High Speed Motorsports

 

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Bakersfield, CA - March 10, 2014:

The 56th edition of the fabled March Meet offered a mixed bag of weather - but no rain and that made for a lot of passes down the quarter mile. With a full complement of race cars and a sell out fan base on Saturday, it can be said that the Bowser family and the Famoso track crew hit another home run.

Unlike the California Hot Rod Reunion in October which is a gathering that includes a race, the March Meet is a hard core drag race... arguably the most prestigious race of the year. Like the other 15 top fuel teams that would vie for the crown, the High Speed Motorsports crew went in with high hopes.

By Sunday there were several ups and downs but the end result was a good outing with the guys chomping at the bit to race again. Here is a photo journal of the weekend.

 

Thursday found the team all set up with no where to go. It was basically tinkering with the car, waiting on parts to arrive from LA.

 

 

 

 

Driver, Bill Dunlap and Tom Shelar - HSMS C.O.O & Team Manager.

 

 

 

Team Leader and clutch specialist, Sean Bellemeur.

 

Car Chief, Rick Shelar and Frank Hedge.

 

The old guys - Walt Stevens, Pete Palumbo and Don Ewald

 

 

Friday found a faster pace. The fact that some new parts were late in arriving put the guys behind the 8-ball, missing the first qualifying session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With everything buttoned up, it was time to fire the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow nitro fumes fill up under the awning.

 

 

 

Friday - 2nd Qualifying Session

 

After missing the first session, Bill Dunlap in the High Speed Motorsports "Great White" was out for his first shot at the track along with Rick Williamson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The game plan was to make a half track run then do a tear down to see what things looked like.

 

 

As planned, Dunlap carded a 6.277 tune-up run.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, its in one piece!

 

 

 

 

Back to the pit.

 

 

Working into the night to be ready for the final session on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday - Qualifying Session Three

 

Paired with Dunlap for the final session was eventual runner-up Rick White.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Shelar and Sean Bellemeur made their final adjustments to the engine.

 

 

White's 5.94 at 233 did not improve his #2 spot while Dunlap ended up #13.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday - Round 1 of Eliminations

 

In the first round of eliminations Dunlap was paired with good friend, Rick McGee.

 

 

 

McGee grabbed a slight lead with Dunlap right on his tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunlap had McGee by a car length at the 1/8 mile when the ignition box failed and the car strarted dropping cylinders. A huge disappointment for the team but at least the gremlin was finally exposed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But at the other end it was McGee taking the win light with an abbreviated 5.879 at 232.39 while Dunlap also clicked it early to a 6.037 and 205.57.

 

 

 

Not wanting to waste a chance to test, the car was readied for a run on Sunday afternoon. After replacing the ignition box and coil, they installed the new Reid valve train including rocker arms and a new camshaft. Even on the burnout the car sounded much better than the previous runs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a solid 1st pass for the changes. The nitro was backed down 2% and it was only .06 slower to the split but picked up 2 mph. Better still, the exhaust temps were 200-250 degrees cooler than they've ever been (thank you new camshaft). The end result was exactly what Shelar was looking for, less heat and more bottom end torque.

They left Bakersfield feeling confident they had turned a huge corner and anxious to start tweaking the new combination.

 

 

 

 

 

And with that the 56th March Meet was in the books for the HSMS team.

 

 

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