New England Hot Rod Reunion, New England Dragway, Epping, New Hampshire, August 28, 2015—Long ago, somebody wrote that one turns over an apple cart not to effect change but only because it’s fun to see which way the apples will roll and, similarly, coming into this weekend’s New England Hot Rod Reunion, mischievous Heritage Series Top Fuel Dragster driver Dusty Green will attempt to capsize the current, established order.
“Nothing would be better than going into (Points Leader) Tony Bartone’s backyard and beating them,” Dusty said, in reference to the “Bartone Bros.” team, Green’s New York-based adversaries.
Currently 4th in points, behind Bartone and California racers Bill Dunlap and Adam Sorokin, Green is flying out of Oakland into Epping, New Hampshire today and, after strapping into Steve Harwood’s “Nitro-Hemi” entry, will attempt to ruin the weekend for those ahead of him in the standings.
“Bartone isn’t as dominant as he was last year,” Green opined. “And they were beatable in Boise (two weeks ago), except for the final round.”
At Boise, the Bartone Bros. whiffed as much as they hit, but set Low ET and Top Speed when it counted, in a victorious final-round joust against Dunlap. Still, because of that perceived vulnerability, after Boise Dusty was able to pique “Nitro-Hemi” owner and tuner Steve Harwood’s desire to make the long tow to New England from his base in Denver, Colorado. Despite Harwood’s team being under-funded and understaffed, they are not much of an underdog, particularly after three consecutive positive showings (including two semi-final results) this year.
“Harwood called me last Thursday and told me to get a plane ticket because we are going,” Green reported. “And our goal is to actually go there and win. Dunlap is also tough and has a great team, but it would be really cool to have a good points race going into Bakersfield (for the season-closing California Hot Rod Reunion). And the drama creates interest in the sport. If we can’t win it, I’d love to help play spoiler for Bill Dunlap.”
When it comes to unseating Bartone, Dunlap and his “High Speed Motorsports” team will take the assist. In fact, “High Speed”-tuner Tom Shelar expressed a desire and strategy similar to Green’s.
“We hope to take out ‘T-Bone’ either in the final or before,” Shelar said. “We can catch him in the points at this race and that should set us up for a showdown at the California Reunion.”
In two of the three final rounds this season, Bartone and Dunlap squared off and each driver has seized a victory from the other.
“The Bartone Bros. got their act together in the final in Boise, but I see them struggle when the track conditions are not able to handle the horsepower,” Shelar said. “I’m hoping the track at Epping is more like Bowling Green or Boise than Bakersfield. We have a strong combination that can get down tricky tracks, but we still don’t have a 5.50 race car. Maybe we can get a break in Epping to set us up for an all-out throwdown in Bakersfield.”-30-