Kentucky - June 18, 2017:
15th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion was a stellar Top
Fuel field featuring the quickest and fastest fuelers in the
world. At the end of the day, Jim Murphy grabbed a long anticipated
NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel event win at the with a 5.71 ET
at 257 MPH over opponent Jim Young who posted 5.92 ET at 253
MPH. Murphy welcomed the victory after climbing to five consecutive
Nostalgia Top Fuel final rounds marked by unfortunate flukes.
Weve had a dry spell for a couple of years, so this
feels really good. Its nice to get the monkey off my back,
the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 front engine Top Fuel dragster with
remarkably consistent power and speed throughout the 8-car Eliminations
battle, posting a 5.72 ET at 245 MPH Round One win over Julius
Hughes in his Atlanta Speed Shop fueler and a 5.73 ET at 240
MPH Semi-Final clincher over March Meet winner Mendy Fry, who
footed the High Speed Motorsports dragster to a 5.81 ET at 260.21
MPH against Murphy in a tight race that had the capacity crowd
Final round opponent
Jim Young set low ET and Top Speed of the event with 5.61-seconds
and 260.36 MPH and he moved up the Eliminations ladder over Tyler
Hilton in the Great Expectations III and Tony Bartone in the
Semi-Final while fighting tire shake so severe that it warped
sections of the Young Guns dragster body. The Wisconsin-based
Young was shaken but unbowed. Were making good horsepower,
now I just have to get it down the track. I wish we could have
sealed the deal, but we had a good outing, said Young.
Jim Murphy and
the WW2 team were last victorious at Bowling Green in 2013 and
took the points Championship the same year. His win at the 15th
Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway
in Bowling Green, Kentucky capped a weekend of blazing Top Fuel
racing action that puts the California-based Murphy as current
points leader moving into the 3rd race of the 5-race 2017 NHRA
Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Championship.
Top Fuel aside,
there were a ton of other race cars vying for the trophy in their
respective classes. Those who scored were:
Don Nave, Lake City Chrysler, 8.982, 95.66 def. Ernie Lipinski,
Neil & Parks, Foul - Red Light.
Darrell Wathen, Willys, 7.495, 172.70 def. Jeffrey Ferguson Jr.,
Spitzer, 7.488, 169.17.
Doug Duell, Plymouth, 9.503, 138.33 def. Diana Bookout, Chevelle,
Skeeter Wayne, Chevy, 9.498, 127.90 def. Bart Boles, Young, Foul
- Red Light.
TOP STOCK ELIMINATOR
John Meinelt, Camaro, 11.684, 98.45 def. Frankie Riggs, Cuda,
Larry Key, Chevy II, 12.320, 87.46 def. Greg Carta, Camaro RS,
Bryan Fugate, Impala SS, 11.472, 118.58 def. Dave Coots, Impala,
Foul - Red Light.
Pat Freels, Camaro, 10.091, 129.92 def. Dan Hobbs, Thunderbird,
John Swiek, Chevy CPE, 10.060, 129.14 def. Dustin Corn, Corvette,
Foul - Red Light.
HOT ROD ELIMINATOR
Chad Brewer, Nova, 10.825, 118.41 def. Bear Nichols, Nova, 10.375,
The event closed
with the famous Cacklefest as dozens of nitro burning machines
came to life in a celebration of the history of the sport.
Some Text courtesy
of All American Fuel Dragsters and NHRA Motorsports Museum
If you've ever
been to a NHRR at Bowling Green you know the odds are very high
that you'll see some rain during the weekend. This year it all
hit on Thursday postponing any track time to late afternoon.
Fuel Qualifying Session 1
The first session
of Top Fuel qualifying went off after 9 pm. First pair out was
Jim Young in his "Young Guns Racing" entry out of Salem,
WI and Jason Greenwood who hails from Racine, WI.
left hard, dangling the front wheels past the tree.
jaws dropped, just like that Young stopped the clocks with a
career best 5.683 at 243.94. Greenwood got a good baseline with
a 6.462 at 232.91.
Pair two was
"Diamond Dave" Miller out of Cedar Hill MO. and Tyler
Hilton who hails from Cincinnati OH. He's the grandson of Jim
& Alison Lee of Great Expectations Top Fuel fame. In fact,
the Hilton car features pretty much the same paint scheme as
the Lee's 1970 car and is named "Great Expectations III".
tire smoke at the tree and pedaled it to a 7.057 at 211.19 while
Miller clicked it early to a 6.040 at 192.63.
Next out was
Adam Sorokin, from Glendale CA. driving the Champion Speed Shop
entry and Julius Hughes out of Gainesville, GA, in the Atlanta
Speed Shop car.
After a solid
leave, Sorokin experienced problems before half track and shut
off to a 12.961 at 65.75 while Hughes carded an abbreviated 7.018
Next pair out
featured the winner and runner-up of the 2017 March Meet. Mendy
Fry in the potent High Speed Motorsports fueler and Jim Murphy
in his WW2 Racing entry. SoCal vs NoCal.
Murphy went to
the #2 spot with a slowing 6.013 at 192.58 while Fry shut off
early as well carding a 7.018 at 158.02. Young's 5.68 was looking
huge at this point.
car out for session one was Paul Schultz in the sharp Spirit
of Tulsa fueler.
smoked the tires at the hit.
Paul pedaled and stabbed it again
but not for long. Coasted through with a 12.045 74.29.
- Top Fuel Qualifying Session 2
Friday proved to be rain free
but hot and humid. First out for session two was Jason Greenwood
on a single.
Greenwood was soft on
the bottom but picked up to run a good mph.
the single, the first pair was Dave Miller and Tyler Hilton.
Hilton was off without a problem,
not so for Miller. Not sure what happened but when the tree went
green Diamond Dave went nowhere.
As Hilton moved
into the #7 spot, Miller's crew look on in bewilderment at the
ain't going nowhere race car. The issue seems to have been in
Another single came in
the form of Mendy Fry.
The car left hard giving
Fry nice early numbers.
With a nice 5.697 Fry
leaped into the #2 spot.
Next up was Dusty Green in the
Colorado based Nitro Hemi owned by Steve Harwood. Green did not
run the Friday night session so the team was starting with no
data. In the other lane was Paul Schultz who was not qualified.
This went ugly early. Green lit
up the tires at the hit. Schultz was very soft on a track where
soft was a no-no.
The results were predictable,
two DNQ's with one session left.
Up next was the current #1 qualifier
Jim Young and on the other end of the spectrum, Dave Miller who
was not in the show.
Young was out like a rocket,
Miller not so much. It was apparent here, as at all nitro races,
that clutch management was the key and several here forgot to
bring said key. The numbers bear out that the track was there,
you just had to find it.
Its all about the clutch.
Bam, Young stayed #1. Low ET,
Top Speed of the meet. Just missing the 5.5 club, Young again
improved his personal best numbers with a 5.618 at 260.36. Young
Guns indeed. Not even in the same movie, Miller remained on the
outside looking in.
to last pair featured Tim Cullinan and Julius Hughes. Neither
car was in the show.
Both drivers improved,
Out for the last single of the
session was Adam Sorokin who, at this point, was a DNQ.
The Champion car had
a great launch.
When all seemed
good, it wasn't. As can be seen in this great catch by Bob Sopko
Jr. the blower is held on only by the restraints when the mouse
Carding a 5.881 at only 185.21
suggests Sorokin was on a pass, still sat #5 at the end of the
The final pair
pitted two of the big dogs, Jim Murphy and the reigning Hot Rod
Heritage Racing Series champion, Tony Bartone who passed on the
Friday night session.
Top Fuel Qualifying - Sessions 1 &
- Page 1
Top Fuel - Qualifying Session 3 - Page 2
Top Fuel Eliminations Rounds 1 &
Top Fuel Finals - Funny Cars & Fuel
- Page 4
Other Cars - Page 5
2017 NHRR Cacklefest