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Tragedy Hit Four Days Later with the Passing of Tom Shelar


This a difficult task but in loving memory of Tom, he would have wanted this page done. His sudden and unexpected death has left a huge void in his family, business staff, the HSMS team and the drag racing world. His talents, knowledge and generosity will be sorely missed. Those of us who called him a true friend will suffer his loss for the rest of our days. He is unforgettable. RIP T-Slick


08.17.19: What is now a bittersweet win, late on Saturday night at Spokane County Raceway, Mendy captured her third consecutive NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel title. Mendy left first and posted a 5.79 ET at 241 MPH for the win against Bret Williamson, who took Runner-Up with a 6.72 ET at 172 MPH in the Mike Fuller Motorsports "Forever Young."

Fry pedaled through 3500-horsepower induced tire shake in every round at the Tuscon Nitro Summer Nationals and her midnight victory capped two days of all out nitro drag racing action. With a commanding and near-insurmountable lead in the season's points battle, Mendy and the High-Speed team are bringing their triple threat to the fifth battle in the 6-race in NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series at Tulsa Raceway Park.

At this point the Mendy and High Speed Motorsports team matchup seems unstoppable but it hardly happened overnight. Fry credits the team for their badass Top Fuel car's success due to their meticulous attention to detail, and crew chief Tom Shelar is quick to point out Fry's skill, experience, and determination in the driver's seat. "She learned how to pedal it through tire shake back when she got her Top Fuel license (in 2003) with 'Root Beer' Hedge. They would match race in all kinds of tough conditions all across the country. He taught her that you have to get to the finish line, no matter what."

The previous weekend the High Speed team took home the gold at the 48TH Pepsi Nightfire Nationals. Tom Shelar would pass away 4 days later.

Words fail me so let's recap the race, salute the crew and remember Tom.


The Team: Eric Mc Morrow, Sean Bellemeur, Angela Reeves, Kyle Wakefield, Alanna Kuhn, Tom, Mendy, Rick Shelar, Donnie "Ho" Anderson, Mario Campos, Nick SanAngelo, Maria and Walt Stevens.



Now for our coverage made possible by Arlene Eliason who did an incredible job of covering an event by herself in challenging light. Great job girl.




The final pair pitted #1 and #2 in the top fuel points race. Mendy in the High Speed Motorsports rocket ship and Adam Sorokin in the Champion Speed Shop entry which has been erratic lately.












BAM Mendy #1 by miles. Sorokin slowed to a 6.11.





This event was unlike any other in that you had the last two qualifying sessions and three rounds of racing in one day. That is a ton to ask of any nostalgia nitro team. Sitting solidly in the #1 spot Shelar chose to sit out the session.

Session Three: The High Speed car was in the lanes but pushed back with the No.1 spot already in the tank. Pete Wittenberg and Phil Ruskowski stayed in the pits.



1) Mendy Fry 5.68 @ 216
2) Pete Wittenberg 5.70 @ 245
3) Bret Williamson 5.91 @ 206
4) Tyler Hilton 6.05 @ 237
5) Adam Sorokin 6.11 @ 187
6) Jim Murphy 6.14 @ 212
7) Phil Ruskowski 7.14 @ 176





Being low qualifier in a 7 car show, Mendy got the first round bye. As he always did, Tom went out to check the track.


Walt Stevens ready for the burnout.











Shelar used the free pass to try something in the clutch can that produced the desired result at the hit but went into severe tire shake past the tree.


















Over the last two season Mendy has raced Adam Sorokin more than any other driver, and here they went again.








Sorokin knew he was in a deep hole and had to rely on his strongest suit, his reaction times. This time it bit him as he went red sending Mendy to the final, again.







Mendy dodged a bullet as she experienced tire shake and had to click it to a 6.54 at just 149. Lane choice in the final would go to Williamson putting High Speed in a position they hadn't seen in two years.






Like at the beginning of the event, before going to a final round the team always gathers over the engine for a "GO HIGH SPEED" pep talk from Tom,



Tom, Shane and Donnie bolting Mendy in.


Walt being Walt.


Facing Mendy in the final race of the night was Bret Williamson who had not been in a final in memory. A win here would have been a huge feather in Mike Fuller's cap.











This was all Mendy - with a twist.









The twist was Mendy didn't have lane choice and was put in the unfavored right lane and drifted to the left at half track.


Mendy did a masterful job of staying in her lane, literally feet off the center line for the win.





"WINNERS" Now and Forever


This team is no stranger to the Winners Circle and their signature celebration in a bottle of Crown Royal passed among them Tom took the first swig.







Backing up to Friday, here the team gets ready for the first qualifying session.























This is a 5 gallon bucket of Cam2 Blue Blood racing oil with its lid folded in.


This is lid removed from the bucket.


These are Tom Shelar's oil soaked pants, legs and shoes. Seems Tom used the bucket for a step stool in the trailer and, well, bucket won. Tom being Tom laughed it off, cleaned his legs, changed pants and shoes, and headed out for the next run.











*At the instance of Tom's brother and son Patrick the show will go on. As Tom would want it the team will rally together and be at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park for their Nitro Nationals on September 20-21. They will finish out the season at the CHRR in October. Their tribute to Tom is to duplicate last years results. The support behind this quest is massive.


HSMS 2019 Race Schedule



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 2020 Schedule

 Photos - Race Results


 The Team

 Race Videos

 Dragster Stats



 HSMS Cover



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