Fuel Qualifying Session One
After an endless
Funny Car session, the race schedulers once again showed their
dislike for Top Fuel. Keeping in mind there were only 11 cars
and at any other drag race they would have been first out for
qualifying. At the very least they should have run right after
the floppers. But no way, As the track got cooler and cooler
they ran everything but a shopping cart down the track before
finally, after over 2 hours in the staging lanes, the TF cars
were finally pulled out to run. This resulted in some unhappy
racers and upset fans. That said, if it was the only major bitch
of the weekend, I'd say the rest was pretty damn good. BTW, this
entire session took about 20 minutes; not one drop of oil.
With the sun
starting to set, the first pair of the long cars to hit the track
were Adam Sorokin from Glendale, CA. driving the always dangerous
Champion Speed Shop car and rookie Pete Wittenberg who lives
in Anaheim, CA, and drives the Circuit Breaker.
the first shot with a stout 5.742 at 243.06 which would stand
for his quickest time leading into eliminations. Wittenberg clicked
it way early to a 6.61 at 146.45.
Pair two featured
local favorite Rick McGee from near by Exeter, CA, driving the
Tedford & McGee "Overtime Special" and Tyler Hilton
who came out from Sharonville, OH, in his Jim & Alison Lee
tribute car, "Great Expectations" powered by a BBC.
shut off early to a 6.44 at 157.25. Hilton coasted on down with
Next out was
Mendy Fry who resides in Los Angeles, CA, driving the High Speed
Motorsports fueler and Brendan Murry from San Jose, CA, in his
"Running Wild Racing" late model hemi car.
Fry, on a planned
1000' pass, carded a solid 5.69 at just 215.68. Murry coasted
to a unremarkable time.
Next to last
pair was points leader Jim Murphy who came into the weekend with
a heavy heart after his home town of Santa Rosa, CA. suffered
a series of devastating and deadly wild fires just 2 weeks prior.
Murphy, a general contractor, lost over 40 residential and and
business properties he was involved in. Those included 3 of his
associate's homes. This also leaves Murphy's plans for racing
next year in limbo.
In the other
lane was the only true SBC car in the class of Phil Ruskowski
who came down from Victoria, BC, in his Total Machine sponsored
Murphy went into tire
smoke at the tree.
The final pair
was Jim Young all the way from Salem, WI, in his "Young
Guns" Neal & Franks car and Bret Williamson down from
Gilroy, CA, in Mike Fuller's "Forever Young" fueler.
did a Murphy, blazed the tires early. The track was going away.
a baseline with a 6.14 at 184.78 while Young was left with another
shot on Saturday.
SESSION ONE - SATURDAY
In the history
books of nostalgia drag racing, this CHRR session of the wild,
unpredictable and dangerous Fuel Altereds will go down in infamy
and amazement. From the tragic loss of Brett Henry to the wild
ride of Mike Boyd in the legendary Winged Express, this was bitter
First pair out
was life long drag racer Rodney Flournoy from Carson, CA. in
the "Godzilla" '23 Ford and Kurt Cruise out of Sacramento,
CA. in the "Bad News" '54 Fiat.
problems at the hit and as a pro will do, got out of the groove
and near the wall as fast as he could. Hey Rodney, you were a
kid when we met, knew your dad well, remember Fast Harvey, Lovell
Hunter, Charlie - you guys were more than fun. Just putting this
in there to see if you're looking.
Next up was Vince
Generalao from Las Vegas, NV, driving the "Nanook"
'23 Ford and Brian Hope from Thompson's Station, TN. in the fan
favorite "Pure Hell".
Up next was a
couple of touring pros, Randy Bradford from Camano Island, WA,
in his Bradford's '38 Fiat. In the other lane was world traveler
Ron Hope who's based in Franklin, TN, driving his "Rat Trap"
Next pair pitted
Bryan Hall from Rio Linda, CA, in "The Tramp" '32 Bantam
and Nick Davies all the way from Oxfordshire, UK, in the "Havoc"
Next up was Shawn
Callen from Boise, ID, in the "High Heaven" '32 Bantam
and Chris Bennett out of San Diego, CA, driving the Pure Heaven
III '32 Bantam.
things went ugly and are still beyond any definite explanations.
Brett Henry, husband, father, businessman and popular drag racer
out of Wichita, KS, came out, as he had so many times before,
to make a qualifying pass in his "Iron Mistress" '23
Ford. I am, with his familys permission, sharing his last
run ever. As one can see by our extensive photo files chronicling
the run, logic dictates that the end result should never have
burnout, back up and staging were text book.
other lane was Jason Richey out of Livermore, CA, in "The
Patriot" '48 Fiat .
left, blades wide open.
the tree Brett got off the throttle.
they're cracked a bit but closed back up.
here that Henry is going back into the throttle.
point its obvious that Henry is back under power.
is the 1000' mark and the injectors are closed.
engine quiet and the chute coming out. About 5 seconds later
the engine not only restarted but the throttle was wide open.
There in lies the mystery.
After Henry was
taken to the hospital and the sand pit cleared it was the last
car of the session, Mike Boyd from Wildomar, CA, in the fan favorite
"Winged Express" '23 Ford.