High Speed Motorsports


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Bakersfield, CA - 10/23/17: The 26th edition of the California Hot Rod Reunion was billed as back to the way it used to be, and it was. After last years debacle the folks at the NHRA Motorsports Museum and those in Glendora made every effort to not only make the cacklecar group feel welcome, but the racers as well. From improvement in pit parking to Cacklefest push starts in front of the stands, those who did come back were rewarded with a smaller but on par show. Folks who passed this year are already planning to come back and give the event a second chance in 2018.

For the High Speed Motorsports team it was the final battle for the Top Fuel championship. To set the stage, Jim Murphy came into the weekend leading the points over Mendy Fry and Adam Sorokin in Nostalgia Top Fuel. Murphy first won the postponed Firebird Raceway Nightfire Nationals final round on Saturday to extend his points lead over Fry to 27.

Both Murphy and Fry won their first round of racing on Sunday as did Sorokin and Jim Young. This left the four best cars in the country to dictate the champion. If Sorokin beats Murphy and Fry beats Young, the title would go to the winner of the final. If Fry won she would be the champ. However, none of this happened.

In the semis, Murphy got the best of Sorokin again. Although Adam grabbed a hunk on the tree his 5.724 at 241.37 was not enough to keep Jim's 5.604 at 246.08 from running him down. Murphy's MOV: 0.0650 seconds (approximately 23 feet).

At that point is was over, we had a champion. However, on the run Murphy suffered an oil in and scraped the left guardwall, damaging the left front suspension and canard. Although they had another engine, Murphy and Leong decided to err on the the side of caution and not run the final. Jim had won the war, but lost this battle.

That still left Jim Young and Mendy Fry to see who would single for the event win. In another great drag race Young left first and needed it. His 5.653 at 261.78 held off Fry's quicker and faster 5.638 at 260.66. Young's MOV: 0.0240 seconds (approximately 9 feet).

At the end of the day HSMS C.O.O. and Manager Tom Shelar was more than happy with their season. Their rookie driver had a learning curve and proved to be the right girl for the job. The cars performance standards reached another level and the team became a well oiled machine. They fell just short of the championship and Shelar is resolute to go after the title again in 2018.



Friday - 1st Qualifying Session


For the first of three qualifying sessions Mendy Fry driving the High Speed Motorsports fueler and Brendan Murry win his "Running Wild Racing" late model hemi car.











Fry, on a planned 1000' pass, carded a solid 5.69 at just 215.68. Murry coasted to a unremarkable time.







After the second session, the girls kick back while the team does its routine maintenance.



Rick Shelar and Darrell Read doing their thing.



Big Show crew chief Lance Larson stopped by for a visit with Tom.


Team Photographer Arlene Eliason going through here captures from Q2. She is also a team photog for WDIFL.com



Clutch specialist Sean Bellemeur in the can while Jake Dungan who works the bottom end observing.


Mendy is a hands on driver who mixes her own nitro.




Long time SoCal starter Larry Sutton was hangin' out all weekend.




Bellemeur with National Dragster photog Mark Gewertz.




Maintenance done, it was time to warm up the engine.







Celia Green (wife of Top Fuel driver Dusty Green) and Amanda who is Kyle's fiance took total control of the "souvenir booth" that featured T-shirts, hats, signed pistons and other HSMS goodies.



Mendy spent as much time as she could supporting the sales and signing autographies, which were in demand.




Eric Mc Morrow who takes care of the fluids on the car, surprised everyone with these very unique awards he made up for Frank Hedge and Donnie Ho who he claims addicted him to drag racing. He also made a very cool "Best Damn Team" award for Tom Shelar.







Mendy was not forgotten, he made her this abstract spark plug paper weight.





Donnie Ho, Eric and Frank "Root Beer" Hedge.



Saturday - 2nd Qualifying Session


For session two Fry was paired with Adam Sorokin. At the time they both had a shot at the championship.










Sorokin spun the tires before the tree and was done early.













Fry stepped up with a 5.660 at 224.47 landing her in the #2 spot. Sorokin was good with his Q1 5.742 that was #4.




For the final session it was Mendy Fry and Jim Young. These two would meet again on Sunday with points consequences.












Young jumped into the #3 slot with a strong 5.673 at 255.24 while Fry clicked it early to a 6.18 at just 151.15. She remained #2 with her previous 5.660.





Top Fuel Final Order

1. Jim Murphy 5.651 @ 249.30
2. Mendy Fry 5.660 @ 224.47
3. Jim Young 5.673 @ 255.24
4. Adam Sorokin 5.742 @ 243.06
5. Pete Wittenberg 5.906 @ 205.01
6. Rick McGee 6.031 @ 199.76
7. Bret Williamson 6.179 @ 175.34
8. Brendan Murry 6.656 @ 153.89

------------ Not Qualified ------------

9. Phil Ruskowski 6.756 @ 178.90
10. Tyler Hilton  8.053 @ 159.59



Saturday night found the dragster without a heart. Thanks to a great catch by Kyle, who is half of the bottom end team, spotted a crank in the radius of #4 main journal. Had this not been found, the result could have been catastrophic. The engine was pulled and a new crack was installed.













Sunday - Eliminations, Round One



Make Your Reservations Now



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 2020 Schedule

 Photos - Race Results


 The Team

 Race Videos

 Dragster Stats



 HSMS Cover



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