Mendy Fry - A Very Popular Top Fuel Win

Hodgson Captures Funny Car

 

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 Bakersfield, CA - March 06, 2017:

The 59th edition of the fabled March Meet offered five days of racing with near perfect conditions with the exception of one weather snag on Sunday. The event was completed on Monday that included a couple of very exciting nitro finals.

Unlike the California Hot Rod Reunion in October which is a gathering that includes a race, the March Meet is a hard core drag race. That is not to say that the grounds aren't littered with geezers, its just that the focus is on the race track and everyone wants to win the most prestigious race of the year.

After the chaos of last October, the Auto Club Famoso management and crew were all on the same page. In spite of 4 hours and 20 minutes of oil downs on Friday (mostly funny car) and the late day rain out on Sunday, Bowser's team did a great job getting nearly 500 cars down the track. Huge kudos to the safety team for being on top of every incident and the track crew doing a good job on all the clean ups.

 

In Top Fuel it was Mendy Fry taking her first major win in her debut driving the High Speed Motorsports fueler. Fry was paired with Jim Murphy in the final who unfortunately broke a fuel pump drive shaft on the burnout leaving Fry, in only her eighth pass in the car, to single for the win. As and exclamation point, Fry proved she would have been hard to beat posting low ET of eliminations 5.598 and 252 mph. The High Speed guys could have played it safe and saved the parts but that's not the way Tom rolls. As some icing on the cake, their 5.597 in round one was also low ET of the entire meet.

Fry emerged triumphant after near tragedy in Thursday afternoon Top Fuel testing session when the input shaft broke on the hit and grenaded the clutch. The Trick Titanium bell housing safely contained the havoc, but the disintegrated clutch left the High-Speed team working night into morning. The team recovered in time for a number eight qualifying slot and subsequent climb up the eight car eliminations ladder into March Meet history.

 

In funny car two of the best made it to the final. From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada it was Ryan Hodgson in the Ron Hodgson/Pacemaker Chevy Camaro in the left lane and Kris Krabill in the Austin & O'Brien Camaro in the left lane.

Both cars left together and it was a good drag race for 1000' when something went wrong with Krabill's engine and all hell broke loose. As Hodgson motored on to a 5.60 at 259 mph win, the Austin Camaro erupted in flames. In on of the worst FC fires in recent memory, Krabill battled the flaming flopper all the way to the topend turn out where the safely crew was right on top of him. They were shooting water as Kris was climbing out the roof hatch.

The good news is, Krabill did not suffer any burns and only an uncomfortable amount of smoke inhalation. Paramedic Sean Bellemeur happened to be close with the High Speed crew and was first on the scene to assess Kris. The car appeared to be nearly a total loss, but thanks to great safety equipment and a spot on safety team the vet from Tacoma, WA will live to drive another day.

But to get to the finals, we need to take care of the business of qualifying and eliminations. Hope you enjoy the coverage

 

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Session One - Friday

 

The first session of nitro opened up with Rick Rogers in the Fighting Irish 1974 Camaro and Matt Bynum in his 1970 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogers smoked the tires at the hit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pair two matched Ryan Konno in the Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno 1973 Mustang and John Weaver in his 1978 Dodge Omni.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weaver carded a 5.713 at 254.14 while Konno shut off early to a 6.09 at 204.01

 

 

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Moving on, up next was Shawn Van Horn in his "Choo Choo Mama" 1977 Trans AM and Dean Oberg in the Holy Toledo Jeep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oberg's 6.14 at 224 was disallowed due to oiling the track. The first of many that plagued Friday's qualifying sessions adding up to 4 hours and 20 minutes of down time. That doesn't set will with the fans or fellow racers.

Van Horn ran 6.704 at 212.29

 

 

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Pair four was Don Hudson in his 1977 Trans AM and Chris Davis in his "Old School Nitro" 1977 Plymouth Arrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Out next was James Day in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" 1978 Challenger and Marc Meadors in his 1977 Trans AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day was off pace with a 6.076 at 232.99 while Meadors time was thrown out due to oiling the track.

 

 

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Out next was Danny Gerber in his "Wasn't Easy" 1977 Trans AM featuring a new Kenny Youngblood designed paint scheme that is flat out bitchin'. In the other lane was Mike McIntire Jr. in his "McAttack" 1970 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of nowhere the Ohio based McIntire runs the quickest pass in NFC history, a 5.549 at 241.63. Needless to say, that would put him on the top to stay. In the other lane Gerber's 5.820 at 218.90 was in another zip code.

 

 

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Next to fire was Steven Densham in the "Teachers Pet" 1969 Camaro and Geoff Monise in the VanGundy & Clark "Quarter Pounder" 1977 Monza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Densham stopped the clocks with a 5.765 at 245.58 while Monise carded a 5.941 at 239.02.

 

 

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Scott Cousimano in his "Nitro Mafia" 1978 Plymouth Arrow was paired with Tim Nemeth in his "Iceman Racing" 1977 Trans AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nemeth ran a clean 5.809 at 242.93 while Cousimano's 8.375 at 109.30 fell far short of the top sixteen.

 

 

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Rolling through the waterbox next was John Hale in his "One Bad Texan" 1969 Camaro and Mike Halstead in the "Code Red" 1970 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both cars made solid runs. Hale had the quicker 5.77 at 244.49 while Halstead carded a nice 5.860 at 248.89 which had to make the Code Red connections very happy as the car has floundered in its last few outings.

 

 

 

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Dan Horan Jr. in his 1969 Camaro and Richard Townsend in his "Nitroholic" 1969 Camaro. The contrast of the bodies is noteworthy. Will the real 1969 Camaro please stand up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horan stopped the clocks with a solid 5.658 at 260.91 (top speed of the meet) while Townsend's 6.04 at 240.27 would keep him in the game.

 

 

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Up next was Bill Windham in the "Shakedown" 1969 Camaro and Kris Krabill in the Austin & O'Brien 1969 Camaro. Again, the contrast in bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krabill carded a stout 5.61 at 252.95 leaving Windham to run a sub par 6.242 at 213.64.

 

 

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Nearing the end of session one it was Ryan Hodgson in the Ron Hodgson Pacemaker 1969 Camaro and Michael Peck in the "California Hustler" 1978 Trans AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hodgson ran a nice 5.693 at 257.87. Peck shut off to a 6.549 at 148.31.

 

 

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The last pair was Jim Maroney in the lightly raced Powers Steel 1978 Camaro and Brad Thompson in his "Jailbreak" 1978 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thompson shut off early to a 6.411 at 175.41 while Maroney was done early coasting to a 12.609 at 65.34.

 

 

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Jason Rupert in the Rupert & Littlefield "Rolling Thunder" 1969 Camaro was the first of two singles to wrap up the session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Following the Q1 flopper session, Chris Morel in the "Little City Cuda" came out for a test run. The guys are still trying a big show type fuel pump on a nostalgia type hemi and continue to have problems.

 

Morel smoked the tires at the hit.

 

 

 

 

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Page 1 - Funny Car Qualifying Session 1

Page 2 - Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1

Page 3- Funny Car Qualifying Session 2

Page 4 - Top Fuel Q-2 and AA/FA Q-1

Page 5 - Funny Car Final Qualifying

Page 6 - Top Fuel Q-3 and AA/FA Q-2

Page 7 - Funny Car Round One of Eliminations

Page 8 - Top Fuel E-1 and Funny Car E-2

Page 9 - TF E-2 - FC- E-3 and AA/FA E-1 & E-2

Page 10 - All Finals & Winners Circle

Page 11 - People and Other Cars

 

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