Team Goes 2 Rounds
Deemed a Success
CA - March 01-04, 2012:
The 54th edition
of the fabled March Meet truly offered a mixed bag of weather
and racing. The temps on Thursday (50's) morphed into the mid
80's by Sunday. This made for some tough tuning decisions and
a couple of nasty crashes. Saturday offered perfect weather with
a full day of racing to a record crowd. Gas prices be damned,
the crowds everyday were the best ever. Just what the Bowser's
For the HSMS
it was a new chapter in the teams history. In addition to a new
driver, veteran Bill Dunlap, the team has several new faces replacing
those who went their own way after the 2011 season. With the
first race of the 2012 season under their belts, the entire team
is praising the re-organization declaring "we are having
allot of fun racing again."
Acting as the
test bed for the next generation billet block (Donovan/Shelar
- 417) the team was "sneaking up" on an optimum tune-up
for 2012 and made great strides over the weekend.
Off to a good
start at the 54th March Meet, the next stop for "great white"
will be at the Spokane County Raceway in Washington the weekend
of June 21-24.
The team has
had great success in the past going on the road to new venues
like Bowling Green where the team racked up 8 Top Fuel Eliminator
wins in 10 trips.
excited at the opportunity to go to Spokane and support Cindy
Gibbs and the Hot Rod Heritage Series . We've never been to the
Spokane track but that's true for the rest of the TF teams so
it should bode well for us if our history at new tracks continues
as it has in the past." (Crew Chief / Team Manager- Tom
CEO Dale Singh,
"Without the renewal of a multi-year Corporate Sponsorship
with SilverThin we would not be able to race on the level we
are. Our sincere thanks go out to SilverThin's Kent Ross."
as a team would like to thank Tom Shelar for the leadership he
has shown as Team Manager and Crew Chief. Tom has enormous wealth
of knowledge, and we stand behind him with all of our encouragement,and
look forward to his leadership skills. Great job Tom."
ado, since there were no 2011 race reports, HSMS offers this
extended report of the MM to get everyone up to date with the
2012 team. Lot's of non-racing photos.
For the first time the March
Meet was extended to four days to allow pro testing on Thursday
plus class qualifying for the other classes. Although they were
set up by Wednesday they waited for the first qualifying session
on Friday afternoon to make their first run. In the mean time
there was lots of time to prep the car and visit with friends
and fans on Thursday.
Displayed proudly in the HSMS
pit were the first 3 Donovan/Shelar
417 blocks. Block 1 was in the car, block #2 on the engine stand
and block #3 in the trailer. Donovan is in the process of filling
the first public orders for the new block. Since the Rodek 417
is no longer in production this is the engine of the future.
Walt with the Dixon's
who were co-Grand marshals.
Tom and brother Rick
work on their rocker assembly.
Sean Bellemeur getting
the engine ready for their first warm-up.
Block designer Tom Shelar spent
a lot of time giving the particulars and advantages of the new
block. Here Larry Dixon Jr. and Don Ewald get the lowdown on
the this beauty. Below Walt Sevens goes over it with Larry Dixon
Chris Hedge is doing
the clutch and brother Frankie is doing the bottom end.
Pete Palumbo and driver,
Bill Dunlap fuelin' her up.
Warm-up prior to the
first qualifying session.
Oil gets changed by Car
Chief Rick Shelar after warm-up.
Chris Hedge helping Dunlap
pack his chutes.
One - Friday
It's showtime, Dunlap
The team gathers around
the car to give their traditional "get 'um" yell.
On a cold Friday afternoon
the guys wait for the signal to fire up
The signal came and Rick ran
the starter as Tom pulled the wire from the coil that lites the
car. Chris keeping a safe distance on the left.
Chris is closing the
coil as Rick takes the starter back to the truck.
Tom Shelar guides Dunlap
up to the water box.
Dunlap made the burnout
and all seemed fine.
During the burn out an exhaust
guide tightened up and the intake valve clipped it so the exhaust
valve was not sealing causing it to have a dead hole. When it
got back to Tom he leaned the system down with no luck. So with
a dead hole he shut it off.
Afterwards people made comments
to Shelar like Dunlap, "Thanks for shutting it off."
And Austin Coil who said Tom was smarter than he looked stating,
"I will never send a car on a run when I know there is a
problem" . If it had been during eliminations Shelar would
have had Bill stage and shut off after the green, or idle down
if the other guy red lights. Simply the situation was too dangerous
and costly to be that stupid enough to make the run.
Back in the pits, after finding
the problem, Tom got down to fixing the O ring on the left cylinder
Bellemeur and crew set about
getting the engine ready for the second session in the afternoon.
Two - Friday PM
For the second session
Dunlap was paired with Adam Sorokin.
Dunlap was doing fine until the
car started to slide left crossing the center line and killing
a couple of timing blocks. You can see Bill was trying to bring
it back but the rear end world not hear of it.
Tom reassures Bill that there's
no problem, we'll get it fixed, and get down the track tomorrow.
Not much damage for taking
out several blocks at 180 mph.
Ex High Speed driver
Sean Bellemeur gets the seat for the tow back to the pits.
Three - Saturday
After fixing the wing and servicing
the car the team was ready for the third and last qualifying
On a absolutely beautiful Saturday
morning "the backup guy" Walt Stevens relaxes before
the car fires up.
Fourth pair pitted
Bill Dunlap and Mendy Fry. With only 14 cars this was a test
of two new combinations but Bill still had to get from A to B
without crossing the line again.
Shelar made his final
adjustments before sending Dunlap to the line.
The car left good.
Both drivers shut off early.
Dunlap (because of a 3 pinched rings) to a 5.903 at only 212.86.
Before round one Shelar enriched the 3 cylinders and the problem
Shelar who always ride
the scooter ahead of the truck was OK with that.
The crew was all smiles, they
were in the show at #9, not bad for the first full pass in complete.
The team took advantage of the
return road in front of the stand to show off their sponsors
and to let the fans have a close look at the car.