MENDY FRY COLLECTS TOP FUEL VICTORY AT NITRO NATIONALS

nitro-nationals-tulsa-1Mendy Fry pushed herself and the High Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster to a victory over Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet special at the Nitro Nationals September 22nd-23rd at Tulsa Raceway Park. Sorokin got the holeshot on the hit, but Fry kept her foot in the High Speed Motorsports fueler and fought off a drift toward the center line with every bit of steering for a 5.62 ET at 258 MPH win over Sorokin’s 5.75 ET at 245 MPH runner-up.

“It was all I could to keep it off the centerline, but I didn’t lift,” said Fry. Driver Adam Sorokin said the Champion Speed Shop special pulled strongly almost to the stripe but Fry took the race with a .075-second margin of victory and about 26 feet. Mendy Fry joined driver Tera Graves in the Nitro Nationals Winner’s Circle and marked the first time two women won concurrent Top Fuel and Nostalgia Funny Car wins at a NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Championship drag race.

QUALIFYING MAYHEM!

Top Fuel got off to a destructive start in Friday testing as Adam Sorokin motored through a front-engine fireball. Sorokin emerged unscathed, but the Chevrolet kicked two connecting rods through the block. Friday Qualifying under the lights saw more carnage when Jim Young ran the Young Guns dragster to an oil-soaked and subsequently disqualified conclusion while Tim Cullinan skated around the top end to number 4 with a 6.58 at 152 MPH. Julius Hughes pushed the Atlanta Speed Shop dragster to number 5 with a 7.35 ET at 131 MPH. Tyler Hilton lit the candles full track to a 6.17 ET at 232 MPH, and Mendy Fry clicked early in with a 5.87 at 201 MPH for low ET and number one qualifier. Paul Schultz and Dusty Green lost traction for 6th and 7th spots while Jim Murphy pushed back after the burnout with a fuel leak.

Saturday Qualifying saw more smoke and fire but not from Adam Sorokin, who posted a clean 5.92 ET at 212 MPH for a number 4 slot after sitting out Session 1 Friday Qualifying.  Julius Hughes launched his Atlanta Speed Shop dragster to a smoking but oil free 6.13 ET at 243 MPH and number 5 spot. Tyler Hilton did not improve, but Dusty Green hooked up the Nitro-Hemi with a 6.58 ET and number 7 position. Mendy Fry sat out Saturday qualifying, landing in number 3 after Jim Young and Jim Murphy lit up the boards with a 5.74 ET and 5.87 ET for 1 and 2 qualifiers. Tim Cullinan drove through a top end fireball after a screw plug blowout vented 10000 RPM worth of oily nitro that got the run thrown out. Cullinan made it into the show unharmed with his Friday ET, but Paul “Nobody” Schultz and the Spirit of Tulsa did not.

 

ELIMINATIONS ACTION

Round 1 Eliminations opened with Jim Young trailering Tim Cullinan with a 5.81 ET at 239 MPH in a penalty box Top Fuel matchup. Mendy Fry drove her hemi-powered fueler to a 5.73 ET at 232 MPH win over Tyler Hilton and his big block Chevrolet-powered Great Expectations III dragster. Dusty Green had the reaction time advantage in the Nitro-Hemi, but Jim Murphy and the WW2 prevailed with a 5.72 ET at 245 MPH and .031-second margin of victory over Green’s 5.80 ET at 247 MPH. Sorokin charged hard out of the gate ahead of Julius Hughes and clicked it early with a 5.81 ET at 219 MPH win in a small block Chevrolet vs. big block Chevrolet Top Fuel battle.Semi-Final Eliminations saw Adam Sorokin turn an impossibly quick .004 reaction time against Jim Young into a win for the Champion Speed Shop with a mere .023-second margin of victory that had the crowd scratching its head after Sorokin lit up the win light with a 5.70 ET at 234 MPH over Young’s 5.68 ET at 260 MPH. After going out with a red bulb against Murphy at the Nightfire Nationals, Mendy Fry dispatched the veteran hot shoe with a redemptive 5.68 ET at 259 MPH that set the stage for the final round Top Fuel fight as the WW2 dragster sent sparklers up out of the headers in protest with a 5.89 ET at 211 MPH.The Champion Speed Shop team delivered the special back into the lanes in a Herculean effort considering the parts carnage that marked the beginning of their weekend. High-Speed Motorsports got their hemi together for the second Chevrolet vs. hemi Top Fuel final in as many races. Those who stuck around as night worked towards morning were duly rewarded with a close race and dramatic conclusion to the two-day event that witnessed drag racing the way it was moving into the future with next-generation fans and tomorrow’s racers smiling as Mendy Fry lowered them into the cockpit of her Top Fuel dragster in the Winner’s Circle for photos and a lifetime of memories.

NEXT STOP: BAKERSFIELD!

The next and last stop in the 5-Race 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series is the California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. Adam Sorokin and Jim Murphy will run the postponed Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel final round. The assembled AAFD drivers and teams will then battle one last time for the 2017 Top Fuel Championship. Head over the NHRA Museum or Auto Club Famoso Raceway for more information and tickets to the premier vintage drag racing event on the west coast until the March Meet in 2018.

ALL TOP FUEL – ALL AMERICAN FUEL DRAGSTERS – ALL THE TIME

Like and follow the All American Fuel Dragsters on Facebook for an ongoing chronicle of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel drag racing and more including event coverage, photos, results, and video highlights from upcoming episodes of the Dragstrip Rumble AA/Fuel Top Fuel Dragster video series. Like and follow the Dragstrip Rumble on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube for instant episode updates and front-engine Top Fuel drag racing action free of charge.

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TOP FUEL FINAL RAINED OUT IN GEM STATE

adam-sorokin-nightfireMurphy vs. Sorokin Battle Rescheduled for California Hot Rod Reunion.

An action-packed weekend of nitro-burning mayhem was unexpectedly cut short when rain at Firebird Raceway upended the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals ahead of the AA/FD Final Round, leaving semi-final victors Jim Murphy and Adam Sorokin in nitro limbo. Murphy and Sorokin will strap into their front-engine dragsters and settle their contest of wills at the California Hot Rod Reunion and last race of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California on October 20-22.

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EXPLOSIVE QUALIFYING ACTION

The long race weekend celebrating Firebird Raceway’s 50th year began with some unanticipated AA/FD news as a surprisingly missing-in-action Tony Bartone left an odd number of Top Fuel drivers battling for front-engine nitro supremacy in Boise. Pre-race rumors left some wondering if Bartone was setting up a fake out, but only seven AA/Fuelers made the call for Friday’s Qualifying, confirming the absence of the 3-time Nightfire Nationals winner and reigning Top Fuel Champion. Still, four Chrysler Hemis and three Chevrolets entered Boise, with drivers ready to prove which combination would prevail.

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Near 100-degree daytime heat saw teams take different tuning approaches. Mendy Fry launched the Hemi-powered High Speed Motorsports dragster to a 5.78 ET in Session One. Later in the evening session, she clicked off early for event Low ET and number one qualifying spot with a 5.69 at 219 MPH. Concurrently, Jim Murphy drove the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 dragster out the back door oiled in and on fire into the number two slot. Fry witnessed the fiery drama unfold in front of her as Murphy passed lit up and smoking. Fortunately, both drivers emerged unscathed. Dusty Green gave the Nitro Hemi all it had in every round of qualifying for a number three position.

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Bret Williamson not only drove the Mike Fuller Forever Young dragster to a number four AA/Fuel qualifying slot but also made number one qualifier and low ET behind the wheel of a fearsome Corvette Pro Mod. Adam Sorokin stepped up from a Session One mechanical mix up with a 6.01 ET at 214 MPH and number five qualifying spot in the Champion Speed Shop Chevy-powered canopy entry. Tyler Hilton ran the Great Expectations III through qualifying with some gear changes for a number six position, and Phil Ruskowski ran the small block Chevrolet powered Mighty Mouse into the number seven spot ahead of Saturday night Round One Eliminations under the lights.

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TOP FUEL UNDER THE LIGHTS

With Low ET Mendy Fry ran a bye in Round One Eliminations. The High Speed Motorsports car got up on the tire and danced at half-track, but Mendy kept the rubber in the groove in the face of headwinds. Adam Sorokin deep staged the Champion Speed Shop dragster and took the win with a 5.89 ET at 217 MPH over Bret Williamson’s 6.17 ET at 199 MPH. Jim Murphy launched the Hemi-powered WW2 to a 5.75 ET at 252 MPH win after Phil Ruskowski red lit his small block Chevrolet powered Mighty Mouse dragster to a 7.42 ET at 171 MPH. Dusty Green ran his Nitro Hemi flames on to a 5.92 ET at 240 MPH over Tyler Hilton who gave chase in his big block Chevrolet powered Great Expectations III dragster with a 6.32 ET at 219 MPH.

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The Chrysler vs. Chevrolet matchup continued as Sunday Semi-Final Top Fuel action saw Adam Sorokin and the small block Chevrolet prevail with a 5.92 ET at 192 MPH over Mendy Fry who red lit the High Speed Motorsports dragster and fouled out. Jim Murphy ran the WW2 to a 5.80 ET at 235 MPH over a hole shot and hard charging Dusty Green who gave the Nitro Hemi everything it had with a close 5.95 ET at 243 MPH, finishing just one tenth of a second behind Murphy. The Final Round stage was set for an epic Hemi vs. Chevy battle as crews thrashed through engine teardowns for a chance at victory.

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The battle and win would have to wait. Drops of late afternoon rain for the first time in months gave way to downpour into the night. Hope was held out for a few hours, but after measured deliberation, the decision was made to postpone the race. Falling temperatures in concert with a soaked track and more rain forecast through morning put an anticlimactic end to four days of superior drag racing action. Murphy and Sorokin will settle their Nightfire Nationals Chizler vs. Chevy score at the California Hot Rod Reunion following the 4th session in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship at the Nitro Nationals September 22-23 at Tulsa Raceway Park.

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Nightfire Nationals results at Firebird Raceway
GIANT NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS PHOTO EXTRA

ALL AMERICAN FUEL DRAGSTERS HEADED FOR NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS

 

An eight-car field of front-engine Top Fuel dragsters are motoring towards Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho to battle at the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals, the 3rd meet in the 5-race 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Top Fuel points series. Assembled drivers and teams will join the largest gathering of nitro-burning cars in Nightfire Nationals’ event history for three days of qualifying and heads-up eliminations under-the-lights in celebration of the 50th year of drag racing action at Firebird Raceway.

Bowling Green NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion event winner and current points leader Jim Murphy is wheeling the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 hemi-powered dragster with renewed consistency into the Boise battle after a March Meet defeat at the hands of 2nd place points holder Mendy Fry and the High-Speed Motorsports team. Reigning AA/FD Top Fuel champion and 3-time Nightfire Nationals event winner Tony Bartone and the Bartone Brothers are hauling in from the east coast for a hit at four event victories and climb from current number three points slot.

129Southern California based driver Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop out of South San Francisco have plans to extract a little more time and keep the fire inside the small-block Chevrolet powered dragster out on the top end of the 1320. “We have been doing a little work with our supercharger set up as well as other things. We’re just trying to get the car to last one more second”, said Sorokin who is currently locked into a 4th place points tie with Top Fuel hotshoe Dusty Green who will connect with the Nitro Hemi in Boise as it makes its way in from Colorado.

T111Eighth place points holder Bret Williamson will strap into the Mike Fuller Forever Young AA/Fuel dragster and drive double time out in front of the rear axle in one of 15 Xtreme Pro Mods slated to run at the event. Ohio based Tyler Hilton hopes to turn it up from an 11th place points slot after a run in at the Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals where he footed the Great Expectations III big-block Chevrolet powered AA/Fuel dragster to a 6.01 ET at 242 MPH with minimal engine carnage. “We had it thumpin’ up there in Seattle. The air was so good. Too good!”

Our nitromethane-powered neighbor to the north Phil Ruskowski is heading out to the Gem State with his small-block Chevrolet Mighty Mouse for some international front-engine Top Fuel competition after going up and out against Tyler Hilton at the Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals. Phil is currently tied for the 12th place with fellow front-engine Top Fuel dragster devotees Brendan Murry, Julius Hughes, Jason Greenwood, Paul Schultz and Tim Cullinan.

LARGEST NITRO-BURNING LINEUP IN NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS HISTORY

Eight AA/Fuel Dragsters, 10 AA/Fuel Altereds, and 18 nitro-burning AA/Funny Cars add up to 38 nitromethane-huffing entries and 150,000 plus stand-shaking horsepower of under-the-lights header flames action. Fifteen Pro Modified doorslammers, two jet-powered dragsters, two jet-powered funny cars and the crowd favorite Candyland Stagecoach wheelstander are on deck to add that much more fire to the Nightfire Nationals with wildcard late entries a distinct possibility.

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NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS TOP FUEL SCHEDULE

The Nightfire Nationals opens on Thursday, August 10th with Sportsman racing at 12:30 PM. Top Fuel dragsters, Awful Altereds, and Funny Cars run into qualifying and eliminations under-the-lights Friday, August 11th through Sunday, August 13th. The schedule is subject to change.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 11th

Session 1 Qualifying – 2 PM

Session 2 Qualifying – 7 PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12th

Last Session Qualifying – 2 PM

Round 1 Eliminations –  7 PM

SUNDAY, AUGUST 13th

Round 2 Eliminations – 2 PM

Final Eliminations – 4 PM

ABOUT FIREBIRD RACEWAY

Firebird Raceway is located 5 miles north of Idaho State Highway 44 on Idaho State Highway 16. Discount tickets for the Nightfire Nationals are available at participating local Stinker Stores. For more information contact Firebird Raceway at 208-938-8986 or on the web at firebirdonline.com.

POINTS STANDINGS

Top Fuel points standings heading into Race 3 of the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series at the 46th Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway.

  1. Jim Murphy 214
  2. Mendy Fry 187
  3. Tony Bartone 126
  4. Adam Sorokin 109
  5. Dusty Green 109
  6. Jim Young 98
  7. Pete Wittenberg 74
  8. Bret Williamson 73
  9. Rick McGee 52
  10. Dave Miller 52
  11. Tyler Hilton 51
  12. Phil Ruskowski 10
  13. Brendan Murry 10
  14. Julius Hughes 10
  15. Paul Schultz 10
  16. Jason Greenwood 10
  17. Tim Cullinan 10

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ALL AMERICAN FUEL DRAGSTERS HEADED FOR BOWLING GREEN

Sat062016 National Hot Rod Reunion photos by Chris and Tera Graves – MaxCacklephotos.com

The All American Fuel Dragster coalition is set for the second NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel battle of 2017 at the 15th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion June 15-17. Drivers and teams are navigating towards Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the always volatile mix of qualifying and 8-car eliminations that propels front-engine Top Fuel dragster tradition into the future one 5-second 250 MPH nitro-burning 1/4-mile at a time.

March Meet winner and current points leader Mendy Fry and the High-Speed Motorsports hemi-powered dragster are heading east of the Rockies along with fellow California-based top fuel contenders. Jim Murphy is on deck in the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 dragster and Dusty Green will connect with the Nitro Hemi. Adam Sorokin and the South San Francisco-based Champion Speed Shop team are loaded for a repeat performance of last year’s event win with their small block Chevrolet-powered rail.

“I think we’re going to the National Hot Rod Reunion this year more prepared than we ever have been in the past – but that place is unpredictable, so I think we’ll just have to race smart and be there to capitalize when the opportunities present themselves. We will come out of the box very aggressive”, said Sorokin.

After what could be described as a disappointing March Meet weekend in Bakersfield, three-time NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel champion Tony Bartone and the Bartone Bros. are headed south from Long Island City for battle with front-engine converts from all points. Wisconsin’s own Jason Greenwood and Jim Young are motoring out from the upper Midwest following a Memorial Day weekend run up at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin where Young set a Nostalgia Top Fuel track record with a 5.76 at 234 MPH blast.

Paul Schultz is carrying the Spirit of Tulsa with him from Oklahoma and Tim Cullinan is on the way from Illinois with his Nitro Nostalgia entry. Julius Hughes is ready to rumble as a top fuel representative of the oldest speed shop in the southeast in his Atlanta Speed Shop AA/FD dragster. Tyler Hilton and his Great Expectations III entry are testing in Memphis prior to the National Hot Rod Reunion where he and his family are event Honorees.

Tyler’s dad and crew chief Bobby Hilton’s dad John campaigned a big block Chevrolet Rodeck-powered top fuel dragster in the 70s, and Tyler runs a big block Chevrolet his Great Expectations III entry. “It should be pretty great time. We are planning on qualifying and trying to take some people down”, said Tyler. The drag racing Hilton Family will join fellow event Honorees Wayne Jesel, Randy Payne, Mark Williams, Della Woods and Grand Marshal Eileen Daniels.

2017 National Hot Rod Reunion Top Fuel action gets underway with session one qualifying on Thursday, June 15th at 3:00. Session two qualifying is scheduled for Friday, June 16th at high noon 12 PM with session three and final qualifying slated for Friday at 3 PM. Eliminations commence on Saturday at 1 PM. Be there! Nitromethane is unpredictable at best. Schedule subject to change.

Because more nitromethane is always better than less the AAFD front engine Top Fuel slingshot dragster coalition will be joined by nitro-huffing Funny Car and Fuel Altered cohorts at Bowling Green. Nitro burning will continue into Saturday night after racing action concludes as the trademark Cacklefest makes its way into the evening with a parade and presentation of nitromethane past.

The 15th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway Park June 15-17 is the second salvo in the 5-race battle for the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship. See the National Hot Rod Reunion page for spectator tickets, event schedule and more. The next race is Pepsi NightFire Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho August 10-13. Head on over to www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for an upcoming series race schedule, news, points, results, rules and more.

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TOP FUEL SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

THURSDAY, JUNE 15
Qualifying Session One 3 PM

FRIDAY, JUNE 16
Qualifying Session Two 12 PM
Qualifying Final Session 3 PM

SATURDAY, JUNE 17
Eliminations Round One 1 PM
Eliminations Round Two 3:30 PM

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AA/FUELER FEUDS TO BOIL IN BOWLING GREEN

SatTF0514th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, June 16-18, 2016, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Ky.With the 2016 Heritage Series Top Fuel points race wide open, over a dozen supercharged and nitro-powered competitors from across the United States are gathering their steeds in Bowling Green in anticipation of claiming this week’s 8-car AA/Fuel Dragster Eliminator at the 14th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion.

Among those mounting up will be Stockton, California’s Rick Williamson, driver of the “Team Craig” dragster and current Heritage Series points leader as well as the recent March Meet victor. Following the Craig gang’s entry out of California on I-40 East is a nattering menagerie of their enemies, including Adam Sorokin with the Chevy-powered Champion Speed Shop fueler — March Meet runner-up and #2 in the points — and veteran nitro-man Jim Murphy with his fearsome “WW2railjob.

Murphy, who is making the scene with his Roland Leong-tuned digger, won here in 2013 on a holeshot, but has struggled to find a consistent combination after that decisive weekend. At the Bakersfield March Meet, he appeared to return to form before an unfortunate top-end collision during eliminations rattled his concentration and compromised his effort. Similarly, New York-based Tony Bartone, the 2014 Holley NHRR winner and two-time defending Heritage Series Points Champion, has also seen his once-dominant form contract recently.

Both Bartone and Murphy would love to repeat here, as a means of making the statement that their team has entirely too much knowledge, talent and gumption not to dominate. Moreover, a Top Fuel win by Bartone would serve as an emphatic punctuation mark to the deserved pomp and circumstance awarded to his crew chief, the legendary Steve Boggs who, in concert with his late brother Ron, will be anointed as an Honoree here this weekend.

There are other scores to settle here: Rick White, driver of the hard-charging “Neal & White” machine out of San Diego, wants to undo the damage from a first-round loss at the March Meet, which transpired, ironically, after Rick set Low ET at that prestigious event with a ferocious ¼-mile clocking of 5.54 seconds.

Additionally, Salem, Wisconsin’s Jim Young hopes to advance to the top of the points chart here and will light up the Kentucky concrete with his Chrysler-powered “Young Guns.” Fleshing out the field are Californian Brendan Murry, Paul Schultz’s “Spirit of Tulsa,” Tyler Hilton’s big-block Chevy-powered “Great Expectations III” from Virginia (by way of Ohio), Illinois-based Tim Cullinan, “Diamond” Dave Miller’s dragster from Atoka, Tennessee, Racine Wisconsin’s Jason Greenwood, Troy Ray’s new “Wildside II” digger out of Knoxville, Julius Hughes’ “Atlanta Speed Shop” special and 2011 NHRR Top Fuel winner Lincoln Hassell out of North Carolina.

California. New York. Wisconsin. Virginia. Ohio. Oklahoma. Illinois. Tennessee. Georgia. North Carolina. With such diversity and power, Top Fuel Eliminator at the 14th Holley National Hot Rod Reunion is anybody’s race — and merely qualifying for this fierce field could be a partial victory. Odds are, whoever wins this nitro-powered shootout will drive away as the Heritage Series Top Fuel Points Leader. -30-

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