Put HSMS Out Early
(June 23, 2012) Following their annual open house appearance
at sponsor SilverThin
Precision Bearings, the High Speed Motorsports team headed east to
Spokane, WA to compete in the inaugural NHRA Hot Rod Heritage
Racing Series event at Spokane Raceway.
Thursday when the track was open for test runs, the weather was
a mixed bag to say the least. The sun was out for the test sessions
and all was well. Friday came and the sun had exited stage left
and the skies were permeated with clouds. Rain halted racing
before the end of the first Top Fuel qualifying session leaving
three cars out of the show.
cloudy but dry and it was decided that the cars that didn't get
to run on Friday would qualify at noon however, the cars that
did get to run on Friday was allowed another qualifying pass.
Not a popular decision with the cars that only got the one shot.
With only nine
cars that still meant one was not going to make the show and
that was Mendy Fry in Mike Fuller's car. After two sessions the
HSMS car with Bill Dunlap in the seat sat #4 with a high-altitude
5.96 and was paired with the NoCal car of Rick Williamson.
To make a long
story short, what was shaping up as a great weekend ended abruptly
when a minor parts failure caused major engine damage on the
starting line of round one. Nonetheless, some good data was gathered
from the previous runs and that will prove useful in races to
come. Here are some shots from the weekend. Enjoy.
The whole gang got together for
dinner on Wednesday night at the hotel. From left to right: Rick
Shelar, Pete Palombo, Tom Shelar, Rick McGee, Darrell Tedford,
Don Ewald, Chris Hedge, Kristen Marsh , Bill Dunlap, Sean Bellemeur,
Amelia Singh, Maria and Walt Stevens. Arlene Eliason was behind
Arriving on Thursday morning
we found the Spokane facility to be very nice with plenty of
paved pit area. The Top Fuel cars were given their own row that
allowed teams a huge piece of real estate to set up on.
One of the first things on driver
Bill Dunlap's mind was checking out the shutdown area. The track
is plenty long with a decent "sand box" in case of
a chute or brake failure.
For those who have not been to
the updated Spokane Raceway here are some shots taken before
the racing began. Having been to hundreds of drag strips over
the last 50 years I can say that fan seating doesn't get any
better than this.
Sean and Tom warming
the engine up for a test run.
Test Session One -
Under sunny skies Dunlap
made his first burnout of the weekend.
As always, Walt Stevens
guided Dunlap back in his tracks.
Tom Shelar made the final
tweaks to the fuel system.
This was a designated
1/2 track test. The early numbers were good.
The 1/2 track squirt,
7.076 at 126.58 mph
Test Session Two -
Running on no set schedule
Dunlap leisurely suited up at the head of staging.
Second test was set for
Dunlap netted a 6.126
at just 201.74 (4.01 at 195 at 1/2 track). All was good.
Kristen and Arlene made sure
nobody went hungry.(Maria Stevens checks out how Kristen Marsh
(a real Chef by trade) tunes up hospitality for the weekend and
also gives Arlene a big break).
One - Friday
Getting ready for session one.
Unlike Thursday, Friday was much cooler and overcast.
Rick, Rick, Bill and
Chris heading to the staging lanes.
Sean is the designated
There were only a few folks in
the stands and the threat of rain had a lot to do with that.
Arlene getting focused
Dunlap heating the tires
for the first of two scheduled qualifying sessions.
In the other lane was
Tony Bartone who hails from New Jersey.
The car left hard.
Running on all 8 the
car motored on down the track to a nice 5.96 at 244.89.
The crew liked that one. Shortly
after this the rains came halting the program and cutting qualifying