Photos and Story by Phil Hutchison
One of the many ET cars at Bakersfield
Seventy-seven? Seventy-seven? What does that number mean? That number represents the number of nitro powered racecars at the Good Vibrations March Meet held at AAA Famosa Dragstrip, which included Top Fuel, Funny Car, and AA/FA. And that number does not take in account of the other 40 or so blown alcohol dragsters and Funny Cars that populated the ET and Nostalgia classes. It was a feast of superchargers and nitromethane. All heading down the Nitro Highway at Bakersfield.
T Bone wins again but this time he had to work for it and showed just how fast the Bogg’s prepped T/F can go
Reigning Hot Rod Heritage Top Fuel champ Tony Bartone picked up where he left off the 2014 season, in the winner’s circle. Bartone from Long Island City NY, had the field covered by his usual tenth of a second but had to work for the win in the finals of the March Meet.
Top Fuel runner up Adam Sorokin
Bartone’s competition in what was described as a “David vs. Goliath” final, the blown small block Chevy of Adam Sorokin, made it as difficult for the champ to win as he could. Sorokin, La Cresenta CA, put a good half a tenth of a second hole shot on the NY racer and was leading to the 1000 foot mark when the little Chevy gave up the ghost, popping the supercharger to a slowing 5.79 @ 192.58 MPH. Bartone, in the other lane, had his hands full as his blown Hemi was all over the track in an attempt to catch Sorokin The champ, who usually shuts his car off early to save parts, had to leg it through the traps catching Sorokin with a record 5.531 with a big speed of 270.81 for the win.
Sorokin was way out in front of Bartone but the blower let go just before the 1000 foot mark
Now the rest of the world knows just how quick the Steve Boggs tuned Hemi can go.
The Bartone Winner’s Circle
“I was a little late, worse light of the weekend in competition, which is not what you want to do,” Bartone said of the start. “Eight, 900-feet, 1,000 feet, I looked over and Adam was right there. There was no letting up. He blew up, I blew up at the finish line.”
Steve Densham set low ET in the finals of FC with a 5.694
In Funny Car, it was second-generation racer Steve Densham driving the family’s “Teachers Pet” Camaro to a convincing win over defending March Meet champ James Day. Densham from Oceanside CA, was second off the line with a 0.096 light to Day’s 0.019 RT, caught the ’78 Dodge Challenger of Day by halftrack setting low ET of the event at 5.694 to Day’s losing 5.874.
Day was out first but Densham ran him down with ease, and Low ET
Low Qualifier Dan Horan went out in R2
Earlier in Eliminations low qualifier at a 5.715 and defending series champ, Dan Horan got out of the groove in round two getting very close to the wall, losing to fellow Californian, John Weaver’s Dodge Daytona. Weaver lost in the next round to eventual finalist, James Day.
Cruz sat out the final eliminations after not getting his California Charger into the quick 16
Thirty Funny Cars attempted to make the quick 16-car field with some of the biggest names in the Hot Rod Heritage Series not making the cut. Sitting out Saturday’s first round were NHRA regular Cruz Pedregon driving his California Charger Firebird, series regulars Mendy Fry and Jon Capps, and Don Schumacher Senior Vice President Mike Lewis behind the wheel of the Nitro Nick Vega of Anthony DeCero.
Brad Thompson had a blower explosion during his first round win but the damage was done and the Camaro did not return for round 2
Joining Cruz on the sidelines was Mike Lewis after he got sideways in the Nitro Nick Vega in his last attempt in making the field
Mendy Fry had nothing but troubles in her Dodge FC not making the show
My new favorite West Coast brewery is Firestone Walker and their 805 brew. Here Dana and her crew show off their best stuff
In the Fuel Altered class it was a repeat of the 2014 final with Oregon racer Dan Hix driving his supercharged ’34 Chevy against second-generation racer Jeremy Sullivan in his blown Fiat. Sullivan, who wounded his Hemi in a semi final victory over Shane Harter, could not make the final bell giving Hix a free ride to the winner’s circle.
Dan Hix made it two in a row at Bakersfield
Hix soloed for the AA/FA crown after Jeremy Sullivan was a no show
Sullivan (near lane) hurt his Hemi during his semi final win
Other winners at the Good Vibrations March Meet were:
Jr Fuel – Scott Parks, Burlingame KS, ’12 N&P 7.08 179.78 MPH
A/Fuel Darrell Waters, Bonsall CA, ’05 Comstock 6.50 209.10 MPH
Hot Rod Josh Wagner, Wasco CA, ’72 Maverick 11.636 112.11 MPH
Nostalgia Eliminator 1 Jason Barta, Bakersfield CA, ’08 FED 7.697 153.91 MPH
Nostalgia Eliminator 2 Jeff Crider, Bakersfield CA, ’68 Tuttle 8.606 149.53 MPH
Ed DeSaute (far lane)
Nostalgia Eliminator 3 Ed DeSaute, Rosemead CA, ’62 Corvette 9.618 139.85 MPH
7.0 Pro Jesse Adams, Yuba City CA ’00 Uyehara 13.08 58.35 MPH
A/Gas Keith Morovich, Bakersfield CA, ’67 Nova 7.63 173.36 MPH
B/Gas Tom Tourek, Surprise CA, ’67 Camaro 8.592 156.41 MPH
C/Gas Wayne Hoover, Alta Loma CA,’67 Nova 9.612 139.79 MPH
D/Gas Jake Wood, Redding CA, ’68 Camaro 10.623 125.76 MPH
Howard Anderson (far lane) had the baddest blown gasser on the property
AA/Supercharged Howard Anderson, Applegate CA, 6.539 213.43 MPH
Here are a few more images from this year’s Bakersfield March Meet. More to come later this week. And stay tuned for daily images from the Gators starting this Thursday.
Ron August lost control right past the finish line in his T/F and tagged the wall
Marcus Lawson failed to crack the tough Funny Car field in his ex Dale Pulde Firebird