TOP FUEL FINAL
Mendy had already nailed down
the 2019 NHRA Heritage Top Fuel championship but that was then
and this was now, the mission was not completed. With the passing
of team owner/tuner Tom Shelar shortly after the Spokane Nitro
Nationals, Team High Speed was determined to cap the season with
a CHRR win.
Friendship aside, she faced Pete
Wittenberg in the final and he wanted the win as well. Being
the second quickest car in the filed, Wittenberg did have the
cards to play in Mendy's game. Plus, he had Jim Young out to
twist the knobs on his tune-up.
Right here is where a bad news/very
good news story begins. Wittenberg knew a 5.7 was not going to
win this race. He had to take the only shot he had and he missed.
His -0.254 red ended this race before it started. BUT, as Steve
Harvey said, here is the rest of the story.
Then the drama began. Mendy was
so focused on cutting a safe light, she had no clue that Wittenberg
had gone red. Her 0.087 light was spot on. But in her mind it
was a mile late.
The team did see the
red and were going wild.
At this point Mendy could see
Pete's chutes and he's not shutting off. Her mind is saying,
"How could I be so friggin late?"
This is what a -0.254 red light
and a 0.087 green light look like on the track when two strong
cars are racing.
When the High Speed car is in
a final, Don Ewald positions himself at the second turn out to
shoot. Being so far way he had no clue how the race went. Mendy
turned off and he looked at her, she shook her head no. Knowing
all the emotions involved in this particular race, his heart
Back on the starting
line it was pandemonium.
As Don watched her get out of
the car neither of them knew what was going on at the starting
line, She did what she had to do with the car and walked off
into the dirt. Remember, it
was told to you from the start this was a bad news/very good
This face tells you everything
you need to know about the passion of Mendy Fry. At this moment
in time she still thought she'd lost on a hole shot.
What a difference a few seconds
make. The news came from the top end safety crew that Wittenberg
had gone red and she was the champ x2. Ewald stated, "I
have never seen a more drastic mood swing in my life."
Whit Bazemore rolled
up to do the video interview.
Pete and Mendy, no clue
what was said.
Sean Bellemeur was the
first to arrive and this says it all.
Fast forward to the Winners
Circle with a cast of many.
Brother Rick was next
with a toast to Tom.
Patrick to Dad
Jake and brother Larry
Sean gets his turn.
Senior crew member Walt
Alanna wasn't shy.
Eric puts his dent in
Nick tips it
Passes it to Kyle
Crown aside, they got
down to National Dragster type photos.
The Girls of HSMS
By the time the team took the
stage for the championship trophy and event win, some Crown and
a lot of Coors had been consumed. However Mendy had the honor
of opening the "Official Bottle" - the winners circle
So ends a season of ups and
downs, sadness and celebration. The entire High Speed team would
like to thank their sponsors and fans for their support on and
off the track.
2020 is still in limbo according
to Patrick Shelar who stated, "Still need to figure out
if the car is running next year and if so, at what capacity."
Updates well be released as
Page 1 - Three
Page 2 - Eliminations