TRADITIONAL TOP FUEL TO THUNDER AT 60TH WINTERNATIONALS

Eight Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters are set to celebrate three generations of nitro-fueled drag racing history at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. These traditional AA/Fuelers will once again run the Pomona Fairplex quarter-mile 50 years after Larry Dixon Sr. triumphed in anger as the last front-engined dragster to win Top Fuel at the Winternationals. The vintage-style Top Fuel dragsters will join Nostalgia Funny Cars and throwback Pro Stockers for multiple exhibition sessions and a “Parade of Champions” at the home of NHRA drag racing.

Two-time Heritage Series champion and second-generation racer Mendy Fry will drive the High Speed Motorsports dragster for what could be her curtain call following the tragic loss of Crew Chief Tom Shelar last year. Driver Adam Sorokin and Crew Chief Bob McLennan will honor their paternal racing heritage with the small-block Chevrolet powered Champion Speed Shop dragster. Adam’s father Mike Sorokin drove the Surfer’s front-engine fueler, and Bob’s dad Jim McLennan founded the Champion Speed Shop. Family traditionalist Tyler Hilton will thunder down the 1320 in the big-block Chevy-powered “Great Expectations III,” backed up by his father Bobby Hilton and grandmother Allison Lee

Dan Horan, Jr. will strap into the Pete “Fritz” Kaiser-tuned 426-c.i. Hemi-powered dragster in tribute to his departed father, “Digger” Dan Horan Sr., and then hop into his fearsome Funny Car for double doses of nitro action. Veteran driver Jim Murphy will carry four March Meet victories worth of savvy down the track in the “WW2” dragster, and Bret Williamson will pilot the Mike Fuller Motorsports “Forever Young” into the future. Rick White and the Neal & White Racing team are heading north from the San Diego area, and Brendan Murry will leave the prestigious Murry Building in San Jose with his “Running Wild” 426 hemi-powered fueler.

Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel is currently scheduled for two exhibition sessions following NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel and Funny Car Qualifying Q1 on Friday and Q3 on Saturday. The quickest two cars from these sessions are slated for a retro rematch following Q4 on Saturday. Head over to the NHRA for the latest event schedule and information. The 60th Annual Winternationals will air on FOX Sports television and stream live on the internet at NHRA ALL ACCESS.

Nostalgia Top Fuel at the 60th Winternationals heralds the 2020 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series racing season that officially kicks off at the Good Vibrations March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California March 5th-8th. Check out the five-race Nostalgia Top Fuel championship racing schedule here or head over to the the official NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series website for an all-classes 2020 event rundown.

UPDATES: 28th California Hot Rod Reunion

WINNER: MENDY FRY

MENDY FRY WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION

Mendy Fry is the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion Top Fuel Champion. Fry drove the High Speed Motorsports dragster to victory with a 5.52 ET at 264 MPH after runner-up Pete Wittenberg red-lighted in his Circuit Breaker machine, disqualifying a 5.64 ET at 248 MPH. Fry arrived at Auto Club Famoso Raceway with her second Heritage Series Top Fuel Season Championship already clinched and won the race for the second year running.

“The final was nuts,” Fry said. “I thought I lost on a holeshot. I was beyond shocked and amazed that I did that. I walked off in the field at the top end because I couldn’t bear facing the team having let them down in that way. Then I found out Wittenberg red-lighted, and I screamed with joy like a little girl. I am so proud of Sean Bellemeur and the team for digging deep and making this win happen.”

Fry’s fifth consecutive Heritage Series event win was an emotional moment for the entire team as they triumphed in honor of High Speed Motorsports team founder and crew chief Tom Shelar, who died unexpectedly in August.

Fry set Low ET in Round One Eliminations with a 5.522-second win against Dan Horan Jr., who was behind the wheel of an all-new dragster built as a tribute to his departed father, Top Fuel driver “Digger” Dan Horan, Sr. Fry also clocked event Top Speed with her 5.526-second 264 MPH Final Round win to conclude the 2019 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel racing season.

Head over to the official All American Fuel Dragsters website for a round-by-round Top Fuel rundown with results, photos, videos, and more from the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion. The 2020 Heritage Series racing season begins at the famous Bakersfield March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway March 5th-7th.

“The final was nuts,” Fry said. “I thought I lost on a holeshot. I was beyond shocked and amazed that I did that. I walked off in the field at the top end because I couldn’t bear facing the team having let them down in that way. Then I found out Wittenberg red-lighted, and I screamed with joy like a little girl. I am so proud of Sean Bellemeur and the team for digging deep and making this win happen.”

– Mendy Fry

TOP FUEL updates, video, and more as it happened from the 28th Califiornia Hot Rod Reunion at Autoclub Famoso Raceway. Scroll down for Round-By-Round action and video coverage from all three days of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series drag racing action.

TOP FUEL SEMI-FINAL ROUNDUP

MENDY FRY VS. PETE WITTENBERG IN THE FINAL. Bret Williamson got the holeshot in the “Forever Young” but Mendy Fry drove the High Speed Motorsports juggernaut around for a 5.69-second 204 MPH win. Pete Wittenberg clicked the “Circuit Breaker” for the win with a 5.78 ET at 214 MPH after Rick McGee clocked out early and lit up the red light in the “Overtime Special.”

TOP FUEL SEMI-FINAL RESULTS
DRIVER - ET - MPH
Mendy Fry - 5.69 - 204
Bret Williamson - 5.84 - 200
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Pete Wittenberg - 5.78 - 214
Rick McGee - 7.90 - 94

ROUND ONE TOP FUEL ROUNDUP!

Mendy Fry reset Low ET and Top Speed with a 5.52-second 256 MPH win after Dan Horan Jr. red-lit. Pete Wittenberg took the win with a 5.71 ET at 246 MPH over Frank McBee Jr., who shut ‘er down for a 7.31 ET. Rick McGee blazed on with a 6.14 ET at 188 MPH as Jim Murphy struck the tires and coasted through. Bret Williamson lit up the win light with a 5.89 ET at 229 MPH over a trailing Rick White.

SEMI-FINAL ELIMINATIONS PAIRINGS: Mendy Fry vs. Bret Williamson and Pete Wittenberg vs. Rick McGee.

ROUND ONE ELIMINATIONS: 
DRIVER - ET - MPH
Mendy Fry 5.52 - 256
Dan Horan Jr. - 5.80 -252
---------------------------------------
Bret Williamson - 5.89 - 229
Rick White - 6.52 - 200
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Pete Wittenberg - 5.71-246
Frank McBee Jr. - 7.31-131
---------------------------------------
Rick McGee - 6.14 - 188
Jim Murphy - 11.49 - 78

LIVE video Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Tune in to LIVE video of the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion. Round One Eliminations scheduled for 11:30 AM PST following opening ceremonies. PAIRINGS: Mendy Fry vs. Dan Horan Jr., Pete Wittenberg vs. Frank McBee Jr., Jim Murphy vs. Rick McGee, and Rick White vs. Bret Williamson.

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY from the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion.

Saturday Session Three Qualifying

Mendy Fry holds onto #1 and Low ET with her 5.59-second Q1 run. Pete Wittenberg grabbed Top Speed and #2 with a 5.69-second 252 MPH blast. Rick McGee moved up to sixth with a 5.89. Frank McBee Jr. posted a 5.90 and bumped Tyler Hilton, who clocked a 5.98 that pushed Adam Sorokin out of the show. Top Fuel Eliminations commence at 11:30 AM SUNDAY.

Final Nostalgia Top Fuel qualifying order from the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion.

SESSION THREE RUN-BY-RUN:  Mendy Fry turned it off for a 5.70, Rick White ran a 5.81, Dan Horan Jr. ran a 5.94, Bret Williamson motored to a 5.99, Bryan Hall took a few hundredths out with a 6.13, Jim Murphy clicked off a 6.17, Adam Sorokin shut it down for a 6.23, Brendan Murry smoked a 6.85, Dusty Green skated to a 7.44, and Phil Ruskowski held in the pits.

Saturday Session Two Qualifying

Nostalgia Top Fuel Qualifying after Session Two from the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion

Bret Willamson and Adam Sorokin stepped up big and shut down early. Bryan Hall, Dusty Green, and Frank McBee ran their new rides quicker. Phil Ruskowski turned a 6.47 ET at 218 MPH and smoked his small block Chevy. Dan Horan Jr. and Brendan Murry go slightly slower with a 6.09 ET and 6.82 ET respectively. Rick McGee exhausted his hemi for a 7.03 ET and Pete Wittenburg pedaled to a 9.20 ET. Rick White hazed the tires and pedaled out with a 7.69 ET at 221 MPH. Jim Murphy, Mendy Fry, and Tyler Hilton all lost traction and coasted through with 11-second runs.

LIVE Saturday Video Streaming

Free streaming video coverage from the California Hot Road Reunion. Session Two Qualifying 12 PM. Session Three at 4 PM.

Recorded LIVE Saturday video streaming of the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion

Friday Session One Top Fuel Qualifying Results

Friday Nostalgia Top Fuel Qualifying is a wrap. Mendy Fry took Low ET with a 5.59-second 237 MPH blast. Jim Murphy ran a 5.37 ET at 247 MPH for #2 and Top Speed.

Unofficial Session One Nostalgia Top Fuel Session One Qualifying Results from the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion at Autoclub Famoso Raceway.

RUN-BY-RUN: Fourteen contenders battled for 8-car Elimnations including four all-new dragsters. Dan Horan turned a stout 5.98 ET at 234 MPH in the 426 hemi-powered tribute to his late father “Digger” Dan Horan. Rick McGee got out of the “Overtime Special” with a 6.10 ET at 194 MPH. Pete Wittenberg clocked a 5.92 ET at 244 MPH in the “KMA Circuit Breaker.” Bret Williamson smoked ’em in the “Forever Young” and coasted to a 10.76 ET. Brendan Murry puffed through the lights with a 6.62 ET at 147 MPH in the “Running Wild.” Bryan Hall directed the “Nomad” to a 6.41 ET at 201 MPH in his competition debut. Tyler Hilton backed down the big-block Chevrolet on the top end and posted a 6.28 ET at 186 MPH in the “Great Expectations III.” Rick White churned out a solid 5.79-second 230 MPH run in the Neil and White fueler. Phil Ruskowski pushed the small block Chevrolet “Xhibitionist” to a 6.88 ET at 185 MPH. Dusty Green and three backup representatives introduced the new “Triple Threat” with a 6.73 ET at 147 MPH. Frank McBee made a 6.98-second 129 MPH introduction in the new Thunder Valley Racing dragster and Adam Sorokin clicked the Champion Speed Shop special for a 6.31 ET at 165 MPH.

FRIDAY video recorded LIVE at the California Hot Rod Reunion

Check out the opening day of the 28th California Hot Rod Reunion at Autoclub Famoso Raceway

FOURTEEN FUELER FIGHT SET FOR FAMOSO

Fourteen AA/Fuel dragsters are loaded with nitro and heading to Bakersfield for the 28th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Four new Nostalgia Top Fuel class dragsters will make their racing debut into what promises to be an explosive qualifying fight for 8-car Eliminations. Qualifying starts Friday, Oct 25th, and the nitro will burn until the last pair thunders down the quarter-mile for the title on Sunday, Oct 27th.

Mendy Fry and the High Speed Motorsports team are heading into the last race of the season with the Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship in hand. Fry’s fourth consecutive event win at the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park put her at an incontestable point advantage ahead of the season closer. It’s not over until it’s over in the fight for the event win. With four new dragsters and three generations of Top Fuel drivers, it’s anybody’s race. Qualifying will be fierce as the formidable field unleashes over 45,000 horsepower onto the 1320 in a supercharged nitro-fueled spectacle of speed.

Drag racer and builder Bryan Hall has followed up his fearsome nitro-huffing 5-second AA/Fuel Altered known as “The Tramp” with the H&H “Nomad”. The Rooman dragster was originally built for longtime Top Fuel favorite “Digger” Dan Horan Sr., who died in 2016. Hall bought the car from Dan Horan Jr. in late 2018, along with a new house that had a longer garage for the dragster. Hall said he built the early hemi-powered fueler “just to challenge myself. It’s definitely an exciting time for the dragster class.”

Dan Horan Jr. is fielding his own all-new Pete Kaiser tuned AA/Fuel dragster as a tribute to his father. The late-model hemi belted out a 5.87 ET at last year’s reunion in his Dad’s old car. Dusty Green is out of the “Nitro-Hemi” and into the “Triple Threat.” Dusty’s new 417 Rodeck hemi-powered beast is ready for action at Famoso. “It’s badass! The class is growing,” said the Northern California based driver. Driver Frank McBee Jr. and the Valley Thunder Racing gang are rolling in from Fresno with the fourth new dragster to make its racing debut.

Read on for the current 14-car roster, points standings, and a Nostalgia Top Fuel run schedule. The All American Fuel Dragsters will join nitro-huffing Funny Cars, awful AA/Fuel Altereds, injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters in competition, Moreover, the NHRA Motorsports Museum will simultaneously light off dozens of nitro-burning historic hot rods in a celebration known as the “Cacklefest.” Traditional push-starts are scheduled throughout the weekend. To purchase California Hot Rod Reunion tickets, call 1-800-884-NHRA, head over to NHRA, or drive on out to Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

28th CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION NOSTALGIA TOP FUEL ROSTER

1) Mendy Fry – High Speed Motorsports
2) Adam Sorokin – Champion Speed Shop
3) Jim Murphy – WW2
4) Tyler Hilton – Great Expectations III
5) Bret Williamson – Forever Young
6) Phil Ruskowski – Xhibitionist
7) Rick White – Neil and White
8) Pete Wittenberg – Circuit Breaker
9) Brendan Murry – Running Wild
10) Rick McGee – Overtime Special
11) Dusty Green – Triple Threat
12) Frank McBee – Valley Thunder Racing
13) Dan Horan Jr.
14) Bryan Hall – H&H Nomad

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship points heading into the 28th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion at Automobile Club of Southern California.

1) Mendy Fry – 565
2) Adam Sorokin – 438
3) Jim Murphy – 315
4) Tyler Hilton – 260
5) Bret Williamson – 227
6) Phil Ruskowski – 176
7) Tim Cullinan – 107
8) Jim Young – 97
9) Rick White – 78
10) Pete Wittenberg – 67
11) Brendan Murry – 62
12) Rick McGee – 54
13) Joey Haas – 53
14) Julius Hughes – 51
15) Gerald Hangey – 10
15) Roger Lechtenberg – 10
15) Paul Schultz – 10

NOSTALGIA TOP FUEL SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Friday, October 25th
Qualifying Session 1: 4 PM

Saturday, October 26th
Qualifying Session 2: 12 Noon
Qualifying Session 3: 4 PM
Cacklefest: 6 PM

Sunday, October 27th
National Anthem and Ceremonies: 10:45 AM
Eliminations: 11:30 AM
Final: 4 PM

TULSA BY-THE-NUMBERS

Tyler Hilton in the Great Expectations III at Tulsa Raceway Park

We’ve got Tulsa by the numbers, Top Fuel by the score. With the Nitro Nationals in the recent past and season-closing California Hot Rod Reunion in the near future, we’ve got the numbers. Download the full set of Top Fuel results and incrementals from the 2019 Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park and an NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship season points rundown right here.

NITRO NATIONALS AT TULSA RACEWAY PARK

WINNER: MENDY FRY AND HIGH SPEED MOTORSPORTS

Mendy Fry and Adam Sorokin in the 2019 Nitro Nationals Top Fuel Finals at Tulsa Raceway Park

Mendy Fry drove the High Speed Motorsports dragster into the night and won the Nitro Nationals Tulsa Raceway Park for the second time. Fry took the win with a 5.60-second 258 MPH blast over Runner Up Adam Sorokin, who posted a 5.98 ET at 186 MPH after the automatic shutoff malfunctioned and shut down the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet around the 800-foot mark. The Nitro Nationals was Fry’s fourth consecutive event victory and clinched her second NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship.

Onetime High Speed Motorsports driver-tuners Sean Bellemeur and Troy Green joined the crew and family in honor and triumph for Crew Chief Tom Shelar, who died unexpectedly before the race. Fry’s emotions ran strong from start to finish. “I started crying when I crossed the finish line, and it didn’t stop. Tom won this Championship in absentia. We all knew how to do our jobs. He taught us all very well and put together a Top Fuel dragster that’s an absolute bracket car. He assembled a team that works well together and empowered us to make the right decisions even without him here.”

Sorokin left on Fry with a .017 light and was on an all or nothing charge to the stripe when unseen forces snuffed out the supercharged-on-nitro small block Chevrolet at the 800-900 foot mark. Sorokin could only watch as Fry drove on for the win. “The Leahy device shot the cannon against the throttle, closed it, and shut the car off. I couldn’t push it back. I didn’t even see her until it started to happen and then she went through,” said Sorokin. Crew Chief Tony Bernardini noted the system triggered even though logs showed boost and oil pan pressure parameters well within limits.

The Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway park was the next to last race in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series ahead of the season-closing 28th California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield October 25th-27th.

Scroll down for a reverse chronological order round-by-round Nitro Nationals Top Fuel Qualifying and Eliminations rundown, photos, downloadable results, and more originally complied LIVE from Tulsa Raceway Park September 19th and 20th 2019.


FULL TOP FUEL NITRO NATIONALS EVENT ROUNDUP

TOP FUEL SEMI FINAL

Mendy Fry will battle Adam Sorokin for the 2019 Nitro Nationals Top Fuel title. Mendy Fry took the semi-final round with a 5.61-second 247 MPH blast after Tyler Hilton scrubbed when his Dad and Crew Chief Robert Hilton noticed a broken rear axle mount on the Great Expectations III. Great Expectations III. Adam Sorokin ran clean to the 1000-foot mark and shut it down for a 6.29 ET at 161 MPH on a bye. The pair will square off for the Top Fuel title at Tulsa Raceway Park in a final round rematch of the 2017 Nitro Nationals decider. 

SEMI-FINAL BATTLE SET: MENDY FRY VS. TYLER HILTON AND ADAM SOROKIN ON A BYE

Jim Murphy heats up the hides in the WW2 AA/Fuel dragster.

ELIMINATIONS ROUND ONE

Tyler Hilton blasted around Jim Murphy and the WW2 at the 1000-ft mark and lit up the clocks with 5.89-second 245 MPH in the Great Expectations III. Adam Sorokin pushed the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet past Tim Cullinan and the Irish Car Bomb and took the win with a nitro spud spittin’ 5.91 ET at 205 MPH. Mendy Fry ran the High Speed Motorsports hemi to the 1000-foot mark on a 5.64-second 222 MPH bye. Nitro Nationals Top Fuel Semi-Final is coming right up at Tulsa Raceway Park.

Tyler Hilton in the Great Expectations III big block Chevrolet-powered AA/Fuel dragster

TOP FUEL ELIMINATIONS LADDER IS SET: Session Two Qualifying is a wrap. Eliminations: Mendy Fry on a bye, Tyler Hilton vs. Jim Murphy, and Adam Sorokin vs. Tim Cullinan.

Adam Sorokin and Jim Murphy in Nitro Nationals Session Two Qualifying at Tulsa Raceway Park

SESSION TWO QUALIFYING ROUNDUP

Jim Murphy popped the blower in a 6.03-second 195 MPH wall hugger in the WW2. Tim Cullinan shaved a second off yesterday with a 6.13 ET at 171 MPH in the Irish Car Bomb. Adam Sorokin and Tyler Hilton ran just a few hundredths slower than Q1. Paul Schultz lost fire after the burnout and couldn’t get the Spirit of Tulsa restarted. Further inspection revealed the recently rebuilt magneto internals had come undone. After his Q1 no-time DQ and unable to stage in under power in Q2, NHRA rules dictate that Paul is unfortunately out of the running. Nitro Nationals Top Fuel Eliminations Run Ladder, final Qualifying order, and incrementals right here. Nitro Nationals TOP FUEL Eliminations scheduled for 6 PM at Tulsa Raceway Park.

SESSION ONE QUALIFYING ROUNDUP

Paul “Nobody” Schultz in the Spirit of Tulsa

Mendy Fry runs 5.66-seconds at 222 MPH for Low ET in the High Speed Motorsports hemi. Adam Sorokin cranks out a 5.91 ET at 210 MPH in the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet for the second slot. Tyler Hilton hits 241 MPH Top Speed and grabs third with a 5.94-second big-block Chevrolet blast. Tim Cullinan shuts down the Irish Car Bomb and takes fourth with a 7.31 ET at 138 MPH. Jim Murphy strikes the tires with a pedal and idles through the lights for fifth. Paul Schultz and the Spirit of Tulsa launched out of the box before the lights were active for a no time DQ. Nitro Nationals Session Two Top Fuel Qualifying scheduled for tomorrow at 2 PM CST at Tulsa Raceway Park.

Top Fuel Session One Qualifying results from the 2019 Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park

Pre-qualifying Top Fuel Test and Tune Preview

Four Top Fuel dragsters ran a 4 PM Test and Tune shakeout ahead of Session One Qualifying at Tulsa Raceway Park. Mendy Fry posted a 6.10 ET at 168 MPH in the High-Speed Motorsports dragster in an emotional first pass since the tragic loss of Crew Chief, tuner, and patriarch Tom Shelar. Jim Murphy clicked off a 6.40 ET at 129 MPH in the WW2 hemi. Adam Sorokin belted out a 6.24 ET at 162 MPH in the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet, and Tyler Hilton cranked a 6.62 ET at 155 MPH out of the Great Expectations III big block Chevrolet. The sun has broken through the clouds and Session One Top Fuel Qualifying is scheduled for 8 PM.

2019 NITRO NATIONALS PHOTO EXTRA