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

TOP FUEL TAKEDOWN ON TAP AT TULSA

The Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park is the place for front-engine Top Fuel drag racing action this weekend. The All American Fuel Dragsters are tanked up for a nitro-burning supercharged spectacle of explosive 1/4-mile competition under the lights. The event carries on 50-plus years of Top Fuel competition that stretches back to the 1965 NHRA World Finals at the legendary dragstrip.

The Nitro Nationals is the next to last for NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel championship race ahead of the season closer at the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, California. Mendy Fry and the High Speed Motorsports fueler, Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet, and Jim Murphy with the WW2 dragster are rolling towards Tulsa from California in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively.

Ohio’s own Tyler Hilton will strap into the fearsome big block Chevrolet-powered “Great Expectations III” AA/Fuel Dragster. Tim Cullinan is on the way from Illinois and ready to light the fuse on his late-model 426 hemi-powered “Irish Car Bomb.” Local racing legend Paul Schultz is loaded up with nitro for his hemi-powered “Spirit of Tulsa” dragster and BBQ spare ribs for the assembled Top Fuel drivers and crews.

Mendy Fry and the High Speed Motorsports team are heading into the pivotal race following the tragic loss of Crew Cheif and patriarch Tom Shelar, who died unexpectedly in his sleep on Thursday, August 22nd. The sad news came just days after the tight-knit team won the Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway and the Nitro Summer Nationals at Spokane County Raceway.

Through the shock and grief, Shelar’s family decided the best way to honor Tom’s memory was to finish the 2019 season and run for a second consecutive Heritage Series Top Fuel title. Former drivers Sean Bellemeur and Troy Green stepped back into the team to help make it happen. Fry holds the championship points lead by a substantial margin, and the Nitro Nationals could be the de facto decider.

TOP FUEL TRADITION

Tulsa Raceway Park co-owner Todd Martin was instrumental in bringing Heritage Series racing to Tulsa Raceway Park. “We’re proud to carry on the 50-plus year tradition of Top Fuel drag racing here at Tulsa Raceway Park. NHRA Heritage Series drag racing is perfect for our Nitro Nationals event,” said Martin. The Nitro Nationals features drag racing competition, a vintage car show, and the famous pinup contest for a nitro-fueled throwback in time.

“We’re proud to carry on the 50-plus year tradition of Top Fuel drag racing here at Tulsa Raceway Park. NHRA Heritage Series drag racing is perfect for our Nitro Nationals event”

– Todd Martin

The All American Fuel Dragsters, fuel-huffing supercharged Funny Cars and injected-on-nitro A/Fuelers will join an armada of front-engine Junior Fuel diggers, high-axle Gassers, pre-1972 doorslammers, and econo dragsters for two days and nights of non-stop action.

Head over to www.tulsaracewaypark.com for full event information and tickets or check out the official Tulsa Raceway Park Facebook page for the latest news and updates.

NITRO NATIONALS VIDEO PREVIEW

NITRO NATIONALS TOP FUEL SCHEDULE
Schedule subject to change

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 20th:
Gates 10 AM for racers
Gates 5 PM spectators
Top Fuel Qualifying: 8 PM

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21st
Racer Gates: 9 AM
Spectator Gates: 11 AM
Top Fuel Qualifying Session Two: 2 PM
Opening Ceremony: 5 PM
Eliminations: 6 PM
Semi-Final: 8 PM
Final: 10 PM

NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES TOP FUEL POINTS STANDINGS

Driver points standings heading into the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park.

1) Mendy Fry 447
2) Adam Sorokin 341
3) Jim Murphy 261
4) Bret Williamson 227
5) Tyler Hilton 184
6) Phil Ruskowski 176
7) Jim Young 97
8) Rick White 78
9) Pete Wittenberg 67
10) Brendan Murry 62
11) Rick McGee 54
12) Joey Haas 53
13) Tim Cullinan 52
14) Julius Hughes 51
15) Gerald Hangey 10
15) Roger Lechtenberg 10

Head over to www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for all the Heritage Series racing news, schedule, official points standings, tickets, race results, rules and more.

TOM SHELAR CELEBRATION OF LIFE

A celebration of Tom Shelar’s life will be held at the Bakersfield Elk’s Lodge on October 24th in conjunction with the California Hot Rod Reunion. Instead of flowers, the family requests donations in Tom’s name to the Workshops for Warriors Foundation.

Thursday, October 24th, 2019
The Elks Lodge
1616 30th Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Tacos 5:30-7:30. Rememberances at 7 PM. Classic Rock at 8:30 PM

ALL AMERICAN FUEL DRAGSTERS BRINGING TOP FUEL TO TULSA

paul-schultz-spirit-of-tulsa

The All American Fuel Dragster coalition is bringing a full field of front-engine Top Fuel dragsters to the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park for their next to last battle in the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Championship. This volatile nitro-fueled mix of qualifying and 8-car eliminations carries on a Tulsa Top Fuel dragster competition tradition set in motion at the NHRA World Finals from 1965 to 1968 and into the Seventies with the PRA National Challenge when the storied drag strip was known as Southwest Raceway.

Current Top Fuel points leader Jim Murphy and the WW2 Racing Team juggernaut are set to reprise nitro-burning action at Tulsa Raceway Park after unexpected rain at the Nightfire Nationals in Boise pushed the final round between Murphy and Adam Sorokin out to the California Hot Rod Reunion. Adam Sorokin feels the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet combination is on track against the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 hemi¬†and anyone else. “I was clicking it early all through the Boise race. We only scuffed two pistons. I think the car is going to really start running”.

Driver Mendy Fry will be living on Tulsa time from the number two points position in the High-Speed Motorsports hemi-powered Top Fuel contender and Dusty Green will meet the Nitro-Hemi in T-Town for a run at the stripe from the number four slot. Jim Young and the Young Guns are rolling their hemi-powered front engine AA/fueler towards the Oil Capital of the World from Wisconsin and Tyler Hilton is moving towards Tulsa Town after footing his big block Chevrolet-powered Great Expectations III AA/Fuel dragster to a 5.89 ET at 247 MPH against Paul Romine’s Funny Car at US 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan.

Local favorite Paul “Nobody” Schultz is in good spirits and suiting up to run the hemi-powered Spirit of Tulsa AA/Fuel dragster for a Nitro Nationals top spot. Tim Cullinan and his Nitro Nostalgia entry are on the way from Illinois, and the oldest speed shop in the southeast will be represented by Julius Hughes and his Atlanta Speed Shop AA/Fueler. Last minute entries into the fray are as yet unknown. Reigning Top Fuel Champion Tony Bartone is on the injured list with the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield in sight as a recovery plan.

As more nitro is good nitro the All American Fuel Dragsters will join front-engine blown alcohol and injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters, fuel-huffing supercharged nostalgia Funny Cars and front engine Junior Fuel dragsters along with a collection of nostalgia high-axle Gassers and pre-1972 doorslammers that may or may not have a tiger in the tank. But wait, there’s more! The Nitro Nationals will also feature a car show, live bands, and a pinup contest held in conjunction with racing action.

NITRO NATIONALS TOP FUEL SCHEDULE:

The 2017 Nitro Nationals runs Friday and Saturday, September 22nd and 23rd. Gates open Friday at 10 AM for racers and vendors. Spectator gates open at 5 PM. Racing commences at 6 PM. Gates open Saturday at 9 AM. Racing starts at 2 PM.

Top Fuel and A/Fuel dragster, Funny Car and Junior Fuel begin qualifying under the lights Friday at 8 PM and resume Saturday 2 PM. Eliminations Saturday the 23rd at 6 PM, 8 PM, and 10 PM. Schedule subject to change. Find an event flyer and schedule here.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd
Session 1 Qualifying 8 PM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd
Session 2 Qualifying 2 PM
Round 1 Eliminations 6 PM
Round 2 Eliminations 8 PM
Eliminations Final 10 PM

NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES TOP FUEL POINTS STANDINGS:

Top Fuel points standings heading into the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park and fourth event in the 5-race NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series. Boise final round Top Fuel points to be settled at the California Hot Rod Reunion and last stop for the All American Fuel Dragster coalition this year at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California October 20th-22nd. Head on over to http://www.nhrahotrodheritage.com for a schedule, racing news, points standings, tickets, race results, rules and more.

1. Jim Murphy* 311
2. Mendy Fry 265
3. Adam Sorokin* 203
4. Dusty Green 185
5. Bret Williamson 128
6. Tony Bartone 126
7. Tyler Hilton 104
8. Jim Young 98
9. Pete Wittenberg 74
10. Phil Ruskowski 62
11. Rick McGee 52
11. Dave Miller 52
13. Brendan Murry 10
13. Julius Hughes 10
13. Paul Schultz 10
13. Jason Greenwood 10
13. Tim Cullinan 10

*Boise Final Round points TBD at California Hot Rod Reunion with 20 points awarded to winner

Have a Dragstrip Rumble for VIDEO coverage of AAFD racing action

Follow all the AAFD Top Fuel action on Facebook

The official website of the All American Fuel Dragsters

For more information on the Nitro Nationals head over to Tulsa Raceway Park