Haight Wins Top Fuel at 46th March Meet Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA -- 52 year old Howard Haight of Upland, California has chased the dream of winning the March Meet ever since he was first licensed to drive a top fuel dragster in 1971.
Haight Wins Top Fuel at 46th March Meet
Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA -- 52 year old Howard Haight of Upland, California has chased the dream of winning the March Meet ever since he was first licensed to drive a top fuel dragster in 1971. Today at historic Famoso Raceway, just outside Bakersfield, Haight's chase officially ended. Driving a car owned and prepared by 1988 March Meet Top Fuel winner Butch Blair, Haight zipped to a 6.026 @ 250.83mph to defeat 31 year-old Rick McGee of Exeter, California in the final round of the Goodguys 46th March Meet presented by Clay Smith Cams.
"This is by far the biggest win of my career," grinned Haight, who works as a machinist at Mert Littlefield Superchargers during the week. To just get to the final round, Haight had had to drive around some of nostalgia top fuel's toughest competition, including 4-time March Meet winner Jim Murphy, who he beat in the semi-finals with a 5.954 -- his quickest run of the day. "I had never beaten Murphy until we got him in the semis today," Haight said. "To win this race at this track is awesome. My dragster was set up so well, it felt like driving a Cadillac out there."
Tucson, Arizona's Mike Savage grabbed the 46th March Meet Nostalgia Funny Car title by driving his 1978 Dodge Omni to the winner's circle in 6.333 seconds. His final round opponent Larry Petit of Hawthorne, California made it a close race by posting his best lap of the weekend -- a 6.429 but it wasn't enough to catch Savage, a former Champion in the Goodguys Nostalgia Eliminator Class.
Mike Austin of Medford, Oregon proved today that his number one qualifying effort in A/Fuel wasn't a fluke, running an early shut-off 7.086 in the final round when he realized fellow-finalist Ron Attebury had red lighted away his chance for victory. Austin's crew chief is 73 year-old Bakersfield native Tony Waters who was runner-up to Art Chrisman in Top Fuel at the first March Meet right here at Famoso Raceway in the spring of 1959.
The final round of AA/GAS turned out to be a solo run for the trophy by three-time class Champion Steve Woods, who bagged his 3rd March Meet win. Low qualifier and heavy favorite Ed Moss, who was crowned 2004 AA/GAS Champion, broke the throttle linkage on his 1937 Ford coupe after his burnout, forcing him to coast off the end of the track.
Finally, it was 2004 Goodguys Junior Fuel Champion Scotty Parks, a 21 year old race-chassis fabricator from Burlingame, Kansas taking the win in Junior Fuel. Parks ran a 7.169 @ 187.93 to defeat Mike Chrisman in the final. Chrisman's father Art, still active building engines for his son's dragster, was the first-ever Top Fuel champion at the inaugural March Meet.
Other class winners were Bud Hammer (Junior Fuel B), Steve Castelli (A/GAS), Randy Armstrong (B/GAS), Red McGuiness (C/GAS), Mike Williams (D/GAS), Dave Rosenburg (Nostalgia Eliminator), Dan Schrokosch (Nostalgia II), Van Macatee (Nostalgia III) and Ed Gallwas (Hot Rod Eliminator).
For complete round-by-round results from the Goodguys 46th March Meet presented by Clay Smith Cams, visit www.good-guys.com or www.dragracentral.com
<pre> Class by Class Final Results:
Top Fuel: Winner: Howard Haight, Upland, CA 6.026 @ 250.83 R/Up: Rick McGee, Exeter, CA 6.172 @ 209.49
Funny Car: Winner: Mike Savage, Tucson, AZ 6.333 @ 223.60 R/Up: Larry Petit, Hawthorne, CA 6.429 @ 230.06
AA/GAS: Winner: Steve Woods, San Leandro, CA 10.995 @ 78.58 R/Up: Ed Moss, Ontario, CA BROKE
A/Fuel: Winner: Mike Austin, Medford, OR 7.086 @ 146.81 R/Up: Ron Attebury, Morgan Hill, CA Foul Start
Junior Fuel: Winner: Scott Parks, Burlingame, KS 7.169 @ 187.93 R/Up: Mike Chrisman, Lake Forest, CA 7.214 @ 185.68
Junior Fuel B: Winner: Bud Hammer, Oxnard, CA 7.274 @ 181.89 R/Up: John Rasmussen, Littleton, CO 7.421 @ 174.41
A/GAS (7.60 Index): Winner: Steve Castelli, Windsor, CA 7.800 @ 148.98 R/Up: Ken Ratzloff, Idaho Falls, ID Foul Start
B/GAS (8.60 Index): Winner: Randy Armstrong, San Ramon, CA 8.521 @ 148.93 R/Up: Dave Matson, Grass Valley, CA 8.528 @ 161.72
C/GAS (9.60 Index): Winner: Red McGuiness, Visalia, CA 9.603 @ 132.27 R/Up: Jack Gottfried, San Juan Capistrano, CA 9.569 @ 112.09
D/GAS (10.60 Index): Winner: Mike Williams, Bakersfield, CA 10.627 @ 124.06 R/Up: Ed Carey, La Jolla, CA 10.597 @ 126.10
Nostalgia Eliminator (.7.60 Index): Winner: Dave Rosenburg, Long Beach, CA 7.828 @ 156.08 R/Up: Dave Ward, Crestline, CA 7.863 @ 170.16
Nostalgia II (8.60 Index): Winner: Dan Schrokosch, San Marcos, CA 8.635 @ 152.90 R/Up: Dan See, Fresno, CA 8.632 @ 154.10
Nostalgia III (9.60 Index) Winner: Van Macatee, Golden, CO 10.244 @ 136.92 R/Up: John Cassie, Sacramento, CA No-Show
Hot Rod Eliminator: Winner: Ed Gallwas, Tacoma, WA 10.516 @ 126.36 R/Up: Pete Baleno, Azusa, CA 10.930 @ 123.28