Rick White Shines in Top Fuel

 

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Bakersfield, 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, 1960’s drag race. To do this, they made Famoso more period correct and tried to make historical cars their main focus.

Headlining the 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 clockwork.

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 Ewald.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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After a two year absence, Mark Hyla was back in the seat of Bob Richardson's "Circuit Breaker".

 

 

 

 

 

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Starting with the first session on Saturday, Terry Cox in the Cheetah IV car.

 

 

 

 

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Reigning HHRS Top Fuel champ Troy Green was in the seat of the High Speed Motorsports car.

 

 

 

The car was somewhat soft at the hit.

 

 

 

Green stopped 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.

 

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Hyla smoked the tires at the hit and clicked it.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adam Sorokin 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.

Although they 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.

 

 

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Following the 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.

 

 

Unfortunately Brad's first attempt ended at the burnout.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Second session on Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the weekends close calls came when Cox and Murry got close (Cox very close) to the center line.

 

 

 

Both cars did stay in their lanes while sacrificing some aluminum.

 

 

 

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Sunday

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 5.78 was more than good enough for the win. Three runs - three 5.7s.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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