CA - 10/22/18: The
27th edition of the California Hot Rod Reunion® presented
by Automobile Club of Southern California completed competition
at Auto Club Famoso Raceway on Sunday crowning not only event
winners but also the champions in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series.
High Speed Motorsports and their driver, Mendy Fry were winners
Fry arrived at
the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion with the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod
Heritage Series Top Fuel championship already in hand and drove
the High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel Dragster over the finish line
for the event win. Her Top Fuel victory at Famoso Raceway in
Bakersfield marked a three-peat season clincher for Fry and the
team after successive wins the the National Hot Rod Reunion and
Nightfire Nationals. Fry had already clinched her first Top
Fuel world championship in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Drag Racing
Series, Its been a banner year for Fry, who has put together
impressive performances time and time again, winning two races
in 2018. But even with the championship clinched, the team wanted
to cap the season with a CHRR win.
belongs to the team, Fry said. "Theyve upped
the bar for me as a driver, and thankfully I havent screwed
it up this year. The thing thats really helped is getting
to know the car. Theyre giving me something that repeats
and because the team is so consistent and the maintenance on
the car is second to none, its really upped my confidence
level. I love this track and going there. My first Top Fuel win
happened at the March Meet and it feels like Im home there."
"We lost only one round of racing this year, ran the table
on Low ET and Top Speed at every event except for Top Speed at
the National Hot Rod Reunion."
say Tom Shelar and the crew have it dialed in. My team gave me
the car to beat, and I didnt screw it up. So this win is
theirs. Im just glad they picked me." said Mendy.
Fry had left
a Top Fuel win on the table in the the season opener seven months
ago at the March Meet when she was disqualified in the final.
She she had a huge lead but was disqualified for drifting over
the center line on a cold and tricky track. Those regrets were
erased on Sunday she piloted the High Speed Motorsports dragster
to a CHRR victory with a 5.61-second pass at 259.36 mph in the
Nostalgia Top Fuel final taking out Rick McGee. Fry was the top
qualifier for the weekend and achieved the low ET for the event
in the semi-finals with a 5.550 ET.
make quite a statement, didnt we," said Fry. I
think we set low ET every round." She started with a 5.582
blast at 258.24 to beat Tyler Hilton and was even better in the
semis as she thundered to a 5.554 elapsed time at 261.62 mph,
leaving Pete Wittenberg and his 6.153 effort in her wake. The
semifinal numbers were the quickest and fastest Fry has gone.
to get quicker and faster, she said. "Everybodys
going to catch up, that is the reality of this sport. Weve
got a big target on our backs and we cant sit on our laurels."
cars now biting at our heels, we are looking at 2019 to be a
much tougher season. We will be ready." said team owner
ado, here is the event coverage featuring a cast of many.
But wait, there's more, much
more of the post-race celebrations but first we need to go back
to Friday to see how we got here. Enjoy the ride.
Leading off, a few candid
shots from Friday afternoon when the team was getting ready for
the first qualifying session.
Sean and Ashley Bellemeur were
front and center with kids, Peyton is the oldest, Kiera (with
Sean) and the new baby Audrey. Sean loves saying hes surrounded
by girls. Even the dog Lucy, is a girl!
Frankie Hedge poured
the good stuff with Mendy.
Tom Shelar always has
a team meeting at the start of every race day.
Then there was the first
warm-up of the weekend.
Jake Dungan getting a
spare set of tires ready.
The HSMS hospitality
team does a great job of keeping everyone watered and fed.
When Eric Morrow isn't taking
care of "fluids" he can be found filling gaps all over
the pit. Go to guy with a ton of enthusiasm.
Walt Stevens does
a superb job in his roll as supervisor.
Friday - 1st Qualifying
For the first of three qualifying
sessions Mendy Fry was paired with Brendan Murry in his "Running
Wild Racing" late model hemi car.
No surprise to anyone, Fry went
low with a 5.600 at 231.44. Murry got no love from the cameras
and was a DQ due to an oil down.
Saturday - 2nd
Shelar chose to go last in session
two and that paired Mendy with Dusty Green who was not yet qualified.
Shelar and Belemeur made
last minute adjustments on the fuel system.
Settling for nothing less than
#1, Fry/Shelar do just that again with a 5.592 at 239.14. Green
had issues and remained a DNQ with a 7.06.
Moving on to Saturday afternoon,
after routine maintenance the team warmed up the engine for the
final qualifying session.
Saturday - 3rd
Starting a very long wait in
the staging lanes were 2018 Top Fuel Interns Matthew Fischl and
Alanna Kuhn. This was Matt's first event, Alanna came on board
at the '18 March Meet and has not missed a race since. Graduated
to pit driver.
Jake Dungan and
Frank, Ruthie and Frankie
Hedge with Rick Shelar.
Owner/tuner Tom Shelar checking
out the track not knowing it would be another hour+ before they
would make their run.
After a another lengthy clean
up Fry and Dusty Green were finally given the sign to fire-up.
Totally dark, having to shoot with no flash (thanks NHRA). Mission
Green went into tire smoke almost
immediatlely and did a great job of slapping the throttle to
recover before the tree.
Fry clicked it early
to a 5.83 at 196 while try as he did, Green failed to make the
Nostalgia Top Fuel Final
Sunday - Eliminations
Sunday - Winners
Circle - It's Crown Royal Time
Your Reservations Now
1 781 Mendy Fry, Los Angeles
CA, '16 Hadman 5.592 239.14
2 380 Jim Young, Salem WI, '07 Dragster 5.661 252.57
3 7238 Bret Williamson, Gilroy CA, '14 Uyehara 5.665 252.71
4 7131 Rick White, San Diego CA, '06 Hansen 5.705 247.25
5 706 Pete Wittenberg, Anaheim CA, '01 Stirling 5.716 250.27
6 766 Adam Sorokin, Glendale CA, '04 Sterling 5.720 243.59
7 701 Rick McGee, Exeter CA, '97 Tedford 5.761 217.56
8 736 Dan Horan, Sylmar CA, '09 Dragster 5.873 253.71
------------ Not Qualified ------------
9 379 Tyler Hilton, Sharonville OH, '12 Horton 5.907 255.63
10 1 Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa CA, '13 Neil & Parks 5.986 193.02
11 752 Dusty Green, Pleasant Hill CA, '08 Neil & Parks 6.472
12 7188 Brendan Murry, San Jose CA, '10 Rooman 6.592 133.29
13 600 Phil Ruskowski, Victoria BC, '11 McKinney 6.995 164.79