High Speed Motorsports


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Bakersfield, CA - March 07, 2016:

The 58th edition of the fabled March Meet offered five days of racing amid complicated weather. For an event that was predicted by all to be rained out, it survived one last shower on Sunday morning and went on to crown all class champions by days end. The entire track crew did an amazing job of getting the track race ready after each rain storm and each oil down and crashes.

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. That is not to say that the grounds aren't littered with geezers, its just that the focus is on the race track and everyone wants to win the most prestigious race of the year. And after a couple of successful pre race test outings Team High Speed came in with high hopes.

Optimism was warranted as Bill Dunlap qualified #5 with a 5. Bill Dunlap 5.870. Coming into eliminations the team was looking to go rounds on Sunday. Unfortunately what could have been a disastrous incident in the opening round, Dunlap got oiled in and blindly drove into the back end of Jim Murphy's car in the shut down area. Full story below.



Start at the beginning; warming up the engine for the first qualifying session on Friday.











Friday - 1st Qualifying Session


The 2015 CHRR winner, Bill Dunlap in the High Speed Motorsports "Great White" was paired with four time March Meet winner, Jim Murphy in his WW2 Racing Neil & Parks car.






Both cars had good early numbers.









Murphy had problems early and shut off.









While making a sacrifice to the aluminum gods, Dunlap stopped the clocks with a 5.870 at 210.54. Murphy was done early and coasted through.







Friday - 2nd Qualifying Session

Due to the lack of light and photographers,
there are not a lot of shots from this session.


Due to a massive funny car oil down Top Fuel finally got to what was then a cold track. Dunlap was paired with Tony Bartone.




Dunlap left hard and carded great early numbers.





















Saturday - 3rd Qualifying Session


The last pair of the last session was Bill Dunlap and Rick White with both solidly in the show.




















White stopped the clocks with a jaw dropping 5.564 @ 254.04 while Dunlap improved to the #4 spot with a 5.738 @ 253.33.





Sunday, Round One of Eliminations


The final race of round one matched Bill Dunlap and Jim Murphy.






Both drivers left together.











Dunlap still had the lead at the 1000' mark but that's where his problems began.






It seems that the tri-drive belt that drives both the fuel and oil pumps started shredding earlier in the run. With the fuel pump not putting enough fuel in the engine it leaned out burnt all the pistons and that pumped the pan pressure until it blew the front of the left rocker cover gasket out oiling Dunlap to the the point he was flying blind.




In spite of doing the best he could to keep the car in his lane he was drifting to the right while Murphy was drifting to the left.



Dunlap's right front tire rode up the back of Murphy's left rear tire. At that point it was just hang on.













The bottom line was nobody was hurt, however Dunlap was really mad at himself (that's what drivers do) and Murphy was able to make the call for round two.




And with that the 58th March Meet was in the books for the HSMS team. At press time there was no decision on what to do about a car. A new one had been in the planning stages.

UPDATE: In July the car went up to Washington to be front halved by Brad Hadman.



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