CA - March 07-09, 2008: The 50th anniversary of the March Meet will go
down in drag racing history as one of the best events ever. Under
four days of Chamber of Commerce skies, the largest car count/spectator
attendance in history filled the hallowed Famoso Dragstrip grounds
for the event that lived up to its star billing in spades.
Joining 23 other
Top Fuel dragsters was the High Speed Motorsports/SilverThin
Bearings fueler driven by Troy Green who went into the weekend
feeling optimistic that the inconsistent performance the car
experienced in 2007 was cured over the winter. His optimism was
not misplaced as Crew Chief Brett Johansen along with Tom Shelar
and the rest of the established HSMS crew ran the three best
times ever with the car while keeping parts damage to a minimum.
Aside from the
unforeseen and grievous loss of Top Fuel veteran John Shoemaker,
the 2008 March Meet was a huge success and large step forward
for the team who now have the confidence that they can be major
players in the newly established 2008 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series
and race results below
For High Speed Motorsports CEO
Dale Singh the weekend opened by introducing Ralf M. Miller from
San Antonio, Texas - the newest member of the team.
While Singh was introducing Miller
to top fuel drag racing, the crew was chomping at the bit to
get qualifying underway.
Under sunny skies and ideal track conditions the first session
of Top Fuel qualifying went off as scheduled at 2:00 p.m. Friday
In the car for his second full
season, Troy Green paired with Bill Dunlap starts his first burnout
of the weekend.
As he's done for the
last 6 years, Walt Stevens guides the HSMS car back from its
Brett Johansen makes his final
tweaks to the fuel system before sending Green into the staging
The car yanked the front
wheels at the hit and reeled in a decent 60 foot time.
Nice and clean - a 5.886 at 223.60
(shut off early) was a sweet baseline pass for the team to work
Yea, we'll take that
Troy Green - he drives
- he wrenches - he makes lunch... no, Arlene does that.
Once again paired with
Bill Dunlap, Green starts his burnout for session two.
From the hit this had
stout run written all over it.
12:41 p.m. Saturday afternoon: More sunny skies and ideal track
conditions set the stage for the second session of Top Fuel qualifying.
We had four shooters at the topend
for this session so here's a look at nearly the entire run....
The run was every bit as good
as it looked. Green stopped the clocks with a career best (also
best for the car) 5.767 at 258.47 which planted him firmly in
the #2 spot right behind Brad Thompson.
Crew Chief Brett Johansen
followed by the crew were happy to say the least.
Ironically Green was
paired for the third time in qualifying with Dunlap.
Walt Stevens guides Green
back in his tracks to the line.
5:19 p.m Saturday afternoon: With the sun beginning to set, the
third and final session of Top Fuel qualifying was underway.
Johansen watches Dunlap's progress
so he knows when to send the car up to the staging lights.
Dunlap had trouble staging so
Green was given a single run and once again the HSMS car (aka
Great White) left with authority.
Top Fuel Qualifying after 3rd Session
1 - Brad Thompson
5.675 @ 250.34
2 - Troy Green 5.767 @ 258.47
3 - Jack Harris 5.796 @ 233.58
4 - Rick White 5.816 @ 250.69
5 - Pete Kaiser 5.817 @ 250.55
6 - Rick Williamson 5.833 @ 246.57
7 - Denver Schutz 5.853 @ 251.74
8 - Howard Haight 5.899 @ 244.43
9 - Shannon Stuart
5.924 @ 234.37
10 - Adam Sorokin 5.950 @ 256.11
11 - Mike McLennan 6.013 @ 232.73
12 - Jason Richey 6.017 @ 250.97
13 - Rick Rogers 6.059 @ 250.97
14 - Rick McGee 6.079 @ 245.29
15 - Jim Murphy 6.092 @ 222.60
16 - Bill Dunlap 6.148 @ 215.10
17 - Terry Cox 6.164
18 - Ernie McClain 6.238 @ 229.76
19 - Mark Malde 6.242 @ 208.52
20 - Dan Rusk 9.271 @ 89.51
The team was on a serious
roll... Green carded another stellar time - 5.783 at 252.38.
officially got under way at 11:30 a.m. with several award ceremonies.
Above Mike English introduces Tom McEwen, Tony Waters, Don Prudhomme,
Don Hampton and winner of the very first March Meet in 1959,
Blake and John Bowser flank the Grand Marshal's Don Prudhomme
and Tom McEwen.
The fans filled the stands
for a full day of racing.
With the first
pair of Top Fuel cars sitting behind the water box ready to fire,
Art Chrisman did a push start from the top end.
drove the length of the track... a fitting tribute to a great
racer and excellent way to start the day.
Eliminations - Round One
pair out pitted #2 qualifier Troy Green with #15 qualifier Jim
Right on time, after the playing of our National Anthem, the
first pair of Top Fuel cars fired up at high noon.
Green, ready to go is about to
get the signal the he would be flying solo as Murphy was being
shut off in the other lane with a minor oil leak.
Sounding every bit as
good as it did on Saturday, Green launched hard.
With the center
of the tires "chunking" out Green legged it to yet
another great time. Not hurting any parts, the car was about
as consistent as could be.
to the pit to get ready for the next round.
- Round Two
2:22 p.m. Sunday: Still under
sunny skies and ideal track conditions round two hit the track.
Paired with another
driver who was having a good weekend (Denver Schutz who ran 5.750
in round one for lane choice) Green rolls through the waterbox
to start his burnout.
Johansen (along with
Stevens) is the other half of the backup team
While the crew wipes
the tires, Johansen makes the final adjustments to the engine.
Tom Shelar brings Green
to the first pre-stage light.
Schutz got a starting
line advantage leaving Green to play catch-up.
Green was willing but the blower
belt wasn't... it broke at the 900 foot mark leaving Big White
dead in the water.
All Green could do was watch
Schutz clock a sterling 5.775 at 258.69 while he coasted through
with a 5.954 at just 213.42. Greens numbers prior to the belt
failure suggest he would have run a low 5.7 which would have
made for a great drag race.
The looks on the faces of Shelar
and Stevens sum it up. The one thing nobody can foresee is parts
failures but all in all it was a great weekend and the entire
crew was pleased with their performance. They also know they're
going to be in the thick of the 2008 points chase.
2008 March Meet Video Clips