fueler into the running with a 5.72 at 243 MPH in Session Three. Dusty Green pedaled Steve Harwood’s Nitro Hemi to no avail after an extended Session Three cleanup and considerable track temperature drop. 2017 California Hot Rod Reunion Top Fuel winner Jim Young drove the Young Guns into the number two qualifier spot.

BATTLE AT BAKERSFIELD

Round One Eliminations opened with Rick McGee pedaling his way into the Semi-Final with a 6.07 ET at 222 MPH after Jim Young red lit in the Young Guns dragster. Mendy Fry belted out a 5.58-second 258 MPH win over Tyler Hilton who extracted a 6.30 ET at 251 MPH out of the big-block Chevrolet. Pete Wittenberg moved on with a 5.73 ET at 244 MPH on a single after Rick White and Chuck Neal could not get their dragster out of reverse after the backup. Adam Sorokin took the win with an explosive 5.88 ET at 213 MPH after Bret Williamson got loose and the Forever Young went up in smoke.

CHRR18-10Number seven qualifier Rick McGee launched the Overtime Special into the final with a 5.74 ET at 233 MPH over Adam Sorokin who ran side-by-side up to the 1000-foot mark for a 6.00 ET at 182 MPH. In a March Meet final round rematch with an alternate outcome, Mendy Fry pushed the High-Speed Motorsports fueler to event low ET with a 5.55-second, 261-MPH run as Pete Wittenberg clipped a cone for a DQ and 6.15 ET at 169-MPH. Rick McGee grabbed the green in the final with a .036 reaction time in the Overtime Special but Fry charged hard past the 300-ft mark for the 5.61 ET at 259 MPH victory over McGee, who lit up the clocks with a 5.74 ET at 256 MPH for Runner-Up, closing out the 2018 season until the 2019 Bakersfield March Meet.

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Photos Arlene Eliason and High-Speed Motorsports

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TOP FUEL FRENZY AT FAMOSO FOR CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION

chrr-aafd-38A baker’s dozen’s worth of AA/Fuel Dragster combatants will close out the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series this weekend with a supercharged 8-car Top Fuel Eliminator at the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California.

Thirteen drivers representing three generations of nitromethane-fueled drag racing are ready for the final race of competition. With an incontestable points advantage following consecutive event wins at the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion and Nightfire Nationals, second-generation drag racer Mendy Fry and the “High-Speed Motorsports” team are already the 2018 Nostalgia Top Fuel Champions. But for the rest of the field, it’s not over until its over and the battle for the event win and number two Nostalgia Top Fuel points position will certainly be fierce at Famoso.chrr-aafd-23

Current 2nd place points sitter and March Meet Winner Pete Wittenberg is back in the saddle of his early-model Hemi-powered “KMA Circuit Breaker” after a semi-final finish at the Nightfire Nationals in Boise. Venerable Brendan Murry is heading out of the Murry Building in San Jose, California with the “Running Wild” late-model Hemi-propelled dragster in tow. Second generation dragster driver Adam Sorokin is confident that the “Champion Speed Shop” small-block Chevrolet combination can make more with less at Bakersfield. “We’re concentrating more on making the car run harder and longer. We will be just staying on our side of the tree and maximizing everything we can,” said Sorokin.

chrr-aafd-12After a Herculean runner-up finish at Boise, Dusty Green will once again team up with Steve Harwood’s “Nitro-Hemi” contender. Bret Williamson will strap into Mike Fuller’s “Forever Young” AA/Fuel entry. 2006 CHRR Top Fuel winner Jim Murphy will drive the “WW2” fueler as an event Honoree. Last year’s Reunion winner Jim Young is hauling his Hemi-powered “Young Guns” rail to Bakersfield from Wisconsin and third-generation drag racer Tyler Hilton is moving towards California after posting the quickest and fastest time yet in the big-block Chevrolet-powered “Great Expectations III” AA/Fuel Dragster at the Nightfire Nationals in Boise, Idaho with a blistering 5.88 ET at 249 MPH.

Rick White is suiting up in the “Neal & White” front-engine dragster, and Dan Horan Jr. will push his departed father “Digger Dan” Horan’s front engine dragster towards the high fives with a tuneup from 1995 March Meet winner Fritz Kaiser. Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang are motoring to Famoso from Canada with their small-block Chevrolet-powered “Xhibitionist” digger. Veteran driver Rick McGee and crew have been putting in plenty of extra hours preparing their Hemi-powered “Overtime Special” dragster for battle at the ‘patch.

And in a gesture to ensure future participation in the sport, the Jim McLennan Drag Racing Foundation is once again firing up its successful Top Fuel Intern program, taking students from Bakersfield College and tasking them with mechanical maintenance on these exotic front-engine Top Fuel dragsters. Solidifying the Reunion’s relationship to the past and present, former Top Fuel Champion, stunt driver Kelly Brown will serve as the Reunion’s Grand Marshal.

Event Honorees include crew-chief extraordinaire Bob Brandt, A/Fuel driver and trainer Jerry Darien, onetime Hot Rod Magazine Editor and current drag racing journalist-historian Dave Wallace Jr., former Car Craft Magazine Editor and drag racer Rick Voegelin, and 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Champion Jim Murphy.

chrr-aafd-29The All American Fuel Dragsters will join nitro-huffing Funny Cars, awful AA/Fuel Altereds, front-engine blown alcohol and injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters, and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum curated collection of nitro-burning history in is annual “Cacklefest.” Historic push-starts are scheduled to occur throughout the weekend. Hundreds of Hot Rods and Customs will complement a swap meet full of vintage speed parts along with specialty equipment and memorabilia vendors on the midway.

To purchase California Hot Rod Reunion tickets call 1-800-884-NHRA, head over to NHRA or drive on out to Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

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27th CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION TOP FUEL SCHEDULE:

Friday, October 19th
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1: 11:00 AM
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 2: 3:00 PM

Saturday, October 20th
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 3: 12:00 noon
Top Fuel Round 1: 3:00 PM

Sunday, October 21st
National Anthem & Pre-race Ceremonies 10:45 AM
Top Fuel Eliminations Round 2 11:30 AM
Final Eliminations – All Categories 4:00 PM

Schedule subject to change

NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES

Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship points standings heading into the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the 4th and last race in the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series following the cancellation of the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park.

1) Mendy Fry 334
2) Pete Wittenberg 188
3) Brendan Murry 179
4) Adam Sorokin 164
5) Dusty Green 161
6) Bret Williamson 131
7) Jim Murphy 126
8) Jim Young 97
9) Tyler Hilton 85
10)Tim Cullinan 84
11) Rick White 54
12) Jason Greenwood 52
12) Dan Horan 52
13) Julius Hughes 51
14) Phil Ruskowski 20
15) Rick McGee 10
15) Dave Miller 10
15) Paul Schultz 10

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WITTENBERG VICTORIOUS AT MARCH MEET IN KMA CIRCUIT BREAKER

pete-wittenberg-launchPete Wittenberg took the Top Fuel win over Mendy Fry at the 60th March Meet in a dramatic conclusion to a manic March Meet weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. The Top Fuel Final ran into a dark and cold Sunday night after incessant rain torpedoed Saturday racing action. Wittenberg struck the tires and pedaled the KMA Circuit Breaker out of the gate as Mendy Fry charged ahead, but Fry clipped a half-track cone driving through tire shake and darkness in the High-Speed dragster for a centerline disqualification.

Front-engine Top Fuel dragster competition ramped up at the 2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet with nitro testing on Thursday and kicked off officially with Friday Qualifying. Rain prevented two scheduled Saturday Top Fuel qualifying sessions from running and left the All-American Fuel Dragster Dirty Dozen with a single qualifying session instead of three. After calling it due to rain on Saturday afternoon, officials made the decision to run 8-car Top Fuel Eliminations on Sunday based on Friday qualifying session order. With last minute hopes of running 12-car Eliminations dashed, four weather-beaten racers towed back home.

fry-chargeRunner-up Mendy Fry was on track to the Top Fuel Final rain or shine at the 60th March Meet. Fry took #1 Qualifier with a 5.73 ET at 219 MPH blast. She then set Top Speed in a Round One Eliminations with a 5.96 ET at 261 MPH win over Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop, and set low ET in the Semi-Final round with a 5.60 ET at 250 MPH victory against Jim Murphy after he lost traction in the WW2 out of the gate. Murphy grabbed a Round One Eliminations win with a 5.84 ET at 231 against Rick White who ran a 6.22 ET at 242 MPH in the Neal and White AA/Fuel dragster.white-murphyPete Wittenberg held the #3 Qualifying spot going into Sunday Eliminations and advanced to the Semi-Finals with a 5.84 ET at 221 MPH win over Brendan Murry. Bret Williamson drove the Forever Young dragster on fire past the stripe for a dramatic 5.79 ET at 212 MPH win against Dan Horan Jr. that set Williams and Wittenberg up for a Semi-Final battle. Wittenberg moved on to the Final with a 5.83 ET at 219 MPH against Williamson who ran a 5.94 ET at 238 MPH. Pete Wittenberg went from getting his Top Fuel license and going a single round the 59th March Meet to the Top Fuel final at the 60th March Meet.horan-williamson-E1The Final round paired up Mendy Fry in the High-Speed Motorsports dragster and Wittenberg in the Jimi Young-tuned KMA Circuit Breaker. Darkness fell as did the temperature before the finalists hit their burnouts and staged in for the Top Fuel decider at the 60th March Meet. Wittenberg lost traction off the line and pedaled the KMA Circuit Breaker in an attempt get 3000-plus horsepower back down to the ground. Mendy Fry pulled away for the lead unaware of Wittenberg’s situation but encountered tire shake in the dark and clipped the half-track cone for a disqualification.W03Pete Wittenberg ran the gamut of emotions in the cockpit. “I hit the throttle, and the car went up in smoke. I pedaled it. I rolled back into it. I saw her way out there, and I lifted and thought ‘that was fun, we’re out,’ then I saw here come over into my lane a little bit, and there was a role reversal in my head”. Wittenberg took the 60th March Meet Top Fuel trophy home just a short year after first strapping into the KMA Circuit breaker as a licensed Top Fuel racer. Drag racing, as Jungle Jim Lieberman famously said, is far out.

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The 2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports 60th March Meet was the opening salvo in the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Championship battle. Next up for the All-American Fuel Dragsters and legions of vintage drag racing fans is the 16th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky June 14-16, 2018.

AAFD NITRO DIRTY DOZEN STAGED IN FOR MARCH MEET

AAFD02The All-American Fuel Dragsters coalition is bringing a dozen original Top Fuel dragsters to the 60th Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California March 1st-4th. The Nitro Dirty Dozen supercharged front-engine AA/Fuel dragsters will fight for 8 qualified slots in a battle for March Meet supremacy at the 2018 season opener of the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series.

2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Champion and 4-time March Meet winner Jim Murphy is hoping to drive his WW2 hemi-powered dragster to victory and become the second 5-time winner of the storied drag race. A 5-feat will tie the only other 5-time March Meet winner Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, who set national Top Fuel dragster competition in motion with his Swamp Rat dragster at the first March Meet in 1959.

Reigning March Meet winner Mendy Fry reports strong numbers from pre-race testing at Famoso with the hemi-powered High Speed Motorsports front-engine Top Fuel dragster. “The 2017 March Meet winner is itching to get back in the car and heading into the race with a ton of confidence. We are ready”, said Fry. Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop will meet again at Famoso after posting stout testing numbers with their small block Chevrolet powered AA/Fuel special.

Steve Harwood’s Nitro-Hemi is heading over the Rocky Mountains from Colorado to meet up with California-based driver Dusty Green at Famoso, and Bret Williamson will suit up and strap into the Mike Fuller Forever Young hemi-powered entry. Pete Wittenberg is back at the March Meet in the KMA Circuit Breaker dragster a year after getting his license at the 59th March Meet. Tedford & McGee are bringing the fearsome Overtime Special into the fight with driver Rick McGee helping his nephew land a Top Fuel license at the event.
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Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang are once again carrying the front-engine Top Fuel dragster torch south from Canada to put northern fire into their small block Chevrolet-powered Xhibitionist at Bakersfield. Chicago’s own Turbo Tim Cullinan dressed his late-model hemi powered AA/Fuel dragster with a new paint scheme for the March Meet, and Brendan Murry is hauling his 426 hemi-powered Running Wild dragster out of his home garage in San Jose, California.

Rounding out the Nitro Dirty Dozen in Top Fuel row at Famoso are Rick White and the Neal & White AA/Fuel dragster, hoping to repeat their 2011 March Meet victory and Dan Horan Jr., who will suit up and drive his departed father’s front-engine AA/Fuel dragster with Fritz Kaiser putting the tune-up into the supercharged nitro-burning hemi. Longtime drag racer and front-engine Top Fuel great “Digger” Dan Horan Sr. passed away in 2016.

The 2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway the opening salvo in the 5-race battle for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Championship. As more nitro is better nitro the AAFD Original Top Fuel dragsters will join forces at Famoso with unruly fuel altereds, vintage rear-engine Top Fuel dragsters, Funny Cars, injected and blown A/Fuel dragsters and an as yet unknown quantity of nitro-huffing entries for nitro-burning drag racing action that can only be the March Meet in Bakersfield.

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2018 MARCH MEET TOP FUEL SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

March Meet AAFD Top Fuel action starts with testing Thursday, March 1st at 3:00. First round qualifying (Q1) is scheduled for Friday the 2nd. Q2 is slated for Saturday the 3rd at 12 PM with Q3 at 3:00 PM. Eliminations commence on Sunday at 11:45 AM. As nitromethane is unpredictable at best, the March Meet schedule is subject to change. More information on the 60th March Meet and an all classes full event schedule can be found by clicking through to the Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

WEDNESDAY, February 28th
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Open Test & Tune
THURSDAY, March 1st
3:00 PM: Top Fuel Testing Session
FRIDAY, March 2nd
12:00 PM – Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1 (Q1)
SATURDAY, March 3rd
12:00 PM: Top Fuel Q2
3:00 PM: Top Fuel Q3
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY, March 4th
11:00 AM: Opening Ceremony
11:45 AM: Top Fuel Eliminations
2:00 PM: Top Fuel Semi-Final
4:15 PM: Top Fuel Final

YOUNG WINS CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION – MURPHY COLLECTS HERITAGE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

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BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – Jim Young drove his Young Guns dragster to Top Fuel victory at the California Hot Rod Reunion after Jim Murphy damaged his WW2 AA/Fueler in the Semi-Final and did not return for the Final. Young advanced with methodical determination into a number 3 Qualifying spot, a 5.77 ET at 259 MPH Eliminations win over Rick McGee and Semi-Final win in a tight race against Mendy Fry with a 5.65 ET at 261 MPH blast that set event Top Speed.

Young’s run-it-to-the-stripe tuning strategy paid off for the Wisconsin-based team, who ran their AA/Fuel hemi throughout the weekend without extensive damage. Young plans to refine his winning formula over the Wisconsin winter with an eye on the mid-fives at the upcoming 2018 March Meet. “We’re right there. I know I could hit the 5.50s. We ran the same heads all weekend. Up until the Semi-Finals, we didn’t even have to take the motor apart. It can be done on a budget. Trust us!”

Veteran driver Jim Murphy was hoping for a Top Fuel Trifecta at the Hot Rod Reunion but the runner-up was all smiles after winning the rescheduled Boise Nightfire Nationals Final and taking the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship. Murphy took the Nightfire Nationals win over Adam Sorokin and #1 Qualifier spot with a 5.65 ET at 249 MPH blast in the rescheduled race that ran during Session 3 Qualifying on Saturday. Murphy’s subsequent 5.74 ET at 226 MPH Eliminations win over Phil Ruskowski set up a second matchup with Sorokin for the Semi-Final.

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Murphy drove out the back door in the Semi-Final with a blazing 5.60 ET at 246 MPH to Sorokin’s 5.72 ET at 241 MPH and clinched the Top Fuel Championship. Unfortunately, the WW2 hemi sacrificed a connecting rod in the process. Chutes out and oiled in, Murphy said he made contact with the wall in the shutdown area. The glancing hit damaged one front wheel, bent the steering, and crumpled a canard. Uncertain of hidden damage Murphy chose not to return for the Final for safety reasons.

Even with a Top Fuel victory at hand, Jim Young and crew worked feverishly in the pits to deliver the Young Guns dragster to its 5.50 ET at 260 MPH tune-up target. What would have been a single for Young turned into a combination Victory Lap and Exhibition Run as Adam Sorokin suited up and climbed into the Champion Speed Shop Special for a side-by-side Top Fuel closer at the 26th NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion. Young ran a 6.31 ET at 137 MPH for an uncontested event win. Sorokin unleashed small block Chevrolet but the tires could not contain full power.

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TOP FUEL FOES TO MEET AGAIN AT CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION

Jim Murphy WW2The All American Fuel Dragsters coalition confirms that a full qualifying field of front-engine AA/Fuel dragsters are staged in for the 8-car Top Fuel Eliminations battle at the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. The Top Fuel tossup at Famoso is the last race for the hotly contested Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel championship title and marks the 26th running of the premier west coast vintage drag racing happening with legendary AA/Fuel racer and longtime NHRA chief starter Rick “The Iceman” Stewart as event Grand Marshal.

nitro-nationals-tulsa-3Current Top Fuel points leader Jim Murphy is gunning for his second championship title in the WW2 dragster with a slim 7-point lead over number two Mendy Fry, who took the Nitro Nationals win in her High Speed Motorsports dragster over Adam Sorokin in his small block Chevrolet-powered Champion Speed Shop fueler at Tulsa Raceway Park. Sorokin sits in the number three spot, but potential points upsets are already in the lanes at Famoso as Sorokin and Murphy will settle their rain-postponed Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel final round score in qualifying prior to eliminations.

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The California-based AA/fuelers face formidable threats from the midwest and challenges from the north. Jim Young is hauling the Young Guns dragster to California from Wisconsin and aiming for another Famoso Top Fuel victory. Ohio’s own Tyler Hilton is headed west after a weekend of footing his big block Chevrolet-powered Great Expectations III AA/Fuel dragster down the quarter mile at the Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang are motoring to Famoso from Canada with their small block Chevrolet-powered Xhibitionist digger.

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Two small blocks and one big block Chevrolet will confront a gathering of hemi-propelled AA/Fuelers for 8-car eliminations. Bret Williamson will strap into the Mike Fuller Forever Young AA/Fuel entry and Pete Wittenburg is back in the saddle of KMA Circuit Breaker hemi following his Top Fuel driving debut at the March Meet. Driver Rick McGee and crew have been putting in the hours on the hemi-powered Overtime Special dragster, and former big block Chevrolet believer Brendan Murry is heading out of the Murry Building in San Jose, California with the Running Wild hemi dragster in tow.

Is there an extra Top Fueler in the house? Number four points position holder Dusty Green will be at Famoso with helmet and hope after the unfortunate news that Steve Harwood and the Nitro Hemi AA/Fuel dragster would not be making the trip over the Rockies for the last race of the season. Last year’s Top Fuel Champion Tony Bartone is reportedly recovering from a back injury but his Hot Rod Heritage Series whereabouts remain mysterious. Longtime Top Fuelers Neil and White might show up to the 26th California Hot Rod Reunion and turn the qualifying field volume up to 11.

The All American Fuel Dragsters will join nitro-huffing Funny Cars, awful AA/Fuel Altereds, front-engine blown alcohol and injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters, and a Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum curated collection of historic drag cars of every stripe that may or may not have tipped the can into the tank for the California Hot Rod Reunion. Nitro-burning history in motion will continue into Saturday night as the trademark Cacklefest makes its way on track with a parade and presentation of nitromethane heritage from dozens of painstakingly restored fuel dragsters. Historic push-starts are scheduled to occur throughout the weekend-long celebration.

To purchase California Hot Rod Reunion tickets call 1-800-884-NHRA or online at NHRA.com/hotrodreunion. Next stop for the All American Fuel Dragster coalition is next year at the 2018 March Meet at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California Thursday, March 1st through Sunday, March 4th.March Meet racers and fans are so advised to get things sorted out sooner rather than later. Head over to www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for upcoming series race schedules, news, points, results, rules and more.

26th CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION TOP FUEL SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY OCTOBER 20TH
Qualifying Session One 11 AM
Qualifying Session Two  3 PM

SATURDAY OCTOBER 21ST
Qualifying Session Three 12 NOON
Eliminations Round One 4 PM

SUNDAY OCTOBER 22ND
Eliminations Round Two 11:30 AM
FINALS 4 PM

NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES TOP FUEL POINTS STANDINGS:

Top Fuel points standings heading into the 26th California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway and last race in the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series. *Boise rain-postponed Nitro Nationals Top Fuel final round will run in qualifying prior to eliminations. Winner takes 20 points.

1. Jim Murphy* 388
2. Mendy Fry 381
3. Adam Sorokin* 298
4. Dusty Green 237
5. Jim Young 176
6. Tyler Hilton 157
7. Bret Williamson 128
8. Tony Bartone 126
9. Pete Wittenberg 74
10. Julius Hughes 64
11. Phil Ruskowski 62
12. Tim Cullinan 61
13. Rick McGee 52
13. Dave Miller 52
15. Paul Schultz 20
16. Brendan Murry 10
16. Jason Greenwood 10

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MENDY FRY COLLECTS TOP FUEL VICTORY AT NITRO NATIONALS

nitro-nationals-tulsa-1Mendy Fry pushed herself and the High Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster to a victory over Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet special at the Nitro Nationals September 22nd-23rd at Tulsa Raceway Park. Sorokin got the holeshot on the hit, but Fry kept her foot in the High Speed Motorsports fueler and fought off a drift toward the center line with every bit of steering for a 5.62 ET at 258 MPH win over Sorokin’s 5.75 ET at 245 MPH runner-up.

“It was all I could to keep it off the centerline, but I didn’t lift,” said Fry. Driver Adam Sorokin said the Champion Speed Shop special pulled strongly almost to the stripe but Fry took the race with a .075-second margin of victory and about 26 feet. Mendy Fry joined driver Tera Graves in the Nitro Nationals Winner’s Circle and marked the first time two women won concurrent Top Fuel and Nostalgia Funny Car wins at a NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championship drag race.

QUALIFYING MAYHEM!

Top Fuel got off to a destructive start in Friday testing as Adam Sorokin motored through a front-engine fireball. Sorokin emerged unscathed, but the Chevrolet kicked two connecting rods through the block. Friday Qualifying under the lights saw more carnage when Jim Young ran the Young Guns dragster to an oil-soaked and subsequently disqualified conclusion while Tim Cullinan skated around the top end to number 4 with a 6.58 at 152 MPH. Julius Hughes pushed the Atlanta Speed Shop dragster to number 5 with a 7.35 ET at 131 MPH. Tyler Hilton lit the candles full track to a 6.17 ET at 232 MPH, and Mendy Fry clicked early in with a 5.87 at 201 MPH for low ET and number one qualifier. Paul Schultz and Dusty Green lost traction for 6th and 7th spots while Jim Murphy pushed back after the burnout with a fuel leak.

Saturday Qualifying saw more smoke and fire but not from Adam Sorokin, who posted a clean 5.92 ET at 212 MPH for a number 4 slot after sitting out Session 1 Friday Qualifying.  Julius Hughes launched his Atlanta Speed Shop dragster to a smoking but oil free 6.13 ET at 243 MPH and number 5 spot. Tyler Hilton did not improve, but Dusty Green hooked up the Nitro-Hemi with a 6.58 ET and number 7 position. Mendy Fry sat out Saturday qualifying, landing in number 3 after Jim Young and Jim Murphy lit up the boards with a 5.74 ET and 5.87 ET for 1 and 2 qualifiers. Tim Cullinan drove through a top end fireball after a screw plug blowout vented 10000 RPM worth of oily nitro that got the run thrown out. Cullinan made it into the show unharmed with his Friday ET, but Paul “Nobody” Schultz and the Spirit of Tulsa did not.

 

ELIMINATIONS ACTION

Round 1 Eliminations opened with Jim Young trailering Tim Cullinan with a 5.81 ET at 239 MPH in a penalty box Top Fuel matchup. Mendy Fry drove her hemi-powered fueler to a 5.73 ET at 232 MPH win over Tyler Hilton and his big block Chevrolet-powered Great Expectations III dragster. Dusty Green had the reaction time advantage in the Nitro-Hemi, but Jim Murphy and the WW2 prevailed with a 5.72 ET at 245 MPH and .031-second margin of victory over Green’s 5.80 ET at 247 MPH. Sorokin charged hard out of the gate ahead of Julius Hughes and clicked it early with a 5.81 ET at 219 MPH win in a small block Chevrolet vs. big block Chevrolet Top Fuel battle.Semi-Final Eliminations saw Adam Sorokin turn an impossibly quick .004 reaction time against Jim Young into a win for the Champion Speed Shop with a mere .023-second margin of victory that had the crowd scratching its head after Sorokin lit up the win light with a 5.70 ET at 234 MPH over Young’s 5.68 ET at 260 MPH. After going out with a red bulb against Murphy at the Nightfire Nationals, Mendy Fry dispatched the veteran hot shoe with a redemptive 5.68 ET at 259 MPH that set the stage for the final round Top Fuel fight as the WW2 dragster sent sparklers up out of the headers in protest with a 5.89 ET at 211 MPH.The Champion Speed Shop team delivered the special back into the lanes in a Herculean effort considering the parts carnage that marked the beginning of their weekend. High-Speed Motorsports got their hemi together for the second Chevrolet vs. hemi Top Fuel final in as many races. Those who stuck around as night worked towards morning were duly rewarded with a close race and dramatic conclusion to the two-day event that witnessed drag racing the way it was moving into the future with next-generation fans and tomorrow’s racers smiling as Mendy Fry lowered them into the cockpit of her Top Fuel dragster in the Winner’s Circle for photos and a lifetime of memories.

NEXT STOP: BAKERSFIELD!

The next and last stop in the 5-Race 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series is the California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. Adam Sorokin and Jim Murphy will run the postponed Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel final round. The assembled AAFD drivers and teams will then battle one last time for the 2017 Top Fuel Championship. Head over the NHRA Museum or Auto Club Famoso Raceway for more information and tickets to the premier vintage drag racing event on the west coast until the March Meet in 2018.

ALL TOP FUEL – ALL AMERICAN FUEL DRAGSTERS – ALL THE TIME

Like and follow the All American Fuel Dragsters on Facebook for an ongoing chronicle of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel drag racing and more including event coverage, photos, results, and video highlights from upcoming episodes of the Dragstrip Rumble AA/Fuel Top Fuel Dragster video series. Like and follow the Dragstrip Rumble on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube for instant episode updates and front-engine Top Fuel drag racing action free of charge.

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