GREEN MAKES PRESENCE KNOWN IN
Gears Up for 2008 Points Championship Final
- 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
In round one Green had
to get by a tough Jason Richey.
2:20 p.m. Weather conditions:
air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 17 percent, barometer
29.95 inches, adjusted altitude 5,100 feet.
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.
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 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.
Shelar and Arlene Eliason loaded up the hospitality area.
all folks! Next stop the California Hot Rod Reunion.
granddaughters Lucia, Olivia and Sofia may not understand this
drag racing thing yet but they did have a fun weekend.
2008 Boise Nightfire Nationals Video