HSMS Preps for NHRR
CA May 1-3, 2009
The second edition of the Rod & Kulture Dragfest was
in a word, fun. They had something for everyone. If you are a
drag race fan, hot rodder, rat rodder or just a lover of a party
atmosphere laced with nitro this is where you wanted to be this
weekend. In spite of being rained out most of Friday, the racers
and fans who did attend saw everything from Nostalgia Top Fuel
dragsters to old drag racing "drive-in" movies and
a live 60s style "surf band"
Keep in mind
that the idea behind Dragfest is to put on a real nostalgia drag
race. When you looked out across the track and roam the pits
(discounting the necessary modern improvements), they tried to
make it resemble a real, early, 1960s drag race. To do
this, they made Famoso more period correct and tried to make
historical cars their main focus.
action part of the show was eight booked in Nostalgia Top Fuel
dragsters including reigning World Champion, Troy Green and the
High Speed Motorsports team. Since the crew had planned to do
some testing before heading back to Bowling Green, KY for the
National Hot Rod Reunion in June, this was the perfect opportunity
to offset the costs and put on a show for appreciative fans.
As it turned out, the weekend
proved to be invaluable in prepping for the NHRR as a timing
problem was found that would have cost valuable time to find
in Kentucky. It took four runs but after eliminating several
suspect parts, it was found that a faulty magneto hold down clamp
was allowing the timing to retard when there was a load on the
engine (i.e. when it was on a pass).
Nonetheless, the guys did have
fun and are now ready for Bowling Green where they hope to score
their fifth win at this annual event.
Photos by: Bob
Brown, Steven C. Wallace, Darrell Conrad, Pam Schavrien and Don
With several of the team including
driver Troy Green and crew chief Brett Johansen in transit, Friday
morning was pretty low key.
Tom Shelar and Rian Kono
Wanting to find a starting point,
Shelar jumped into the seat and Sean Bellemeur oversaw the first
warm up of the weekend.
Kono set the timing.
Well, that was fun.
By mid afternoon Green had arrived
and so had the rain. At this point they still had high hopes
of getting the first qualifying session in so the car was warmed
WDIFL.com photog Bob
Brown hard at work.
Jennifer Luna, Blake
Bowser and Arlene Eliason
This was the first race for the
newest member of the Green family - little Ava Claire. Troy and
wife Lara's only complaint was they had to pack more for her
than both of them together. All weekend Ava was the center of
attention and by all accounts really took to drag racing like
a duck to water.
Hospitality was in the
capable hands of Roger McMartin.
Saturday dawned sunny and dry
and the first order of business for the High Speed bunch was
a team meeting in Dale Singh's motorhome.
With two runs scheduled for Saturday
the car was once again warmed up for session one.
While Green waited to
fire up, Lara fed Ava.
Unlike an actual race, this event
did not have stringent who runs when and where rules. For his
first run Green took the right lane and was all by himself.
The car was somewhat
soft at the hit.
Green stopped the clocks with
an unremarkable 6.04 at just 238 mph which should have served
for a decent baseline pass. However, it would prove to be the
only run of the weekend to require a chute.
One of the cool aspect of this
event was the fact they had all the cars that ran return to the
pits in front of the stands so the spectators got a closer look
The second run of the
day the car didn't sound just right on the burnout.
As soon as Green hit
the throttle he knew this was not the rocket he was used to.
After a dismal 60' time
he ran it a few hundred more feet and shut off.
Into the night the team tried
to find the problem. They replaced everything in the ignition
system including a borrowed magneto from Rick White.
Sunday had only one run
for the top fuel cars scheduled.
Whatever the problem was, they
had not fixed it and Green had another abbreviated run. Since
the two quickest cars from this round would come back for a "final"
this left the HSMS team done for the weekend.
On the way back to the pits Green
and Shelar went over the run in hopes to nail down the gremlin.
As the car count dwindled down
due to eliminations, there was more than enough time for anyone
who wanted to make test runs. After making even more
changes the guys tried again to get from A to B.
Bellemeur is in radio
contact with Green at all times.
Walt Stevens backed Troy
After careful scrutiny
the crew sent Green to the line.
Once again the the car was a
"slug" and once again Green shut it off very early.
As was stated in the opening, back at the shop a careful look
at the computer graphs revealed
that a faulty magneto hold down clamp was allowing the timing
to retard when there was a load on the engine (i.e. when it was
on a pass). This has been fixed and they are ready for Bowling
Green. Hope to see you all there.
2009 Dragfest Video Clips