Green Wows NHRA
Winternationals - Runs 5.94 at 229
For the first time in history, four hand picked Nostalgia Top
Fuel Dragsters were invited to do exhibition runs at the season
opening NHRA Winternationals. The High Speed Motorsports team
was among the cars chosen. Although rain foiled Sunday's runs,
on Saturday Troy Green did wheel the Silverthin Bearing - Players
Network Top Fuel Dragster to an impressive, shut off early, 5.94
before a crowd of over 25,000 appreciative fans. It was a unique
opportunity for the awesome Nostalgia Top Fuel cars to showcase
their performance before a crowd that would not normally see
them. By all accounts they were a huge hit.
and story below.
Due to the fact that NHRA national
events are a matter of logistics and careful planning, most of
the teams are in their assigned pit area by Wednesday... including
exhibition cars. Since they were only scheduled to make two runs
over the weekend (one Saturday and one Sunday) the High Speed
camp wasn't set up until Friday when the entire team arrived.
With no scheduling demands, the day was spent going over the
car and checking out new equipment.
Crew Chief Brett Johansen installs
a new RacePak data computer that is used to gather a multitude
of information that aids in tuning the car from run to run.
Troy and his dad, Gorman pack
the chutes that are always left unpacked when the car is between
events. This is done to make sure they don't get moist and/or
"clogged" in the packs which happens over a period
Troy, subbing for the absent
Bert Toulette, pre mixes and heats the engine oil for a warm
Later in the afternoon the engine
was fired up to check for any potential problems before game
Tom Shelar checks the
timing off of the crank trigger (below).
As the engine warms up, Johansen
monitors the engine functions on the teams new Racepak "dashboard"
(below). This is the same unit used on the NHRA "Big Show"
cars. It is called a dashboard because that is exactly where
it's located in the cockpit of the rear engine Top Fuel cars.
In the Funny Cars it is mounted between the fuel tank and engine
and is the last thing crew chiefs look at before the body is
lowered for a run. Since Johansen couldn't easily see the unit
inside the front engine cars cockpit he cleverly adapted it to
hang on the left side of the supercharger.
As dark falls over the
Pomona facility the car is buttoned up for Saturday.
Saturday afternoon and it was
show time. The car is rolled out of the pits for its short trip
to the staging lanes.
Troy Green, in tow, guides
the car through the staging lanes.
Green happy and confident prior
to his official debut as the teams new driver. Troy is more than
capable of filling the shoes of Sean Bellemeur who graduated
to a contract ride in an NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car for the 2007
With Green suited up and strapped
in, Ryan Kono backs down the engine prior pulling to the head
Dale Singh oversees the crew
as a final check is made prior to pulling out to the track.
With the car in place
behind the water box the team waits for the signal to fire up.
With the engine lit, Johansen
lets the engine get a little heat before sending Green into the
water box for his burnout.
Green was paired with Adam Sorokin
in RB Entertainment/Champion Speed Shop black fueler.
After their respective
burnouts both cars are backed up into their "tracks".
As always, Green is backed up by Walt Stevens and observed by
Roger McMartin and Ryan Kono.
Tom Shelar brings
Green into the staging beams as Brett Johansen prepares to pull
the idle plug from the injector (below).
Both drivers left together filling
the Pomona facility with the sound of 6000 horsepower on nitro.
It was a great
drag race until Green experienced oil in his face at the 1000
foot mark forcing him to shut down early to a 5.94 at just 229.
Sorokin clocked a great 5.71 at 261. The crowd went wild. It
is hoped this impressive exhibition will spur even more interest
in the rapidly growing nostalgia arm of drag racing.
If a picture is worth a thousand
words these explain why the Sunday schedule was thrown into chaos.
The pits at 10 AM Sunday morning. Incredibly the rain stopped
by 11:30 and the track was race ready by 1 PM. With a revised
and much tighter schedule NHRA got the event run in record time
that did not allow for the exhibition part of the show including
the nostalgia cars. High Speed Motorsports weekend was over.
Blake and John Bowser were on
hand all weekend to promote their upcoming March Meet at Bakersfield
(see info link below). Here Blake and HSMS CEO Dale Singh share
some pleasantries on Sunday afternoon.
Tom Shelar guides the car with
a dolly as the team prepares to load up for the trip home to
prepare for the 48th annual March Meet.