Bakersfield, California – Top Fuel titans of the All-American Fuel Dragster coalition are loaded up with nitromethane and headed to the 61st Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway March 7th-10th. The historic event is the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series season opener and first shot at the championship for the front-engine nostalgia Top Fuel ranks.
Season champion Mendy Fry is back in the “High Speed Motorsports” dragster and last year’s March Meet winner Pete Wittenberg will stage in the “KMA Circuit Breaker.” Adam Sorokin will drop the lid on the small block Chevrolet-powered “Champion Speed Shop” dragster and Brendan Murry will light up his “Running Wild” 426 hemi. Bret Williamson will pilot the Mike Fuller “Forever Young” fueler and two-time March Meet champ Rick McGee will turn hours into seconds in the Tedford & McGee “Overtime Special”.
Four-time March Meet winner Jim Murphy will gun for a record 5th victory in his “WW2” dragster and driver Phil Ruskowski, the Island Nitro Gang and their small block Chevrolet “Xibitionist” digger are heading south from the Great White North. Land-speed luminary and 2011 March meet winner Rick White is strapping into the Neal & White “Autopower” AA/Fuel dragster at the ‘patch.
All-American Fuel Dragsters President Bob McLennan is proud to announce that the Top Fuel Internship program will return for its second year. The team effort between the Jim McLennan Foundation, Bakersfield College, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, and AAFD racers places select automotive students on Top Fuel crews for a real-world introduction to drag racing and course credit.
The March Meet Top Fuel battle starts with nitro-fueled testing on Thursday at 3 PM. Qualifying kicks off at 12 PM on Friday. Eliminations are currently scheduled for Sunday. Head over to the Auto Club Famoso Raceway for the latest March Meet information. Schedule subject to change!
The 61st Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet is the first of six races in the NHRA Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel championship season that concludes with the NHRA Motorsports Museum California Hot Rod Reunion in October 25th-27th at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Points count across all six races with the addition of the Nitro Summer Nationals at Spokane County Raceway August 16th-17th.
A baker’s dozen’s worth of AA/Fuel Dragster combatants will close out the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series this weekend with a supercharged 8-car Top Fuel Eliminator at the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California.
Thirteen drivers representing three generations of nitromethane-fueled drag racing are ready for the final race of competition. With an incontestable points advantage following consecutive event wins at the NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion and Nightfire Nationals, second-generation drag racer Mendy Fry and the “High-Speed Motorsports” team are already the 2018 Nostalgia Top Fuel Champions. But for the rest of the field, it’s not over until its over and the battle for the event win and number two Nostalgia Top Fuel points position will certainly be fierce at Famoso.
Current 2nd place points sitter and March Meet Winner Pete Wittenberg is back in the saddle of his early-model Hemi-powered “KMA Circuit Breaker” after a semi-final finish at the Nightfire Nationals in Boise. Venerable Brendan Murry is heading out of the Murry Building in San Jose, California with the “Running Wild” late-model Hemi-propelled dragster in tow. Second generation dragster driver Adam Sorokin is confident that the “Champion Speed Shop” small-block Chevrolet combination can make more with less at Bakersfield. “We’re concentrating more on making the car run harder and longer. We will be just staying on our side of the tree and maximizing everything we can,” said Sorokin.
After a Herculean runner-up finish at Boise, Dusty Green will once again team up with Steve Harwood’s “Nitro-Hemi” contender. Bret Williamson will strap into Mike Fuller’s “Forever Young” AA/Fuel entry. 2006 CHRR Top Fuel winner Jim Murphy will drive the “WW2” fueler as an event Honoree. Last year’s Reunion winner Jim Young is hauling his Hemi-powered “Young Guns” rail to Bakersfield from Wisconsin and third-generation drag racer Tyler Hilton is moving towards California after posting the quickest and fastest time yet in the big-block Chevrolet-powered “Great Expectations III” AA/Fuel Dragster at the Nightfire Nationals in Boise, Idaho with a blistering 5.88 ET at 249 MPH.
Rick White is suiting up in the “Neal & White” front-engine dragster, and Dan Horan Jr. will push his departed father “Digger Dan” Horan’s front engine dragster towards the high fives with a tuneup from 1995 March Meet winner Fritz Kaiser. Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang are motoring to Famoso from Canada with their small-block Chevrolet-powered “Xhibitionist” digger. Veteran driver Rick McGee and crew have been putting in plenty of extra hours preparing their Hemi-powered “Overtime Special” dragster for battle at the ‘patch.
And in a gesture to ensure future participation in the sport, the Jim McLennan Drag Racing Foundation is once again firing up its successful Top Fuel Intern program, taking students from Bakersfield College and tasking them with mechanical maintenance on these exotic front-engine Top Fuel dragsters. Solidifying the Reunion’s relationship to the past and present, former Top Fuel Champion, stunt driver Kelly Brown will serve as the Reunion’s Grand Marshal.
Event Honorees include crew-chief extraordinaire Bob Brandt, A/Fuel driver and trainer Jerry Darien, onetime Hot Rod Magazine Editor and current drag racing journalist-historian Dave Wallace Jr., former Car Craft Magazine Editor and drag racer Rick Voegelin, and 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel Champion Jim Murphy.
The All American Fuel Dragsters will join nitro-huffing Funny Cars, awful AA/Fuel Altereds, front-engine blown alcohol and injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters, and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum curated collection of nitro-burning history in is annual “Cacklefest.” Historic push-starts are scheduled to occur throughout the weekend. Hundreds of Hot Rods and Customs will complement a swap meet full of vintage speed parts along with specialty equipment and memorabilia vendors on the midway.
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.
27th CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION TOP FUEL SCHEDULE:
Friday, October 19th
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1: 11:00 AM
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 2: 3:00 PM
Saturday, October 20th
Top Fuel Qualifying Session 3: 12:00 noon
Top Fuel Round 1: 3:00 PM
Sunday, October 21st
National Anthem & Pre-race Ceremonies 10:45 AM
Top Fuel Eliminations Round 2 11:30 AM
Final Eliminations – All Categories 4:00 PM
Schedule subject to change
NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES
Nostalgia Top Fuel Championship points standings heading into the 27th California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the 4th and last race in the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series following the cancellation of the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park.
1) Mendy Fry 334
2) Pete Wittenberg 188
3) Brendan Murry 179
4) Adam Sorokin 164
5) Dusty Green 161
6) Bret Williamson 131
7) Jim Murphy 126
8) Jim Young 97
9) Tyler Hilton 85
10)Tim Cullinan 84
11) Rick White 54
12) Jason Greenwood 52
12) Dan Horan 52
13) Julius Hughes 51
14) Phil Ruskowski 20
15) Rick McGee 10
15) Dave Miller 10
15) Paul Schultz 10
The All-American Fuel Dragsters coalition is bringing a dozen original Top Fuel dragsters to the 60th Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California March 1st-4th. The Nitro Dirty Dozen supercharged front-engine AA/Fuel dragsters will fight for 8 qualified slots in a battle for March Meet supremacy at the 2018 season opener of the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series.
2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Champion and 4-time March Meet winner Jim Murphy is hoping to drive his WW2 hemi-powered dragster to victory and become the second 5-time winner of the storied drag race. A 5-feat will tie the only other 5-time March Meet winner Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, who set national Top Fuel dragster competition in motion with his Swamp Rat dragster at the first March Meet in 1959.
Reigning March Meet winner Mendy Fry reports strong numbers from pre-race testing at Famoso with the hemi-powered High Speed Motorsports front-engine Top Fuel dragster. “The 2017 March Meet winner is itching to get back in the car and heading into the race with a ton of confidence. We are ready”, said Fry. Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop will meet again at Famoso after posting stout testing numbers with their small block Chevrolet powered AA/Fuel special.
Steve Harwood’s Nitro-Hemi is heading over the Rocky Mountains from Colorado to meet up with California-based driver Dusty Green at Famoso, and Bret Williamson will suit up and strap into the Mike Fuller Forever Young hemi-powered entry. Pete Wittenberg is back at the March Meet in the KMA Circuit Breaker dragster a year after getting his license at the 59th March Meet. Tedford & McGee are bringing the fearsome Overtime Special into the fight with driver Rick McGee helping his nephew land a Top Fuel license at the event.
Phil Ruskowski and the Island Nitro Gang are once again carrying the front-engine Top Fuel dragster torch south from Canada to put northern fire into their small block Chevrolet-powered Xhibitionist at Bakersfield. Chicago’s own Turbo Tim Cullinan dressed his late-model hemi powered AA/Fuel dragster with a new paint scheme for the March Meet, and Brendan Murry is hauling his 426 hemi-powered Running Wild dragster out of his home garage in San Jose, California.
Rounding out the Nitro Dirty Dozen in Top Fuel row at Famoso are Rick White and the Neal & White AA/Fuel dragster, hoping to repeat their 2011 March Meet victory and Dan Horan Jr., who will suit up and drive his departed father’s front-engine AA/Fuel dragster with Fritz Kaiser putting the tune-up into the supercharged nitro-burning hemi. Longtime drag racer and front-engine Top Fuel great “Digger” Dan Horan Sr. passed away in 2016.
The 2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway the opening salvo in the 5-race battle for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Championship. As more nitro is better nitro the AAFD Original Top Fuel dragsters will join forces at Famoso with unruly fuel altereds, vintage rear-engine Top Fuel dragsters, Funny Cars, injected and blown A/Fuel dragsters and an as yet unknown quantity of nitro-huffing entries for nitro-burning drag racing action that can only be the March Meet in Bakersfield.
2018 MARCH MEET TOP FUEL SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
March Meet AAFD Top Fuel action starts with testing Thursday, March 1st at 3:00. First round qualifying (Q1) is scheduled for Friday the 2nd. Q2 is slated for Saturday the 3rd at 12 PM with Q3 at 3:00 PM. Eliminations commence on Sunday at 11:45 AM. As nitromethane is unpredictable at best, the March Meet schedule is subject to change. More information on the 60th March Meet and an all classes full event schedule can be found by clicking through to the Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
WEDNESDAY, February 28th
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Open Test & Tune THURSDAY, March 1st
3:00 PM: Top Fuel Testing Session FRIDAY, March 2nd
12:00 PM – Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1 (Q1) SATURDAY, March 3rd 12:00 PM: Top Fuel Q2
3:00 PM: Top Fuel Q3
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY, March 4th 11:00 AM: Opening Ceremony
11:45 AM: Top Fuel Eliminations
2:00 PM: Top Fuel Semi-Final
4:15 PM: Top Fuel Final