CA - March 12, 2013:
The 55th edition
of the fabled March Meet offered a mixed bag of weather which
didn't help the program schedule at all. The temps on Thursday
(50's) morphed into the mid 70's by Sunday. Saturday saw a high
temperature of just 61 degrees with track temps in the mid 60's.
With the Friday fuel sessions canceled due to rain, two sessions
were crammed into Saturday with round one of eliminations put
off until Sunday which was a perfect 72 degrees.
the pits of Famoso Dragway on Wednesday the team had two objectives.
One was to make strides with the never ending improvements being
made on the car and more importantly, to honor the memory of
their late CEO, Dale Singh who passed away in February.
Along with the
other teams, the weather issues threw Tom Shelar and the High
Speed Motorsports team off their program. Forced into two qualifying
sessions on cold track Saturday, Shelar was unable to accomplish
what they wanted with the car and was left behind the 8-ball
However, on Sunday
the 8-ball factor didn't come into play as a round one red light
by Dunlap abruptly ended the weekend. The upside was they experienced
very little parts damage and did log some good information.
Here are a few
shots from the weekend.
Thursday Test Session
The track was in full swing on
Thursday for testing. Having made several changes to the car
since October Team Manager Tom Shelar wanted to take advantage
The game plan was to make a half
track run then do a tear down to see what things looked like.
In hind sight, the way qualifying
went down it would have been good to get another run in on this
After the run Darrell Reid and
Tom Shelar grab the pistons as Rick Shelar shoves them up.
Qualifying Session One
2:27 p.m. Weather conditions:
air temperature 58 degrees, relative humidity 60 percent, barometer
29.54 inches, adjusted altitude 561 feet, track temperature 71
The second pair out for the session
was Bill Dunlap in the High Speed Motorsports entry of Tom Shelar.
The HSMS team was racing in memory of Dale Singh.
In the other lane was defending
MM champion Jim Young in the Illinois based Crop Duster owned
by Frank & Debra Ousley.
Tom Shelar and Sean Bellemeur
made their final adjustments to the engine.
Both cars had solid leaves.
Dunlap was in test mode
and shut off early to a 6.068 at 211.49.
Once back in the pits Car Chief
Rick Shelar got the routing maintenance set up and rolling.
Sonny Diaz dropped by
to help Walt Stevens do his job as overseer.
Shelar poured over the
computer data from the run.
Dunlap's jobs are mixing the
fuel and packing the chutes. This would be the former.
Todd Swinford takes care
of the bottom end.
Arlene Eliason is in
charge of hospitality and does a fine job of it.
Qualifying Session Two
6:35 p.m. Weather conditions:
air temperature 61 degrees, relative humidity 62 percent, barometer
29.55 inches, adjusted altitude 760 feet, track temperature 59
Due to the late hour and diminished
track conditions only a few of the cars opted to come out for
the second session. Two that did were Bill Dunlap and Jim Murphy.
Nobody was shooting in Dunlap's
lane. They left close together and were just 0.001 different
at sixty feet. Murphy stayed close to right at the 660 lights,
where Dunlap's' header flames went down. Murphy stayed on the
power until near the 1000 foot lights, where his engine went
Top Fuel Round One
11:30 a.m. Weather conditions:
air temperature 60 degrees, relative humidity 59 percent, barometer
29.62 inches, adjusted altitude 571 feet, track temperature 66
The final pair of round one pitted
Bill Dunlap and Jim Murphy. Due to the weather and a late second
qualifying session neither car had much in the way of good data.
This race was over before
it started when Dunlap went red.
And with that the 55th
March Meet was in the books for the HSMS team.