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HSMS Gears Up for 2008 Points Championship Final


Boise, ID - August 08-10, 2008: Troy Green and the High Speed Motorsports - SilverThin Bearings Top Fuel team came into the 37th Boise Nightfire Nationals leading the 2008 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Points by a slim margin. They left Boise in 2nd place by yet another slim margin. By losing a very close second round race against Jim Murphy, Green relinquished the lead to Brad Thompson who was the event runner-up. Event winner, Murphy vaulted into third place just 3 points behind Green. What does all this mean with one race left?

Well, it means that the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield on October 10-12 will be a vicious three way dog fight for the 2008 Top Fuel championship. Should Brad Thompson, who crashed and was injured at Boise, be unable to compete the whole deal will boil down to which driver, Green or Murphy, goes one round further than the other. High drama for sure.

Crew chief Brett Johansen, Tom Shelar and the rest of the team will spend the next 7 weeks focused on preparing the car for the final showdown. Says Johansen, "We're as serious as a heart attack about this one. Murphy is on the top of his game and we will have to be one step better."

As for Boise, it was overall a good outing with Green carding a best of 5.816 at 243.77 in his first round win over Jason Richey.

photos and race results below



This annual event at Boise is different than most in that the majority of the featured action happens in the evening into the night. With the first qualifying session not scheduled until 7 PM, the teams have the luxury of doing things in the morning (like having a real breakfast or playing a round of golf) and getting to the track at 2 PM.


With the car already prepped back at the shop, and fired the day before at the SilverThin Bearings Open House, Friday afternoon was very laid back.







Throughout the afternoon the fans came by the pit and the kids were offered a chance to sit in the car - what a thrill.




Arlene Eliason is in charge of the HSMS hospitality area and there is always goodies on hand to eat and drink.



Laid back indeed.


Steve Gibbs and Dan Richens were among the visitors over the weekend.





About 6 PM the car was warmed up in preparation of the first session.






Before going to the lanes, the team had their customary pep rally.



First call for Top Fuel... the car is headed for the staging lanes.










Top Fuel Qualifying - Session One

8:11 p.m. A late start for the festivities but the day time was taken up with a bracket race that paid some serious change to win. The Pepsi NightFire Nationals are a lot more than Top Fuel and Funny car. There are bracket races all four days of the event and today they staff of the raceway had to play catch up as the final three rounds got 'winded out' yesterday evening.

Weather conditions: air temperature 94 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 29.75 inches.


Rick Shelar and Pete Palumbo get the car positioned in the water box for the burnout.


It's showtime! Troy Green was paired with Mike Cross for their first shot at the sticky Firebird track.





Walt Stevens guides Green back from his burnout.






Brett Johansen is the other half of the backup team telling Stevens where he wants the car.




Crew chief Brett Johansen had the car set "soft" to get a baseline.



Green shut off way early to an easy 6.192 at 183.41. Cross got loose and aborted his pass to a 6.985 at 171.26.



With two sessions on Saturday the trip to the track was a little earlier - like 11 AM. The temperature was really up there so no one was moving too fast.





Saturday - Qualifying Session Two

2:40 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 86 degrees, relative humidity 18 percent, barometer 29.80 inches, adjusted altitude 5,400 feet.


Green, Stevens and Shelar towing the car to the lanes.


Todd Shappie is the designated driver - towing only.


Strapped in and ready.


Palumbo, Johansen and Singh wait for the order to fire the engine.


In session two Green was on a single so every camera in the place was focused on "Great White".












Green started his backup way up track of Stevens.


Walt picked him up and guided him home.






Johansen and understudy Sean Bellemeur make final tweaks to the engine.





Green had a great 1.022 60ft time followed by sever tire shake and smoke at about 200ft. After losing his bearings Green wisely shut it off.



The tires were really working hard right from the hit.







On this shot you can see air under the right tire - not a good thing.







After the aborted run, the pits got back into laid back mode. Danny Porche and Steve Gibbs settled in the shade to watch the Olympics.


Dale Singh spent some time with Bakersfield Raceway's Bill Bowser.


Tom Shelar did his normal cylinder head services.


Brett Johansen looked over the data from the computer to figure out why the car shook so violently and make sure it didn't do it again.


Blake Bowser and and Bakersfield Starter, Bill Condit spent some time with Sean Bellemeur and other members of the crew.


Walt Stevens gapped spark plugs (the hardest thing he wants to do these days).


What has become a welcome tradition for the drivers and fans at the Nightfires is the Saturday afternoon autograph session. This year some of the Funny Car shoes joined the Top Fuel guys, including Troy Green, to sit in 90 degree sun to sign everything from their handouts to T-shirts.








At about 6:30 PM the car was warmed up.






Good to go.



Saturday - Qualifying Session Three

8:15 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 90 degrees, relative humidity 18 percent, barometer 29.95 inches, adjusted altitude 5,600 feet.


There was a slight delay from the previous pair so the team had to cool their heels in the water box waiting for the signal to fire.






Johansen checked out the lanes.


This session paired the #1 and #2 drivers in the points standings - Troy Green and Brad Thompson.




It's no secret that both these cars tend to be very aggressive on their tune ups and they both may have gone just a little over centered on this track - this night.















Thompson was all over the left lane and just about got sideways around half track. Green had to give the pedal at least one slap and spent some time wandering the right lane as well. In spite of his long trip, Green did improve with a 5.999 at 227.38. Thompson's 6.350 at 180.90 was no help.




Sunday - with the first round scheduled for 2 PM it was another no panic morning.





Clutch specialist Todd Shappie has all the tools to service the discs between rounds.






The last of Kathy Kaplan's "Killer Salsa" was devoured before first round.



Bellemeur figured out what to do with the empty bowl.


The car is again warmed up about an hour before the call for round one of eliminations.





Its hard to excite old Walter anymore.



Works for me!



Prior to the first round of eliminations six of the elite seven members of the Top Fuel 260 MPH Club were recognized. From L to R: Jason Richey, Jack Harris, Brett Harris, Don Ewald (for sponsor WDIFL.com), Brad Thompson, Troy Green and Adam Sorokin. Missing was Pete Kaiser.




Sunday Eliminations Round One

2:20 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 17 percent, barometer 29.95 inches, adjusted altitude 5,100 feet.


In round one Green had to get by a tough Jason Richey.









Both cars left together but Green pulled quickly away to a great 5.816 at 243.77 win. Richey after yet another soft 60' time carded a 6.078 at 242.26.







After it was serviced, the car was warmed up for its date with Murphy.






Top Fuel Eliminations - Round Two



The final pair of round two pitted the two quickest cars up to this point - Jim Murphy and Troy Green.












Green did his job on the lights but a 5.887 at 245.36 was not enough for Murphy's 5.768 at 258.39 (track speed record). Just a good ol' drag race.











What goes up, must come down. Knowing they did their best, the team cleaned everything and loaded the trailer for the trip home.






Dominica Shelar and Arlene Eliason loaded up the hospitality area.







That's all folks! Next stop the California Hot Rod Reunion.


Amelia Singh's granddaughters Lucia, Olivia and Sofia may not understand this drag racing thing yet but they did have a fun weekend.


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