June 15, 2013

Horan Wins Aagin, Bolsters Points Lead




Famoso and Firebird Team Up for AA/Funny Car “Blitz”

Auto Club Famoso Raceway and Boise’s Firebird Raceway have joined together and formed the “Boise-Bakersfield Blitz,” a four-race points-earning series for AA/Funny Cars in 2013.

The four funny car events are two of Famoso Raceway’s Saturday Night Nitro Shows on June 15 and July 13 as well as Firebird’s 43rd NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor on April 26 – 28 and the 42nd Pepsi Nightfire Nationals on August 8 – 11.

Points are earned based upon funny-car qualifying positions in reverse order. For example, in an 8-car show the #1 qualifier earns 8 points, #2 earns 7 points, #3 earns 6 points and downward through the qualified field; a 16-car field is awarded the same way with the #1 qualifier earning 16 points. 10 points are awarded for simply showing up with a nitro funny car and passing tech at each event. A perfect attendance bonus of 5 points goes to those funny car teams who are present at all four events.

This was the second race out of four in the new Boise-Bakersfield Blitz Nostalgia Funny Car Series. Dan Horan Jr. has won the first two legs and is running very consistently. He seemed to land on the 5.81 ET button a number of times this past weekend, and that's not easy to beat.

Sixteen Nostalgia Funny Cars and four Top Fuel Dragsters made appearances on the track. Low ET of the weekend for all cars was set by Bill Dunlap in the High Speed Motor Sports Top Fuel Dragster late Saturday night at 5.79 seconds. In addition to HSMS, Mike Fuller's Forever Young was on the grounds Friday, piloted by Ron August. On Saturday, Rick Williamson rolled out in the Craig car, along with Larry Gotelli driving Bob Richardson's Circuit Breaker.

Friday track operations went fairly smooth with the exception of a diesel powered altered that left an oil stripe the full 1320, taking an hour and a quarter to clean up. That was immediately followed by a RED run with a brand new rear end that failed at the launch, dropping oil out past the 60' mark for another 20 minute stoppage. The boys were kept busy scraping, sweeping, torching, etc., but managed to do their usual thorough job for a safe track.

Saturday was the debut of a new Fiat-bodied Fuel Altered with a ton of horsepower called the "Witch Doctor", piloted by Keith Wilson. After an afternoon shakedown run, Wilson made a flame belching night pass netting a 5.83 at 228mph. That effort ended up with the car in the sand trap after the chutes failed and the brakes did all the work to slow the car. There was some damage to the car, but Wilson was not seriously hurt.

The 7.0 Pro cars held an 8 car elimination series on Saturday night, with Rick High coming out on top. The class is now using 6.90 as the index with the new rules. Plenty of doorslammers, exhibition cars, several RED's and import tuners kept the action going on the track. There was a nice parade of towed funny cars moving along the return road in front of the grandstands at dusk on Saturday prior to eliminations and it was well received by the crowd. Nitro Harley's put on impressive performances with the Ruggieros and Greg Justice making some runs. The evening was topped off by a pair of jet cars that made runs after the first and second fuel car rounds. All in all, it was a fun weekend!

Dan Horan Jr. and his Ronnie Swearingen-tuned ’66 Mustang funny car grabbing the $3,000 prize. When the evening of racing was over it was Horan’s bracket-like 5.81 performances that put his “Patriot” Mustang in the Famoso Winners Circle with a 5.812, 253.09-mph charge.

The second quickest winning elapsed time of eliminations was recorded by Robert Overholser driving Don Nelson’s "California Hustler” ’77 Firebird with his holeshot 5.815/243.28 mph charge over newcomer Devery Howard in the “Bays & Rupert” Camaro who ran 5.810/246.66 in his losing effort.

Tabulating the Boise-Bakersfield Blitz series points shows Dan Horan Jr. in the lead with 47, second is Robert Overholser with 42, Roger Garten with 37 and Dennis LaCharite fourth with 33 points.

Here are a few shots from the first installment of Saturday Night Nitro 2013 held at Famoso Raceway. They are in no particular order.




Mike Fuller was out with his Forever Young fueler doing some fuel system work and getting Ron August some seat time.






Rick Williamson was on hand in Mike and Kathy Craig's car.







Larry Gotelli Jr. in Bob Richardson’s “Circuit Breaker” Top Fueler in testing.









Shane Harter in the slick Nitro Pirate Corvette.





Ed Dougan in Charlie O'Neill's Fighting Irish




Mike Halstead driving the “Scared Straight” Mustang, tuned by Brad Thompson rounded out the five second contingent at 5.971 ET at 237.59.





Alex Miladinovich in the Hot 4 Teachers Mustang








Donnie Couch was out doing the color commentary for something?


Dale Van Gundy in his Quarter Pounder




Dennis LaCharite’s ’69 GTO missed the cut with is 6.304 elapsed time, but used the opportunity for crew chief Cory Lee to test some new ideas.





Rick Rogers in the Darkside flopper




Robert Overholser in the “California Hustler” Firebird carded a 5.919 at 239.53.




Dennis Taylor is still trying to sort out his beautiful Evil Wicked Mean & Nasty Mustang.






Tom Shelar and the High Speed Motorsports team was out working on their fuel system and dialing in a new blower. After some "squirts" the last test run on Saturday saw Bill Dunlap card a very nice 5.79 at just 211.The team deemed the weekend a "great test session".







Mike Fuller doing his best Big Jim Dunn imitation.







Gotelli lights up the night.








































Multi talented Rian Konno in the seat of the Kazangian - Lemon & Konno Mustang. This guy can not only drive but do every function there is on a fuel car... Top Fuel or Funny Car.


Funny Car vet Roger Garten in his War Horse Mustang.



Devery Howard in the seat normally occupied by Jason Rupert in the Bays & Rupert "Black Plague".















Rich Townsend















James Day in the Pedaler


















Keith Wilson in the Witch Doctor fuel altered.










Greg Justice, son of photog Steve Justice, was out shaking down his bad ass Nitro Harley.






The amazing 3D art work on the front of the Holy Toledo Jeep.


Famoso Racway's do-it-all guy Bill McNatt had to give the track prepper a few laps after some oil downs.



Milanesio Farms Big show A/Fuel car doing some testing.




Anten Racing Big Show A/Fuel








Scott Oksas











Mike Ruggiero Nitro Harley





Murphy's Law 6.90 Pro






Dave Rozenberg in Bruce Dyda's Surfers Paradise 6.90 Pro



Mike Cross


Ron Anzalone


Something for everybody... the jets closed the show.




John Bowser caught here moving his office.... just kidding. He really does do anything that needs to be done at Famoso.




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