Brett - The
New Sheriff Runner-up In Close Final
2005, Sonoma, CA - The Goodguys 17th Nitro Nationals was marked
with iffy weather conditions, a record number of oil downs and
some of the closest Top Fuel racing in memory. The teams came
in Friday to overcast and rainy skies and a chance of rain over
the weekend. Being just a two day event scheduling would be tight
at best with two qualifying sessions Saturday for all classes
so any interference from Mother Nature or unforeseen on-track
incidences would, and in this case did, throw everything off.
Because of a weather delayed start and TF engine carnage, most
(if not all) classes only got one shot to make the show. With
24 TF cars on the grounds that meant if you missed your tune-up,
you would be one of the eight cars going home. Harris Racing
had no worries on that score with Brett qualifying # 1 on his
only attempt. Race photos and details below.
Harris 5.908 @ 246.30
2. Bill Dunlap 5.911 @ 248.20
3. Brendan Murry 5.930 @ 230.96
4. Rick McGee 5.952 @ 245.27
5. Jason Richey 6.015 @ 252.19
6. Denver Schutz 6.053 @ 241.80
7. Terry Cox 6.058 @ 246.44
8. Rick Williamson 6.077 @ 199.43
9. Jim Murphy 6.147 @ 245.32
10. Jeff Diehl 6.202 @ 225.56
11. Howard Haight 6.212 @ 236.30
12. Mendy Fry 6.250 @ 230.80
13. Pete Kaiser 6.330 @ 218.62
14. Mark Malde 6.401 @ 217.70
15. Rick White 6.469 @ 217.11
16. Bob Hallock 6.769 @ 141.98
--------- Not Qualified ---------
17. Sean Bellemeur 6.974 @ 226.43
18. Brad Thompson 9.239 @ 108.06
19. Lee Jennings 10.230 @ 76.89
20. Fred Farndon 14.660 @ 51.86
and Sean backup after their burnouts.
Harris was focused as
he moved into the staging beams.
oil downs in front of them, Brett "The Sheriff" Harris
in Nitro Thunder and Sean "The Penguin" Bellemeur in
the Plaza Hotel entry paired off in the one and only qualifying
session the Top Fuel car would get.
Harris left hard
and went low with a 5.908 @ 246.30. Bellemeur struck the tires
hard at the hit but managed to pedal it to a 6.974 @ 226.43 which
would net the # 17 spot which is not good in a 16 car show.
Saturday afternoon Big Red was
ready for Sunday and the crew was laid back.
Brett talks to the crew while
Jack invites block manufacturer John Rodeck into the trailer.
Sunday - Eliminations
First round of
eliminations found # 1 qualifier Brett Harris racing # 16 Bob
After the burnout, VRA TF Top Speed Record
Holder, Jack Harris gives son Brett the ol' thumbs up before
puts Brett firmly into the prestigious 250 MPH Club.
a good light but he needed way more than a tenth as by the 1/8
mile Harris had gone around him and was pulling away to a stout
5.873 @ 256.41 win. Hallock gave up early and clicked it to a
6.274 @ 169.72.
The Posse heads
down to the top end to retrieve Brett and, oh yea, the car.
two of eliminations found Harris paired with Sean Bellemeur.
backs up from his burnout.
Both cars left
together but Harris took over by the 330' mark and pulled away
to a 5.912 @ 255.92 win light. Bellemeur never gave up carding
a 6.029 @ 243.72.
not be Disney World but we're goin' to the finals!
In the semi finals
Harris faced the ever tough Rick McGee. Harris just drilled the
tree on McGee and Rick gave chase but the big red car was long
gone to a 5.866 @ 256.94.
Harris and White back
up from their burnouts.
By the numbers
the Top Fuel final featured the two best cars in the pits and
two drivers who had never been there before... Brett Harris and
Thunder Photo Archives
As billed, this
was one hell of a drag race. Harris nails a perfect light but
White drives around him near the stripe. It was close all the
way down with both were over 201 mph at half track which is considered
a prime number for front engined nitro cars. White clocks a 5.825
@ 250.97 with Harris right there with a 5.906 @ 258.27 (Top Speed
of the meet).