The 55th March Meet in 2013 had a little of everything and seemed like a long weekend for a lot of teams as the four-day meet had some interruptions … and as we speak, parts of it are still going.
Teams started arriving to the mecca of drag racing as early as Tuesday because in-part the event has become so large that people have learned to get there early plus the Bowser’s, who run Famoso, opened it earlier to accommodate everyone. In addition, Thursday would be a test and tune for many who needed the extra time to get ready — since this was the first meet of the year. One particular eye-opener test run was Tony Bartone’s Top Fueler clicking off just before the lights and still going 5.56 seconds at just 220 mph (source: Bakersfield Californian).
It never rains in California … unless there’s a drag race
There’s been a drought of sorts here in California but as many of us have witnessed over the years, if you need to end a drought, schedule a drag race. On cue, Friday saw the rains come and thus, there would be no joy in Mudville. And that’s what it was like for some — which happens to dirt when it gets wet.
So in the nitro ranks, Saturday saw a lot of qualifying as teams from every division jammed in as much as they could on a cool and mostly cloudy day. Top Fuel saw last year’s winner Jim Young as the top qualifier with a 5.68 ET. 34 Funny Cars vied for the top 16 spots with Jason Rupert snagging #1 qualifier with a 5.70.
While most of the Sportsman classes ran early Sunday morning to get in a second round of qualifying, Top Fuel and Funny Cars started eliminations shortly afterwards. Reigning Hot Rod Heritage Series champion Adam Sorokin lost to Young in the first round. Eventually, with the Top Fuel final under the lights, Young and his Ousley family Top Fueler matched-up against Denver Schutz. The top end speed of Young’s car was too much for Schutz to overcome and Young was victorious with a 5.65 ET and at over 269 mph. In Funny Car, Tim Boychuk ran a stout 5.81 ET at 249 mph to defeat Mark Sanders who broke a transmission almost at the hit.
The immense popularity of Nostalgia drag racing is alive and kicking and probably bigger than it’s ever been. It would be nice to think something this big with such a fan loyalty and following could garner more coverage and sponsorship. Even with all the rain, the crowds were unbelievably huge and there wasn’t a seat to be found each time Top Fuel and Funny Car came to the line. The Bowser’s do a good job with Famoso but it certainly would be nice to see more seating.
If you’re wondering, all the other classes had to run today after getting only one round of eliminations in on Sunday. Again, the delay was due to the lost day of rain.
By the way, if you would like to see some videos of the March Meet, the Bakersfield Californian has several clips here.
Daryle W. Hier
- 55th March Meet (nostalgiadr.wordpress.com)