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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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.

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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