MENDY WINS THIRD STRAIGHT
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
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
FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER
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
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
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,
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.
TOP FUEL FINAL
Tom, Shane and Donnie
bolting Mendy in.
Walt being Walt.
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
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
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.
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
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.
2019 Race Schedule