TOP FUEL FINAL
Unlike the "Big Show" these Heritage
Series Finals Lead off with Top Fuel
funny car, the 2019 NHRA Heritage Top Fuel championship had already
been convincingly nailed down by Mendy Fry. But that was
then and this was now, the mission was not completed. With the
passing of team owner/tuner Tom Shelar shortly after the Spokane
Nitro Nationals, Team High Speed was determined to cap the season
with a CHRR win.
Friend or not she faced Pete
Wittenberg in the final and he wanted the win as well. Being
the second quickest car in the filed, Wittenberg did have the
cards to play in Mendy's game. Plus, he had Jim Young out to
twist the knobs on his tune-up.
Right here is where a bad news/very
good news story begins. Wittenberg knew a 5.7 was not going to
win this race. He had to take the only shot he had and he missed.
His -0.254 red ended this race before it started. BUT, as Steve
Harvey said, here is the rest of the story.
Now the drama begins. Mendy was
so focused on cutting a safe light, she had no clue that Wittenberg
had gone red. Her 0.087 light was spot on. WTF? Thought she.
At this point Mendy could barely
see Pete's chute and he's not shutting off. Her mind is saying,
"How could I be so friggin late?"
This is what a -0.254 red light
and a 0.087 green light look like on the track when two strong
cars are racing.
As I do when High Speed is in
the final, I position myself at the second turn out. I have no
clue how the race went. Mendy turns off and I look at her, she
shakes her head no. Knowing all the emotions involved in this
particular race, my heart dropped.
Back on the starting
line it was pandemonium.
As I watched her get out of the
car neither of us knew what was going on at the staring line,
She did what she had to do and walked off into the dirt. Remember
I told you from the start this was a bad news/very good news
This face tells you everything
you need to know about the passion of Mendy Fry. At this moment
in time she still thought she'd lost on a hole shot. Had that
been the case, these photos would not be here.
What a difference a minute makes.
The news came from the top end safety crew that Wittenberg had
gone red and she was the champ x2. I had never seen a more drastic
mood swing in my life.
I got my hug and Whit
Bazemore rolled up to do the video interview.
Pete and Mendy, no clue
what was said.
Sean Bellemeur was the
first to arrive and this says it all.
Fast forward to the Winners Circle
where Mendy and Team High Speed passed the Crown Royal and celebrated
not only a repeat NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship
but also the event win. The late Tom Shelar was at the forefront
of every ones hearts.
FUNNY CAR FINAL
On Friday the odds makers would
probably have had Tony Jurado as a longshot to be in the finals,
yet here he was. No surprise was Bobby Cottrell, who had already
sewed up the NHRA Heritage Series championship, and was in the
Jurado nipped a few ticks
on the tree, but Cottrell had him by the 60' mark.
Cottrell pulled away to card
a stout 5.675 at 249.90 which was way more than Jurado's 5.859
at 233.80 could handle.
Like the High Speed team, the
Austin & O'Brien bunch know how to fill up a winners circle.
A world championship and event win was also on their plate. Nice
booked in AA/FA show had Jason Richie and Kyle Hough hooked up
in the final.
Hough had .049 in the
bank when the lights were tripped.
1320 feet later it was a picture
perfect 6.019 at 231.28 giving Richie the win. Hough kept him
honest with a 6.243 at 205.94.
OTHER FINALS &
Shayne Stewart came out on the
winning end of a double red light in A/Fuel. Wayne Ramay's -0.092
was first and worse over a -0.046.
The highly competitive and controversial
7.0 Pro title went to Brad Denny who had it in the bag when Richard
Phillips went red.
The AA/GS final went to Howard
Anderson who's 6.454 at 209.72 overcame a Mike Molea holeshot.
Brad Woodard had a dream season
in Jr. Fuel. He not only nailed down the NHRA Heritage Series
Championship but capped the season with the CHRR win. He sealed
the deal with a final win over Matt Baldonado.
Brian Rogers survived 5 rounds
of racing to capture the A/G Wally. Rogers out dialed Al White
in the final.
The B/G title went to Brent Handley
who waded through 5 rounds of intense competition. Handley did
not show for the Winners Circle shots.
Mike Rabener took the
Rabener not only won
the event but the Heritage Series Championship as well.
In D/G another 5 round
marathon went to Don Fournier.
The NE-1 title went to Dan Schrokosch.
His 7.618 at 170.45 got the best of Lloyd Harder's 7.718 at 160.94.
Eddie Lucas ran the table
in NE-2 winning the Heritage Championship and the CHRR.
The NE-3 trophy went
to Darren Hopkins who won a close one over Mike Gillespie.
The Hot Rod class trophy
went to AJ Thomas in his plain wrapper El Camino.
CONGRATS TO ALL THE WINNERS
Cars - Pits N' People