Qualifies #1 at 5.868 @ 253.87
CA. Once again Greg Sharp, Sam Jackson, Steve Gibbs and the entire
NHRA Motorsports Museum staff gave us yet another unforgettable
weekend. CHRR 14 was three days of hot weather filled with non
stop action and events punctuated with a 49 car Cacklefest on
Saturday night. Emotions ran high as old friends were reunited,
fallen comrades remembered, legends honored and some incredibly
close racing contested. I'm way done saying, "It can't get
any better than this." Because every year it does.
a huge crowd pack Famoso Raceway for Nostalgia Top Fuel qualifying
and round one of eliminations under the lights. Come Sunday,
a smaller but equally enthusiastic crowd was treated to the last
three rounds of the quickest 16 car NTF show in history. For
the High Speed Motorsports - Plaza Hotel fueler this was a good
news, bad news event. Bellemeur qualified #1 with a stunning
5.86 at 253 MPH - he won his first round of eliminations - he
made a mistake all great drivers have suffered - a oh so close
red light in round two. Photos and full story below.
QUALIFYING - SESSION ONE
The first of
two qualifying sessions went off at 3:10 pm and it was HOT (95
degrees)! Sean Bellemeur in the High Speed Motorsports-Plaza
Hotel rocket was paired with Rick Williamson in the "Hot
Rod Bills" car.
Bellemeur backs up from
his burnout at the direction of Walt Stevens.
Brett Johansen makes the final
adjustments to the injector just prior to Bellemeur staging while
the tires are being scraped for maximum traction.
cars left hard and were on great passes until.....
Williamson experienced a violent
blower explosion at the 1000' mark sending parts and pieces everywhere.
In spite of the explosion Williamson
ran a 6.031 at 216.55. One can only guess what he would have
run in one piece. Bellemeur carded the second five of the weekend
at 5.991 at 246.03.
Sean Bellemeur climbs into the
car to warm/test the engine prior to the second qualifying session.
This is a routine performed every time the car is going to make
a pass albeit qualifying or eliminations.
Brett Johansen checks the data
computer as Tom Shelar has Bellemeur test the clutch and reverser.
AFTERNOON QUALIFYING SESSION TWO
Paired in the second qualifying
session were the "Young Lions". Without a doubt the
two best second generation drivers in NTF today. Adam Sorokin
(it's in the genes) and Sean Bellemeur (also in the genes).
Sorokin had problems in VanDyke's
car Friday and needed this final shot to make the show. Bellemeur
was solidly in with his previous 5.991 at 246.03.
Both cars left super hard and
when the clocks lit up Bellemeur had set low ET and top speed
of the event (to that point) with a stunning 5.868 at 253.87.
Sorokin went in right behind him with his first five second pass
5.935 at 234.92.
Back in the pits Walt
Stevens and Bert Toulette are all smiles.
5.86 - 253 MPH Video
(will open in your default viewer)
NIGHT - ROUND ONE OF ELIMINATIONS
Nitro under the lights
(4th pair) featured Sean Bellemeur and Mark Hyla.
- October 02, 2005 - Bakersfield, CA - Final order after 2 rounds
of qualifying in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the 14th California Hot
Rod Reunion. This was the quickest 16 car field in history.
1. Sean Bellemeur
5.868 @ 253.87
2. Adam Sorokin 5.935 @ 234.92
3. Pete Kaiser 5.959 @ 249.79
4. Brad Thompson 5.959 @ 232.97
5. Jason Richey 6.012 245.36 @ 245.36
6. Brett Harris 6.015 244.53 @ 244.53
7. Bill Dunlap 6.015 230.53 @ 232.67
8. Rick Williamson 6.031 216.55 @ 216.55
9. Jim Murphy 6.047 222.22 @ 236.53
10. Denver Schutz 6.061 237.15 @ 237.15
11. Rick White 6.078 227.56 @ 227.56
12. Terry Cox 6.103 236.34 @ 236.34
13. Scott Mason 6.107 234.98 @ 234.98
14. Brendan Murry 6.111 238.66 @ 238.66
15. Rick McGee 6.111 231.36 @ 231.36
16. Mark Hyla 6.115 216.45 @ 216.45
------------ Not Qualified ------------
17. Rick Rogers
6.119 250.00 @ 250.00
18. Lee Jennings 6.121 233.34 @ 236.53
19. Mendy Fry 6.138 224.83 @ 224.83
20. Chuck Tanko 6.144 238.34 @ 238.34
21. Howard Haight 6.156 196.54 @ 196.54
22. Fred Farndon 6.569 176.15 @ 176.15
23. Mike Lockman 7.089 155.41 @ 155.41
24. Jerry Kumre Jr 7.307 145.27 @ 145.27
What a drag race!
Bellemeur did his job with a 0.050 light and the the tuners did
their job as well carding a 5.948 at 248.48 win. Sean ran 202
mph to Hyla's 197 at half track.Hyla was right there with a 5.967
at 224.04 (the cars first five second pass). Bellemeur's MOV:
0.1150 seconds (approximately 38 feet).
Back in the pits getting
ready for round two on Sunday.
Round One Win Video
(will open in your default viewer)
Here are a few candid
pit shots to honor the unsung hero's of the sport - the crew.
Team Manager: Tom Shelar
Crew Chief: Brett Johansen
Clutch: Sean Bellemeur / Tod Shapie
Cylinder Heads: Dave Stiller
Top End: Walt Stevens / Roger McMartin
Bottom End: Tim Swain / Rick Shelar
Rods and Pistons: Roger McMartin
Fluids: Bert Toulotte
- ROUND TWO OF ELIMINATIONS
Prior to the
second round of Top Fuel the 16 members of the 250 MPH Club were
honored and introduced by Dave McClelland. From left to right:
Jim Murphy, Gerry Steiner, Jack Harris, Howard Haight, Jeff Diehl
(not pictured) Dale Suhr for Roger Lechtenberg, Mendy Fry, Bill
Dunlap, Jason Richey (not pictured), Terry Cox, Brett Harris,
Lee Jennings Sr., Rick White, Rick McGee, Sean Bellemeur and
Awards and pre
race ceremonies done it was time for the remaining 8 cars to
do battle. Bellemeur was paired with Rick Williamson.
As always, Walt
Stevens backed up Bellemeur from his burnout while Brett Johansen
marked the spot he wanted the left rear tire for maximum traction.
The smart money
would have been on Bellemeur but has said so many time before,
drag races are not run on paper.
ol' red light in Sean's lane said it was all over at the hit.
of the best leavers in the business, said this was his first
red light in seven years and it was a close one (-0.009). To
rub salt into the wound he ran a 5.915 at 247.79 to Williamson's
slower 6.029 at 248.07.
Round Two Oops Video
(will open in your default viewer)\