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The latest update as of March 7, 2022

64th annual Good Vibrations March Meet - Sunday Eliminations

Eliminations began under semi-threatening skies, with the Nitro Funny Cars leading the way. Normally they would run their first round on Saturday afternoon, but due to the multitude of weather-related delays, it was a Sunday morning start for them. With four rounds of racing, it was going to be an endurance test for the nostalgia racers. We'll post groups of photos as we get through the next few days, round by round, starting with Sunday's eliminations and working backwards to Thursday's test session. Keep refreshing/reloading this page to see the latest updates and additions.

Tuesday afternoon update: All the PRO eliminations have been posted, mostly with photos. From this point forward, we'll post the balance of the March Meet coverage in our Features section, starting tomorrow.

Nostalgia Funny Car - Round One Eliminations

Geoff Monise - 'Quarter Pounder' (near lane) vs Tim Boychuk - 'Happy Hour' 
(far lane) - NFC --- Gary Densham - 'Teacher's Pet'

(LEFT) The opening pairing of eliminations set the pace for the balance of the first round. Both cars left hard, with Geoff Monise (left lane) a little slower out of the gate than Tim Boychuk (right lane) but he quickly overcame the deficit to take a two car length victory, posting a 5.706 - 253.09 to Boychuk's piston burning 5.847 - 234.94 numbers.

(RIGHT) In the next pairing, Gary Densham overstaged, triggered an automatic redlight when the tree flashed, then waited until opponent Drew Austin was halfway down the track before launching and running hard to the finish line, albeit with no times recorded. Austin took the automatic win but didn't spare the horses with a great 5.648 - 253.37 effort.

'California Hustler' starting line repairs --- Kamaka Pocock - 'California Hustler' (near lane) vs Billy Morris - 'Problem 
Child' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) Some last minute adjustments were required on the California Hustler fuel system after the burnout as it appeared there was a leaky nozzle line.

(RIGHT) Another case of left last, finish first, as Billy Morris's .124 light (far lane) didn't hurt him as he passed Kamaka Pocock's quicker .075 launch, and turned on the winlight with a very quick 5.634 - 249.21 as Morris trailed with a solid 5.871 - 247.29 clocking. Morris was trailing at half track but pulled away after that.

John Weaver - 'Nitro Nut' (near lane) vs Bobby Cottrell - 'Bardhal Special' 
(far lane) - NFC --- Rian Konno - 'Kazanjian, Lemon & Konno' (near lane) vs Jerry Espeseth - 
'Atlas' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) Appearing at a nostalgia race for the first time in a while, California veteran John Weaver (near lane) was very late (.211 reaction) on the lights, then nearly took out the 660' reflectors before over-correcting and bouncing off the guardwall. He finally gathered up his errant mount and coasted through to record 6.310 - 163.14 numbers. In the other lane, Bobby Cottrell had some directional problems too as the car wanted to skate around early in the run, before gathering it up and running low e.t. of the round at 5.632 - 244.16.

(RIGHT) The next race was over early as Jerry Espeseth (far lane) spun the tires hard on the launch and shut off to a 9.550 - 100.76 clocking. He left first on opponent Rian Konno (near lane) by nearly a tenth, but it all evaporated in a cloud of instant tire smoke. Taking advantage of his predicament, Konno moved into the next round from the #13 qualifying spot with a solid 5.754 - 247.11 winning time. Unfortunately, after crossing the finish line, a large fire erupted underneath Konno's car and it blazed all the way through the shutdown area. Fortunately, there were no injuries to the driver, but it looked very unlikely that the car would be back for the second round.

Matt Melendez - 'Cacklin' Critter' (near lane) vs Dan Horan Jr. - 'Infinity 
Plumbing' (far lane) - NFC --- Kris Krabill - 'Bartone & Lebor' (near lane) vs Justin Taylor - 'Evil, Wicked, 
Mean & Nasty' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) Things settled down somewhat in the next pairing, as both drivers appeared to take a short nap on the starting line. Leaving first with a .228 (!) light was Matt Melendez (near lane), while Dan Horan Jr. in the far lane was even sleepier with a .261 reaction. Despite the tardy leave, Horan easily disposed of the Cacklin' Critter with a strong 5.677 - 261.12 (Top Speed of the meet), while Melendez trailed with a valiant 5.856 - 227.42 time. Melendez actually led the race until nearly the 1000' mark before he was forced to shut off as the car headed for the centerline.

(RIGHT) The next race was over almost immediately, as Justin Taylor (far lane) struck the tires on the launch, and clicked it off to an 18-second clocking. In the near lane, "Hollywood" Kris Krabill sped away to an almost uncontested 5.811 - 237.55 victory. The win didn't come without a price as it appeared an entire set of pistons vaporized as he crossed the finish line.

Michael Peck Jr. - 'Instigator' - NFC --- Cory Lee - 'Pedaler' - NFC

(LEFT) In the final match of the first round, Michael Peck Jr. burned out but had the safety system activate during it, tossing the chute out. That left him dead in the water and shut off as his opponent was able to take an automatic win.

(RIGHT) That opponent, Cory Lee, made the most of Peck's predicament, cranking out a very good 5.687 - 262.28 (new Top Speed of the meet), to advance to a second round meeting with low qualifier Drew Austin.

Michael Peck Jr. - 'Instigator' - NFC

Here's the aftermath of Peck's chute tossing burnout as the car sat motionless at the 300' mark.

Nostalgia Top Fuel - Round One Eliminations

Bret Williamson - 'Forever Young' (near lane) vs 
Brendan Murry - 'Runnin' Wild' (far lane) - NTF --- Pete Wittenberg - 'KMA Racing' (near lane) vs Tyler Hester - 
'Overtime Special' (far lane) - NTF

(LEFT) Top Fuel got started with the #1 and #8 qualifiers meeting. It wasn't exactly a tree-cutting mission at the starting line as in the near lane, Bret Williamson's .222 light was definitely on the slow side, but Brendan Murry (far lane) was just plain sleeping with a .469 reaction time. Going down track, Murry was well behind at the 300' mark, then appeared to pop the blower just after that point, slowing to an 8.194 - 91.08 clocking. Meanwhile, Williamson ran away to an easy 6.047 - 210.37 win.

(RIGHT) Another slow start spelled defeat for Pete Wittenberg (near lane) as his tardy .234 reaction paved the way for Tyler Hester's (far lane) much quicker .061 reaction to take the win. Wittenberg lost despite a better 5.869 - 243.11 clocking, while Hester stopped the timers first with a 5.918 at only 204.39, as he was enveloped in a cloud of oil and smoke at the 1000' mark and coasted to the win by two car lengths.

Jim Murphy - 'WWII' (near lane) vs Bryan Hall - 'The Nomad' 
(far lane) - NTF --- Tyler Hilton - 'Great Expectations III' (near lane) vs Adam 
Sorokon - 'Champion Speed Shop Special' (far lane) - NTF

(LEFT) Next up were veteran Jim Murphy (near lane), who left second and finished first by overcoming a six hundredths deficit in reaction times over Tyler Hester in the far lane. Hester's mount was sashaying all over his lane in the early going, before getting it straightened out at half track and charging to a 6.622 - 206.45 losing time. Murphy also was off the pedal early, but his 5.970 - 215.44 was still enough to turn on the winlight.

(RIGHT) The round closed with the closest matched pair of qualifying, #4 Tyler Hilton (near lane) against #5 Adam Sorokin in the far lane. Sorokin gave away too much on the starting line, leaving nearly a full tenth behind Hilton and it cost him as his 6.456 - 166.33 was nowhere near catching Hilton's winning 6.071 - 185.64 time. Both cars had problems on the top end, with Hilton losing several pistons before the finish line and Soroking giving up the chase with lots of smoke out of the engine at the 1000' mark.

AA/Fuel Altered - Round One Eliminations

Johnny West - 'Plan A' (near lane) vs Dan Hix - 
'Heatseeker' (far lane) - AA/FA --- Brian Hope - 'Pure Hell' (near lane) vs James Generalao Jr. 
- 'Impatience' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) Fuel Altereds eliminations got started with a very close race, as Johnny West (near lane) almost hit the 6.00-index, with a great 6.076 - 224.85 pass, but it fell short of the winning time of Dan Hix in the far lane, who ran right on the index - to the thousandth - with a perfect 6.000 - 210.90 for the win. Making the margin a bit larger at the finish line was the .033 reaction time advantage for Hix. But running right on the index at over 200-mph is risky business.

(RIGHT) The second pair didn't see either racer come close to breaking out, bu Brian Hope overcame a small (.017) reaction deficit to ring up a 6.237 - 232.63 on the scoreboards. That was enough to cover the 6.470 - 202.09 of Las Vegan James Generalao Jr. in the far lane.

Pete Peterson - 'The Wanderer' (near lane) vs 
Mark Whynaught - 'Nitro Mamba' (far lane) - AA/FA --- Dylan Winefsky - 'Nitro Moose' (near lane) vs 
Nick Van Horn - 'Panic!' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) Another very close race ensued, with both drivers challenging the index, as Mark Whynaught (far lane) came closest at 6.010 - 207.85 and turned on the winlight. In the near lane, Pete Peterson left a tad late (.137 to .094 reaction), but thundered across the finish line, with a 6.029 - 248.93 as he blew past Whynaught about 60 feet past the stripe, in a great, but losing, effort.

(RIGHT) Closing the round was young Dylan Winefsky (near lane) who ran a good and safe 6.181, coupled with a big top end of 241.50 to take the win over the breaking out effort of Nick Van Horn (far lane), who smashed the index with a 5.965 - 244.07 pass. Why Van Horn kept the pedal down all the way to the 1320' mark is a bit of a mystery, as he had a serious advantage off the line (.117 to .273 r.t.'s) and was far ahead of Winefsky at the finish line. Nonetheless, it was Winefsky advancing and the "Panic!" team going home.

Nitro Pro Comp - Round One Eliminations

Keith Wilson - 'Witch Doctor' - NPC --- Lyle Greenberg - 'Cone Hunter' - NPC

(LEFT) After two qualifying sessions, attrition due to engine damage eliminated two of the six cars, leaving just four racers for the first round of eliminations. Then, due to more breakage, it turned into a single for Keith Wilson in the "Witch Doctor" Fuel Altered, as scheduled opponent Eily Stafford was a no-show. He took an easy cruise into the final round with a 9.158 - 81.24 pass.

(RIGHT) Joining Wilson in that round was New Mexico's Lyle Greenberg in his beautiful Corvette bodied "Cone Hunter" Funny Car, as he was also the beneficiary of a single when Billy McDevitt couldn't make the call. Greenberg tested the 5.90-index with a 6.062 - 194.80 on his bye run.

Tony Trimp - 'Rough 'n Ready' (near lane) vs 
Steve Faller -

One of many oddball pairings in the 7.0 PRO class featured Tony Trimp in his Rough 'n Ready '65 Mustang flopper (near lane) facing Steve "Flat Top" Faller in his '32 Ford Bantam roadster in the far lane, as they met in the second round of eliminations. Unfortunately we don't have any results from that round - yet - but they both ran 7.00 on the 7.00 index in the first round, so it must have been close.

Nitro Mike Kunz - PT Cruiser - wheelstander --- General Jerry Lee - Ford Stakebed truck' - wheelstander

Wheelstander time, with Canada's "Nitro" Mike Kunz in his PT Cruiser (left), and the iconic General Jerry Lee in his Ford C-Cab Truck (right), powered by an early model Chrysler Hemi no less, both standing them up for the crowd.

Nostalgia Funny Car - Round Two Eliminations

Cory Lee - 'Pedaler' (near lane) vs Drew Austin - 'Pro Max' 
(far lane) - NFC --- Kris Krabill - 'Bartone & Lebor' (near lane) vs Billy Morris - 
'Problem Child' (far lane) - NFC

(LEFT) It was a close to half track as the second round opened, but Drew Austin (far lane) headed for the wall and was forced to shut off to a 6.069 - 189.47, allowing Cory Lee to take the upset win with a very good - and frankly, difficult to beat, 5.723 - 257.87 clocking. Despite being low qualifer, at 5.592, Austin's weekend came to a rather premature end.

(RIGHT) Next up were Kris Krabill (near lane) against Billy Morris (far lane). It was a very close race until a puff of smoke came out of the "Problem Child" just before the 1000' mark, causing Morris to slow to a 5.908 - 192.36 time, while Krabill sped into the semifinal with a solid 5.788 - 240.89 timeslip.

Bobby Cottrell - 'Bardahl Special' (near lane) vs Dan Horan Jr. 
- 'Infinity Plumbing' (far lane) - NFC

The third pair of the round turned into a single for Geoff Monise as scheduled opponent Rian Konno was unable to come back after his first round fire. Monise simply took the green light and idled down the track to a 16-second winning pass. Closing out the round were Bobby Cottrell (near lane) against the big horsepower car of Dan Horan Jr. (far lane) and it was a good clean race all the way down with no piston smoke for a change. However, it wasn't all that close as Cottrell held the lead from the 60' lights to the finish line, stopping the clocks with a 5.637 - 245.45 to easily handle Horan's trailing 5.759 - 258.86 effort.

Nostalgia Top Fuel - Round Two Eliminations

Jim Murphy - 'WWII' (near lane) vs Tyler Hester 
(far lane) - NTF --- Bret Williamson - 'Forever Young' (near lane) vs 
Tyler Hilton - 'Great Expectations III' (far lane) - NTF

(LEFT) The only driver to advance from the bottom half of the field, Tyler Hester (far lane) took on Jim Murphy (near lane) in the first semifinal pairing. After a big tail wag coming off the starting line, Murphy straightened out the car and blasted out a very strong 5.736 - 260.81 to light up the scoreboards The mph was Top Speed of the meet. The drivers left together, but Hester (far lane) got off the pedal early with lots of smoke out of the blow-by tank as he crossed the line at 5.939 - 205.10 to finish his weekend.

(RIGHT) In the other pairing, Bret Williamson (near lane) left first by a bunch (seems to be a common theme in these reports), taking an instant .151 to .263 lead in reaction times, then ran away to a very good 5.837 - 255.24 winning time. Winning the entertainment battle was Tyler Hilton (far lane), who trailed early, then exploded the blower at the 600' mark, with a small fire. That activated the safety systems, deploying the chutes and slowing him to a 6.771 - 127.35 in the loss as he came to a stop over near the guardwall in the shutdown area.

AA/Fuel Altered - Round Two Eliminations

Mark Whynaught - 'Nitro Mamba' (near lane) vs 
Dylan Winefsky - 'Nitro Moose' (far lane) - AA/FA --- Brian Hope - 'Pure Hell' (near lane) vs Dan Hix - 
'Heatseeker' (far lane) - AA/FA

(LEFT) This is what happens when you match up a "Nitro Mamba" (near lane), driven by Mark Whynaught against a "Nitro Moose" (far lane), wheeled by second generation fuel altered pilot Dylan Winefsky. Unfortunately in this case, the "Moose" was a little sleepy off the line, giving the "Mamba" an instant of slightly more than a tenth of a second. Winefsky kept it relatively close on paper though, running 6.274 - 234.17 as Whynaught got off the loud pedal early (to avoid breaking out), and stopped the timers with a winning 6.071 - 203.58 time.

(RIGHT) It looks like an even leave in this picture, but Brian Hope (near lane) actually red-lighted (-.184 foul) and shut off to a 19-second cruise down the quarter- mile. In the far lane, Dan Hix left the line after the green flashed and took an easy 7.547 - 117.24 drive into the final round.

Unfortunately, due to exhaustion after four days pounding the pavement at Famoso Dragstrip, our photographer had to leave for home. Through the combination of Jakes Simmons video work, and Bobby Bennett's diligence, we have pieced together the final rounds of nitro competition. Many thanks to the Competition Plus website for their help.

Nostalgia Funny Car - Round Three Eliminations

Going into the semifinals, all four racers were from the top half of the field, with #3, #5, #7 & #8 advancing to the third round. Opening proceedings was Geoff Monise, who was having the best day of his racing career, and it continued as he left first by a few hundredths on opponent Cory Lee, then ran away to a very convincing 5.627 - 251.16 victory over Lee's shutoff 6.593 - 153.21 effort. Lee got off the throttle when the car started dancing near half track, while Monise's pass was the quickest of eliminations. The good news stopped at the finish line though, as the large amount of death smoke coming out from underneath the "Quarter Pounder" indicated some serious pit work was going to be required going into the final round.

The other semifinal featured four-time defending Heritage Series Funny Car champion, Bobby Cottrell in the dominating Austin & O'Brien - "Bardhal Special" Camaro, pitted against the surprising Kris Krabill in the "Bartone & Lebor" entry. Cottrell showed his prowess on the lights, leaving on Krabill by five hundredths, then stretching his lead all the way to the finish line before stopping the clocks at 5.648 - 238.43 to handle Krabill's early shutoff 6.109 - 184.55 pass. However, the winning e.t. for Cottrell wasn't quick enough to earn lane choice for the final against Monise. And the cloud of piston smoke as he cleared the traps meant more work for the crew before the final.

Nitro Pro Comp - Final Round Eliminations

After two so-so qualifying sessions, and a pair of bye runs in the first round, the Nitro Pro Comp show whittled down to the last two racers standing. Both cars ran well, but Keith Wilson's too-quick 5.836 - 223.58 cost him the win as first-time March Meet contestant Lyle Greenberg was safe with a very good 6.006 - 206.10 pass for the event win. Despite being left on slightly, Greenberg kept his cool and didn't try too hard to catch the fleeing Fuel Altered and risk a breakout of his own.

AA/Fuel Altered - Final Round Eliminations

After some great performances in qualifying and the first two round of eliminations, the final round was a bit of an anticlimax in results, but more than made up for it in entertainment value. Both racers, Mark Whynaught in the "Nitro Mamba" and Dan Hix in the "Heatseeker" left the starting line close together, with Hix having a small advantage that soon evaporated in tire smoke. Just when Hix thought he was doomed, the engine in Whyanught's car went sour and opportunity knocked. Seizing it with his foot to the floor, Hix got back on the throttle and took the lead at half track, blasting across the finish line at 7.010 - 208.78 as Whynaught's silent mount limped across at 8.877 - 96.46 for the loss. A wild finish to another classic Fuel Altered race.

Nostalgia Top Fuel - Final Round Eliminations

In the final race of the day for Top Fuel, the #1 qualifier Bret Williamson took on #3 Jim Murphy. It was a great side-by-side battle from start to finish, as Murphy left first by just six thousandths, but Williamson crossed the stripe first for a true win margin of just 34 thousandths, less than a car length, in a race befitting the final round of the March Meet. The numbers read 5.731 - 256.06 for Williamson, and an oh-so-close 5.771 - 256.75 for Murphy. In the shutdown area, Murphy couldn't get his car stopped before running out of room and sliding to a halt in the sand trap. No damage to the car, other than a handful of burnt pistons in the lights. All in all, it was a great finish to a tough weekend for both racers and their crews.

Nostalgia Funny Car - Final Round Eliminations

As you might expect from our semifinal report, there was damage to both finalists, and unfortunately, especially for the fans, the Van Gundy, Clark & Monise team couldn't make the call. Taking the event win by simply staging was Bobby Cottrell as he made it official with a 29-second idle down the strip. Not the way most racers want to win, but it was a major event victory nonetheless.