MASTERCAM AA/FD HIT BY A TON OF FEATHERS, POISED TO CATAPULT INTO POINTS CONTENTION by Cole Coonce, NR July 29, 1999, Los Angeles, CA-- As the Goodguys VRA enters the bottom half of its '99 season this weekend at Pomona, the Mastercam ...
MASTERCAM AA/FD HIT BY A TON OF FEATHERS, POISED TO CATAPULT INTO POINTS CONTENTION
by Cole Coonce, NR
July 29, 1999, Los Angeles, CA-- As the Goodguys VRA enters the bottom half of its '99 season this weekend at Pomona, the Mastercam AA/Fuel Dragster entry of Frank "Root Beer" Hedge & "Wild Bill" Alexander find themselves in a position to make a statement at the 4th West Coast Hot Rod Happenin'. That is to say, Hedge & Alexander know they're making as much, and maybe more, horsepower as anybody on the front-motored Top Fuel circuit--and they are also aware that such tremendous force has the potential to be their undoing.
To wit: the first two Points VRA Races this season had been alternating exercises in success and futility. After posting career numbers (an elapsed time of 6.08 seconds) coupled with a runner-up finish at the season opening March Meet, the team failed to qualify for the top 8 at the Sears Point, the next event.
Enough is enough.
A revelation hit the team on its collective noggin like a ton of feathers at a test and tune session at Famoso Raceway that was conducted earlier this month in preparation for this weekend's race. After a couple of aborted attempts at making traction, owner/tuner Hedge and clutch manager Tom "Slick" Shelar ultimately conceded that they are making even more horsepower than they imagined--and it is now time to soften up the clutch to the consistency of a baby's bottom.
After making those changes (in essence sacrificing some bottom end performance to ensure not overpowering the track) at Famoso, for the duration of the test and tune the nitro-guzzling dragster was subsequently transformed into a pussycat off the pad but a veritable rocket ship from 200' out and into the eyes. . . driver Alexander reports that the digger was "whistling" on the top end like never before. Bill estimated a peak top end torque at well over 9000 rpm, numbers confirmed by the team's computer data.
These changes are crucial to the Mastercam team's hope of catapulting out of sixth place and into contention for the Points Lead during the remaining two races of the '99 VRA season. Stay tuned for results from Pomona.--Cole Coonce
Tentative '99 VRA Points Standings after 2 of 4 Points Races
Jim "Holy Smokes" Murphy 1616 Denver Schutz 1416 Rick McGee 1010 "Swingin' Sammy" Hale 832 Bill Dunlap 812 "Wild Bill" Alexander 808
Pro qualifying for the Goodguys Hot Rod Happenin commences on Saturday, July 31 at 11:30 and 3:30.
Sunday eliminations for Pro classes start at 12: noon Sunday, August 1st, excepting for rounds one of Junior Fuel, N/E and A/GAS (16 car fields) which start at 10:00am.