The emotions got the best of Mendy Fry.
The defending NHRA Heritage Series Nostalgia Top Fuel champion, competing in the first event since the unexpected death of team owner Tom Shelar, clinched her second series championship. She also secured her fourth consecutive event title when she crossed the finish line ahead of Adam Sorokin at the Nitro Nationals in Tulsa, Ok.
For Fry, it was the first time she’d driven the High Speed Motorsports front-engine dragster without Shelar there.
“I started crying when I crossed the finish line, and it didn’t stop,” Fry admitted. “Tom won this Championship in absentia. We all knew how to do our jobs. He taught us all very well and put together a Top Fuel dragster that’s an absolute bracket car. He assembled a team that works well together and empowered us to make the right decisions even without him here.”
The team guiding Fry was a bit of an all-star cast as past High Speed Motorsports driver-tuners Sean Bellemeur and Troy Green joined the crew and family to honor Shelar.
Fry scored the win with a 5.60 elapsed time, running 258 miles per hour, as a quicker reacting Adam Sorokin had his dragster shut off at 800 feet with a reported malfunction from the automatic shutoff device. Sorokin slowed to a 5.98 elapsed time.
“The Leahy device shot the cannon against the throttle, closed it, and shut the car off,” Sorokin explained. “I couldn’t push it back. I didn’t even see her until it started to happen and then she went through,”
It’s a good thing that Roy Hill was sitting down when he took a call from “Big Daddy” Don Garlits a few weeks ago. If he hadn’t been, he might have been hurt when his legs turned to Jell-O. – https://t.co/kCO8lys7Zy pic.twitter.com/2VEuVEEUXw
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) September 23, 2019
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019