Fri, 10 Mar 2017, 17:37 PM
Mendy Fry Wins March Meet in High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel Dragster
Courtesy of AA Fuel Dragsters
Photo copyright 2017 Chris and Tera Graves, Max Cackle Photography
Career Best Quickest ET for Fry and High-Speed Motorsports in Historic AA/Fuel Drag Victory
Mendy Fry emerged as the March Meet Top Fuel Champion after five days of side-by-side drag racing
at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. Fry drove the High-Speed Motorsports AA/Fuel dragster
to the win in a final round matchup with Jim Murphy in the Roland Leong-tuned WW2 entry. Fry staged
in and ran a full pass on a single with a 5.59-second ET at 252 MPH after Murphy lost fire on the
burnout with a broken fuel pump drive shaft.
Victory arrived with Fry driving the same dragster that she earned her Top Fuel license back in
2004 after working up the drag racing ranks from Junior Fuel. Fry is the first woman to win the
March Meet since 1982 when Lucille Lee bested Shirley Muldowney in what was the first all-female
Top Fuel final ever. Fry was overwhelmed with emotion after her March Meet win.
"It has been so much work to get here. These guys have given me a shot at the best ride I've ever
had. I can't express what that means to me. It's overwhelming", said Fry.
Fry emerged triumphant after near tragedy in Thursday night Top Fuel testing session when the input
shaft broke on the hit and grenaded the clutch. The Trick Titanium bell housing safely contained
the havoc, but the disintegrated clutch left the High-Speed team working night into morning. The
team recovered in time for a number eight qualifying slot and climb up the eight car eliminations
ladder into March Meet history.
Fry and crew celebrate win.
March Meet Top Fuel racing action was as frenetic as it was close. Pete Wittenberg took a Round One
win in his Hemi-powered Circuit Breaker with a 5.78-second ET in a tight race over Adam Sorokin's
5.81-second ET in the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet dragster. Sorokin got out on
Wittenberg with a hole shot but the Circuit Breaker held onto the power through the lights for the
win by a slim margin at the finish line.
The Sunday Round One battle continued with a Hemi vs. Hemi battle as Bret Williamson drove the Mike
Fuller Forever Young dragster to a win light over Dusty Green in the Nitro-Hemi entry. Williamson
got the hole shot and 5.90-second ET at 249 MPH over Dusty Green who pushed the Nitro-Hemi hard to
a 5.88-second ET that just wasn't enough against the .149 light from Williamson.
Fry celebrates win.
Mendy Fry's historic March Meet winning elapsed time echoed her earlier 5.59-second 249 MPH blast
in Round One Eliminations that put 2016 points champion and 2017 March Meet #1 qualifier Tony
Bartone back on the trailer to Long Island City, New York. Bartone double stepped then crossed the
centerline out of the gate to foul out of eliminations.
Jim Murphy powered his WW2 dragster to a 5.71-second 243 MPH Round One win against Rick McGee in
the Overtime Special. McGee had the better reaction time but lost traction after some wheelspin and
drifted towards the wall before bouncing the Hemi-powered AA/Fuel dragster through the lights
The Semi-Finals saw Mendy Fry trip up the Circuit Breaker with a half-track pedal and 5.78-second
220 MPH run that sent Pete Wittenberg back to Anaheim, California. Wittenberg had just earned his
Top Fuel license on Thursday night in the Pete Kaiser tuned Circuit Breaker. Jim Murphy took a
Semi-Final win with a 5.63-second 244 MPH run after Bret Williamson smoked the tires on the hit and
set the stage for the Final Round matchup against Mendy Fry.
Ten front-engine Top Fuel dragsters made it to the March Meet for qualifying but in the end, there
was only room for eight contenders. Brendan Murry could not get his Hemi-powered Running Wild
dragster moving quick enough and Phil Ruskowski from Canada did not get his pedal clutch equipped
small block Chevrolet-powered AA/Fuel dragster into the show. Rain delayed Sunday Eliminations in
the morning and again in the late afternoon as precipitation and an increasingly cold track surface
prompted race officials to push the final round matchup into Monday.
While a broken fuel pump drive and push back out of the race was not the way Murphy would have
preferred things to play out, he congratulated Mendy on her historic win and looked forward into
the season of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Racing action and run at the points
championship. "It just wasn't meant to be. It was a good weekend all in all. That could have
happened in the first round. The championship is our ultimate goal", said Murphy.
Next stop for the All American Fuel Dragsters coalition and nostalgia drag racing action is Beech
Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion June 15-17.
The full 2017 racing schedule is available at the http://www.nhrahotrodheritage.com/
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