On paper, Adam Sorokin didn’t stand much of a chance in the Good Vibrations March Meet Nostalgia Top Fuel final.
The second-generation AA/Fuel Dragster driver had held his own, qualifying fourth in a field paced by Rick White’s 5.74. However, once Sunday’s final eliminations began Mendy Fry became the new and seemingly unattainable benchmark with a 5.518 and a 5.490 to reach the finals.
Well, Sorokin had a 5.83.
In what could be considered one of the greatest March Meet upsets in history, Sorokin stopped Fry dead in her tracks in the final round. Actually, a 50-cent part stopped her; but nonetheless, Sorokin was all too happy to be the benefactor.
Sorokin clocked a 5.844-second elapsed time at 212.16 mph solo shot to pick up his second career Bakersfield title.
“It started out pretty tough, actually,” Sorokin said. “We went through a bunch of adversity and the guys kept putting the car back together and it kept getting a little better each time. I kind of knew by the way Bobby (McLennan) was helping in that he had a tune-up in it. He tends to belt me in a little tighter every time it is a little bit more hopped-up. Two March Meet (wins) is unbelievable. One was a dream come true and to win another is some special. This one is for Jim McLennan and Mike Sorokin, my dad.”
Sorokin won the March Meet for the first time in 2010 when he defeated Howard Haight in the final round. His dad, the late Mike Sorokin, won the prestigious event in 1966 before getting killed while racing in 1967.
Sorokin was one year old when his dad passed away.
“This is the race you want to win,” Adam said. “I wanted to win this race before I was driving anything. I knew the significance of the March Meet when I was a little boy. You don’t ever know you’re going to be in a Top Fuel car when you’re a kid, but you get an opportunity to do it and actually drive in this historic race, which is more than 60 years old, to win and put your name along with the other people who are legendary who have won this race is humbling. I could not be happier. If my dad were here, I would just hug him.”
Sorokin’s memorable victory came at the expense of Rick McGee, Rick White, and Fry.
As gratifying as the victory was for Sorokin, it was yet another gut-punch for the resilient champion Fry. A year ago, she had the race won before she hit a cone near the finish line and was disqualified.
“A bolt came out of the throttle linkage,” a disappointed Fry said. “When I hit the gas, there was no gas. This race makes us earn it. In 2017, we sheared the input shock on my second run down on the car and we came back and won it on a Monday. The last two have been trying to say the least, but you know we ran a 5.51 and backed it up with 5.49 and that’s no fluke. We have something for the rest of the races. We will be back. I can’t say enough about my guys, they stayed until 3 in the morning to fix this thing and to go lay down those numbers (Sunday), incredible. My guys are the best. We will get over this.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019