After finishing the car
repair at 3 AM the team was back at it Sunday morning.
Frankie Hedge was preparing
a short block that hopefully wouldn't be needed.
Shelar on his trusty computer
trying to come up with the best tune-up he could using older
Two champs. Larry Dixon
Jr. came by to visit with Mendy.
ROUND ONE ELIMINATIONS
The third pair of round one pitted
the 2017 champion, Jim Murphy and the current champ, Mendy Fry.
What had all eyes on this match up was the fact that Murphy was
getting quicker on every run. Fry on the other hand had been
plagued with major problems all weekend. She never got to the
finish line in qualifications and had to pass on Q3. Add to that
the fact that Shelar's trailer computer crashed after the morning
warm-up so he had no data.
Both cars left together.
1320 feet later Fry dropped jaws
big time carding the quickest and fastest NTF run in history.
Talk about pulling a rabbit from the hat. Despite a deep stage,
Fry stopped the clocks with a 5.518 at 265.43. Murphy carded
a game 5.801 at 231.12 and wasn't even close.
After two disastrous runs in
a row, a new world record wasn't on anybody's radar. Well, except
for Shelar who was confident with his tune-up and hoping his
car was done misbehaving.
The second pair of the round
had history written all over it. In the previous round Mendy
Fry had lowered the NTF record to a 5.518. Car owner Tom Shelar
was sure it would have been a forty had she not deep staged.
With that in mind, Fry would not be deep staging on this pass.
Walt Stevens guided Fry
Shelar made last minute
Williamson got a big jump (0.051
to 0.219) leaving the champ playing catch-up. In Fry's defense,
Shelar had her stage as shallow as possible for a reason. And
the last thing she wanted was a red light. Had Williamson run
a personal best by a bunch, the plan may have backfired.
Heading for the 330'
mark Williamson still had a half car lead.
Then we move to four
pictures of perfection. Blessed to be there.
Williamson's 5.853 at
234.09 wasn't a bad pass but in a different zip code compared
There it was, first in
the fours and obviously a new record.
During routine maintaince it
was found that the new throttle cable that was installed after
the rearend debacle was bound up. Shelar, Fry and even Whit Bazemore
were trying to find the problem but after 15 or so minutes of
removing/replacing the linkage etc. they just took the new cable
out and reinstalled the old one.
Old throttle cable reinstalled,
the engine was warmed up.
TOP FUEL FINAL
After watching Mendy Fry run
the two quickest runs in NTF history everyone on the property
had her the odds-on favorite to seal the deal. The Champion team
knew full well they didn't have an answer to another 5.49 run.
All this being true, once again we don't race on paper.
So far, so good.
Both cars staged with
Starter Brian Taylor flipped
the switch and both drivers had their right foot on the bell
housing. Sorokin left, Fry did not.
With Fry sitting dead in the
water, Sorokin carded an abbreviated 5.844 at 212.16 to capture
his second March Meet win.
All the while the baffled and
greatly disappointed High Speed crew were left to push a dejected
Mendy Fry back to the staging area. Just when they thought the
weekend was done with gremlins, a 50 cent screw could have cost
the team a March Meet win and possibly another 5.40 record pass.
How hard was it to know you may
have lowered the NTF record even further had it not been for
a 50 cent screw that vibrated out of the throttle linkage.
Fry was left to ponder what could
have been. March Meet final rounds have been the only chink in
her armor two years in a row.
Both Bobby McLennan and Adam
were more than willing to give Fry a sincere hug knowing that
this is just the beginning of a long championship season and
these friends will meet again. And they will, possibly at Bowling
Green, KY in June.
Event Summary and Thanks from
What a weekend.
I want to thank all the team for all their hard work getting
thru an extremely challenging race. You people inspire me to
do my best and Im proud of everyone of you.
We may have lost
the race in the final but we won the war and overcame so much.
Testing went good until that ORing got loose in the fuel system
. We thrashed for 8 days and got everything back together for
looked good. Friday Q1 we had a coupler come loose at 3.5 seconds
and blew it up again. We rebuilt it and went to Q2 and had a
rearend mounting bracket fail and took out the brakes . Mendy
did the smart thing and slid it into the sand . We had to take
the car down to the chassis and rebuild it again . Bruce Dyda
stepped up as he always has for us and did the long drive back
to Torrance to get us the parts we needed to race on Sunday .
the warmup the trailer computer crashed so no run data to look
The round one
run was fantastic and set a new national record with a 5.51@265
The second round
I put .010 of head gasket on and pulled 6 grams off the clutch
to calm it down and it went quicker with the first 5.40 for a
cable was bound up for some reason so we put the old one back
on for the finial . I worked on the linkage for 15 mins and never
bothered to check the bolt that came loose in the finial.
We managed to
set a new National record . We made history by being the first
AAFD car in the 5.40s .
We lost in the
finial to a quality team and Congrats to Adam and Bobby and Tony
and the entire Champion Speed Shop team . They worked hard and
year we lost in the final at the March Meet and we went on to
win the Championship. The goal is to win the Championship . With
you people I believe we can accomplish that goal .
The list is long
Donnie Ho Anderson
Al Renteria Jr
Frank Hedge Jr
A special shot
out to my brother Rick Shelar who has made it possible for us
to race without him at the track this year but he is always with
us every time we turn around to do something because he got us
organized and made us all aware how important the small details
are . Miss you bro.
And the ladies
that support us:
Manda May Wakefield
Oh ya and our
Mrs. Mendy Fry the quick chick
Thanks to our
sponsors for the continued support .
Sonny Diaz and
the Cam2 Oil group.
/ Darrel and Tami
Thank you both for all your help.
is scheduled for June 1 at Córdoba then back to Bowling
Green to defend our title. 2019
by all the support.
In the thick of
the pits at Nostalgia Top Fuel drag racing
All my best
A High Speed Motorsports Specal Report
One - Qualifying