2022 March Meet

 

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Bakersfield, CA - March 11, 2022


The 64th annual Good Vibrations March Meet is in the books. It was foretold there would be weather related delays and they came to fruition. Hey, its March. Friday was, well, wet. In spite of the weather they did get one nitro qualifying session in.

Running behind, Saturday was filled with audibles, Being a session behind for both top fuel and funny car the schedule was changed. The usual late Saturday afternoon format features TF final qualifying, followed by FC first round. This year was different with the flopper eliminations being moved to Sunday due to weather and cold track temps.

Saturday was also a home run at the ticket booth. It was good to see Blake (Bowser) with a smile on his face. Weather wasn't great but it was obvious people wanted to get out of their homes and smell the nitro.

Sunday came and iIt appeared at times that eliminationa would be a survival of the fittest endeavor. However, breakage aside, it flowed on and finished on time, something that doesn't happen much at a March Meet.

In the end, Bret Williamson (Top Fuel), Bobby Cottrell (Funny Car), and Dan Hix (Fuel Altered) stood in the Winners Circle.

Now I present the new WDIFL format ie the Reader's Digest version. I can no longer spend the time I once could doing a dozen shots of each car, each session and every round. The eyes and hands are going south. My memory is leaking oil and my back and neck need a transplant. Please enjoy what we have. Don

*Thanks to Competition Plus for some of the text used here in.

 

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In top fuel it was Bret Williamson nosing out veteran Jim Murphy in the final. The popular win marked the first time Williamson had won with Mike Fuller who was long overdue.

"So proud of my guys, I'm getting teared up already," Williamson said. "So proud of Mike Fuller. Super cool final round where I was sitting. It was just header flames for days, man. This 2022 March Meet, pretty sick."

 

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The Funny Car final was anticlimactic, as Geoff Monise threw in the towel when they flat ran out of parts, thus handing Bobby Cottrell a single for the win. All Cottrell had to do was stage the car, and the trophy was his.

"It's not really the way we wanted to win," Cottrell admitted. "The car ran great. Bucky [Austin] did a great job, and my crew did a great job. We thrashed a lot between rounds; A lot of parts were used up this weekend. It all came together and worked out for us."

 

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In the Fuel Altered world, it was Dan Hix first out of the gate in the final but he soon went up in smoke. In the other lane David Whynaught did not and pulled away apparently on his way to a likely win. But at about the 600' mark his ride quit, like dead quit. Hix got back on the throttle and ran down Whynaught in the lights.

"That's the most fun I've probably ever had in this car right there," Hix said. "And it's funny how sometimes the most wacko runs are just more fun, you know? You get used to a good run or whatever, but boy, smoking the tires like that and actually tracking somebody down. I thought it was lights out, but I wasn't giving up."

Photos by: Bob Brown, Dan Kaplan and Don Ewald

 

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FUNNY CAR Q1 - FRIDAY

 

Friday's action at the 64th annual Bakersville March Meet was a race against the clock in more ways than one. The morning schedule was washed out due to rain, and with a second major storm bearing down on the area, race officials made the most of a three-hour window to get in a full session of professional nostalgia qualifying.

 

The first pair out for Q1 was Cory Lee in the "Pedaler" '79 Challenger and Dan Horan Jr.driving his '69 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

Cory Lee carded a 5.934 at 248.93 while Horan limped through with a 17.60;

 

 

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Up next was James Day in the Mathews Motorsports '70 Camaro and Cory McClenathan making his NFC debut in his '70 Firebird.

 

 

 

 

Cory clicked it to a 6.254 at 180.84 while Day coasted through with a 19.23

 

 

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Pair three pitted Gary Densham in his "Teachers Pet" '69 Camaro and Geoff Monise in the "Quarter Pounder" '70 Firebird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monise ran a 5.688 at 256.75 which would land him #4 for the day. Densham carded a 6.014 at 231.16.

 

 

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Up next was Don Knoblauch in the "Atomic Punk" Camaro and Bob Godfrey in his "Burnin' Money" 1970 Barracuda.

 

 

 

Both were DNQ for Q1

 

 

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No introduction needed, Bobby Cottrell in the Austin & O’Brien Bardahl '69 Camaro and second generation driver Justin Taylor in the Taylor Family "Evil Wicked Mean & Nasty" '73 Mustang.

 

 

 

 

Cottrell went low for the moment with a nice 5.660 at 254.47. Taylor ran a career best 5.764 at 228.64.

 

 

 

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Next pair was Tim Boychuck in his "Happy Hour" "69 Camaro and Billy Morris in the "Problem Child" '69 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morris went to the #5 spot with a 5.751 at 247.57 while Boychuck slowed to 7.584 at 116.68 for the Friday bump.

 

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Enter Brad Thomoson in his "Jail Break" '69 Camaro and Kris Krabill in the Bartone & Lebor Camaro.

 

 

 

Thompson shut off to a 6.589 at 209.38

 

 

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Then it was Jeff Gregory in the "Madness" '78 Camaro and Rian Konno driving the beautiful Kazanjan-Lemon-Konno '73 Mustang.

 

 

 

 

 

Konno landed in the middle of the field with a 5.857 at 232.07 while Gregory carded a 9.462 landing the #17 spot.

 

 

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Next pair out wsa Terry Jongewaard in the SoCal Machine Tools '79 Omni and Drew Austin in the Ford Boss 400 powered Pro-Max '70 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

Austin set the pace for the field with a 5.592 at 257.73, overtaking Bobby Cottrell at the end of the session.

 

 

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Last out was Kamaka Pocock in the California Hustler '69 Camaro and Jerry Espeseth in his "Atlas" '76 Firebird.

 

 

 

 

Espeseth ended up #3 for Friday with a 5.688.

 

 

Pocock carded a 5.970 at 227.11

 

 

 

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The fianal pair was Mike Peck driving the "Quote Wizard" Camaro and John Martin in the "Nitro Nut'

 

 

Peck's chute fell out on the burnout leaving Martin to single.

 

 

 

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TOP FUEL Q1 - FRIDAY

 

The race againt time (weather) was intensified by the time Bret Williamson in Mike Fuller's "Forever Young" Uyehara car and Tyler Hester in the Tedford & McGee "Overtime Special" rolled out for Q1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamson served notice that Team Fuller was here to play running a 5.916 at 249.72 which would be low by a tenth. Hester shut off early to a 6.877 at 140.77.

 

 

 

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Pair two pitted Bryan Hall in the Nomad and Jim Murphy in his WW2 Racing entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy would land #3 with a 6.692 at just 154.87. Hall shut off early to a 8.964.

 

 

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Pair three featured reigning champ Dan Horan Jr. and Adam Sorokin in the Champion Speed Shop fueler.

 

 

 

 

 

Horan joined the "we can't get down the track club" with a 7.743 as Sorokin smoked the tires to the #9 spot with 11.306.

 

 

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The final pair was Tyler Hilton in the Hilton & Lee "Great Expectations III" and 2018 March Meet champ Pete Wittenberg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hilton went to the #2 spot with a 6.062 at just 194.07. Wittenberg coasted to a 9.947.

 

 

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The final car out was Brendan Murry who carded a 7.187 at 126.78 ending a dismal round of the long cars.

 

 

 

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Page 1 - Funny Car & Top Fuel Q1

Page 2 - Funny car & Top Fuel Q2

Page 3 - Funny car & Top Fuel E1

Page 4 - Funny car & Top Fuel E2

Page 5 - Semi's - Finals & All Winners

 

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