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Green Qualifies # 3 - 1st Round Loss Due to Magneto Failure


Boise, Idaho 08-10-14, 2007: For the 36th year in a row the New family's Night Fire Nationals made Boise the place for drag racers and fans to be. For the thousands of fans in attendance, it was without doubt the single most impressive event in the track's forty year history. Nice weather (for this time of year) greeted a record field of racers and jam-packed grandstands to four incredible days of racing.

And once again this long established event proved why it should be on every ones racing calendar. Hundreds of race cars vied for some of the largest purses offered to sportsman and pro classes anywhere. The huge event was capped by a weekend of nitro featuring a full 16 car field of Top Fuel dragsters along with Fuel Alterds and Funny Cars. In Top Fuel, a number of cars dipped into the 5’s in both qualifying and eliminations, but several were also challenged with tire smoke for the first time during the weekend on Sunday when the Friday and Saturday 80s turned to high 90s and track temps reached 140 degrees. It proved to be nothing shy of wild to sit back and watch from a fan perspective.

For the High Speed Motorsports team Boise marked the first event of a three race Northwest tour (followed by Seattle and Mission, Canada). Without a chance to test before leaving California, they were going in somewhat blind, knowing there were problems that needed to be addressed but track time was the only way to assess them. Although they qualified # 3 with a stellar 5.91 at 241 MPH the engine was erratic on every pass and the problem, a faulty magneto, reared its ugly face big time in the first round of eliminations which accounted for an early exit from the 16 car field. The mag was sent south for repair and was back in time for the teams Open House appearance at SilverThin Bearings in Washington the following Thursday.


Photos and full story below.



The first qualifying session was not scheduled until Friday evening so after the pit was set up most of the day was pretty laid back.


Speaking of setting up a pit area, for most teams its become common place to have huge awnings, large rubber mats, custom work tables, power tools and numerous other items needed to maintain and service the car during the course of a weekend. For the High Speed team it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the number of helpers) to get their pit "race ready". The process starts with the mats, spare slicks and nitro coming out of the back of the trailer so they can access the awning that will protect the car and crew from the elements. For those who have never watched a set-up, the following photos will give you a glimpse of the effort involved.


Back to work. The mats are out and the awning braces are moved from the trailer to their mounting positions.


On this day, with a full crew on hand, the awning went up rapidly. This can be done by as little as three people but obviously it is a more is better project.




With all the braces in place, the awning is attached.


After the mats are laid down the car comes out.






With everything in place the car is prepped for the first qualifying session.


The fans in Boise are incredible and driver, Troy Green spent a large part of the weekend signing autographs and letting fans get an up close and personal look at the car.



This newest addition to the High Speed camp is this Elite motorcoach which serves as team headquarters for meeting, relaxation and on this tour, home for Dale and Amelia Singh.



As can be seen, this isn't exactly roughing it.


Amelia Singh in her kitchen.




An exterior flat-screen TV allows the team and guests to keep up on the latest sporting events.



After extensive track clean up and prep the first session went off at 7:30 PM Friday evening. Here the High Speed team wait their turn in the staging lanes.


With the sun setting, Green heats the tires.



Walt Stevens backs Green up with Shannon Stewart in the other lane.


From the hit of the throttle the engine didn't sound right but the car was moving good until oil from a loose valve cover forced Green to shut off at the 800' mark leaving him with a disappointing 6.45 time slip. With two sessions remaining the team wasn't worried about improving on that time.



Returning to the pits the valve cover problem was found and, as always, the car was torn apart.



Tom Shelar does the head maintenance.


Roger McMartin and Troy Green put in a new "rack" (8) of pistons.


With the absence of two regular crew members, Crew Chief, Brett Johansen took on bottom end duty for the event.



Session two went off at 3:30 Saturday afternoon and it was HOT. 88 degrees with at track temp of 130. Not ideal conditions but it would be the closest to what race conditions would be on Sunday.


The crew positions Green behind the waterbox prior to his match up with Jack Harris.




Green heats the tires for their second shot at the Boise track.






Stevens keep Troy in his tracks backing up.


In spite of a dropped cylinder (which picked up within a second) the car left hard.



Green flashed passed the photogs to card a sterling 5.914 at 241.35. This would stand as low ET for the event through Saturday. It also gave them a false sense of security that the magneto was not bad when it was.


Jumping into the # 1 spot helped the teams moral and the fans loved it.



Within 10 minutes of the 5.91 pass the car was back in the pit being torn down.





Within 60 minutes the car was almost back together.


At 4:00 PM Saturday afternoon all the Top Fuel drivers took their places at a long table for a highly touted autograph session. Troy Green (above) was one of the fan favorites and after an hour came back to the pit with writers cramp.








Fast forward to 6:00 PM when the engine was warmed up prior to the third and final qualifying session.


A close look at the unique Gibson-Miller fuel injector atop the Donovan engine. Although popular among the NHRA "Big Show" Top Fuel cars, the HSMS team is the only one using it on the nostalgia circuit.





This warm-up concerned Johansen as the cylinders were not firing evenly. They didn't know it then but the magneto was getting worse.



Session three on Saturday evening found the air a bit cooler and track tighter. Everyone expected some big numbers and that's what they got. A 5 yr old track record was broken twice and 10 of the 16 got their best qualifying times.





Coming back from the burnout the engine was still sounding off key.


Green, in the far lane, left on the soft side and in spite of "something not right" clocked 5.97 at 235.


Dale Singh observed the run from the line.





Returning to the pits they knew the engine had some piston damage and were starting to suspect that the magneto may be going away but upon inspection could see no visible problem.




After the car was prepped the team went back to the hotel concerned that the ignition problem would only get worse - and it did.



The first round of eliminations were set for 3:00 PM so the engine was warmed about 2:00... and it didn't sound good at all.







When Top Fuel was called, the car was taken into the staging lanes for the first round where Green was paired with Mendy Fry.



Lara Green helps hubby Troy suit up while Amelia Singh blocks the 90 degrees sun with an umbrella.



Walt Stevens does a final check on the air pressure for the rear tires.



Green's burnout was ragged at best. The only hope was that the cylinders would clean up under load on the run.



Green moves in to stage and for some reason we have no photos of the actual pass... which may be a good thing as it was ugly. At the hit the engine was running on 5 cylinders and was so out of whack that the car refused to go straight. Had Green seen Fry ahead of him he would have shut off early in the run but he did not and in spite of the ailing engine attempted to get the car to the other end. Good intention and something most good drivers would do in eliminations but the dropped cylinders were too much to overcome and by half track they literally drove the car to the right and over the center line - an automatic disqualification. All Green could do was watch Fry go past for the win. A $20.00 rotor in the mag had cost them the race and a good shot at winning the entire event.

This run and other from the event can be seen on:
HSMS Videos



In spite of a bitter loss, the team still had some celebrating to do. Arlene Eliason, in charge of Team Hospitality, and Tom Shelar fired up a Birthday cake for key team member, Walt (I'm 67 years young) Stevens.


Thinking the cake was for Danny Porche, Stevens was truly surprised and at his advanced age was even able to blow out a forest of candles.





On this happy note this Boise story comes to a close. The magneto was off to California for repair and the team was off to Seattle for the SilverThin open house, new signage on the trailer and car at The Big Sign and a two day nostalgia meet at Pacific Raceways the following weekend (which was rained out). The tour wrapped up on August 26th with a convincing win at the 2007 Vancouver Community College Night of Fire at Mission Raceway in Mission, B.C. Canada.


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