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Coverage from the 60th annual Good Vibrations March Meet

NOTE: Click on the thumbnails to display the full-size images

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.

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