High Speed Motorsports

 

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2007 NHRR

High Speed Motorsports Wins 4th Straight National Hot Rod Reunion

 


 

Columbus, Ohio - June 15-17, 2007: Troy Green drives to his first major Top Fuel win and the teams 4th consecutive title at the 5th annual NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion. The HSMS/Silverthin Bearings Top Fuel Dragster got some racing luck to make the finals and defeat Kevin Lennon of Salem, Wisconsin. But as the Beatles sang, it was "A long and winding road" to the winners circle. From their first pass on Friday to the final on Sunday the event supplied the team more drama, puzzlement, curves and work - lots of work - than they care to see again any time soon. It was a weekend best reported in photos and text so here we go....

 

 

Friday

 


Early Friday morning the awning goes up and the car comes out.

 

 


It may look laid back in the High Speed pit but there was much to be done that couldn't get completed before the car left California on Tuesday.

 

 

 


Gorman Green preparing a new set of tires.

 

 


Donovan Eng. pulled a rabbit out of the hat and got the team a new block in time to make it to Columbus.

 


Roger McMartin assembled the spare short block.

 

 


Troy Green calmly running the valves.

 


The rest of the crew spent the morning finishing the things that didn't get done in California and double checking every inch of the car.

 

 


One hour before the qualifying session they warmed the engine.

 

 

First Qualifying Session - Friday

 


For the first session it was Troy Green and Brendan Murry. Green starts his burnout.

 

 

 


Walt Stevens backs Green up while Roger McMartin checks over the engine.

 

 


Both cars are staged and caught in these two shots an instant before the green.

 

 

 


By the 100' mark Green realized the car was coming up too fast and he shut it off. The run was virtually wasted.

 


After the run Brett Johansen and Robert Fontes measuring the discs to determine clutch wear.

 

 

Saturday

 


As it is at most big drag racing events, the Saturday crowd is the tale of the tape and as these photos attest, the fans came to Columbus in droves. SRO all day.

 

 


HSMS Hospitality is in the capable hands of Arlene Eliason ... and she also climbed on the roof of the trailer to take photos. These shots illustrate that the pits were as full as the stands.

 

 

 


After the aborted run in session one the team was out of laid back mode and looking forward the the two sessions on Saturday.

 

 

 


But there's always time to visit, especially with old friends. Here NHRA Top Fuel star, Larry Dixon Jr. stopped by with his third son, Darien to see the gang. Here Dixon chats with Brett Johansen and Danny Porche.

 


Tom Shelar and his (grand-nephew) Dakota fuel the car prior to the engine was warmed up prior to the first session of two on Saturday. Rick Bucher (son of the late Jim Bucher who is the only TF driver to win a NHRA national event - 1973 - with a Chevy engine), Rick's daughter Shannon and son Anthony are over by the clutch station.

 

 


With the car buttoned up the team heads to the staging lanes.

 

 

Second Qualifying Session - Saturday

 


Ready to fire up.

 


Optimistic that the car will stay on all fours this pass, Green heats the tires.

 

 

 


Walt Stevens backs Green up from the burnout.

 

 

 


Any optimism Green had was gone at the hit when the car once again yanked the front end before he moved 5 feet.

 

 

 

 

 


Once again a run is aborted and Troy coasted down the track. One shot left.

 

 

 


Following a second failed run the team regrouped for their final attempt.

 


Once again the engine was warmed up after being serviced. No visible problem causing the wheelstands was found.

 

 

 

Final Qualifying Session - Saturday

 


Green starts his burnout with the resolve that he was going to do everything in his power to get the car to the other end and in the show.

 

 

 

 

 


You can't see it clearly but the front wheels are already starting to lift off the track... it was wheelstand, take 3.

 


Almost instantly the front wheels started to come up into a wheelstand which was very uncharacteristic for this car.

 

 

 

 

 


Green was frustrated at this point and stayed with it for about as long as he dared to. He realized that if it just fell to earth their weekend was over so he waited for the front end to snap and then he rolled back into it. Most who saw it would say it was the best save they have ever seen. With the front wheels as high as six feet in the air, Troy finally set the car down nearly 500 feet down track and managed to clock a 6.453 at 208.91 which put him in the #5 spot for eliminations.

 

 


These four shots, pulled from video, give some idea of how high the car was on the pass.

 

 

 

 


The crew acknowledged the screaming crowd who really enjoyed Green's aerial act but behind the smiles were concern as dragsters aren't suppose to fly and they had to fix that or go home early on Sunday.

*Following this run the problem that was causing the car to wheelstand was found and fixed. This left Johansen to find a tune-up for 1st round as they had been chasing the clutch issue by changing other factors. At this point they had no baseline to tune by.

 

 

Eliminations - Round One - Sunday

 

At 8:30 am Sunday, Troy found a cracked upright next to the fuel tank. The car was stripped and walked over to the trailer of Frank/Scott Parks for repair. Further inspection found an identical crack in the opposite upright. This wasn't the way they wanted to start the day. Both were graciously repaired by Scott Parks. Car repaired and back in the pit by 9:00am, re-assembled and warmed by 10:00am for the 11:00 first round.

First round Sunday morning was in every way an omen of how Top Fuel eliminations would play out by that day. The first pair was Ernie McClain and Brendan Murry which Murry won without a hitch. The second pair out was # 1 qualifier Adam Sorokin and the # 6 car of Kevin Lennon. After their burnouts the cars went to stage and the Christmas tree (starting line lights) malfunctioned and both cars were shut off.

 


The National Trail Raceway crew with the help of John and Blake Bowser (Famoso Raceway managers) tried to find and fix the problem.

 

 

 


The Sorokin/Lennon cars were pushed back and since the Lennon car from Salem, WI. had an iron block and heads they needed at least an hour to cool down. That meant when the clocks were fixed the next pair would be Troy Green in the HSMS car and Howard Haight in Butch Blair's "Fugowie".

 


Troy Green has some water and ponders the situation.

 

 


After nearly an hour wait the clocks appeared to be operating correctly and the drivers were asked to get back into their cars and race.

 


Tom Shelar was more than happy to finally get things underway.

 


Finally, Green did his burnout for his race with Howard Haight.

 

 

 


Walt Stevens backs Green up from his burnout as Roger McMartin eyes the engine.

 

 

 


Brett Johansen makes final adjustments to the fuel system.

 


Both cars entered the beams and everything seemed fine. When the starter hit the button, for some reason that nobody ever figured out, the RED light came on in Troy's lane at the same time as the green. It went out when the count down amber went out. This registered to Haight that Troy had left early, when in fact he had not ... it was just another clock malfunction.

 


With the clutch set a little soft in the High Speed car Haight grabbed an early lead with Green (all four paws on the ground) in close pursuit.

 

 

 


Haight was still in front of Green and thinking that Troy had red lit, he decided to shut it off before 1000' ft mark. Green then passed him getting the win light - which, if he would have red lit, never could happen. The question was then raised, how could Haight leave first and still see a red light for Green? The whole thing was a mess but Green was awarded the win with a 6.227 at 227.77 over Haight's shut off 6.713 at 165.86.

*Haight and car owner Butch Blair protested the whole fiasco and were ultimately reinstated and advanced to round two.

 

 

Eliminations - Round Two

 

Just when everyone thought that things couldn't get any weirder or uglier, they did.

 


For the semis Green was paired with California based Brendan Murry.

 

 

 


The teams backup routine never changes.

 

 

 

 


Green left first but Murry was right on his tail.

 

 

 

 


Green held the lead until the 900' mark when they burned # 4 Piston and some piston ring material got under the # 4 intake valve causing a backfire in the manifold. That kicked the burst panel out and lifted the blower off the mounting studs. A small flash was seen but it was nothing they haven't done before. In the other lane Murry motored passed the dead-in-the-water High Speed car before the lights but right in the lights all hell broke loose.

 


Just as he hit the ET light for the win Murry's engine broke an intake valve which ignited the high volume of nitro in the intake manifold which literally blew it into small pieces and igniting as bad a fire as anyone has ever seen in a NTF car... maybe one of the worst ever in any car. The explosion vibrated the timing tower over 1400' away. Murry was in big trouble.

 


As can be seen from this shots pulled from a video by Frank Kunlel, the fire quickly engulfed the entire car from the engine back.

 


All Murry could do was hold his breath, hit the fire bottle (which was virtually no help), pull the chutes (which burned off) and grab the brakes and hope he didn't hit Green or the guardwall.

 


In hind sight it was fortunate that Green had no power from the 900' mark on because as soon as he saw that Brendan was in trouble he pulled both chutes and got all over the brakes keeping him well out of Murry's way. Very heads up move. Then all he had to do was dodge pieces of Murry's blower maniford - and there were many.

 


At this point Murry is driving blind and into the left lane. With no chutes and the brakes going away he just tried to keep the car on the track. He had a brief moment of vision and saw the sand trap. The safety crew eventually got him out and with some persuasion from Don Irvin, Murry got in the ambulance and off to the hospital. Although he didn't think he was hurt that bad (shock) Murry sustained 2nd degree burns to his forehead and hands. He would stay in the hospital burn ward for three days before returning home where he is expected to fully recover after some skin grafts on his hand. The car was is really bad shape but they feel it can be fixed and ready for the Seattle race in August.

 

 


With Murry unable to return, the High Speed car was reinstated on the break rule. Be that as it may, they still had to have a car to come back with. The blower manifold and cylinder heads were severely damaged from the backfire in the manifold so it needed some serious maintenance. With the help of others like most, if not all, of the RB Entertainment crew and Bruce Dyda the team pulled out their old Cragar manifold and a spare set of heads they keep in the trailer just for this reason and made the call for the final.

 

 


Green waiting to warm up the engine.

 

 


Towing up for the final.

 

 

Top Fuel Final

 


Green, looking for his first major win, was hoping the teams racing luck would hold for one more run. He was facing Kevin Lennon of Salem, WI. who had not run better than 7.48 all weekend. However, like Green his racing luck had been in spades all day when # 1 qualifier, Adam Sorokin smoked the tires against him in round one and Howard Haight crossed the center line in their second round match up.

 

 

 

 


Both cars back up together from the burnouts.

 

 

 


Tires cleaned, Johansen signals Green to move into the staging lights.

 

 


Green left first and pulled away early.

 

 

 

 

 


As they say, it wasn't pretty but Green's 6.408 at just 190.65 was good enough to top Lennon's 7.285 at 188.65. Actually it was on a good run , probably their best of the weekend , but Troy knew he had the other car covered and decided to click it off around 1100 feet. The record books will forever show that Troy Green in the High Speed Motorsports car won the 5th National Hot Rod Reunion and their unprecedented 4th in a row (they were runner-up at the inaugural NHRR). Like Crew Chief Brett Johansen said, "This was one of those its better to be lucky than good deals".

 


It's good to win!

 

 

 


A very satisfying moment for High Speed Motorsports CEO Dale Singh celebrating the teams 4th straight NHRR win and driver, Troy Green celebrating his first major win and his first in the HSMS car.

 


Troy and "The Girls" after the wild win. Troy's mom, Karen, Amelia Singh, Troy's wife, Lara, Dani Fry who is Mendy Fry's sister, Shannon Bucher, Arlene Eliason, and Carol Dobson, Tom Shelar's sister.

 


No shortage of team, family and friends for this Winners Circle shot.

 


As a show of solidarity, sportsmanship and friendship, the High Speed team donned Brendan Murry T-shirts and shared the Winners Circle with his crew after Murry had a horrible explosion and crash in his semi-final win over Green who also blew a supercharger. Green got back in on the break rule and won the event. Brendan was released from the hospital the following Wednesday and is now recuperating at home in California.

 


Walt Stevens --- HSMS Good Will Ambassador --- Dale Singh CEO/ CFO --- Troy Green, Driver --- Amelia Singh and Tom Shelar COO/ Team Manager.

 

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