22nd California Hot Rod Reunion, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, October 18-20, 2013–In a stunning and near catastrophic climax to Top Fuel Eliminator, Adam Sorokin and his Champion Speed Shop dragster squeezed by a crossed-up Denver Schutz and his RE3 entry in the final round of eliminations. The top-end scoreboards displayed a ¼-mile clocking of 5.91 seconds at 216 mph for Sorokin with no time showing for Schutz, but that data was somewhat misleading as Schutz had crossed over into his opponent’s lane, ahead of Sorokin who had a blower explode at 800 feet. Schutz tripped the timing lights but already been disqualified for the centerline violation, handing the win to Sorokin.
More on Heritage Series Top Fuel at the 22nd California Hot Rod Reunion is at: aafuelers.wordpress.com
As a result of his rapid reflexes, AA/Fuel Dragster driver Adam Sorokin won a quarter-final drag race during the 21st California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway against Rick White. With that hole-shot win, Sorokin and his Champion Speed Shop crew claimed the 2012 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Top Fuel Points Title. In that decisive match, Sorokin’s small-block Chevy-powered dragster ran a 5.697-second quarter-mile clocking to Neal & White’s losing 5.690, in what was the closest race of the weekend.
Going into the final race of the year, Sorokin was 62 points ahead of Rick Williamson in the Hemi-powered Team Craig car. One scenario in which Williamson could have won the Points Title was for Sorokin to lose early and for Williamson to win the four-round Reunion Eliminator — but unfortunately for Team Craig, only half of that happened. Williamson did, in fact, take the Reunion win, besting Sorokin in the final round with an elapsed time of 5.80, coupled with a Top Speed of 235 mph, while Sorokin trailed with a 6-second clocking and a blown engine.
That fiery final-round joust was a fitting conclusion to the 2012 AA/Fuel Dragster season, underscoring Rick Williamson and the Team Craig entry’s outstanding year, while also showcasing Champion’s no-fear approach to racing. And to fuel the fire of a what is becoming a fierce rivalry, it is worth noting that Team Craig fought their way to the final round at the season’s last three races, with Sorokin taking two wins to Williamson’s one. These are numbers and results Williamson intends to reverse in 2013.
The final standings for 2012 is as follows:
1 Adam Sorokin 456
2 Rick Williamson 420
3 Jim Young 280
4 Jim Murphy 279
5 Rick White 242
6 Mendy Fry 218
7 Tony Bartone 209
8 Terry Cox 193
9 Bill Dunlap 139
10 Brendan Murry 116
Overall, the teams considered 2012 to be a good racing year for Top Fuel. The class will be looking for full-car counts for the 2013 season as well as adding some new tracks to the series. There are new teams building cars as well as a former teams reuniting and gearing up for the 2013 season.
Of equal if not greater importance, the Association is consulting with NHRA officials and racers in an effort to improve safety conditions and find more effective approaches to oil containment.
The AA/Fuel Dragster Association will be providing more information as these news items develop.
In this HOT ROD Unlimited clip, Adam Sorokin talks about his AA/Fuel Dragster experience. Also: Don “the Snake” Prudhomme on racing a Top Fuel car and why a driver should listen to the “bomp-bomp-bomp” of a nitro-burning engine.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 766 Adam Sorokin 772 Rick Williamson E4 0.071 6.020 167.82 ****WINNER**** 0.106 5.809 235.23 Prior rounds: E3 (P Romine ) 0.085 6.483 135.20 (T Bartone ) 0.016 7.022 133.32 E2 (R White ) 0.042 5.697 244.03 0.155 5.716 259.26 E1 (T Cox ) 0.050 5.867 227.96 (D Horan ) 0.235 7.001 141.89 Qualified: #8 5.906 202.88 #1 5.750 261.02
5:15 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 84 degrees, relative humidity 28 percent, barometer 29.18 inches, adjusted altitude 2,724 feet.
Sorokin gets a big head start at the green and starts to pull steadily ahead going down the track. Right after the 1000 foot lights, the little Chevy starts to fail and Williamson is just able to storm on by for the win. There is a big blower BANG from his car right in the lights and a wall of smoke from the engine. Lots of oil after the finish line. Exciting finish!
Rick Williamson’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.099), 330 ft(-0.158), 660ft(-0.176), 1,000ft(-0.106). MOV: 0.1766 seconds (approximately 43 feet).
Adam Sorokin’s incremental times: 60ft-1.021 sec., 330ft-2.570, 660ft-3.764/208.71 mph, 1,000ft-4.841.
Rick Williamson’s incremental times: 60ft-1.085 sec., 330ft-2.693, 660ft-3.905/207.46 mph, 1,000ft-4.912.
457 Tony Bartone 772 Rick Williamson
E3 No Time ****WINNER**** 0.016 7.022 133.32
E2 (R McGee ) 0.072 5.692 268.33 0.155 5.716 259.26
E1 (B Dunlap ) 0.128 5.861 264.39 (D Horan ) 0.235 7.001 141.89
Qualified: #5 5.857 251.53 #1 5.750 261.02
3:09 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 84 degrees, relative humidity 28 percent, barometer 29.17 inches, adjusted altitude 2,727 feet.
Bartone gives it away, by deep staging and then leaving before the green. Williams sees the win light and clicks it early.
337 Paul Romine 766 Adam Sorokin
E3 No Time ****WINNER**** 0.085 6.483 135.20
E2 (J Murphy ) 0.066 5.694 235.84 (R White ) 0.042 5.697 244.03
E1 (J Rasmussen ) 0.173 5.876 231.28 (T Cox ) 0.050 5.867 227.96
Qualified: #6 5.883 207.69 #8 5.906 202.88
Romine’s frame damage was too severe to repair here and Sorokin will get the single to the final round. He takes the green, leaves hard, and clicks it off about 800 feet out to still takes lane choice in the final round.
7131 Rick White 766 Adam Sorokin
E2 0.118 5.690 259.26 ****WINNER**** 0.042 5.697 244.03
E1 (B Murry ) 0.147 5.763 256.50 (T Cox ) 0.050 5.867 227.96
Qualified: #2 5.787 249.67 #8 5.906 202.88
12:06 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 71 degrees, relative humidity 44 percent, barometer 29.24 inches, adjusted altitude 1,853 feet.
If Sorokin wins the round he is the 2012 TF Champion.
Adam Sorokin gets a big starting line advantage and takes the hole shot win and the Championship.
They run only 0.007 seconds different from each other and White cards a big speed in his effort to catch the little Chevy.
Adam Sorokin’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.073), 330 ft(0.098), 660ft(0.110), 1,000ft(0.101). MOV: 0.0692 seconds (approximately 26 feet).
Rick White’s incremental times: 60ft-1.035 sec., 330ft-2.615, 660ft-3.819/207.94 mph, 1,000ft-4.829.
Adam Sorokin’s incremental times: 60ft-1.038 sec., 330ft-2.593, 660ft-3.785/209.04 mph, 1,000ft-4.804.
701 Rick McGee 457 Tony Bartone
E2 0.129 5.658 253.56 ****WINNER**** 0.072 5.692
7131 Rick White 7188 Brendan Murry
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.147 5.763 256.50 0.056 6.681 190.11
Qualified: #2 5.787 249.67 #13 6.794 180.07
4:40 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 89 degrees, relative humidity 33 percent, barometer 29.08 inches, adjusted altitude 3,209 feet.
White is second off the line, but the fueler pulls quickly ahead in a cloud of clutch dust. He runs better than he qualified for the easy win.
Murry improves on a clean pass too, but just not enough.
Rick White’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.056), 330 ft(0.229), 660ft(0.398), 1,000ft(0.589). MOV: 0.8275 seconds (more than 100 feet).
Rick White’s incremental times: 60ft-1.035 sec., 330ft-2.640, 660ft-3.864/204.57 mph, 1,000ft-4.891.
Brendan Murry’s incremental times: 60ft-1.182 sec., 330ft-2.960, 660ft-4.353/177.42 mph, 1,000ft-5.571.
774 Jim Murphy 781 Mendy Fry
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.155 5.817 245.00 0.029 6.099 219.54
Qualified: #3 5.792 226.01 #12 6.361 162.20
Fry gets a big lead at the green, but Murphy drives on by before the 330 lights and pull steadily ahead for another strong pass near his qualifying times.
Fry has a flash and a lot of smoke from the engine right after half track.
4:44 p.m. Looks like a little clean up down track.
Jim Murphy’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.057), 330 ft(0.022), 660ft(0.065), 1,000ft(0.093). MOV: 0.1565 seconds (approximately 50 feet).
Jim Murphy’s incremental times: 60ft-1.060 sec., 330ft-2.652, 660ft-3.876/203.19 mph, 1,000ft-4.917.
Mendy Fry’s incremental times: 60ft-1.129 sec., 330ft-2.800, 660ft-4.067/197.91 mph, 1,000ft-5.136.
701 Rick McGee 308 Howard Haight
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.121 5.825 201.10 0.060 No Time
Qualified: #4 5.845 201.25 #11 6.029 197.94
5:02 p.m. After a long clean up, we are back to racing!
Haight gets a small RT advantage, but McGee is ahead before the 60 foot lights. The car struggles, drops cylinders and starts to tail wag. The car drifts over and nail the half track reflectors. His 7.746 ET and 122.10 MPH are DQ’ed.
Rick McGee’s incremental times: 60ft-1.030 sec., 330ft-2.601, 660ft-3.785/211.96 mph, 1,000ft-4.800.
457 Tony Bartone 716 Bill Dunlap
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.128 5.861 264.39 0.087 7.364 117.89
Qualified: #5 5.857 251.53 #10 5.968 237.59
5:14 p.m. Back to racing. The winner of this race will face McGee next round.
Dunlap gets the starting line advantage and holds off a charging Bartone until well after the 330 lights. The car starts to quickly slow after that. More oil on the track!
Bartone runs close to his qualifying ET, but cards a huge 264 plus MPH in the easy win. With all that, he gives up lane choice.
Tony Bartone’s incremental times: 60ft-1.092 sec., 330ft-2.745, 660ft-3.985/203.00 mph, 1,000ft-5.009.
337 Paul Romine 531 John Rasmussen
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.173 5.876 231.28 0.138 6.017 233.36
Qualified: #6 5.883 207.69 #9 5.946 224.14
5:25 p.m. Let’s try this again!
Great side by side race to near the finish line, as both engines expire in a wall of smoke.
Rasmussen gets a small advantage off the line, but Romine is out in front before the 60 foot lights. Rasmussen starts a come back between the 330 lights and half track, but starts to lose the pace after that.
Romine gives up lane choice to Murphy tomorrow.
Paul Romine’s incremental times: 60ft-1.021 sec., 330ft-2.646, 660ft-3.903/199.37 mph, 1,000ft-4.955.
John Rasmussen’s incremental times: 60ft-1.102 sec., 330ft-2.760, 660ft-4.013/200.89 mph, 1,000ft-5.074.
766 Adam Sorokin 700 Terry Cox
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.050 5.867 227.96 No Time
Qualified: #8 5.906 202.88 #7 5.900 249.72
5:31 p.m. Just a quick little clean up. Cox is a no show, so Sorokin will get a single to round two.
Sorokin makes a strong pass, better than he qualified, but has to give lane choice to White on Sunday morning.
Adam Sorokin’s incremental times: 60ft-1.021 sec., 330ft-2.596, 660ft-3.832/200.47 mph, 1,000ft-4.913.
772 Rick Williamson 736 Dan Horan Jr.
E1 ****WINNER**** 0.235 7.001 141.89 0.164 7.877 122.16
Qualified: #1 5.750 261.02 #14 8.734 120.17
Winner gets a bye run tomorrow in round two.
Both cars are late, but Horan’s advantage quickly evaporates, as the dragster slows.
Williamson was on a strong pass until near the lights, where the car got loose and started to tail wag. Williamson wisely shuts it off to settle it down. That ET would likely have made him the number one qualifier in 7.0 PRO !
1. Rick Williamson 5.75 @ 261
2. Rick White 5.78 @ 249
3. Jim Murphy 5.79 @ 226
4. Paul Romine 5.88 @ 207
5. Terry Cox 5.90 @ 249
6. Rick McGee 5.94 @ 187
7. John Rasmussen 6.00 @ 241
8. Howard Haight 6.02 @ 197
9. Bill Dunlap 6.13 @ 200
10. Mendy Fry 6.36 @ 162
11. Brendan Murry 7.84 @ 112
12. Dan. Horan 8.73 @ 120
13. Adam Sorokin 14.21 @ 79
14. Tony Bartone 14.97 @ 69
With NHRA’s Heritage Series Points Title on the line, Top Fuel drivers Adam Sorokin and Rick Williamson lead a field of fifteen AA/Fuel Dragsters into battle next weekend at the 21st California Hot Rod Reunion in Famoso.
Sorokin, driving the Champion Speed Shop Chevrolet, is leading the series by 61 points — less than three round of racing. Number 2 in points, Williamson, manning the Team Craig machine, will be gunning for the Champion Speed Shop dragster in hopes of upending Sorokin’s title quest. All of which matters little to East Coast and Midwest drag racers towing to Bakersfield looking to prove to Left Coast racers and fans that the baddest fuelers aren’t from California. Of those, strongman Tony Bartone and the Bartone Brothers car from New York is the fastest of them all, clocking a 274-mph top end speed earlier this year. Similarly, midwest maniac Paul Romine, taking the place of Jimi Young in Frank Ousley’s “Crop Duster” dragster out of Illinois, will attempt to post more 5.50-second elapsed times like those that his team recorded en route to winning this year’s Bakersfield March Meet. Moreover, for the first time this year accomplished journeyman Howard Haight will be racing the “Mr. Boston” car out west.
As always, consistently-fierce competitors Jim Murphy, Rick White and Rick McGee will all play a major role in setting the pace for the 21st Reunion in their Chrysler 392-type powered dragsters. In contrast to their approach, among entries sporting the 426-hemi powerplant are young gun Terry Cox, Brendan Murry and Dan Horan Jr.
Also competing will be “the World’s Fastest CPA,” Mendy Fry, the lone female of the group, piloting Mike Fuller’s explosive “Forever Young” car. Rounding out the field is respected wheelman Bill Dunlap in the “High Speed Motorsports” entry, as well as John Rasmussen driving for Bob Richardson’s “Circuit Breaker” machine and El Segundo peacenik beach-bum Jim Boyd and his vintage-perfect “Red Turkey.”
Top Fuel Final Qualifying Order
1. Adam Sorokin 5.826 – 206.08
2. Rick White 5.836 – 245.84
3. Rick Williamson – 5.921 – 251.51
4. Terry Cox 5.926 – 240.05
5. Jim Murphy 6.022 – 207.32
6. Brendan Murry 6.291 – 220.45
7. Mendy Fry 8.487 – 88.58
Round 1 Eliminations
W – Adam Sorokin -6.395 – 158.98
W – Terry Cox – 5.943 – 245.45
Jim Murphy – 6.139 – 180.56
W – Rick White 5.822 – 250.53
Mendy Fry 6.284 – 225.91
W-Rick Williamson 6.433 – 147.65
Brendan Murry – 0.00 – 000
W – Adam Sorokin 5.831 – 221.86
Terry Cox 6.252 – 199.41
W – Rick Williamson – 5.867 – 259.79
Rick White – 6.109 – 215.11
W – Adam Sorokin 5.856 – 221.85
Rick Williamson 7.754 – 131.04