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The latest update as of March 12, 2019

Final Eliminations (continued) at the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (Bakersfield, CA)

Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 2019 poster

Round Two of eliminations for the Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars


AA/FC - Kris Krabill (far lane) - Matt Melendez (near lane) --- AA/FC - Jeff Arend (far lane) - Jerry Espeseth (near lane)

(LEFT) If you discount the reaction times, this was the closest race of the day, with Kris Krabill (far lane) cranking out a stellar 5.676 - 248.80, to hold off a slightly quicker 5.670 - 246.93 by (near lane) Matt Melendez. The r.t.'s told the tale however, as Krabill's .048 leave easily took the measure of Melendez's slightly tardy .157 time.

(RIGHT) Another pair and another holeshot win, as Jeff Arend (far lane) carded a slightly quicker and faster 5.723 - 255.10 but it wasn't enough to hold off rookie Jerry Espeseth's (near lane) slightly better leaving (.112 to .127) 5.734 - 252.71 timeslip. It's interesting to see former driver Jason Rupert beside the "Littlefield & Rupert" car as Espeseth pulled into the stage beams, and the other half of the team, crew chief Brad Littlefield directing him from in front of the car. Their tutelage obviously worked!

AA/FC - Billy Morris (far lane) - Dan Horan (near lane) --- AA/FC - Bobby Cottrell

(LEFT) After two very close races, the string was snapped when Billy Morris (far lane) left first, by a .099 to .177 margin, but finished second as he ran into problems at half track and clocked in at 6.572 - 158.74. His opponent, low qualifier Dan Horan (near lane) was a little late at the green, but poured on the horses to put a very strong 5.694 on the boards, coupled with an excellent 262.18 mph speed, just a little slower than the 265.52 he recorded during qualifying.

(RIGHT) With just one car in the picture, it's easy to figure who won this race, as Bobby Cottrell had the luxury of a bye run into the semi-finals after scheduled opponent Steven Densham destroyed his Camaro body in a first-round finish line explosion. Cottrell left hard on his single, but cut the power at the 1000 ft mark and coasted across the line at 5.887 - 201.82 for the win.


Round One of eliminations for Nostalgia Top Fuel


AA/FD - Rick White (near lane) - Phil Ruskowski (broken) --- AA/FD - Brendan Murray (far lane) - Bret Williamson (near lane)

(LEFT) It's another one-car show, but Rick White's scheduled opponent, Phil Ruskowski did get to the line, then banged the blower on the burnout and that was the end of his March Meet. Low qualifier White left hard but packed it in early and was off the throttle just past half track, lighting up the scoreboards with a 6.093 at only 175.09 mph.

(RIGHT) The #2 qualifier, Bret Williamson (near lane), slowed slightly from his qualifying numbers, but a 5.803 - 240.04 was more than enough to handle Brendan Murray's early shutoff 6.663 - 145.36 in his underdog big-block Chevy powered machine.

AA/FD - Mendy Fry (far lane) - Jim Murphy (near lane) --- AA/FD - Rick McGee (far lane) - Adam Sorokin (near lane)

(LEFT) Defending Heritage Series champion Mendy Fry (far lane) dropped a bomb on the "WW2" entry of former champion Jim Murphy as her 5.518 - 265.43 obliterated Murphy's decent, but seriously outgunned 5.801 - 231.12 pass.

(RIGHT) The final pairing in the opening round featured Adam Sorokin (near lane) in the unique small-block Chevy powered "Champion Speed Shop Special" against the Rick McGee-driven "Overtime Special" (far lane). It wasn't a close race as Sorokin laid down a decent 5.981 - 201.42 to easily handle McGee's hurting 6.754 - 140.59 losing effort.


Round One of eliminations for AA/Fuel Altered


AA/FA - Jim Holtz (far lane) - Tom Padilla (near lane) --- AA/FA - James Day (far lane) - Mark Whynaught (near lane)

(LEFT)

(RIGHT)

AA/FA - James Generalao Jr (far lane) - Tony Whitfield (near lane) --- AA/FA - Ron Capps (far lane) - Dan Hix (near lane)

(LEFT)

(RIGHT)


Round One of eliminations for Classic (5.90 index) Funny Car


CFC - Jeff Utterback (far lane) - Dean Oberg (near lane) --- CFC - Rodney Flournoy (near lane) - Wes Morris (no show)

(LEFT)

(RIGHT)

CFC - Dan Hix (near lane) - Shawn Van Horn (no show)


The latest update as of March 10, 2019

Final Eliminations (Day Four) at the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (Bakersfield, CA)

Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 2019 poster

Here's the first round of eliminations for the Nostalgia Funny Cars, run in the late afternoon on Saturday. The #16 qualifier, Jim Maroney was unable to make the call with a destroyed body, and the first alternate (Cory Lee) was also "indisposed" so Bill Windham slotted in from the #18 position.

AA/FC - Dan Horan --- AA/FC - Kris Krabill (L) - Marc Meadors (R)

(LEFT) Filling in for the broken Jim Maroney, Bill Windham was so late in his first round match against Dan Horan that he wasn't even in the picture. That's what a .750 light will do. Horan didn't have a trouble-free run as his 6.067 - 243.02 was far off his low qualifying 5.665 effort. Windham wasn't much slower on e.t. at 6.095 but was waaaay behind at the stripe.

(RIGHT) The second pair of the first round saw a closer race as both racers ran into the 5's, with Kris Krabill (left side) taking the win at 5.793 - 252.14 over the late-leaving and slower Marc Meadors (right side) at 5.941 - 243.86.

AA/FC - Tim Boychuk (L) - Bobby Cottrell (R) --- AA/FC - Ryan Hodgson (L) - Jerry Espeseth (R)

(LEFT) Coming into this match with a sizeable performance advantage, Bobby Cottrell (right side) picked up the pace for the Austin & O'Brien car, blasting out a 5.642, coupled with a big speed at 257.24 to take the win over Tim Boychuk (left side), who laid down a solid 5.862 at a slowing 218.41 mph in the loss.

(RIGHT) The lone Canadian competitor in the field this year (as Boychuk is now an Arizona resident), and 2017 Heritage Series Champion, Ryan Hodgson came into the first round with a performance advantage over the rookie driver in the "Littlefield & Rupert" car, but left late and was out e.t.'d by Jerry Espeseth by a 5.747 - 237.17 to 5.774 - 253.66 margin. Hodgson was .078 behind on the leave, and even his big top-end charge failed to close the gap.

AA/FC - Steven Densham (L) - Rian Konno (R) --- AA/FC - Billy Morris

(LEFT) Two closely matched competitors faced off in the next pair, in a mild upset, Steven Densham (left side) left on Rian Konno (right side) by half a tenth, then held off Konno's quicker and faster 5.810 - 247.93 with a just-good-enough 5.813 at a seriously slowing 213.94 speed. Unfortunately, that's where the good news stopped for Densham as a massive explosion just before the finish line blew the body off the car and prevented the team from making the second round call.

(RIGHT) This is another one-car shot, as Billy Morris (pictured) in the "Problem Child" had a troubled and early shutoff run of 17.843 - 46.10 that was more than good enough to take the winlight over a seriously red-lighting Tony Jurado - a -.318 light. The scoreboards showed that he ran a low e.t. of the world 5.532 - 229.51 but the numbers must be bogus, probably caused by the staging lights staying on as he launched.

AA/FC - Geoff Monise (L) - Matt Melendez (R) --- AA/FC - Brad Thompson (L) - Jeff Arend (R)

(LEFT) The second to last pair of the opening round featured something almost unique in Nostalgia flopper racing: a pair of non-Camaros. In the decidedly old-school appearing Monza (left side) was Geoff Monise in the "Van Gundy & Clark" car, against relative newcomer Matt Melendez (right side) who took the win with a very strong 5.691 - 242.32 over Monise's quicker leaving (.114 to .144) but slower arriving 5.983 - 240.21 effort.

(RIGHT) To close out the opening round of eliminations, Jeff Arend (right side) pushed the beautiful "California Hustler" to a 5.808 - 252.61 to cover the "Jailbreak" car of Brad Thompson as he trailed at 5.913. Thompson left with Arend and stayed close until the 1000 ft. mark, then ran out of steam and slowed to 204.51 mph for the loss.


The latest update as of March 9, 2019


Nitro Qualifying (Day Three) at the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (Bakersfield, CA)

Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 2019 poster

It's Top Qualifier time from Friday at the 61st annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet. We've snagged some great shots of the leaders after the first day of qualifying at Bakersfield. The weather is getting better but some of the performances have dropped off a little. Note that we said "some" as you'll see below that Dan Horan obliterated the Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car speed record with an unreal 265.22 mph blast on his second qualifying attempt to lead the field in e.t. (with a 5.665) and speed. Read on for more qualifying news.

AA/FD - Bret Williamson - 'Forever Young' --- AA/FD - Rick White

(LEFT) After Friday's first qualifying session, Bret Williamson in the "Forever Young" entry sat atop the leaderboard with a solid 5.736 - 250.74 that led the field by more than a tenth. (RIGHT) The second, and final, session on Saturday saw Rick White in the "Neal & White" car leapfrog past Williamson with a slightly better 5.723 - 254.52 clocking to earn the top spot.



AA/FC - Dan Horan

After his awesome, record-setting (265.22 mph) pass during Friday's first session, Dan Horan stayed at the top of the list right through until the conclusion of qualifying. However, he wasn't far ahead of several of the real hitters in Nostalgia flopper racing, with defending series champion Bobby Cottrell in the (Bucky) Austin & O'Brien Camaro just a hundredth of a second behind (5.677) and Austin's former driver "Hollywood" Kris Krabill sandwiching the #1 & #3 drivers with a 5.676 timeslip.

The gap between the top and bottom in the 16-car field was just a little over two tenths, with bubble holder Jim "Boom BOOM" Maroney holding down the bottom at 5.889. He won't be able to make the first round call on Sunday though, as that qualifying pass was punctuated with a massive blower explosion that disintegrated the body and put the "Candies & Hughes" tribute car on the trailer. None of the three alternates laid down a representative pass so who Horan faces in the opening round of eliminations is pure conjecture. Also of note is that there should have been four non-qualifiers, but Matt Bynum crashed the "Nitro Nick" car on his first test pass earlier in the week.




AA/FA - Tom Padilla - 'Red Dragon'

With 11 cars competing in the AA/Fuel Altered class, there was some real competition for the top spot in the field. The one wild card factor in the equation was the 6.00 index imposed on the cars in an attempt to equalize the competition and keep out big-show style hitters. On top of the ladder after Friday's single qualifier was Washington's Tom Padilla in his '27 Ford Model T "Red Dragon" with an almost too quick 6.009 - 236.67 pass. Showing that he wasn't afraid to drive it out the back door, Padilla kept the pedal down and came within a whisker of breaking out.

Saturday saw three more entries make qualifying attempts, and nearly everyone picked up the pace, with the 8-car qualified field ending up fairly tightly bunched between 6.00 and 6.25, with four 6-second alternates trailing before the last few cars dropped well back. Some of the regular qualifiers, such as Keith Wilson in the "Witch Doctor", Eric Gates and Rodney Flournoy with his "Godzilla" entry were unable to dial their cars in during the three qualifying sessions and have to wait until October to make their next serious runs at Bakersfield.



Classic FC - Rodney Flournoy - 'Crazy Horse'

Taking the early lead in a very short field, as in three cars, long-time nitro veteran Rodney Flournoy whipped his "Crazy Horse" '71 Mustang to a less than scintillating 9.477 pass to easily cover the even sadder efforts of Wes Morris and Dean Oberg. As you can see from his completely out-of-shape launch, there wasn't much chance of him clocking a competitive pass, but it was still good enough to top the charts.

Friday's short field doubled in size by the time qualifying closed on Saturday afternoon, and the performances stepped up considerably. The early leader, Rodney Flournoy, was displaced by Shawn Van Horn in the "Choo-Choo Mama" Pontiac Trans Am, as van Horn carded a decent 6.236 against the 5.90 index. The spread between the top and bottom was still more than ten seconds, but at least there were more cars for the fans to see during eliminations on Sunday.


The latest update as of March 8, 2019

Nitro Testing (Day Two) at the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (Bakersfield, CA)

Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 2019 poster

The second day of the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet went off under threatening skies that never did break into sun, or go the other way and turn into rain. The cool and cloudy conditions didn't hurt the performances, as some very quick passes were recorded by the Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, including a best of the day 5.63 - 242.58 carded by Kris Krabill. There were some rather interesting pairings seen coming out of the staging lanes, as funny cars lined up against dragsters, front-engined versus rear-engined dragsters, fuel altereds against funny cars and dragsters, and every combination of those different classes.

Here's a good selection of photos of the day's action with most of the details on the cars involved. Friday will see the first qualifying sessions for all classes, followed by final qualifying on Saturday, and some early elimination rounds. Then it all wraps up on Sunday with a full day of eliminations. We'll have our Southwest correspondent "Big" Bob Snyder on the starting line for the entire event and post all we can over the course of the weekend. Stay tuned for updates throughout each day.

AA/FC - Dan Horan --- AA/FC - Matt Bynum - 'Nitro Nick'

(LEFT) In a new look, Dan Horan rolls out in a freshly sponsored Camaro SS, while (RIGHT) the "Nitro Nick" tribute car literally rolled on the top end, as Matt Bynum lost the handle after heavy tire shake, bounced off the wall and rolled it in the lights. Lots of damage to the car, but fortunately, none to the driver

(LEFT) AA/FD - Pete Wittenberg - 'Circuit Breaker' (RIGHT) NFC - Billy Morris - 'Problem Child' --- Left - AA/FD - Jim Murphy - 'WW2' - Right - AA/FC - Jim Maroney - 'Candies & Hughes Cajun 'Cuda'

(LEFT) Running countrary to the schedule that said "no pairings of dragsters and funny cars", we've got Pete Wittenberg in the "Circuit Breaker" Top Fueler, lined up against "Rookie of The Year" (2018) Billy Morris in the "Problem Child" Camaro Funny Car. (RIGHT) Another pair of "rule breakers" in this pair, as on the left, it's Jim Murphy in the "WW2" (or is it WW3 by now?) and Jim Maroney in the Candies & Hughes "Cajun 'Cuda" nitro funny car

AA/FC - Jeff Arend - 'California Hustler' --- AA/FC - Rian Konno - 'Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno'

(LEFT) Looking to improve on a great 2018 season, veteran nitro pilot Jeff Arend launches hard in Don Nelson's "California Hustler" Pontiac Trans-Am flopper. (RIGHT) Steadily improving and moving up the performance charts is the Mustang funny of Rian Konno, a tribute car to "Kazanjian & Lemon" as he prepares to launch a serious challenge for the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet crown

AA/FC - Matt Melendez - 'Cacklin' Critter' --- AA/FC - Dean Oberg - 'Holy Toledo'

(LEFT) Putting the first big number up on the scoreboard was Matt Melendez in the "Cacklin' Critter" Challenger, blasting out a 5.69 at "only" 242.58 mph.

(RIGHT) It's a real tribute to the very early days of Funny Car racing, when the word FUNNY really described many of the entries, and Dean Oberg's "Holy Toledo" Jeep truly fits the bill. He can't run with the "big dogs" in Nostalgia Funny Car, but fits nicely into the 5.90 Funny Car field

AA/FC - Kris Krabill - 'Nitro Pimpin' --- Left - AA/FC - Right - AA/FA

(LEFT) An even crazier set of numbers came up a little later, as "Hollywood" Kris Krabill lit up the boards with an awesome 5.63 pass, coupled with a seriously slowing 224.08 mph. That blast got everyone's attention! And in case the car looks just a little familiar, it's the former Will Martin car.

(RIGHT) It's the first of quite a few wacky duets as a Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car lines up against a AA/Fuel Altered

Left - AA/FC - Rick Rogers - 'Fighting Irish' Right - AA/FA - 'Mighty Mouse' --- Left - AA/FD - Mendy Fry - 'High Speed Motorsports' Right - Rear-Engine TF - Brad Thompson - 'Rain for Rent - Warren & Coburn'

(LEFT) Another odd-ball pairing, as on the left side it's Rick Rogers in the "Fighting Irish Camaro, lined up against what looks like a newcomer to the AA/Fuel Altered ranks: the "Mighty Mouse" entry out of Division Five with small-block Chevy power

(RIGHT) At least it's two dragsters in this match... even though they've got engines in different locations, as on the left it's defending NHRA Heritage Series champion Mendy Fry in the HIgh Speed Motorsports entry, challenged on the right by the "Warren & Coburn - Rain for Rent" tribute car, driven by local jack-of-all-trades Brad Thompson

Left rear-engine TF - Right - AA/FA - James Generalao Jr. - 'Impatient' --- AA/FC - Jerry Espeseth - 'Littlefield & Rupert - Rolling Thunder'

(LEFT) Why not match up a Rear-Engined Top Fuel dragster (the Brad Thompson-driven "Rain for Rent" car against the "Impatient" AA/Fuel Altered of James Generalao Jr.

(RIGHT) It's the very well-known and former Heritage Series Champion "Littlefield & Rupert" - Rolling Thunder car, but with a new driver this year, as former Nostalgia Eliminator racer Jerry Espeseth is wheeling the hard running Camaro flopper

AA/FC - Marc Meadors - 'Fuel Curve' --- Left - AA/FC - Right - AA/FA

(LEFT) It's Marc Meadors in the partially primered and unlettered "Fuel Curve" car. (RIGHT) A Funny Car versus Fuel Altered battle

AA/FA - Ron Capps - --- Left - AA/FA - 'Nitro Rat' - Right - AA/FA - Dan Hix - 'Meanstreak'

(LEFT) After a half-track test pass by James Day on Wednesday, "designated driver" Ron Capps jumped into the "Good News" Fiat AA/FA for what was probably his first pass ever in a fuel altered. (RIGHT) It's the "Nitro Rat" Fuel Altered on the left against the Dan Hix-driven "Meanstreak" Funny Car

AA/FC - Dan Hix - 'Meanstreak'

Graduating from the AA/Fuel Altered ranks, Dan Hix made an early pass in the Hix, Keigley & Mosby "Meanstreak". The car was formerly campaigned by Aussie Paul Shackleton under the banner of "Shack Attack"


The latest update as of March 7, 2019

Test 'n' Tune (Day One) at the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (Bakersfield, CA)

Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 2019 poster

It's going to be FIVE very long days at Auto Club Famoso Raceway's annual Good Vibrations March Meet, but it kicked off with some low key test 'n tune passes which featured a variety of cars from nearly stock doorslammers to a few blown fuel Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars.

PRO HR 455 Buick Grand Sport --- PRO #10972 - Buick GSS

Opening the test 'n tune action were a pair of wheelstanding Buick Grand Sport land yachts, and they didn't disappoint the classic muscle car fans with bumper-scraping launches and gyrating passes

NFC - Tim Boychuk - 'Happy Hour' --- NFC - Brad Thompson - 'Jailbreak'

(LEFT) One of the heavy hitters in nostalgia Funny Car racing, Canada's Tim Boychuk in his '69 Camaro "Happy Hour" entry knocked the rust off, while on the (RIGHT) California's Brad Thompson in the System 1-sponsored "Jailbreak" worked on getting dialled in before qualifying commences on Friday

 Ron Capps 'Good News' --- 7/E #7399 Mrs. Flattop 'Bad Moon'

(LEFT) It's your usual '48 Fiat Toppolino, but the driver isn't your regular nostalgia eliminator guy. Today's session saw Top Alcohol driver James Day behind the wheel, but starting tomorrow, it's Ron - yes, that Ron - Capps trying to control the "Good News" car. (RIGHT) The "Bad Moon" '32 Bantam roadster hails from Lake Havasu City, AZ and is driven by Steven Faller

NFC - Jim Maroney - 'Cajun' 'Cuda' --- The Ferris Wheel

(LEFT) It's part-time big show Top Fuel pilot Jim Maroney in the Candies & Hughes tribute "Cajun 'Cuda", making a test pass before the official nitro testing session on Thursday. (RIGHT) For a little diversion from the on-track action, our photographer snapped a shot of the Ferris Wheel behind the spectator side grandstands


The latest update as of February 25, 2019

The 35th annual Arizona Nationals - Sunday Eliminations (Phoenix, AZ)

As has been the standard since the beginning of time, TOP FUEL opened the show on Sunday morning at Wild Horse Motorsports Park. With the single, abbreviated qualifying session on Friday, and only two full rounds of qualifying on Saturday, many of the teams were still struggling to refine their tuneups before the all-important first round of eliminations.

Scott Palmer vs Mike Salinas TF --- Jordan Vandergriff vs Brittany Force TF

(LEFT) It's Scott Palmer (left side) vs Mike Salinas (right side) in the 1st round of Top Fuel. As you can see, Palmer is starting to smoke the tires as he passes the tree. He ended up crossing the centerline, taking out the 330' cones while Salinas had his engine go south and left him coasting to a 5-second pass for the round win.

(RIGHT) Making his competition debut in a Top Fuel car, Jordan Vandergriff (left side) leaves first against Brittany Force and drives away from her with a new career best of 3.69 at 33.41 for Top Speed of The Meet. Adding injury to insult, Force oiled the track for the second race in a row, taking an early lead in the "OilDown" standings.

Jim Maroney TF --- Doug Kaliita vs Jim Maroney TF

(LEFT) It's local racer Jim Maroney in deep against one of the big guns. (RIGHT) It's Doug Kalitta on the left side, launching hard enroute to a 3.74 - 322 mph pass against Maroney's early shutoff 6-second pass.

Antron Brown vs Steve Torrence TF --- Terry McMillen vs Richie Crampton TF

(LEFT) In what might be considered a bit of an upset, Antron Brown easily defeated the 2018 World Champion Steve Torrence, with a 3.728 - 330.63 clocking, to Torrence's 3.93 - 256.50 pass. However, with Torrence qualifying 14th and Brown in the #3 slot, the result wasn't entirely unexpected.

(RIGHT) The only upset factor in the next pair was Terry McMillen's (left side) career best qualifying position (#2) and e.t. and mph numbers at 3.695 - 330.96, giving him lane choice by a decided margin over Richie Crampton (right side), and it carried over into the first round as McMillen pounded out a very good 3.726 - 329.02 to run away from Crampton's early shutoff 4.06 - 215.79 losing effort.

Billy Torrence vs Terry Totten TF --- Austin Prock vs Clay Millican TF

(LEFT) No upsets in this pairing, as Billy Torrence (left) easily took care of Terry Totten (right) by a 3.736 - 329.42 to a "no time" result. Totten instantly smoked the tires and crossed the centerline to DQ his time. (RIGHT)

Leah Pritchett vs Cameron Ferre TF --- Tim Wilkerson vs Jack Beckman FC

John Force vs Ron Capps FC --- J.R. Todd vs Terry Haddock FC

Robert Hight FC --- Matt Hagan vs Phil Burkart FC

Tommy Johnson Jr vs Jim Campbell FC --- Blake Alexander FC

Cruz Pedregon FC

Ray Martin burnout TS --- Ray Martin launch TS

(LEFT) and (RIGHT) Here's two shots of Alaska's Ray Martin burning out and launching in his first round race. He qualified in the #6 spot in the Top Sportsman field with a solid 6.72 - 204.23 pass, but he slowed to a 6.84 (on his 6.75 dial-in) to bow out early in eliminations.

Kevin Boyer TFH

Billy Torrence TF --- Jordan Vandergriff TF

Leah Pritchett TF --- Antron Brown TF

Robert Hight vs John Force FC

Robert Hight FC --- Jack Beckman FC

Shawn Langdon FC --- Under the hood of the electric COPO Camaro

Beau Layne TFH --- Beau Layne TFH

Doug Vancil vs Bob Malloy TFH --- Doug Vancil vs Bob Malloy TFH

Leah Pritchett vs Antron Brown TF --- Leah Pritchett vs Antron Brown TF

Billy Torrence vs Jordan Vandergriff TF

Matt Hagan vs Bob Tasca III FC --- Robert Hight vs JR Todd FC


The latest update as of February 24, 2019

The 35th annual Arizona Nationals - Saturday Qualifying (Phoenix, AZ)

Alan Prusiensky PS --- Jeg Coughlin Jr. PS

Greg Anderson PS --- Rodger Brogdon PS

Val Smeland PS --- Matt Hartford PS

Erica Enders PS --- Bo Butner PS

Bo Butner PS --- Full Grandstands

Terry Totten TF --- Mike Salinas TF

Terry Haddock FC --- Jim Campbell FC

Ron Capps FC --- Phil Burkart FC

(LEFT) Comin' right at ya is Ron Capps as he gets out-of-shape on the burnout, but got things under control on the run, to the tune of a 3.95 - 315.49 timeslip. (RIGHT) The Robert Schwab flopper, driven by Phil Burkart launches into instant tire smoke, shutting off to an 11-second pass on this qualifying attempt. However, he still improved by nearly five seconds, but stayed outside the field in the #17 position.

Electric COPO Camaro burnout --- Electric COPO Camaro launch

(LEFT) & (RIGHT) The small inscription on the cowl induction hood says it all "800 VOLTS" as Hancock & Lane take a giant step into the future, with the all-electric COPO Camaro. The car made a number of runs during the event and racked up some pretty impressive times and speeds.

Kevin Boyer TFH --- Jim Maroney TF

Antron Brown TF --- Leah Pritchett TF

Jordan Vandergriff TF --- Jack Beckman FC


The latest update as of February 23, 2019

The 35th annual Arizona Nationals - Friday Qualifying (Phoenix, AZ)


Starting Line at 8:30 am --- Nitro Pits at 9:30 am

Blake Alexander FC --- Jeff Diehl FC

Phil Burkart FC --- Tim Wilkerson FC

Jim Campbell FC --- Matt Hagan FC

Bob Tasca III FC --- Cruz Pedregon FC

Shawn Langdon FC --- Ron Capps FC

Tommy Johnson Jr --- John Force FC

Jack Beckman FC --- Jim Maroney TF

Clay Millican TF --- Scott Palmer TF

Antron Brown TF --- Leah Pritchett TF

Austin Prock TF


The latest update as of February 11, 2019

The 59th annual NHRA Mello Yello Lucas Oil Winternationals (Pomona, CA)


Shawn Cowie T/AD - 5.162 - 280.25 ---

After an awesome opening shot (5.166 - 280.25) during Thursday's first qualifying session, Surrey, BC's Shawn Cowie followed that up this morning with an even better clocking of 5.162 - 280.25 during today's second round of eliminations. It ranks as the QUICKEST supercharged alcohol dragster pass in the history of the sport. He'll have a chance to equal or better those numbers in the semi-final round against fellow blown alky competitor, Chris Demke who laid down one of his quickest passes in a long time one pair earlier, clocking a very good 5.225 - 277.89 to eliminate the quicker A/FD of Julie Nattas (5.242). More news from Pomona soon. Stay tuned!


The latest update as of February 6, 2019

PRO Winter WarmUp photos from DAY SIX at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Monday provided a real mix of cars and bikes, ranging from Pro Stock Motorcycles to Top Dragsters, lots of Pro Stock cars, a few Nitro Harleys, some Top Alcohol cars, and even a Top Fuel car thrown in for good measure. The TFer we're referring to was driven by the latest addition to the John Force Racing driver roster, Austin Prock, son of legendary tuner extraordinaire Jimmy Prock. And if we dial-up the "waay-back" machine, grandson of the famous 1970's nitro Funny Car driver, Tom Prock of "Detroit Tiger" fame.

At the end of the day, almost everyone in attendance packed up and pointed their rigs west towards Pomona for the official start of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season, the Lucas Oil Winternationals. As I write this, the first day of qualifying for Sportsman cars is well underway, with the Top Alcohol cars scheduled to come out late this afternoon. The big noise, big show cars are on tap for two qualifying sessions tomorrow afternoon and Saturday, then final eliminations for all categories on Sunday.... Sunday.... Sunday. (With another nod to the "waay-back" machine).

We'll fill in the details on Monday's pics as soon as we get time this weekend. It's been a busy week as our long-stalled new home project is finally kicking into high gear and approaching a late March finish. Just like the second half of a quarter-mile, that finish line will surely come up quickly.


Ricky House TFH --- Dark Clouds overhead

(LEFT) It's Top Fuel Harley rider Ricky House who finished #4 in the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley series last year, and on the (RIGHT) the storm clouds gather, but thankfully held off for the day

Beau Layne TFH --- Deric Kramer PS

(LEFT) Another Top Fuel Harley, this time from Redding, CA, ridden by Beau Layne who finished #6 in the Mickey Thompson series in 2018. (RIGHT) It's Deric Kramer in his American Ethanol backed car, looking to repeat, or better, his #9 finish in the Pro Stock standings in 2018

Jeg Coughlin PS --- Ray Martin TAFC

(LEFT) Yes, another Pro Stock Camaro, this time the iconic Jeg's sponsored Jeg Coughlin Jr. who has to be considered the favourite to take the 2019 World Championship following the off-season retirement of last year's winner, Tanner Gray. (RIGHT) For a change of pace, we've got Alaska's Ray Martin in his "International Incident" Top Alcohol Funny Car. Oh yes, it's another Camaro

Alan Prusiensky PS --- Tiffany Butler PSM

(LEFT) It's an odd-looking Camaro... because it's a Dodge Dart, wheeled by Alan Prusiensky who's been running Pro Stock for four years now, and has a total of three round wins to his credit. But he's out there at every event, makes almost every qualifying session, and never gives up. (RIGHT) We don't have much info on this new-to-the-class Pro Stock bike rider, and all we know about Tiffany Butler is that she is reportedly Terry Haddock's girlfriend

Phil Dion TD --- Zach Sackman TD

It's a tale of two dragsters, as on the (LEFT), Arizona's Phil Dion launches in his Top Dragster, while to the (RIGHT) it's Zach Sackman in his A/Fuel Dragster, working on a tuneup for the Winternationals. The test session must have worked, as he blasted out a career best of 5.181 - 276.52 for the #2 spot on the ladder in the first qualifying session Thursday at Pomona

Austin Prock TF --- Fernanado Cuadra PS

Amping up the volume by a TONNE (LEFT) it's Austin Prock in his public debut in the new John Force Racing Top Fuel dragster. He's licensed in both the nitro classes and will make his competition debut in Top Fuel on Friday at the Winternationals. (RIGHT)

Shane Westerfield TAFC --- Jim Maroney

Chris McGaha PS --- Bob Malloy TFH

(LEFT) Back for another kick at the Pro Stock can, the Texas Camaro (actually, they're almost all Camaros in the class, aren't they?) of Chris McGaha launches his season. (RIGHT) Another Nitro Harley, this time under the whip of Bob Malloy who's looking to improve on his #8 position in the points standings last season

Jay Payne TAFC --- Kenny Delco PS

Greg Anderson PS --- Fernando Cuadra PS

Jason Line PS --- Hunter Jones TAFC

Steve Graham PS --- Julie Nataas AFD

Shane Tucker PS --- Shawn Cowie BAD

Erica Enders PS --- Matt Hartford PS

Brian Hough TAFC --- Rodger Brogdon PS

Alex Laughlin PS --- Tony Jurado NFC

Jeff Isbell PS --- Kevin Boyer TFH

(LEFT) Despite what we reported earlier, there are a couple of non-Camaro entries still in competition, and Utah's Jeff Isbell is fielding one of them: a brand-new Jerry Haas-built 2019 Mustang for his return to the class after competing five times in late 2014 - early 2015. (RIGHT) One of three Alberta (Canada) racers in the Top Fuel Harley class, Edmonton's Kevin Boyer had a tough season in 2018, finishing well down in the standings in the #9 slot. He's hoping for better luck and better results this year


The latest update as of February 3, 2019

Still more PRO Winter WarmUp photos from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Doug Kalitta TF --- Antron Brown TF

(LEFT) It's Doug Kalitta

Robert Hight FC --- Brittany Force TF

John Force FC --- Tim Wilkerson FC

JR Todd FC --- Bob Tasca III FC

Mike Salinas TF --- Clay Millican TF

Jim Maroney TF --- Cruz Pedregon FC

Jonnie Lindberg FC


The latest update as of February 2, 2019

Friday photos from the PRO Winter WarmUp at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Things really started to heat up Friday, with the first 3.6-second pass of the session, by Steve Torrence no less. Here's the list of the best passes of the day.

Steve Torrence 3.689 - 328.78
Billy Torrence 3.731 - 325.14
Jordan Vandergriff 3.738 - 325.85
Mike Salinas 3.747 - 296.24
Antron Brown 3.769 - 293.73
Doug Kalitta 3.780 - 289.07
Richie Crampton 3.780 - 275.00
Brittany Force 3.831 - 259.71
Robert Hight 3.863 - 326.87
JR Todd 3.868 - 324.36
Shawn Langdon 3.905 - 327.35
Scott Palmer 3.921 - 242.50
John Force 3.942 - 311.13
Matt Hagan 3.959 - 319.22
Bob Tasca III 3.972 - 310.20
Chad Green 4.090 - 252.80
Jonnie Lindberg 4.169 - 242.67
Cruz Pedregon 4.377 - 200.11
Clay Millican 4.925 - 142.45
Greg Carrillo 5.057 - 142.94
Jim Maroney 10.972 - 46.22

Bob Tasca III FC --- Shawn Langdon FC

Jordan Vandergriff TF --- Robert Hight FC

Shawn Reed TF --- Richie Crampton TF

Tim Wilkerson FC --- Brittany Force TF

Doug Vancil TFH --- Jonnie Lindberg FC

Bob Tasca III FC --- Shawn Lagndon FC

Antron Brown TF --- John Force FC

Tim Wilkerson FC --- Doug Kalitta TF

Cruz Pedregon FC --- Brittany Force TF

Doug Vancil TFH --- Mike Salinas TF

Jonnie Lindberg FC --- Scott Palmer TF

Robert Hight FC --- Shawn Langdon FC

Jim Maroney TF --- Clay Millican TF


The latest update as of February 1, 2019

More PRO Winter WarmUp photos from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Here's Thrusday's photos from our intrepid photog, Bob Snyder, basking in the (luke)warm Arizona sun while the rest of the continent is freezing. While the weather wasn't too hot at Wild Horse Pass, the on-track action certainly was, with Steve Torrence first to dip into the 3.60's with a testing best of 3.689 - 328.78 to easily top the charts.

Bob Tasca III FC --- Matt Hagan FC

(LEFT) It's Bob Tasca III who carded a day's best of 4.011 - 308.99, while on the (RIGHT) it's the sole Don Schumacher Racing funny car in attendance, the Dodge/SRT of Matt Hagan who laid down a 3.959 - 319.22 best for the day

Doug Kalitta TF --- Richie Crampton TF

Two of the Connie Kalitta "Horsepower Factory" dragsters are up next. (LEFT) it's Doug Kalitta launching to a 3.78 at an early shutoff 289.07, while teammate Richie Crampton followed with similar numbers at 3.807 - 273.94 as neither driver ran it out the back door

Angelle Sampey PSM --- Robert Hight FC

(LEFT) Starting the season with sponsorship from Vance & Hines (reportedly for only the first four races), is fan favourite and many time champion Angelle Sampey piloting a Harley-Davidson for a change. (RIGHT) Making another pass is Robert Hight as he cranked out a solid 3.94 - 314.68 to finish the day just behind JR Todd on the performance ladder

Chad Green TF --- Steve Torrence TF

Billy Torrence TF --- Antron Brown TF

Angelle Sampey PSM --- Brittany Force TF

Mike Salinas TF --- Doug Vancil TFH

JR Todd FC --- Shawn Langdon FC

Matt Hagan FC --- Greg Carrillo TF

John Force FC --- Jonnie Lindberg FC

Jordan Vandergriff TF

Closing out our day two pics is another shot of rookie Jordan Vandergriff getting ready to lay down his career best (so far) pass of 3.738 at 325.45


The latest update as of January 31, 2019

PRO Winter WarmUp photos from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Here's the first set of pictures from yesterday's action on the first day of testing at Phoenix. A few new paint schemes, a few new drivers, new crews and sponsors. It's all new for at least this weekend, then it gets very real next week at Pomona. Yes, just seven days until the 2019 NHRA Winternationals kicks off.

Brittany Force TF --- Clay Millican TF

On the left, it's Brittany Force in her newly sponsored Advance Auto Parts dragster, and a new crew chief (Dave Grubnic) and his entire crew that came over from the Clay Millican car. On the right, it's Clay Millican in the Parts Plus - Strutmasters car, running with a new crew chief (Mike Kloeber) and all-new crew. And the drag racing merry-go-round continues to spin....

Jonnie Lindberg FC --- Jordan Vandergriff TF

Flopper time on the left, with Jonnie Lindberg in the Jim Head car, and on the right, it's rookie Top Fuel pilot, Jordan Vandergriff in the as-yet-unwrapped D-A Lubricants car. He's running as part of a two-car team owned by his uncle Bob Vandergriff and Shawn Reed is his teammate

Doug Kalitta TF --- Bob Tasca III FC

A slightly different paint scheme for Doug Kalitta on the left, and Bob Tasca III sporting fresh colours on his Motorcraft Ford Mustang Funny Car

Steve Torrence TF --- Billy Torrence TF

No, you're not seeing double. To the left, it's defending world champion Steve Torrence, and on the right, it's his father, Billy Torrence in the second Capco team car

John Force FC --- JR Todd FC

Richie Crampton TF --- Shawn Langdon FC

Robert Hight FC --- Mike Salinas TF


The latest update as of January 30, 2019

PRO Winter WarmUp results from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Phoenix, AZ)


Steve TorrenceTF3.725327.66
Billy TorrenceTF3.742326.16
Mike SalinasTF3.821317.94
Doug KalittaTF3.821278.98
Richie CramptonTF3.843259.46
JR ToddFC3.930305.22
Jordan VandergriffTF3.980233.44
Robert HightFC4.061249.12
Brittany ForceTF4.816158.32
Clay MillicanTF5.010141.98
John ForceFC6.084109.39
Jonnie LindbergFC6.327103.39
Bob Tasca IIIFC8.03188.12
Shawn LangdonFC8.37972.70
--- Mike Salinas - 'Scrappers Racing' TF

Here's all, or at least all our correspondent Bob Snyder was able to gather at today's first Nitro Test of the season. There's still two or three more days of the event (weather dependent with rain forecast for Saturday) and more of the 20 (so far) fuel cars on hand will be hitting the waterbox tomorrow. Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow, with possibly a few later tonight.


The latest update as of January 22, 2019

Let's get this party started: Nitro Funny Car schedule for 2019

It's that time of year when the racing schedules start appearing thick and fast. The following list has been put together from a variety of sources, and will be added to - and hopefully not see any subtractions - as the season kicks into gear. It's currently incomplete, but will remain a work in progress throughout the season. And with any luck - and a bit of arm twisting - we hope to have at least some coverage from half the events on the list.

Don't forget that the Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car season starts when the pit gates open at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in just six weeks. We can almost smell the nitro in the air already.

Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car 
Schedule 2019

The latest update as of January 2, 2019

Only nine short weeks until the 61st running of the MARCH MEET

We've barely worked our way through the Christmas and New Year's holidays and already, the 2019 drag racing season is beginning to rev up. As noted above, it's just nine weeks until the March Meet kicks off the NHRA Heritage Series at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in the olive groves north of Bakersfield, California. It's a little early to start seeing entry lists or performance prognostications, but the fields in almost all categories will be as full as usual, and very competitive.

Our main guy, photographer Bob Snyder will be on hand to capture as much of the action as he can and provide us with the images that make the race reports come alive. Until we get much more info on the event, here's a selection of posters from Famoso Raceway, with links to the track's website. As soon as we have more news, it will appear in this space.


March Meet 2019 Nitro Entries --- March Meet 2019 Tickets on Sale

March Meet 2019 Poster Oval

Just in case you're wondering what happened to all the photos and stories from 2018, they're on their way to the "What's Old" pages, but they're currently in detour mode until we can find a few (quite a few actually) hours to get them up and running.

In closing, let me wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year and may you experience a joyful, healthy, and fulfilling year in 2019.

Looks like we've left in last year's report from the 60th annual March Meet, just to whet your appetite for some "nostalgia" racing. Enjoy!


The latest update as of March 12, 2018

Better late than never: the 60th annual March Meet

We've got almost all the photos from the March Meet and now it's time to arrange them from latest to earliest, starting with Sunday's eliminations. With Saturday being almost a total washout, the Nostalgia Funny Cars had their work cut out for them, with four rounds on tap, instead of the usual three. We'll kick off our coverage with the first round of the plastic fantastics.


Nostalgia Funny Car - Round One eliminations


Dan Horan AA/FC --- Jason Rupert AA/FC - 'Rolling Thunder'

The first pair out of the lanes saw Dan Horan (left) break before staging, leaving Jason Rupert to single for the automatic win. Jason didn't spare the horses, but overpowered the track right off the starting line and coasted to an 18-second time

Steven Densham AA/FC - 'Teachers Pet' --- Geoff Monise AA/FC - 'Quarter Pounder'

In the next pairing, Steven Densham in the "Teachers Pet" (left) laid down a big number with a 5.69 - 252.24 to easily erase Geoff Monise (right - pictured Thursday) and his late-leaving early shut-off 7.10 - 113.74 losing effort

Brad Thompson AA/FC - 'Jailbreak'

With a decided disadvantage against Bobby Cottrell based on qualifying positions (#16 vs #1) Brad Thompson tried his best with the "Jailbreak" Camaro, but was more than half a tenth late at the tree, and gave up before the 1000 ft mark, with a 6.04 - 181.32 clocking

Bobby Cottrell AA/FC - 'Bardahl Special' --- 5.62 - 254.47

Low qualifier Bobby Cottrell cruised into the quarter-finals in his Bucky Austin-tuned car with a 5.62 - 254.47 time on the boards. Unfortunately for the crew, that time was barely visible through the cloud of piston smoke as they knew they were going to have to thrash to make the next round

Rian Konno AA/FC - 'Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno' --- Jeff Arend AA/FC - 'California Hustler'

In a big upset, the heavily favoured #2 qualified "California Hustler" owned by Don Nelson and driven by NHRA big show veteran Jeff Arend (left - pictured Friday) was dispatched in a close race by the Roland Leong-tuned Mustang of Rian Konno. The scoreboards favoured Arend by a margin of 5.75 - 256.89 versus Konno's 5.84 - 241.89 but the devil was truly in the details, as Konno's .016 light put a big holeshot on Arend's rather tardy .141 launch

Paul Romine AA/FC - 'Man O' War' --- Mark Sanders AA/FC - 'Mr. Explosive'

After nearly identical leaves, Indiana's Paul Romine in his "Man O' War"steadily opened a lead over the "Mr. Explosive" Mustang of Washington State's Mark Sanders until Sanders threw in the towel and slowed to a 6.53 - 156.92 time, as Romine powered on to a 5.81 - 232.63 win

Tim Boychuk AA/FC - 'Happy Hour' --- Ryan Hodgson AA/FC - 'Pacemaker'

Despite the hometowns on the entry list, this was truly an all-Edmonton battle, with defending NHRA Heritage Series champion, Ryan Hodgson (right) taking out the "Happy Hour" entry of Tim Boychuk (left) by a decisive 5.70 -257.33 to a 6.00 - 216.34 margin

Shawn Bowen AA/FC - 'Bartone & Lebor' --- Matt Bynum AA/FC - 'Nitro Nick'

The closest race of the round featured Shawn Bowen (left - pictured Friday) in the Bartone & Lebor (yes, that Bartone) taking on Matt Bynum in the "Nitro Nick" car (right - pictured Thursday). Bowen left first by just .037, and turned on the win light with a great 5.68 - 251.06 over Bynum's hard-charging 5.71 pass coupled with a (slightly suspect IMHO) Top Speed of the Meet 259.61 mph

Cory Lee AA/FC - 'Pedaler'

Unfortunately we don't (yet) have a picture of the winner of the final pair in the first round as Mike Halstead in Lee Jennings' "Code Red" didn't show up in our inbox. Halstead took the win easily over Cory Lee (pictured Thursday) in Gary Turner's "Pedaler" entry, carding a solid 5.89 - 253.28 over Lee's slowing and losing 7.88 - 118.06 pass


Nostalgia Top Fuel - Round One eliminations

Pete Wittenberg AA/FD - 'Circuit Breaker'

Eventual winner Pete Wittenberg in his sophomore season behind the wheel of the "Circuit Breaker" easily dispatched first round opponent Brendan Murry (not shown) with a solid 5.84 e.t. at a slowing 221.92 mph, as Murray had nothing for him at 9.27 and 94.48

Bret Williamson AA/FD --- Dan Horan AA/FD

Moving past his first round opponent with ease was Bret Williamson who laid down a 5.79 at only 212.19 mph. Unable to muster much of a fight was Dan Horan (picture from Thursday) who trailed badly at 6.44 - 215.13

Mendy Fry AA/FD - 'High Speed Motorsports' --- Adam Sorokin AA/FD - 'Champion Speed Shop'

After taking the top qualifying spot with a 5.73 e.t. coupled with only a 219.51 trap speed, Mendy Fry (left - pictured Friday) in the "High Speed Motorsports" entry, laid down a bomb in the first round, obliterating Adam Sorokin (right) in the "Champion Speed Shop" entry. The verdict: 5.69 - 261.42 (good for Top Speed of the Meet) for Fry, against Sorokin's well-back 6.11 - 219.04 effort

Jim Murphy AA/FD - 'WWII' --- Rick White AA/FD

The final pairing of the opening stanza (I've been waiting for months to use that very well-worn drag racing cliche) saw the 2017 NHRA Heritage Series champion (and 2017 March Meet runner-up) Jim Murphy (left) in his ultra-tough "WW II" take out Rick White (right - pictured Friday) in the Forever Young" entry by a wide margin at 5.84 - 321.08 over White's 6.22 - 242.71 futile effort

Kin Bates A/FD

We only got two pictures of A/FD's this weekend (Kin Bates and Shawn Corbari), but this one of Kin Bates shows him enroute to the win in the very tough 16-car field. Bates qualified second behind Drew Austin's (yes, that Austin family) incredible 5.81 e.t., with his own very strong 5.89 coupled with a huge speed of 235.10 mph. From there, he marched through the field, cranking out two straight 235-mph speeds, and crossed the finish line in the final with a 5.84 - 233.88 effort


Here's a selection of Sportsman shots and at the very bottom of the report, the AA/Fuel Altered (the Awful-Awfuls) final

Tire Shake! --- Blake Reynolds 7.0 PRO

If you think only the big boys can shake the tires HARD, guess again as the photo on the left was taken during 7.0 PRO eliminations. On the right is Blake Reynolds in his very cool '48 Fiat

Gasser Wheelie --- Wheelie Truck

On the left is an unidentified Gasser reaching for the sky, while a FlatDeck Wheelie Truck does it on the right

Bill Becker C/G - '33 Willys --- Jeep

We've got Bill Becker in his C/Gas '33 Willys panel on the left, and on the right, an unidentified stock-appearing Jeep

Tod Barker B/G - '48 Anglia --- David Wilson B/G

On the left, it's Tod Barker in his cool B/Gas '48 Anglia, who suffered an unfortunate deep stage disqualification in the first round, while to the right, it's David Wilson in his '40 Ford pickup. Wilson broke and didn't advance either

Ed 'The Outlaw' Jones --- Terminal Velocity JET Car

The exhibition cars fill the gaps near the end of the show, and Bakersfield pays homage to two of the showier of them. Ed "The Outlaw" Jones keeps the wheels up on his venerable "Jelly Belly" firetruck, while the "Terminal Velocity" Jet Dragster lights up the late afternoon

Eric Gates vs Dan Hix AA/FA Final

Here's the final round of AA/Fuel Altered. In the near lane we've got the winner, Dan Hix shown pulling out to a big early lead over runner-up Eric Gates. It was pretty much a done deal at the green, with Gates really late with a .204 light against Hix's so-so .153 leave. From there on, Hix train-lengthed Gates, with a 6.30 at only 168.10 mph over Gates' shutting off 8.91 - 93.32 effort


The latest update as of March 10, 2018

Better late than never: the 60th annual March Meet

Let's get started with a few pics from Wednesday's test session which mostly consisted of AA/FCs, 5.90 FCs, and an AA/FA or two.


Steve Easton AA/FC - 'Burnin' Money' --- Brad Thompson AA/FC - 'Jailbreak'

Aussie Steve Easton made it out on Wednesday to ignite (a whole bunch) more cash in Bob Godfrey's "Burnin' Money" 'Cuda (left). During the second qualifying session on Friday, the engine went BANG, the body flew away, and their weekend was over. Here's the link to the in-car Facebook video of the carnage. On the right side Brad Thompson shows off the System 1 colours on his "Jailbreak" Camaro

Shawn van Horn AA/FC - 'Choo Choo Mama' --- Mark Sanders AA/FC - 'Mr Explosive'

A new car/driver is Shawn van Horn's "Choo Choo Mama" Trans-Am (left), while perennial hard charger Mark Sanders blasts off in his veteran "Mr. Explosive" Mustang (right)

Billy Morris AA/FC - 'Problem Child' --- Don Hudson AA/FC - 'The Beachcomber'

On the left is a new addition to the nostalgia flopper ranks with Billy Morris in the "Problem Child" while on the right, Don Hudson has the "Beachcomber" looking as sharp as ever

Shane Harter in Dave --- Richard Wilson A/G 'Voodoo Hemi'

This year it's Shawn Harter behind the wheel of Dave "Nasty" Benjamin's always tough AA/Fuel Altered (on the left) and Richard Wilson's awesome "Voodoo Hemi" launching with a shower of sparks (on the right)

Jeff Paulin H/R --- Dennis Jauregui H/R

Now it's Bob Snyder's wife Ginger, providing us with some great sportsman shots

Bruce Boardman D/G --- 777E Slingshot --- 7678
Smoke Screen

Proceedings came to a rather untidy end as an errant - and as yet unnamed - A/Fuel Dragster left a very large trail of oil from half track to well past the finish line. With the temperatures dropping and the dew point rapidly approaching, it was decided to not throw good money after bad and the hard-working Famoso crew called it a wrap for the day


Day two of the March Meet saw all the categories, save the blown fuel cars, participating in their first qualifying sessions. The fuel cars did get out on the Famoso Raceway surface for a "bonus" test session, and most of the racers took advantage of the extra practice available.

Shawn Van Horn 590 FC --- Claude Lavoie 590 FC

It's Shawn van Horn on the left and Edmonton's Claude Lavoie on the right with their 5.90 indexed Funny Cars

Geoff Monise AA/FC - 'Quarter Pounder' --- Don Hudson AA/FC - 'Beachcomber'

Newcomer Geoff Monise in the QuarterPounder Monza is on the left, while Don Hudson's 'Beachcomber' resides on the right side of this pair

Jim Murphy AA/FD - 'WWII' --- Chris Bennett AA/FA - 'High Heaven'

Dean Oberg 'Holy Toledo' 590 FC vs John Evans TF --- Todd Miller AA/FA

Dan Horan AA/FC --- Rian Konno AA/FC - 'Kazanjian & Lemon'

Vince Gerealao AA/FA --- Kris Krabill AA/FC - 'Smokey's Darkside'

Tim Boychuk AA/FC - 'Happy Hour' --- Jason Rupert AA/FC - 'Littlefield & Rupert'

Mark Sanders AA/FC - 'Mr. Explosive' --- Dan Horan AA/FD

Mark Whynaught AA/FA --- Eric Gates AA/FA

Brad Thompson TF - 'Rain for Rent' --- Cory Lee AA/FC - 'Pedaler'

Claude Lavoie AA/FC --- Pete Wittenberg AA/FD - 'Circuit Breaker'

Steve Easton AA/FC - 'Burnin' Money' --- Dean Oberg 590 FC - 'Holy Toledo'

Matt Bynum AA/FC - 'Nitro Nick' --- Ryan Hodgson AA/FC - 'Pacemaker'

Chris Davis AA/FC --- Jason Rupert AA/FC - 'Rolling Thunder'

Eric Gates AA/FA --- Todd Miller AA/FA

Phil Ruskowski AA/FD --- Brad Thompson T/F - 'Warren, Coburn & Miller'

Dyan Lover & Ginger Snyder

Here's two of the women behind the lenses, with Port Alberni's Dyan Lover on the left and Phoenix's Ginger Snyder on the right


Friday was the first day of qualifying for Top Fuel, Fuel Altered and Funny Car at the March Meet and the weather threatened to break throughout the day. With an even worse forecast for Saturday's final qualifying sessions, the smart money was on making their first shot(s) count on Friday, instead of gambling on the final day of time trials. Unfortunately, a few racers got caught out as the track got colder and slipperier when the sun went down.


Bobby Cottrell AA/FC - 'Bardahl' --- Pete Wittenberg AA/FD

We may as well cut to the chase and spoil the surprise: here's the winners: Bobby Cottrell in Bucky Austin's "Bardahl Special" on the left, while upset-underdog-darkhorse (pick an appropriate adjective) Pete Wittenberg in the "Circuit Breaker" AA/Fuel Dragster is on the right

Dean Oberg 590 FC - 'Holy Toledo'

Here's Dean Oberg charging out in his 5.90 indexed Funny Car. Yes, it is a replica of a 1967 Jeep, but it's definitely a period-correct flopper. The next batch of photos were provided by Bob's wfie Ginger Snyder who certainly knows her way around a camera. Great work Ginger!


Shawn Bowen AA/FC - 'Bartone & Lebor' --- Kris Krabill AA/FC - 'Smokey's Darkside'

The nostalgia funny cars had the luxury of two qualifying sessions on Friday (other nitro categories got just one), and Shawn Bowen (left) made the most of his chances, ending up in the lucky #7 spot with a 5.788 at 246.88 clocking, while Kris Krabill (right) just missed making the cut, at #17 with a 6.154 - 225.79 in the "Smokey's Darkside" Challenger

Billy Morris AA/FC - 'Problem Child' --- Paul Romine AA/FC - 'Man O' War'

Newcomer Billy Morris in the "Problem Child" Camaro was well down the list at #20, missing the show with a best of 6.518 - 210.21 (left), while veteran fuel racer Paul Romine in his "Man O' War" Mustang qualified solidly at #12 with a 5.890 at 234.00 pass

Bill Windham AA/FC - 'Shakedown' --- Steve Densham AA/FC - 'Teachers Pet'

Jeff Arend AA/FC - 'California Hustler --- Mark Sanders AA/FC - 'Mr. Explosive'

Jason Rupert AA/FC - 'Rolling Thunder' --- Don Knoblauch

Bobby Cottrell AA/FC - 'Bardahl Special' --- John Weaver AA/FC

Don Hudson AA/FC - 'Beachcomber' --- Rian Konno AA/FC - 'Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno'

Jeff Utterback 590 FC - 'Pisano & Matsubara' --- Claude Lavoie 590 FC

Shawn Corbari A/FD --- Mendy Fry AA/FD - 'High Speed Motorsports'

Phil Ruskowski AA/FD --- Dusty Green AA/FD - 'Nitro-Hemi'

Rick White AA/FD

Shawn Bowen AA/FC - 'Bartone & Lebor' --- Steven Densham AA/FC - 'Teachers Pet'

Rick Rogers AA/FC - 'Fighting Irish' --- Cory Lee AA/FC - 'Pedaler'

Scott Cousimano AA/FC - Nitro Mafia --- Don Knoblauch AA/FC

We've got two of the ten (or so) non-qualifiers in this next pairing. On the left, it's Scott Cousimano in the "Nitro Mafia" '78 Arrow, while on the right, it's Don Knoblauch in his flat-black version. Cousimano got on the list with a 9-second time, while Knoblauch couldn't back up after the burnout on his first attempt, then left before the tree came down on his last shot and didn't get a timeslip

Shawn van Horn 590 FC - 'Choo Choo Mama' --- Claude Lavoie 590 FC

There was a second nitro funny car field at this event, with four cars running in the 5.90 index class. Here's the quickest qualifiers, with Shawn van Horn in his "Choo Choo Mama" on the left, and Edmonton's Claude Lavoie in his very cool '72 Satellite on the right. Despite qualifying at the top of the field, both cars were gone after the first round of eliminations

Dean Oberg 590 FC - 'Holy Toledo' --- Brad Thompson TF - 'Rain for Rent'

This is definitely an odd couple: Dean Oberg (again) in his recreation of Ed Lenarth's "Secret Weapon", now running with the moniker "Holy Toledo" on the left, while Brad Thompson wheeled the "Rain for Rent" of Warren, Coburn & Miller

Shane Harter AA/FA - 'Nasty Benjamin' --- Jim Holtz AA/FA - 'Trouble Maker'

Now it's all Fuel Altereds, all the time (at least until the end of this report

Todd Miller AA/FA --- Rodney Flournoy AA/FA - Godzilla'

Tom Padilla AA/FA - 'Red DRagon' --- Eric Gates AA/FA

Jeremy Sullivan AA/FA --- Keith Wilson AA/FA - 'Witch Doctor'

James Day AA/FA - 'Black Sunshine' --- Dan Hix  AA/FA

Robert Winefsky AA/FA - 'Coyote Express' --- Backup Girl

The last car for this part of the report is another newcomer from Arizona, Robert Winefsky who went all the way to the semi-final in his big event debut in the beautiful Coyote Express. And yes, we know it's 2018 but we can still show a backup girl photo... or two, if we can find some more...


Tim Marshall RIP

Saturday was mostly a washout as only a dozen funny cars made it down the track between the persistent rain showers throughout the day. At the end of a very long, cold, and wet day, a small group gathered near the starting line to honour the recent passing of one of the great photographers in the sport of drag racing, Tim Marshall. RIP, my friend.


To see previous updates, go to the What's Old page

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