BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (June 15, 2019) – The 2019 NHRA Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance roared to life with an action packed Thursday featuring classic cars, nostalgic quarter-mile drag racing, and legends of the sport at Beech Bend Raceway Park. The three-day event paid tribute to the love affair America has with the car culture and celebrates the passion of the owners and their machines.

"It was a very successful event for racers and fans alike," said Larry Fisher, executive director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum. "We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a picture-perfect backdrop for hundreds of beautiful hot rods and super-fast race cars." Adding to Fisher's remarks, the NHRR is notorious for its hot, humid and often rainy weather. For the first time in memory this weekend was described by all as nice, comfortable and of course, unusual.

Racing action ignited the senses as drivers in 16 different categories raced side-by-side for two days of qualifying leading to Saturday eliminations.

In Nostalgia Top Fuel, Mendy Fry, current world champion and top qualifier for the event, powered to victory in her High Speed Motorsports dragster with a pass of 5.561 at 259.21. It was a side-by-side battle all the way down the track in the final round as Fry defeated Jim Young's run of 5.651 at 262.28. She landed in the final round after turning on the win light against Jerry Hangey and Tyler Hilton earlier in the day.

Jeff Arend took home the coveted Wally in the Nostalgia Funny Car category with his run of 5.784-seconds at 243.28 mph. Arend's California Hustler Trans Am was also the top qualifier for the weekend. He defeated Dan Horan Jr. and Eric Stevens on his way to the winners circle.

In other categories competing, Rich Krohn won in 6.0 Eliminator, Jeffrey Sanborn won in 7.0 Eliminator and Randall Boles was the winner in 7.5 Eliminator. Dan Dishon captured the win in Competition Eliminator and Jim Hayes emerged victorious in Gas Eliminator. In Modified Eliminator, Greg Carta came away with the win and Jimmy Ray took the top spot in Nostalgia Super Stock. The win was captured by George Warren in Top Stock Eliminator and in Hot Rod Eliminator, Paul Mitchell snagged the victory. Rounding out the day's winners were Herman Hill in Straight Axle and Joe Bush in Geezer Gassers.

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Some Text courtesy of All American Fuel Dragsters and NHRA Motorsports Museum

Special thanks to the Sopko trio for the great photos.

Without further ado, lets go racin'.

 

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For the second year in a row Mendy Fry wins Top Fuel at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion in the High Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster. And for the second year in a row her opponent was Jim Young. And for the second year in a row it was a close, exciting final round. Fry took it with 5.56 ET at 259 MPH while Young was right there with a 5.65 ET at 262 MPH.

High Speed Motorsports consistently has the largest team at each and every race, no matter where they are. Once again Tom Shelar and his fifth different driver to win the NHRR, Mendy Fry whooped it up with a few of this day's clan for the 8th time in the Bowling Green Winners Circle.

 

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THURSDAY - TOP FUEL SESSION ONE

 

Suit up...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first pair out to test the waters were Californians. Hailing from LA, Current Top Fuel world champion Mendy Fry driving the High Speed Motorsports car and March Meet winner Adam Sorokin in the Champion Speed Shop SBC car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As she's done so often the last couple of years Fry set the bar high. Sorokin clicked it early.

 

 

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Out next was Jim Young hailing from Salem WI. in his badass "Young Guns" Neil & Parks car. In the right lane was Joey Haas from Pleasant View TN. in the "Mill Road Boys" BBC powered entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Next pair had the fans seeing yellow. From San Jose, CA it was Brendan Murry in his "Running Wild" late model hemi car and Tyler Hilton from Sharonville OH. driving his BBC powered 2019 Horton car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just past the tree Murry started smoking the tires and clicked it. This was just the beginning of a problem plagued weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

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Next out was one of the three drivers who are all in for a run at the 2019 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Top Fuel Championship. Jim Murphy out of Santa Rosa. CA in his WW2 Racing entry. In the other lane was Julius Hughes from Gainesville GA, in the Atlanta Speed Shop fueler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hughes gave up early, Murphy logged a nice baseline run.

 

 

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Tim Cullinan of Des Plaines IL, was up next for a single.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The final car of session one was NTF rookie Larry Gocha chasing his dream. Coming in he needed to complete his license passes and this was his first try.

 

 

Larry's car has a history and not a bad one. If you've followed NTF over the years this car may look familiar. In 2002 the car was first owned by Mike Fuller, Fuller & Dunlap, built by Dave Uyehara.

In 2003 it was bought and campaigned by John Halstad with Western Hoist Special livery. More notable was the driver, none other than Bob Muravez making his one-for-old-time-sake tour. The car did well and won a race or three.

 

Muravez during the 2003 March Meet.

 

 

 

After the burnout there was an issue with leakage and the car was shut off and towed back to the pits.

 

 

 

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THURSDAY - FUNNY CAR SESSION ONE

 

Unlike Top Fuel, funny car consisted of four booked in cars that would run a Chicago style match race format to determine a winner on Saturday. Leading off was Jeff Arend in from La Verne CA, driving the "California Hustler" '78 Trans AM. In the right lane was fellow Californian Dan Horan Jr. in his '69 Camaro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Fuel Qualifying - Session 1  -  Page 1

Top Fuel Qualifying - Session 2  -  Page 2

Top Fuel - FC - AA/FA Qualifying - Session 3  -  Page 3

Top Fuel Qualifing - Session 4  -  Page 4

Top Fuel Eliminations - Rounds 1  -  Page 5

Funny Car & AA/FA Eliminations  -  Page 6

Top Fuel Round Two and Final - Page 7

Other Class Cars - Page8

 

Nostalgia Race Coverage like this and more importantly the drag racing history on WDIFL will cease sooner than later if racers and fans don't start supporting WDFIL again. Thanks, Don

 

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