FRY RUNNER-UP AT SEASON
a big factor
CA - March 07, 2018:
Coming into the
2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet Mendy Fry and the
HSMS team were confident they could go back-to-back after handily
winning the 2017 race. However, the weekend was plagued with
cold and rainy weather that turned the schedule upside down and
played a major roll in Fry's failure to repeat.
dry and there were a lot of cars who took advantage of the open
testing. That was the good news.
The race officially
kicked off with Friday Qualifying. In the sole Top Fuel session
that featured a host of off pace runs it was Mendy Fry who managed
to put a good number up (5.736 at just 219.51) leaving her #1
and the class of the field by over two tenths. The 8 car bump
spot was a dismal 7.515 at 215.27. With rain literally washing
out the other two session meant that those racing on Sunday would
be a crap shoot with their lack of data and uncertain conditions.
it due to rain on Saturday afternoon, officials made the decision
to run 8-car Top Fuel Eliminations on Sunday based on Friday
qualifying session order. With last minute hopes of running the
All-American Fuel Dragster Dirty Dozen 12-car Eliminations dashed,
four weather-beaten racers like Tim Cullinan who came all the
way from Des Plaines IL, towed back home.
Sunday was insane.
With all the eliminations class cars that needed to get runs
and several time consuming delays, the finals were run well after
dark. By then the cold temps were colder and the track surface
was far below optimal heat.
But to get to
those chilly finals, we need to take care of the business of
qualifying and eliminations. Hope you enjoy the coverage
Friday morning found the team
getting ready for the first of what was suppose to be two qualifying
Former team Hospitality
Director, now team photographer, Arlene Eliason.
HSMS Hospitality setting
For the first,
and what would prove to be the only, Top Fuel qualifying session
featured two NTF veterans Mendy Fry in the High Speed Motorsports
fueler that finished #2 in the 2017 Top Fuel Championship points.
And local favorite, Rick McGee in the Tedford & McGee "Overtime
Tom Shelar made final
adjustments to the fuel system.
McGee was done early.
Fry clicked it at the 1000' mark
and still carded a nice 5.736 at just 219.51 which showed everyone
the track High Speed was there to win. The time put her #1 with
a bullet, a full two tenths quicker than the #2 car. McGee was
done early and had to coast to a 13.982 at 63.63 which left him
on the outside looking in.
Mendy and Tom adding
the good stuff.
Eric McMorrow prepping
the next rack of pistons.
Warm-up prior to the
second qualifying session.
Back in the pits first things
first, drain the oil which will tell of any "metal problems"
right off the bat'
The prep was for naught as the
second session of funny car ate up any chance Top Fuel had of
getting their second session on a track that had become unsafe.
The teams were left to hope for another shot on Saturday.
There was a 90% chance of rain
forecast for Saturday, but the car was optimistically warmed
the engine up just in case every weather report available was
wrong. They weren't. Saturday was a total wright off. Mendy would
stay #1 with her lone 5.736.
ELIMINATIONS - ROUND ONE
Due to the lone qualifying session,
two drivers who would normally be in the top half of the field
pitted #1 Mendy Fry and #8 Adam Sorokin.
Sorokin was his usual self with
a stellar 0.048 RT. However, the master was second best as Fry
cut an even better 0.036 light. You will hardly ever see these
kinds of reaction times in a Top Fuel race. Great job both.
Sorokin recovered and gave chase
but it was way too late to cover Fry's monster 5.696 at 261.42
which was low ET for the round by a ton.
After routine mountainous, the
car was ready for round two. Tom Shelar went out to evaluated
the track and decide what lane they wanted.
Walt Stevens greeted
his fans on his way out to his back-up position.
Out of the waterbox came Mendy
Fry and Jim Murphy, who finished one-two in the 2017 points race,
to see who would go to the final.
Murphy was away first
but that was short lived.
Murphy went into tire
smoke at the 60' mark, game over.
Fry once again showed everyone
that the High Speed car was by far the class of the field, carding
a 5.600 at 250.97. Murphy coasted through.
Two - The Final and Nitro Interns