was out first by a bunch.
Top Fuel Eliminations
- Round Two
p.m. Sunday: Still under sunny skies and ideal track conditions
round two hit the track.
Then there were
8. First pair of round two matched Rick White and Jason Richey.
driver had a great reaction time but it was Richey out first.
back on M&H tires, was even by the 60' clocks.
White got to
the stripe first with a 5.825 at 243.24. Richey never gave up
with a game 5.978 at 248.75.
The second pair
out was Brad Thompson and Shannon Stewart. Brad was a heavy favorite
and had lane choice.
up Stewart struck the tires before the 330' mark and watching
Thompson truck away he clicked it and coasted to a 8.611 at 98.57.
it to the lights clocking a parts eating 5.742 at 257.21. Brad
was running out of rounds to back up the ET record he got a leg
Pair three featured
Jack Harris and Mike McClennan and would be memorable to say
the least. Note John Hashim checking the tire temperature.
had a problem going into forward after the burnout and was guided
back to the starting area.
the hit you had the feeling this run was going to be special.
Two things to
note here - the tires are showing no signs of chunking and Harris
has the throttle closed before the finish line.
tells it all - by a ton the quickest pass in front engine top
fuel history! Once it registered, the announcers, fans, racers
and of course the crew went wild. Prior to this the quickest
time ever was a 5.63 by Brad Thompson on an exhibition pass at
the 2008 NHRA Winternationals. Harris' previous best was a 5.72
over two years ago. Obviously the 5.56 was the first leg of a
new national record.
60ft (1.015), 330 ft (2.573), 660ft (3.751 at 213.16), 1,000ft
to say The Posse was pumped!
The final pair
of the session would decide who would have the unenviable task
of meeting Harris in the semis. Denver Schutz or Troy Green.
normally a great leaver, got left on by the old vet Schutz.
Green was willing
but the blower belt wasn't... it broke at the 900 foot mark leaving
Big White dead in the water.
All Green could
do was watch Schutz while he coasted through with a 5.954 at
just 213.42. Greens numbers prior to the belt failure suggest
he would have run a low 5.7 which would have made for a great
Schutz runs 5.77
and loses lane choice by two TENTHS to Harris. That's a real
good new, bad news deal.
Top Fuel Eliminations
- Semi Finals
p.m Saturday afternoon: After a 3 hour gap, the semis were finally
ready to fire.
Part of the long
delay between rounds was a pair of starting line clock malfunctions.
Alan Miller and the Bowsers finally stabilized them enough to
finish the event.
The first pair
out had everybody on the property scrambling for a vantage point
on the track. Jack Harris, who had turned the drag racing world
on its head in round two would face a very tough customer in
the form of Denver Schutz.
drivers left together.
did his job on the starting line cutting a 0.002 light. Harris,
not even taking the chance of a red light gave up the tenth and
began the chase.
shut off at the 1100' mark.
Just passed the
60' clocks Big Red put its nose in front and never looked back.
Once again a
picture is worth a thousand words. A 5.578 at 249.51 backs up
Harris' earlier 5.568 for a new AAFD ET World Record. Jack jumped
right over the 5.6s for back-to-back 5.5s - the most impressive
performance in the history of the class - maybe the whole sport.
60ft (1.001), 330 ft (2.555), 660ft (3.735/210.47), 1,000ft (4.723).
With the entire
track still buzzing over The Harris Show, the other semi pair
heated their tires. Rick White paired with Brad Thompson who
had lane choice. White back on the Hoosiers.
the battle but lost the war with a huge "boom" in the
lights. His 5.692 at 240.25 was his second best pass of the weekend
but very costly. The crew would really have to thrash (with a
lot of outside help) to make the call for the final. White gave
it all he had with a losing 5.926 at 245.49.
TF semis, 60's top fuel vet and leader of the nostalgia fuel
movement in the 90s, Dan Horan made his first appearance of the
weekend with his 1969 Don Long car (now VRA legal). Horan, not
having run the car for about 9 years, spent about $10,000.00
just to make the car legal for the current rules just so he could
run at the 50th March Meet.
Horan had spent
the better part of the weekend helping son Dan campaign his Nitro
Funny Car and now it was his turn to hit the track.
Top Fuel Final
burnout went just fine - engine sounded good.
gave his dad the sign to move into stage.
Murry brought him to the first light.
Horan puts the
fuel system on the high side and things go directly south. Do
not pass Go - do not collect $200. It went from a nice idle to
a sound nobody had heard before.
nobody shut him off....
In spite of belching
flames and fuel under the tires Dan had come to far and spent
too much not to make the hit.
The car blazed
the tires and miraculously didn't bang the blower.
He clicked it
and coasted through - all the while remembering old times. Kudos
to Dan for making the effort he did just to be part of a drag
In spite of the
start of Daylight Savings Time, the sun had set by the time the
two quickest cars in the world rolled out for what promised to
be one hell of a drag race. Doing a lot of engine damage, Brad
Thompson had clocked an excellent 5.692 at 240.25 in the semis
but that was still over a tenth off of Harris' 5.57. Thompson
and crew has a lot of repair work to do and almost didn't make
the call for the last race of the weekend. However, no matter
how good the Famoso track is during the day, when the sun goes
down it has a habit of going away - in a hurry. Such was the
As it should
be, the two quickest and fastest drivers in NTF - Jack Harris
and Brad Thompson meet for the final. Both knew they were going
for the throat and had their cars loaded for bear. They also
knew the history of racing under the lights at Bakersfield. So,
the only question was - would the track hold their tune-ups.
got a lead at the hit but Harris was right there in a hurry.
This was a great
drag race for about 40 feet' when Thompson started to lose traction.
Harris was still
good when Brad had really boiled the tires. He tried to recover
but no go.
Before half track
Harris had traction problems of his own. Not knowing where Thompson
was, Jack did a nice pedal job getting the car to the lights
with a 6.064 at 239.36. Not pretty by any means but much better
than Brad's 13.303 at 61.79.
The quote of
the weekend had to come from Brad Thompson who said he came in
singing "I Shot the Sheriff" and left singing, "I
Fought the Law and the Law Won".
Harris had won
his 3rd March Meet in 8 years (son Brett won last year).
Bob Brown Photos
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Dan Kaplan Photos
Warren Merriman Photos
Tim Hanaseth Photos
John Ewald Photos
Don Ewald Photos
Pam Schavrien Photos
Darrell Conrad Photos
Jim Phillipson Photos
Thompson & Bless Racing
Jack Harris Racing - Nitro Thunder
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Session One - Friday
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