White Shines in Top Fuel
CA May 1-3, 2009 The second edition of the Rod & Kulture
Dragfest was in a word, fun. They had something for everyone.
If you are a drag race fan, hot rodder, rat rodder or just a
lover of a party atmosphere laced with nitro this is where you
wanted to be this weekend. In spite of being rained out most
of Friday, the racers and fans who did attend saw everything
from Nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters to old drag racing "drive-in"
movies and a live 60s style "surf band"... how about
a Back-up Girl contest? Yep.
Keep in mind
that the idea behind Dragfest is to put on a real nostalgia drag
race. When you looked out across the track and roam the pits
(discounting the necessary modern improvements), they tried to
make it resemble a real, early, 1960s drag race. To do
this, they made Famoso more period correct and tried to make
historical cars their main focus.
action part of the show was eight booked in Top Fuel dragsters,
five fuel funny cars and seven fuel Alterds. For most of these
cars this was the perfect opportunity to do some testing and
put on a great show for appreciative fans.
Going in, there
was a qualifying session scheduled for Friday evening and two
more on Saturday. Then the cars would be paired on normal 8 car
ladder for one run on Sunday. The quickest winner from that session
would run for the "win" later in the day. Aside from
the Friday session getting rained out, the rest went off like
Long story short,
the whole deal was pretty laid back and there was no Darrell
Jackman there to post the times online thus I don't have any.
So, unlike our normal race by race round by round coverage, this
will be as laid back as the event... photos in no particular
order (other than hopefully the right day) for nothing more than
your viewing enjoyment.
Photos by: Bob
Brown, Steven C. Wallace, Darrell Conrad, Pam Schavrien and Don
A couple of cars
did get test runs in before the rain came on Friday. Terry Cox
was in the seat of the Cheetah IV car.
After a two year
absence, Mark Hyla was back in the seat of Bob Richardson's "Circuit
with the first session on Saturday, Terry Cox in the Cheetah
Top Fuel champ Troy Green was in the seat of the High Speed Motorsports
was somewhat soft at the hit.
the clocks with an unremarkable 6.04 at just 238 mph which should
have served for a decent baseline pass. However, it would prove
to be the only run of the weekend to require a chute.
smoked the tires at the hit and clicked it.
Year in and year
out Brendan Murry probably runs more than anybody else in the
class. This was yet another outing for the new Arias engine and
it seems to be improving with each outing. Murry will soon be
off on his annual trek to Indy (Goodguys) and then the NHRR at
Bowling Green, KY.
was once again in the seat of the Champion Speed Shop - RB Entertainment
"Batmobile". Bobby McClennan still feels this SBC configuration
engine has the potential to be competitive with the hemis and
ran a best ever 5.96 at 235 here.
have a brand new Neal & Parks car sitting in the shop, rumor
has it that this is the ride going to Bowling Green in June.
Just one of the
cool aspect of this event was the fact they had all the cars
that ran return to the pits in front of the stands so the spectators
got a closer look at everyone.
Brad's first attempt ended at the burnout.
March Meet Brad Thompson and crew found several problems with
their new car. Everything was fixed or changed and this was its
first outing since.
Without a doubt
the most consistent car in the country is the Neal & White
entry driven by Rick White. Running a string of 5.7s they were
three tenths quicker than any other TF car on the grounds. Needless
to say, he was the winner on Sunday.
After a forgettable
March Meet, the Hot Rod Bill's car shoed by Rick Williamson looked
good here. The only car other than White and Sorokin to run in
the fives, Rick was runner up to White on Sunday.
One of the weekends
close calls came when Cox and Murry got close (Cox very close)
to the center line.
cars did stay in their lanes while sacrificing some aluminum.
The two quickest
cars from the morning show were Rick White and Rick Williamson.
So, for the "final", White was by far the quicker of
the two and had lane choice and really short odds.
was more than good enough for the win. Three runs - three 5.7s.
We'll close this
hodgepodge of Top Fuel with a close up look at a safety device
developed by Rick White and the guys at Autopower rigged to the
front pop-off valve in the blower manifold. Should there be an
engine failure - albeit top end or bottom - that causes the valve
to "pop" the devise instantly shuts off the fuel and
pulls the chutes leaving White to keep the car in his lane and
on all fours. Don't be surprised if this is soon standard equipment
on all the NTF cars.
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