Sunday morning and it was game
time. Warm up the car and get ready to roll for the first round
The third pair pitted #1 Tony
Bartone against #8 Mendy Fry. Judging by qualifying alone, Bartone
was the heavy favorite.
Fry left first as Bartone
double clutched the leave which totally threw him off.
Not knowing that Bartone had
got out of the groove and ended up in her lane, Fry kept the
pedal on the firewall.
Shelar swung for the fence and
nailed it. Fry went low for the meet with a 5.594 (low ET of
the meet) at 249.26. Quite a step up since her previous best
run for the weekend was a 6.027.
Bartone coasted through
still in Fry's lane.
Now the crew really had
something to cheer about.
Round Two of Eliminations
Tom Shelar and the legendary
Roland Leong check out the track which had cooled along with
the air temp.
For the semi final Mendy
Fry was paired with rookie Pete Wittenberg.
Wittenberg got the jump
off the line but Fry made it up by the 60' mark.
Wittenberg was done by
Fry moved to the final
with a 5.783 at only 220.76.
After rain stopped the eliminations
on Sunday it was left to Monday to write the final chapter of
the 2017 March Meet. The Top Fuel final was scheduled for 11:30
so the car was warmed up an hour earlier.
Note how sparse the pits
are. Everybody who was done had left.
Off to the staging lanes
and a date with Jim Murphy.
TOP FUEL FINAL
In the Top Fuel final it was
Jim Murphy who was seeking his elusive fifth March Meet title
against Mendy Fry who was shooting for her first major win, period.
For Murphy win #5 was denied
when his throttle stop failed on the burnout allowing the engine
to go like 11,000 rpm. As a result, the fuel pump drive broke
rendering his engine DOA.
As Murphy's crew pushed him back,
Fry got the one finger from the starter meaning she would have
Fry left hard and had
stout early numbers.
Stopping the clocks with a 5.598
at 252.66 Fry proclaimed she would have been hard to beat had
Murphy raced. As many do, the High Speed guys could have played
it safe and saved the parts, but that's not the way Tom rolls.
Relaying a signal from Shelar, Sean Bellemeur gave Mendy the
go-for-it nod, and she did.
The team started the
celebration right on the starting line.
One happy girl!
Last to arrive were Cole
Coonce (Mendy's husband) and team owner, Tom Shelar.
Mendy and Walt Stevens
Whit Bazemore filming
in the background.
Tom and Jim Murphy
Geno and Harley were
among the well wishers.
Next stop, Bowling
One - Qualifying