CA - March 07, 2018:
The 2018 Good
Vibrations Motorsports March Meet was plagued with cold and rainy
weather that turned the schedule upside down. Thursday was dry
and there were a lot of cars who took advantage of the open testing.
The race officially
kicked off with Friday Qualifying. In the sole Top Fuel session
that featured a host of off pace runs it was Mendy Fry who managed
to put a good number up (5.736 at just 219.51) leaving her #1
and the class of the field by over two tenths. The 8 car bump
spot was a dismal 7.515 at 215.27. With rain literally washing
out the other two session meant that those racing on Sunday would
a crap shoot with their lack of data and uncertain conditions.
it due to rain on Saturday afternoon, officials made the decision
to run 8-car Top Fuel Eliminations on Sunday based on Friday
qualifying session order. With last minute hopes of running the
All-American Fuel Dragster Dirty Dozen 12-car Eliminations dashed,
four weather-beaten racers like Tim Cullinan who came all the
way from Des Plaines IL, towed back home.
Top Fuel aside,
Funny Car got two qualifying sessions with the third interrupted
by rain on Saturday negating the times of the cars that did run.
The first round of 16 cars was also canceled leaving the entire
show to be run on Sunday adding to a schedule that had already
gone wild. As a side note, all other classes got at least two
Sunday was insane.
With all the cars that needed to get run and several time consuming
delays, the finals were run well after dark. By then the cold
temps were colder and the track surface was far below optimal
But to get to
those chilly finals, we need to take care of the business of
qualifying and eliminations. Hope you enjoy the coverage
In Top Fuel it
was Pete Wittenberg who took the Top Fuel win over Mendy Fry
in a dramatic conclusion to a manic weekend. The nitro finals
ran into a dark and cold Sunday night after incessant rain torpedoed
Saturday racing action. Wittenberg struck the tires and pedaled
the KMA Circuit Breaker out of the gate as Mendy Fry charged
ahead, but Fry clipped a half-track timing block driving through
tire shake and darkness in the High-Speed Motorsports dragster
for a centerline disqualification.
have become the norm for Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Pete Wittenberg.
As for Wittenberg
,this was his first career Nostalgia Top Fuel crown and it came
at the biggest race of the year. The win was particularly rewarding
and was dedicated to the late Bob Richardson who fielded the
"Circuit Breaker" name on many race cars over the 5+
decades. When Bob passed in 2014, Pete, who crewed for him, got
together with some friends and slowly but surely got parts together
to bring the car back into competition. At first Pete Kaiser
was the tuner/driver but last year Wittenberg got his license
and like they say, the rest is history.
wasn't the kind of monumental victory he'd envisioned for such
a prestigious race, stopping the timers at 14.224 seconds, when
his opponent Mendy Fry crossed the centerline to surrender a
For the sophomore
driver of the Circuit Breaker Top Fuel car, he'll take them as
he can get them; absurd or conventional.
pretty amazing," Wittenberg said. "You know, the amount
of effort that my crew put in and everything we've gone through
to get to the winners circle is, I'm elated, you know."
"I got licensed
one year ago at this race and I got to the semi-finals,"
Wittenberg revealed. "So I won first round and I lost second
round. That was the only round win I've ever had before this."
the starting line slightly behind Fry, but then his car struck
the tires just past the tree. He never officially threw in the
towel. The odds were clearly not in his favor as Fry reached
"I got back
in the throttle," Wittenberg explained. "I saw her
way out on me, so I lifted and I was coasting down there thinking,
saw her come over and it took me a moment to realize what had
happened, and that I won it."
For Fry, who
had dominated every facet of the event as the defending race
champion, heartbreak was so inadequate of a word.
good, and I had no idea that he had smoked the tires," said
Fry, who entered eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier. "It
started shaking and moving around, I couldn't see where I was,
and I just didn't want to yank on the wheel too hard. So, you
know, I wish I had it back to do over again."
there will be other races. "At least it's not wadded up,"
On the other
end of the emotional spectrum, Wittenberg was just happy fate
shined favorably under the lights at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
"I got to
stand on the tire, wait for my crew, arms up in the air,"
Wittenberg said. "Always wanted to do that. They came and
picked me up, hooting and hollering, crying. It's just a big
family thing. So it feels good."
Some Text courtesy of Competition
In funny car
two of the best made it to the final for the second year in a
row. From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada it was Ryan Hodgson in the
Ron Hodgson/Pacemaker Chevy Camaro in the left lane and Bobby
Cottrell in the Austin & O'Brien Camaro in the right lane.
A repeat of the 2017 final that was taken by Hodgson. This year
the outcome was reversed.
up where he left off a little under five months ago winning the
2017 California Hot Rod Reunion, Under the lights on a cold track
he left first and took the prestigious win with a 5.723 at 241.41
to Hodgson's 5.957 at 240.17.
But to get to
the finals, we need to take care of the business of qualifying
and eliminations. Hope you enjoy the coverage
Ready to Smell the Nitro?
One - Friday
Under cold and cloudy
skies nitro qualifying kicked off with Funny Car.
The first pair
out to challenge a cold but tight track was Dan Horan Jr. in
'69 Camaro and Matt Bynum in the Nitro Nick '70 Camaro. Note
the drastic difference between the "pro mod" style
Camaro and the classic body on Bynum's car. Personally, I'll
take the latter.
Pair two matched up Chris Davis
in his "Old
School Nitro" 1977 Plymouth Arrow. '77 Arrow and Shawn Bowen in the Bartone &
Lebor '69 Camaro.
Pair three was Brad Thompson
in his "Jail Break" and Geoff Monise in the VanGundy
& Clark "Quarter Pounder" '77 Monza.
Up next waa Tim Boychuck in his
"Happy Hour" '69 Camaro and Kris Krabill in the "Darkside"
Next pair featured Rian Konno
in the Kazanjian-Lemon-Konno '73 Mustang and Billy Morris in
the "Problem Child" '69 Camaro.
Doing synchronized burnouts it
was Bobby Cottrell Austin & O'Brien '69 Camaro and Paul Romine
in his "ManOwar" '79 Mustang.
Next pair was
Bill Windham in his "Shakedown" '69 Camaro and Steve
Easton in the Easton & Godfrey "Burnin' Money"
Out next was
Steve Densham in the "Teachers Pet" '69 Camaro and
Don Hudson in his "Beachcomber" '77 Trans AM.
2018 finds a new driver/tuner
for Gary Turner's "Pedaler" in the person of multi-talented
Cory Lee. He was paired with Rick Rogers in the "Fighting
Irish" '74 Camaro.
Next out was Mike Halstead driving
the "Code Red" '78 Camaro and Jeff Arend in the "California
Hustler" '78 Trans AM.
Don't know why in the first session
there would be a single other than the other car couldn't start,
but for Mark Sanders in his "Mr. Explosive" '70 Mustang
that's how it played out.
Next to fire
was the defending March Meet champion Ryan Hodgson in the Edmonton,
Canada based Pacemaker '69 Camaro and Jason Rupert in his Rupert
& Littlefield '69 Camaro.
The final pair was John Weaver
in his Cascade Automotive sponsored '78 Omni and Scott Cousimano
in his "Nitro Mafia" '78 Arrow .
Page 1 - Funny Car Qualifying Session 1
Page 2 - Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1
Page 3- Funny Car Qualifying Session 2
Page 4 - AA/FA All - RED TF All
Page 5 - Funny Car Final Qualifying
Page 6 - Funny Car Round One
Page 7 - Top Fuel Round One
Page 8 - Funny Car & Top Fuel Round Two
Page 9 - Funny Car Semi Finals
Page 10 - Funny Car & Top Fuel Final - Winners
Circle - Nitro Interns
Page 11 - Other Cars
Page 12 - Pits N' People
Drag Strip Rumble - Top Fuel Qualifying
Drag Strip Rumble - PT. 2 : Top Fuel
1st Round Eliminations
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