High Speed Motorsports


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2006 Fuel & Gas Finals

Bellemeur Runner-up -- Misses World Championship by 3 Points
Runs Career Best ET of 5.81



Bakersfield, CA - November 03-05, 2006: The 8th Goodguys Fuel & Gas Finals was a virtual roller coaster ride for Sean Bellemeur and the High Speed Motorsports team - a ride that ended one win shy of the 2006 Goodguys/VRA Top Fuel World Championship title.

This event was also filled with mixed emotions as after 19 years of Goodguys/VRA WCC series events, the organization has made the decision to bow out of the west coast part of Goodguys Championship competition events. Goodguys/VRA will not stage a West Coast Championship Series in 2007. That leaves next season with a lot of question marks. Check back for updates but one thing for sure is there will be a 2007 Bakersfield March Meet held on the weekend of the 9th through the 13th so make your reservations now.

Back to business... Brett Johansen and Troy Green had the SilverThin Bearing HSMS Top Fuel dragster flying all weekend. After qualifying # 4 with a 5.827 at 253.87 they were dominant until the final round when they fell victim to tire smoke. All in all the team had a great season and have every right to hold their heads high and look forward to 2007 with great optimism. Now for the race coverage.

Photos and full story below.



After setting up camp on Thursday the laid back atmosphere led to mundane tasks like deciding which product stickers need to go on the car.


Sean Bellemeur has some laughs with Amelia and Dale Singh.


Bert Toulette hangs up the apparel that High Speed Motorsports has available to its fans.


Thursday evening saw final prep for the first qualifying session on Friday. Rian Konno and Troy Green help Brett Johansen set up the data computer.


Most everyone knows where to find Tom Shelar at the races. Before and after every run he can be found at his "station" doing cylinder head maintenance. The heads on the HSMS car are changed, inspected and repaired after every run.




Friday morning the guys install their new in-car digital mini-cab that can hardly be seen under the top hoop of the roll cage.


Around 1:00 PM it was time to start getting serious and warm the car up in preparation for the first qualifying session scheduled for 2:00 PM.




Johansen watches the meter (below) to make sure the engine is doing exactly what he wants it to do at idle.



Next stop the staging lanes.



Friday - 1st Qualifying Session


Prior to the first session Troy Green and Roger McMartin give the track the once over.


For this session they were the fourth pair out Next out and Bellemeur was paired with Rick White in the Neal & White car from San Diego. This would be a preview of the TF final on Sunday.






Walt Stevens backs Sean up from his burnout.




After the burnout final adjustment and tire cleaning are done before Bellemeur goes in to stage.




Both cars had nice 60' times with no tire smoke - the new 10 lb minimum air pressure rule didn't seem to effect either car.





Down track White had to pedal twice while Bellemeur streaked to a piston burning 5.875 at 253.87. White carded a respectable 6.033 at 246.84.



After the car was serviced and ready for session two on Saturday the crew was feeling pretty good about things.



Saturday - 2nd Qualifying Session


In session two Bellemeur was the last car out and had a single.







The car collected a nice 60' time and went right down the groove improving to the # 4 spot with a career best ET of 5.827 at 251.67 MPH.










Saturday - 1st Round of Eliminations


After replacing several pistons the car is warmed up for the first round of eliminations. By 5:00 PM only 8 of the 16 cars in round one will come back for round two on Sunday.



The first round of Top Fuel Eliminations kicked off at 3:50 PM. The weather remained cool and the track excellent. Sean Bellemeur and Rick McGee were the first pair out.



The car is fired up to make sure all is good for Saturday.





Bellemeur got out first - McGee gave chase.


Bellemeur was not to be caught and held on for a 5.944 at 243.96 win light. McGee was right on his tail with a game 5.980 at 251.95. This was a close one.




Sunday - 2nd Round of Eliminations


Sunday promised to be the warmest day of the weekend and once again it was Bellemeur in the first pair out to turn up the heat. His opponent was Brendan Murry.







After backing up the burnout the tires are cleaned and Tom Shelar brings Bellemeur up to the first staging beam.



Once again Bellemeur cut the better light and had the lead from the hit.



With Murry a non-factor Bellemeur went right down the groove for the win improving his career best ET in the process - 5.819 at 252.80. There was some engine damage at the top end but nothing that couldn't be fixed.




The crew reacted accordingly.


The car gets towed from the turn-off road toward the scales. After every qualifying run and round win the car must be weighed to ensure it is legal per the rules.




After leaving the scales the car was rushed back to the pits where a complete tear down began to fix the damaged engine. This is where teamwork really came into play.







Mike Bastian his hard at work getting the clutch out while the left head is ready to come off.


Bellemeur gets the new clutch discs ready to install.


After pulling the left head off it was obvious what the problem was. The # 1 exhaust valve had made contact with the piston and bent open. This started a chain of events that included a banged blower and several other pistons getting burned.


Troy Green gets a new blower ready to replace the one that was damage in the previous run.



Eight new pistons go in like clockwork.


With the top end of the engine back on Bellemeur installs a new clutch assembly.


Fast forward 55 minutes from when the car was pulled into the pit after round two. Everything is back together and lunch is being served.


Goodguys John Drummond gets announcer info from Sean.



Sunday - Semi-Finals


The semi match-up had the makings of a dandy. Two best fiends, two great drivers in two great cars. Once again Sean Bellemeur v. Adam Sorokin. In round two Bellemeur carded a career best 5.819 while Sorokin was in the 70's again with a 5.798 so he had lane choice.







Both cars move toward the line.


Bellemeur moves into the staging beams.


Sorokin put 4 hundredths on Bellemeur off the line.


But that was short lived as his tires immediately erupted in smoke.


With Sorokin hopelessly mired in tire smoke Bellemeur went on to a nice 5.880 at 242.45 which meant White would have lane choice in the final.






Bellemeur chatted with the track crew at the turn out while the crew acknowledged the fans.





Top Fuel Final


The final pitted two cars that deserved to be there. Rick White had been the most consistent TF car in the pits all weekend and Sean Bellemeur had to race for every round win. On the drama side, this round meant everything to Bellemeur and the High Speed Motorsports team. A win here would have given them the event crown and the 2006 Goodguys/VRA World Championship by 13 points. By virtue of his 10 point bonus for top speed, Brett Harris had a 3 point lead when the final pair fired up.







The photo speaks for itself. Incredibly Bellemeur suffered the same fate as Sorokin the round before. Just like that the Championship and the Finals Top Fuel title were up in smoke - literally.



The shocked crew headed to pick up Sean.



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