Tom Shelar - Team Manager
& Crew Chief: Grew
up in Lancaster, Ca where street racing was a common weekend
activity in the late 60's and early 70's. 1975, built my first
engine. A Chrysler 383 for a 65 Sport Fury. The next project
was a 68 Dodge Dart with a 383 in it. Built the car from the
ground up, Engine, Trans, Rear end, Interior, and raced it a
OCIR on Wednesday nights. It would run 13.80s at just over 100
mph driving it in off the street with the exhaust and power steering
still hooked up and never shifting into high gear. Fun Stuff
for a street car. These trips to OCIR was were I first saw Fuel
cars. I decided if I wanted to run a Fuel car I need allot more
money. So I sold my Dart and settled down to build my career
in Manufacturing. After college and working in the industry I
landed a job with a Cad/Cam company helping develop software.
A few years passed and I started a new company and began to distribute
Mastercam. 25 years later I have managed to build the # 1 US
distributor of the #1 Product in the industry.
1996, Now that the Business was
up and running I could afford to go have some fun running a Fuel
car. Walt Stevens was attending a training class at one of my
facilities and told me about his friend that had a Front Engine
Fuel car. It turned out to be Frank Rootbeer Hedge. He only lived
a few miles from me so I started spending many evenings at Franks
house learning about running a Fuel car. It was allot of fun
racing with Frank and the guys over the years. I started out
doing the clutch and building engines. We managed to win a few
races along the way and build a solid running car. We were #1
Qualifier at Pomona and Sears Point and Oklahoma during the first
year and won the Oklahoma race several years in a row. The hook
was sunk Deep after that. After Racing with Frank for 6 years
he decided to move to Oklahoma. That changed how we did things
as the car was left with me in California to prep and race and
Frank would come in as the owner tuner. We ran for 2 years like
this as we were gathering parts for a new car. In 2004 we managed
to land a deal with the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas thanks
to the help of Dale Singh. That was all we needed to put the
2nd car in full running order. We recruited Mindy Fry to take
over the Driving job in the 1st car and moved Sean Bellemeur
into the seat of the new car. We won the first time out with
the new car. In 2004 we took the new car to the HHRR in Bowling
Green and swept the race. Low Et Top Speed and Won. In fact we
managed to win the next 3 HHRR to roll up 4 in a row.
The fun part is how we have been
able to use the Cad/Cam Manufacturing background to design and
build our own parts. Cylinder heads , Intake Manifold , Scoop
and Injector combination , Wings and various other parts. To
see your own Designs go out and Win the 2008 Championship brings
a great feeling of accomplishment.
Sean Bellemeur grew up around the race track with his
mother Nancy, and father Gregg. Gregg drove many cars including
AA Fuel Altered, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car.
When Sean was 5 years old, his
family partnered up with Tom Lemon and Jack Burr on their Top
Alcohol Funny Car driven by Tom Bristow. This is where Sean learned
most of his mechanical knowledge about race cars.
In 1995 the Bellemeur family
built a junior dragster and proceeded to win many track championships
and in 1997 had a runner up finish at the NHRA National Championships
in Denver. In 1998 The Bellemeurs built their front engine dragster.
They ran in the VRA A/Fuel class and won National Championships
in 2001 and 2002. During that time Sean also worked on different
race teams gaining experience and knowledge.
The Bellemeurs sold their A/Fuel car at the end of the 2003 season
and began building a Top Alcohol Funny Car along with being hired
by High Speed Motorsports to drive their Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster.
In 2007, Sean signed with the
Ron Meer Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car team and finished
3rd in national NHRA points as well as earning the Lucas Oil
Drag Racing Series Pacific Division Championship. Along with
that Sean won "Driver of the Year" honors, and Bob
Devour won "Crew Chief of the Year". That team has
since liquidated and Sean has rejoined his family team with sponsorship
from Mastercam and Lucas Oil. Sean has also continued on with
HSMS and currently serves as the assistant crew chief and test
Another passion of Sean's is
working fire/safety. He is an instructor for SFI (Safety Foundation
Inc.) Incident Response teams and is currently working at Auto
Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield with their Emergency Response
Walt Stevens - Floater: (in
his own words) Well let's
see, I grew up in the Culver City area. Was in the Army from
1957 to 1959. Came Home and that was the start of my street racing.
Went to Jail in 1960 for street racing down on Culver blvd. Said
this is was no fun.
I grew up around dirt cars as
my Dad and my Uncle races Midgets from 1946 to 1952. But in high
school friends (John Peters & Ny Frank) were running a two
motor dragster. I use to help sometimes, and go to the races
with them. That's how I got from dirt to drags. Later in 1963,
I was at old San Gab Raceway and the next thing I was helping
to build a front motor top fuel car with Root Beer Frank Hedge.
We had a deal with the A & W Root Beer Company to help with
the car. That's if we finished it. That was in 1963, so Frank
and I build the car at his dad's house. We started in Jan 1964
and ran it in June of that year. I always wanted to drive a dragster
and that was my chance. It was the start of my racing career.
The first night out with the
fuel car. I ended up running 185 mph with an 8.25 E.T. After
trying to get it down the track 3 or 4 times. That when I became
a (Nitro Junky). After driving the A & W car, for about 6
months. Frank & myself, parted and I started driving anything
that I could.
We raced until 1973, won some
big races driving the Odd Couple, The Winter Nationals in 1971,
and next was the March Meet in Bakersfield 1971. Raced all thru
out the states with the Piranha, this was in 1966. Got out to
drag racing to raze a family, I started flying at that point,
Thanks to Dusty Rhodes. Got into flying, big time. Ended up flying
Robert Nethercutt, around, from the Merle Norman Car Collection.
Did that for from 1978 to 1981. Plus helped out in the Machine
shop, building car parts for the Museum. 1982.
We ended up at Samco Scienfitic,
Running there machine Shop. The owner of the company, had a 40
foot off shore boat, so he had me working on the boat. The next
thing I knew, I was racing with him and his Son. From 1983. Until
1988, that's when he sold the company to Corning, From N.Y. Was
back in the Machine Shop, Had 10 guys working at that time.
Don Madden had a new shop in
the Palmdale Area, I had him make me a cam for one of my street
rods. So I started, helping him with the number 7 sprint car.
That Don Madden ran, Raced with Pepper Fite Corp & Dons Ford
team, off and on for 3 to 4 years, He had some very good drivers.
In that car Billy Boat, The Gas Man ( Richard Griffin ), and
we used to kick ass, All over the western states. Won a bunch
of races. The Gas Man was one of the best drivers in the sport
Back in 1997, Root Beer Frank
called me and wanted me to come by his house, to see What he
had just got, a very nice front motor top fuel car. Asked if
I would stay and help him Get the car together, to run it up
in Palmdale that next day. That was an all night er, we did go
and Run the car. We had Wild Bill driving the car. We ran that
car with Mastercam helping us out,
That's a funny story; I was going
to classes at Mastercam, in New Barry Park, That's when I told
Tom Shelar about the race car. Asked if he would like to come
by and see what we were doing.
Well that was the start of getting
some help from good racing friend, Tom has been racing with The
old Mastercam car of Franks, and today we have been racing the
High Speed motorsports Top Fuel car. We got a very good deal
on this car. This was in 2002, Worked our Butts off Thru All
of these years, and it was so butching to end up with the NHRA
Hot Rod Heritage 2008 Championship. We have had Troy Green in
the sit for the last 2 or 3 years, Had Sean Bellermeur Driving
the car, when we started. The very first time out, with a new
car. Was at Bowling Green, KY and won the race. We have won that
one 4 years in a row. Last year was not too good.
At bowling Green, But that's
drag racing. Still having fun. Looking forward to winning the
championship again this year. Want to thank the hard work of
our team. Without them we would not make it that goes for Tom,
Dale, Brett, Rick, Todd, Roger, Frankie, Sean, Troy, Danny and
Rian, and the girls. Arlene and Amelia.