By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Local Racers Challenge The Best In NHRA Heritage Series
Near lane, Oakdale favorite Richard Townsend qualified third in the Funny Car category with his Nitroholic Camaro but fell in the second round to Kris Krabill in Bucky Austins Bardahl Firebird. Photo By Mike Burghardt

The Good Vibrations Motorsports 56th annual March Meet, at the famed AAA of Southern California/Famoso Raceway, represents the first seasonal event of the NHRA Heritage Series. The results in Funny Car also count toward the Bakersfield/Boise Blitz challenge. The weather was perfect and brought out near record crowds each of the three days.

In Nostalgia Top Fuel, Tony Bartone of Long island City, New York, put on one of the most dominating performances seen in recent years. His car achieved performance levels that were nearly 0.250 seconds quicker than all of his competition in Top Fuel. In the final round, Bartone ran an incredible 5.531 (low elapse time of the event) at 270.81 mph to take the event win over Adam Sorokin, who ran a respectable 5.791 at 192.58 mph. Bartone has not lost a single elimination round since the 2013 California Hot Rod Reunion, held at this same facility. He won every event he attended in 2014 and was the runaway winner for the NHRA Heritage Nostalgia Top Fuel championship in 2014.

The Nostalgia Funny Car class was highly competitive. Local Oakdale favorite, Richard Townsend, qualified third with a strong 5.798 elapse time and his crew, led by veteran tuner, Kevin Poynter, had the Nitroholic Camaro running strong and very consistent. But, his racing luck would run out in the second round, as a valve train failure cost him the horsepower needed to get around Kris Krabill in Bucky Austin’s Bardahl Firebird, ending his chances. Steve Densham (son of longtime racer and retired school teacher Gary Densham), qualified second and became the most dominating Funny Car in competition in his “Teacher’s Pet” 1969 Camaro. Densham capped off his dominating event performance with the low elapse time of the event 5.694 at 249.26 mph to take the 2015 March Meet Nostalgia Funny Car event title over James Day in the Pedaler 1978 Dodge Charger.

For the second consecutive year, Dan Hix took home the AA/Fuel Altered event title in his 1934 Chevy bodied racing machine. The class index is 6-seconds and he ran very close to the index, throughout the event. Hix defeated Jeremy Sullivan, who was unable to answer the bell due to excessive parts breakage suffered in the semi-final round, with an early shutoff 6.446 at 179.97 mph.

Upcoming NHRA Heritage Drag Racing series events include Salt Lake City, UT and Boise, ID and the Nitroholic team from Oakdale intends to compete at each of those events, plus the Saturday Night Nitro events in Bakersfield and the season ending California Hot Reunion in Bakersfield. The Oakdale team is very popular with the fans and has one of the quickest cars on the circuit. They have high hopes for the remainder of the season.