MENDY FRY WINS TOP FUEL AT NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS

47-nightfire-nationals-10Driving through violent tire-shake, Mendy Fry took the 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel victory, Low ET and Top Speed with a 5.66 ET at 254 MPH blast in her “High Speed Motorsports” AA/Fuel dragster at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho. “It was pretty bad — I didn’t think I was going to make it. The team gave me a great car, and I didn’t screw up,” said Mendy.

Runner-up Dusty Green pushed Steve Harwood’s “Nitro-Hemi” to a 6.04 ET at 198 MPH in the final after his holeshot-assisted 2nd-round battle with Pete Wittenberg was settled by few thousandths of a second margin of victory. “It was a great weekend for the Nitro-Hemi team. We had a good run against Pete and just didn’t have enough for the High Speed Motorsports team”, said Dusty.

As examples of the class’s camaraderie, Bowling Green runner-up Jim Young texted tuning advice to semi-finalists Wittenberg and vanquished foes from the “KMA Circuit Breaker” and Brendan Murry’s “Running Wild” teams gathered to help Dusty Green and the Nitro-Hemi crew prepare for the final round. “That is what this sport is about. Awesome people. I can’t thank them enough”, said Dusty.

QUALIFYING ACTION

Session One Qualifying kicked off Friday afternoon with nine AA/Fuel dragsters battling for nitro supremacy in 100-plus degree temperatures. Mendy Fry struck the tires on the 150-degree track Friday but motored to the top of the ladder Saturday afternoon with a 5.68 ET. Adam Sorokin landed the number two slot with a 5.85 ET in the Chevy-powered “Champion Speed Shop” entry. Dusty Green pushed the Nitro-Hemi to number three with a 5.97 ET at 243 MPH. Tyler Hilton stepped up with his family’s “Great Expectations III” to the number four position with a 6.07 ET, landing ahead of number five Bret Williamson’s and the “Forever Young” fueler’s 6.09 ET. Brendan Murry drove the Running Wild to number six with a 6.18 ET and Pete Wittenberg came back after breaking a drive belt in Session One to qualified seventh with a 6.22. Jim Murphy landed the “WW2” fueler in the number eight slot with a 6.58 and Canadian Phil Ruskowski was 1st Alternate following a herculean effort to get to the Nightfire Nationals after an engine explosion at a previous race.

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TOP FUEL ELIMINATIONS UNDER THE LIGHTS

The Nightfire Nationals is famous for header flames under the lights and Saturday night’s Round One Eliminations saw Mendy Fry run a 5.67 ET at 253 MPH for the win over Jim Murphy’s 6.48 ET at 158 MPH. Pete Wittenberg turned on the KMA Circuit Breaker for a 5.73 ET at 253 MPH win on Adam Sorokin, who pushed the small block Chevrolet to 5.90 ET at 244 MPH. Dusty Green extracted a 5.98 ET at 248 MPH from the Nitro-Hemi ahead of Brendan Murry, who ran an 8.62 ET in the Running Wild. Tyler Hilton blasted the Great Expectations III to a 6.03 ET at 243 MPH over Brett Williamson’s 6.11 ET at 221 MPH, setting the stage for the Semi-Final battle on Sunday.

SEMI-FINAL MAYHEM

Semi-Final Top Fuel competition was tight and fierce. Pete Wittenberg ran a 5.71 ET at 252 MPH with a .145 reaction time and yet didn’t catch Dusty Green’s 5.80 ET at 241 MPH with an .054 reaction time. The margin of victory? 6/1000ths of a second and a few inches Inches at the stripe. Mendy Fry posted a 5.69 ET at 231 MPH to beat Tyler Hilton’s 5.88 ET at 249 MPH — the quickest and fastest run ever for the Great Expectations III big-block Chevrolet-powered AA/Fuel dragster. Tyler, his dad Robert, grandmother Alison Lee and crew divined the formula for success with a blend of timing and clutch fine-tuning and ran the weekend with minimal engine carnage.

TOP FUEL DECIDER

The combined forces united at the Nitro-Hemi pit thrashed through an engine teardown for a shot at victory in a Hemi vs. Hemi Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel decider. At the green light, Dusty Green got out of the gate with .112 reaction time, but in the end it wasn’t enough against Mendy Fry who kept her foot down and muscled through tire shake for the win.

After striking the tires in Session One qualifying, Mendy Fry drove the High Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster with remarkable consistency through qualifying and eliminations with 5.66, 5.67, 5.69 and 5.66 runs for event Low ET and 254 MPH Top Speed.

Mendy Fry’s victory at the 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway earned her the number one position in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship points battle heading into the fourth race of the five-race 2018 season at the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park September 21st and 22nd.

All photos Arlene Eliason and AAFD. 

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47th PEPSI NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS TOP FUEL PHOTO EXTRA!

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TOP FUEL HERITAGE CONTINUES AT FIREBIRD RACEWAY

boise-rollcall-1Nine All-American Fuel Dragsters teams are loaded up with drums of nitro and motoring towards Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho for this weekend’s 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals, the third race in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Nostalgia Top Fuel points series. The eight-car Nostalgia Top Fuel Eliminations battle will continue a half-century of drag racing competition heritage at the premiere motorsports event in the Gem State

Current series points leader Mendy Fry is gunning to hold onto the lead after her victory at the National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, Kentucky in the High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel Dragster. Brendan Murry is heading out from San Jose, California in the number two position after an outstanding performance in the Running Wild dragster at Bowling Green.

“We feel like we’ve got something to give them now,” Murry reported. “We’ve put a few runs on the car and we’re starting to learn how to tune it. We’re making enough power knock the tires off at over 210 MPH. We’re working on it!”

Bakersfield March Meet winner Pete Wittenberg is hitting the Nightfire Nationals with high hopes at taking back the number one slot from his number three position in the KMA Circuit Breaker and expects a challenge with the change in altitude from his Southern California stomping grounds. “We’re loaded and ready for battle. I was number one in points but not being able to participate at Bowling Green bumped me to number three. I want that number one back.”

Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop are holding onto 4th place after what has so far been a tumultuous season as the team pushed to extract more power from their small block Chevrolet powered canopy special. “We are in a bit of a learning mode this year. We changed a few things this year that had promise but didn’t really yield the results we were looking for. A couple things are going back to a known variable. We’ll see what happens.”

Nightfire Nationals defending champion Jim Murphy has made a few changes to his WW2 dragster and is driving towards a repeat Nightfire Nationals win from the number eight points position after stepping out of Bowling Green to help rebuild the fire-ravaged Sonoma County California region he calls home.

“We’ve gone out twice at the local track here in Sonoma and made some half-passes. We’re going up to Boise and try and do the best we can. We’ll probably use the first couple qualifiers almost like a test session just to make sure we’ve got our arms around it, but we think we’ve made some positive changes. We’ll do a little better in that area and then we’ll be going up to win the race.”

Seventh place points holder Bret Williamson will strap into the hemi-powered Mike Fuller Forever Young AA/Fuel Dragster and California-based racer Dusty Green will once again meet up with the Nitro-Hemi from Colorado with eyes on climbing up out of a rain-soaked March Meet and unlucky National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green. “So far we have had a rough season and we are hoping to turn it around in Boise. We usually run respectably there and would love to turn this season around”.

Tyler Hilton and his dad Robert Hilton have sorted out some changes on their Great Expectations III AA/Fueler and are hoping to step up at Boise and keep their fearsome big block Chevrolet from overpowering the tires. “We tried some different stuff since Bowling Green but we are going back to where we were and are pretty confident”.

Last and certainly not least are Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang who are making a herculean effort to put their Xibitionist Nostalgia Top Fueler back together and get out to Boise after an explosion at Lucas Oil Canadian National races took out the small block Chevrolet in a supercharged fireball.

“We then made a hit on Saturday after some adjustments and with plans of stepping off at 1000 feet. At half track it felt good and going right down the grove and I was just thinking that I was on a strong pass and 1000 feet was coming up fast and BOOM!!!! ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!! I was on fire there was parts and pieces flying every which way and the blower was in a state of hang time. The percussion was impressive. I got the Xibitionist stopped still on fire but the safety crew was on it. After the fire was out and all the parts that were in orbit came back to earth the Xibitionist was sitting there smoking in the shutdown area.”

Thanks to tremendous support from the team and spouses along with sponsors and friends signs are better than good that Phil and the Island Nitro Gang are going to make the 47th Pepsi Nitro Nationals an international Top Fuel competition. “Getting to Boise is taking all my thoughts and time. Right now when I go to bed I don’t dream of sandy beaches I dream of BOISE and we can’t wait to see you all there! Small blocks on Nitro Forever”, said Phil on his Island Nitro Facebook Group.

NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS TOP FUEL SCHEDULE
Nightfire Nationals AA/Fuel Dragster, AA/Fuel Altered, and AA/Funny Car nitro qualifying and eliminations run from Friday, August 10th through Sunday, August 12th. The 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals kicks off on Thursday, August 9th with Sportsman racing at 12:30 PM. Run schedule is subject to change.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10th
Gates Open: 9:00 AM
AA/FD Qualifying Session 1 (Q1): 2 PM
AA/FD Qualifying Session 2 (Q2): 8 PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11th
Gates Open: 9:00 AM
AA/FD Qualifying Session 3 (Q3): 2 PM
AA/FD Round 1 Eliminations (E1): 8 PM

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12th
Gates Open: 9:00 am
AA/FD Round 2 Semi-Final Eliminations (E2): 2 PM
AA/FD Final Eliminations (E3): 4 PM

POINTS STANDINGS:
NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship points standings ahead of the 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway.

1 Mendy Fry 216
2 Brendan Murry 126
3 Pete Wittenberg 116
4 Adam Sorokin 107
5 Jim Young 97
6 Tim Cullinan 84
7 Bret Williamson 77
8 Jim Murphy 75
9 Dusty Green 65
10 Rick White 54
11 Jason Greenwood 52
11 Dan Horan 52
13 Julius Hughes 51
14 Rick McGee 10
14 Phil Ruskowski 10
14 Dave Miller 10
14 Paul Schultz 10
14 Tyler Hilton 10

FIREBIRD RACEWAY
AA/Fuel Dragsters will join awful fuel-huffing AA/Fuel Altereds, nitro-burning AA/Funny Cars, unruly Pro Mods, fire-powered Jet Dragsters and the wheelstanding Outlaw Stagecoach for daytime and under-the-lights drag racing action. Firebird Raceway is located 5 miles north of Idaho State Highway 44 on Idaho State Highway 16. Tickets are available at participating local Stinker Stores. For more information contact Firebird Raceway at 208-938-8986 and on the web at http://www.firebirdonline.com or the official Firebird Raceway Facebook Page

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NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES
The 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway is the third battle for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship. Head on over to www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for an upcoming race schedule, news, points, results, rules and more.

MENDY FRY WINS TOP FUEL BATTLE AT BOWLING GREEN

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Mendy Fry drove the High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster to victory over Jim Young and the Young Guns in a fierce Top Fuel final at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Mendy Fry took the Top Fuel win in the High-Speed Motorsports dragster at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion with a 5.72 ET at 252 MPH over Jim Young, who ran a 5.84 ET at 256 MPH. The final round was a dramatic conclusion to three days of sweltering racing action as front-engine Top Fuel contenders fought for a slot in eight car eliminations. Fry and Young tossed the lead back and forth until everything changed at half track. “He left on me with a .78 light to a .134 light. The lead changed a few times. The incrementals were pretty close until about half track and then I didn’t see him until I pulled the chutes!”

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Mendy Fry and Jim Young in Qualifying at the 2018 Holley National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Runner-up Jim Young took the Young Guns dragster from the number two qualifying slot into the decider and posted event Top Speed even after getting out of the groove and drifting towards the wall before crossing the stripe at 256 MPH. “It got away from me a little bit”, said the Wisconsin-based contender, who didn’t make the decision to head out to Bowling Green until the Sunday before the race. Young also grabbed Top Speed in qualifying with a 254 MPH blast and has his eyes on pushing the Young Guns dragster to 270 MPH.

bowling-green-fuel-23Mendy Fry credited her victory to Crew Chief Tom Shelar and the High-Speed Motorsports dragster team for taming often unpredictable nitromethane with race-winning consistency from number one qualifier to the winner’s circle. “It was a bracket car all weekend. He knows how to read this track. In this heat, the track is 150 degrees and it’s greasy. He gave me a car that could win.” Fry’s victory at Bowling Green puts her at number one in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Top Fuel points championship heading into race three of the 5-race series.

TOP FUEL ELIMINATIONS

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Top Fuel Eliminations kicked off on a 90-plus degree Saturday. Jim Young moved onto the semi-final with a 5.81 ET at 251 MPH over Jason Greenwood, who ran a 6.22 ET at 237 MPH. Mendy Fry took a first round win with a 5.68 ET at 243 MPH over Julius Hughes who got the hole shot with a .043 light and ran a 6.33 ET at 231 MPH after stepping up the Atlanta Speed Shop dragster all weekend. Turbo Tim Cullinan rapped the throttle and cackled the Irish Bomb down the track into the semi-final after a blower belt failure shut Dusty Green down and the Nitro-Hemi was backed out of the box after the burnout. Brendan Murry blasted his 426 hemi-powered Running Wild to a 6.00 at 200 MPH for the win over Adam Sorokin, who struck the tires and pedaled the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet in pursuit to a 6.39 ET at 221 MPH.

SEMI-FINAL RACING ACTION

Dusty Green’s gremlins ambled over to the Irish Bomb in the Top Fuel Semi-Final as Turbo Tim Cullinan was pushed back out of the box with a broken throttle cable and Mendy Fry took the round on a single with a 5.71 ET at 220 MPH. “That’s drag racing”, said Cullinan who qualified in fifth place with a 5.95 ET at 213 MPH. Brendan Murry left on Jim Young but lost traction after the Running Wild made too much power for the tires. “I ran out of track”, said the smiling San Jose, California based Top Fuel racer who was satisfied the Running Wild was back into the 5-second zone and his win against Adam Sorokin and the South San Francisco based Champion Speed Shop.

KENTUCKY FRIED TOP FUEL

bowling-green-fuel-31The Top Fuel fight on the way to the final was as hot as the weather and It was brutally hot at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Eleven Top Fuelers showed up to rumble, but only eight could battle for the title. Diamond Dave Miller ran a 6.14 ET at 166 MPH for the 9th position. Paul Schultz took the Spirit of Tulsa to a 6.54 ET at 194 MPH and tenth position. Tyler Hilton carried the Great Expectations III to a 7.50 ET at 213 MPH as the fearsome sounding big block Chevrolet overpowered the tires.

NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES RACING

Next stop for the All American Fuel Dragster coalition is the 47th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho August 9th-12th for the third race in the runup towards the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Nostalgia Top Fuel championship title.

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ORIGINAL TOP FUEL SET FOR BATTLE AT BOWLING GREEN

nhrr-top-fuel-14The All American Fuel Dragster coalition is tuned up for original Top Fuel action at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky on June 14th-16th. A dozen dragster teams are motoring in from across the USA to battle in the second race of the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship and launch front-engine Top Fuel back into the future one 5-second 250 MPH nitro-burning 1/4-mile at a time.

West Coast racers are bringing their original Top Fuel California special blend to Bowling Green. March Meet runner-up Mendy Fry and the High-Speed Motorsports dragster, Dusty Green and the Nitro-Hemi, and Brendan Murry in his Running Wild digger make up the hemi-powered contingent while Adam Sorokin and the South San Francisco-based Champion Speed Shop stand ready to show the Chrysler crowd what their small-block Chevrolet special is capable of.nhrr-top-fuel-16

Ohio’s own Tyler Hilton will strap into the big block Chevrolet-powered Great Expectations III and “Turbo” Tim Cullinan is on the way from Illinois with his Irish Bomb AA/Fuel dragster decked out with a new body, period-perfect paint, and a late-model motor. Following some recent shakeout testing, Julius Hughes is heading in with a 426 Keith Black “elephant” in his Atlanta Speed Shop dragster. Paul Schultz is carrying the hemi-powered Spirit of Tulsa with him from Oklahoma and Wisconsin’s own Jason Greenwood is hoping for a fireball-free Beech Bend weekend. Rounding out the confirmed entries is veteran fuel racer “Diamond” Dave Miller, who will also pound the pavement with this early-model Donovan, and lastly “Mighty” Jim Young, who returns to competition for the first time since cleaning the California cars clocks with his conquest of all comers at last year’s Bakersfield Hot Rod Reunion.

After a rain-soaked March Meet weekend in Bakersfield, everyone is looking forward to torrid Top Fuel racing action and good times at the drags. “The National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green is one of my personal favorites and it’s really fun to race in front of the very enthusiastic crowd that’s always there. I’m definitely looking forward to it. There will be some really strong cars out there”, said Adam Sorokin. Nitro-Hemi driver Dusty Green agrees. “No matter what we will make it a good time. Hopefully, the weather is nice and sweet tea cold”.nhrr-top-fuel-5

More Nitro
The AAFD front-engine Top Fuel dragster coalition will join forces with fire-breathing Fuel Altereds and nitro-huffing Funny Cars at Bowling Green because more nitromethane is better nitromethane. Header flames will burn on into Saturday night after racing action concludes with the nitro-fueled parade and presentation known as the Cacklefest.

Event Grand Marshall Larry Lombardo
Onetime NHRA Pro Stock world champion Larry Lombardo is the 2018 Grand Marshal for the 16th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance. Event honorees include Warhorse Funny Car builder-driver and Little Red Wagon wheelstander Jay Howell, Street Eliminator veteran Bo Laws, former Super Stock and current Nostalgia Pro Stock driver Ed Miller, repeat NHRA Division 3 champ Joe Williamson, and longtime tech director Greg Xakellis. The Honoree’s Reception happens Friday from 6-8 PM at the National Corvette Museum and will feature customs, hot rods, and select Cacklefest cars ready thunder out nitro-fueled history.

Event Schedule:
Holley National Hot Rod Reunion Top Fuel action gets underway with session one qualifying on Thursday, June 14th at 3:00. Session two qualifying is scheduled for Friday, June 15th at high noon with session three and final qualifying slated for Friday at 3 PM. Eliminations commence on Saturday at 1 PM. As nitromethane is unpredictable at best the schedule subject to change.

Thursday, June 14th:
Qualifying Session One    3 PM

Friday, June 15th:
Qualifying Session Two    12 PM
Qualifying Final Session    3 PM

Saturday, June 16th:
Round One Eliminations     1 PM
Round Two Eliminations     3:30 PM

All-American Fuel Dragsters and AAFD Explained
If you’re asking yourself just what is the AAFD, then check out this video interview with All American Fuel Dragsters President Bob McLennan and Whit Bazemore from Dragstrip Rumble.

NHRA Hot Rod Heritage
The 16th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway Park is the second salvo in the 5-race battle for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship. Head on over to www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for an upcoming race schedule, news, points, results, rules and more.

March Meet Top Fuel Results – By the Numbers Edition

champion-chutesThe 60th March Meet is a wrap and race results are in. Here are the Top Fuel results for the sole round of Qualifying (Q1), 8-car Eliminations ladder, and Final Round tabulations for Top Fuel and other classes. For a complete copy of all classes race results from the 60th March Meet hit the link below.

Complete 2018 Good Vibrations March Meet Race Results

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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