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First Round Loss Ends 2007 Championship Hopes



Bakersfield, CA - October 12-14, 2007: The 16th NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion lived up to its star billing in spades. From the opening of the gates on Friday, record crowds filled Famoso Raceway and considering this is one of the two premier nostalgia drag racing events in the country, the teams came here loaded for bear with one thought in mind - winning.

The 35,000+ fans that packed the facility over the three-day event were treated to over 400 race cars including 21 of the countries best Top Fuel dragsters including Troy Green and the Highspeed Motorsports - SilverThin Bearings team. Coming into the race Green was sitting less than 2 rounds out of the lead of the AAFD Points Series Championship standings behind Brad Thompson and Adam Sorokin. But after qualifying #4 with a nice 5.830 at 251.04 they suffered an upset loss in round one thus bringing the 2007 season to a close and having to wait until next year for a shot at the championship.


photos and full story below



Since everyone up set up their pits on Thursday, Friday started out somewhat laid back as the first qualifying session wasn't scheduled until 3 PM. It gave the crew plenty of time to double check everything on the car.




3:10PM After five Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters completed their first qualifying runs, rain postponed the completion of the program for the day. The remaining cars were scheduled to take their first attempt at At 10:00AM on Saturday. So, the big screen TV came out and everyone watched the new CHRR and Cacklefest DVD done by R/S Productions.





Friday's rain lingered until early Saturday so the 10:00AM schedule was moved to noon.


In the AM it was sweatshirt weather so Troy Green, Brett Johansen and Sean Bellemeur offered to model them.


Sitting in the staging lanes, Tom Shelar went over the game plan for their first run with Troy Green.



Under cloudy skies Green heated the tires for his first shot at a Bakersfield track with "teeth" (excellent racing surface).





Green backs up from his burnout under the direction of Walt Stevens.




Sean Bellemeur brings Green into the staging beams.


The car left fairly good and the early numbers indicated the car was on a high 5.90 run.







But Green encountered some problems at the 900' mark and shut off to a 6.904 at 141.77. This would give Johansen a baseline but would not be good enough to get into the show.




After getting back to the pits the crew went to work finding the problem and fixing it.








Saturday - Qualifying Session Two

The first pair for session two fired at 5:09 p.m. Weather conditions: relative humidity 64 percent, barometer 29.87 inches, track temperature 78 degrees.


Green rolls into the water box to start his burnout.









With Green backing up from the burnout, Brett Johansen stands in the groove that he wants the car staged in.


Following Johansen's directions, Stevens guides Green back in his tracks. Brett Harris backs up in the right lane.





Green's ready - waiting for Harris to move forward.




Both cars left hard and the only question was will the white car go 1320 feet under power.






There was a short fuse in the High Speed car but Green slots in behind Brad Thompson with the second quick ET and second fastest MPH to this point. There was a lot of smoke from the engine at the stripe, but that seems par for the course on a good run these days. Harris was about a tenth behind at every mark before the clicked it just after half track. Green's incremental times: 60ft-1.078 sec., 330ft-2.708, 660ft-3.928/205.71mph, 1,000ft-4.953.



Top Fuel Qualifying - Final Order
1. Brad Thompson  -  5.741 at 255.89
2. Jim Murphy  -  5.774 at 257.43
3. Adam Sorokin  -  5.816 at 239.61
4. Troy Green  -  5.830 at 251.04
5. Brett Harris  -  5.879 at 244.69
6. Pete Kaiser  -  5.885 at 243.04
7. Denver Schutz -  5.886 at 250.62
8. Rick White  -  5.929 at 244.16
9.   Rick Williamson  -  5.929 at 228.65
10. Jack Harris  -  5.932 at 230.65
11. Scott Mason - 5.934 at 238.66
12. Jason Richey  -  5.939 at 228.19
13. Shannon Stewart -  6.012 at 228.42
14. Howard Haight  -  6.073 at 223.15
15. Mike McClennan  -  6.082 at 235.60
16. Rick Rogers  -  6.104 at 250.34

17. Rick McGee  -  6.123 at 244.23
18. Mark Malde  -  6.135 at 233.03
19. Brendan Murry  -  6.241 at 220.04
20. John Shoemaker  -  6.314 at 215.77
21. Mendy Fry  -  7.766 at 175.88



Sunday - Eliminations

Unlike the previous two days, Sunday featured Chamber Of Commerce weather which meant the air and track would be near perfect for killer times.

Getting ready for round one.


All weekend tires were an issue with many of the teams including High Speed Motorsports. Even though the new M&H tire, introduced this season, worked very well on most tracks, the surface is so good at Bakersfield that the "chunking" problem reared its ugly head again. By the end of the weekend there were no new tires left.



11:05 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 59 percent, barometer 29.95 inches.


Tires aside, at 11:00AM it was time for business. Green was paired with the # 13 qualifier, Shannon Stewart.






Green backs up under sunny skies.




Seconds to showtime.



Green got a slight starting line advantage.





While eating the engine up, Stewart caught Green at the 1100' mark and won the race by 14 feet. His 5.894 at 228.89 to a good but losing 5.957 at 246.30. This was simply a case of under estimating the competition.


A dejected Troy Green comes to a stop knowing his championship points hopes and in fact, the 2007 season are over.


On that note its time to look forward to the 2008 season when the High Speed Motorsports - SilverThin Bearings car will be back with a vengeance. After a successful 2007 campaign, the team is really looking forward to the 50th March Meet. The entire HSMS team would like to thank their fans and sponsors and they are looking forward to making you all proud in the future.



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