To start the week off we dug out some more of the fantastic Bill Phy shots from the collection and ran them through our clean up and identify process for you. We also finished up scanning another batch of Henning photos. This time the negatives were so contaminated we had to rewash and dry them. Then there was printing them out for a binder that we take around to our friends to help us figure out whose in them. Along comes Friday and it was off to the 51st Annual Auto Club Finals in Pomona. Being bored with just sitting around it was then off to El Mirage on Saturday and Sunday for the last lakes meet of the year. Can we rest yet?
As you can see we’ve been just a tad snowed.
Let’s look at some of Bill’s shots, shall we? First up is a shot that goes in the Special Department (BPC_035). We are even luckier as Bill even wrote a caption for it. “Waxing Mickey Thompson’s “Z” ironed ‘29 roadster before I made the ‘33 coupe into the first S.C.T.A. coupe record car at Bonneville in 1949.” Take a close look and you’ll see that the early S.C.T.A. members aren’t as squeaky clean as they pretended to be with impromptu street races being a normal thing to do. Also, note that Bill is skunking Mr. T. on the wrong side of the road. Bill was indeed the first Coupe to go into the record books at Bonneville with a speed of 92.87 mph. His down run was 110.56 mph and his return run was 75.18 mph. He was even First in Class with a speed of 123.62 mph.
Our next Bill shot just happens to be a picture of my two years down the road Uncle, Charlie Becavers number 6 Roadster Class entry at the lakes back in 1946. Jim Travers of Traco fame built the car and he and Beck go back to before the WWII and yes the car was powered by a Ford flattie V8. At the April meet it ran 110.70 mph, in June it ran 107.91 mph and it July it ran 110.02 mph. Now the fun begins as to locking down the actual date. On the right, you can see a Deuce fitted with a flattie. On the door that we’ve cropped off, we can read the numbers 2 and 7 and ? We know the car was owned by Dean Batchelor and run as the So-Cal Special because it’s painted on the cowl. The 27? fits into the Sidewinders club’s number grouping that Dean was a member of. Our problem is the incomplete S.C.T.A. records we have doesn’t show Dean as an entrant or list his speeds. Ah, more work for us to figure this one out.
Our next one is a killer shot too. We see an interested party eyeing Regg Schlemmer’s Eddie Hulse driven Class C Roadster at El Mirage on October 19, 1947. Hulse qualified the car first in class with a speed of 135.33 mph to beat Randy Shinn’s new September record of 130.76 mph. On his down run, Chuck got on it hard and ran 136.57 mph. On his backup run, he turned 135.54 mph to establish a new class record of 136.05 mph putting Shinn’s record into the weeds. Under the hood of Regg’s machine lurked a ’47 Merc V8 with Navarro heads and Evans intake manifold fitted with two 97’s. A Smith bumpstick and two 4-cylinder Wico Mags completed the package that fed a 3.27-1 rear end. Regg’s first lakes meet dated back to 1933 at Muroc. Check out the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in ’48 for more info on the car. Get a load of that ’38 Buick in the background.
The last of Bill’s shots for this story is also historic (BPC_075). We see Gophers club member Don Blair’s Modified stopping to pick up his speed at the June 2, 1946 meet at El Mirage. Note that the crude machine is supercharged and that the little go fast part on top of the engine pushed him into the Unlimited Class. Did he care ?, no. He went out and ran the fastest speed of the meet at 141.06 mph and pushed the Unlimited record to 134.08 mph. Many thanks to Bill’s family for sharing these treasures.
As we mentioned earlier Friday was such a Drag. Wandering around the pits, sitting in the grandstand, crying because of the Nitro, deaf because of the…… you get it. First up we were wandering pre-stage and up pulls Greg Anderson in his number 233 Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored ‘15 Camaro that runs in Pro Stock. He even stopped to flash us a big smile (JMC_5755). What a cool guy. After Round 1 of Qualifying Greg was down in 9th after posting the fastest speed of the 18 entries at 213.30 mph. His time of 6.537 got him there compared to quickest qualifier Drew Skillman at 6.512 seconds. At the end of Round 4 Qualifying Greg was top dog with a speed of 213.47 and the only guy in the 4’s with a 6.490 seconds. Champion Erica Enders was nipping at his heels in second with a 213.33 mph in 6.503 seconds. In Eliminations, he won round one by beating Matt Hartford and round two by beating Chris McGaha. In round three the luck went away as he red-lighted by a scant .001. What a bummer.
After a run it’s always rush, rush, rush or can we say push, push, push to get the car torn down between runs. The John Force boys are doing the latter in this shot (JMC_5756). At the end of four rounds of Qualifying and Saturday, our man was stuck down in tenth place of the 21 cars that tried and 16 that made the cut. He had shoed the Peak Anti-Frenti-Fre on Friday and Saturday our man was stuck down in tenth place of the 21 cars that tried and 16 that made the cut. He had shoed the Peak Anti-Freeze Camaro SS to a speed of 321.73 mph in 3.990 seconds. In the meantime, Matt Hagan had set a new track speed record of 330.15 mph and Ron Capps an ET record of 3.886. In the first round of eliminations, Sir John has the quickest reaction time of all drivers at .045 seconds as his rival Cruz Pedregon drops a cylinder off the line. Then the Forceman gets sideways and crosses the center line and was disqualified. Not a good way to lose a race. Bummer.
Getting tired of snapping shots on one’s knees all the time it was time for a little experiment in our next shot of Doug Kalitta’s Top Fuel Dragster in pre-stage for Round One of Qualifying. The camera was about 1” off the ground in this guess-cropped shot of the MAC Tools ‘13 Hadman chassied, AJ 500 powered ride (JMC_5751). Our man ran a speed of 320.20 mph in 3.801 seconds for a solid fifth in Round 1Qualifying. In Round two he slipped to sixth and in Saturday’s round three with a quicker 3.771 time was now in seventh. At the end of qualifying’s 4th round he had slipped all the way to 10th. In Round 1 of Eliminations he faced the “Sarge”, Tony Schumacher and won as his opponent smoked the tires. In Round 2 Doug won again over Billy Torrence in the Capco car with a run of 323.66 mph in 3.747 seconds as tire shake and a click end Billy’s chance to win. Round three finds Doug facing Shawn Langdon. Shawn nails it with a .059 reaction time and a 327.19 mph 3.763 second lap to Doug’s 314.31 mph 3.781 second run. It was Adios time. Shawn went on to pick up his 11th Wally when he took out Antron Brown in the Final Round.
We don’t get to see much of the Pro Stock Motorcycles as we’re always in the pits someplace. This time we were relaxing in the grandstands with the camera (JMC_5752). On this run, our near lane bike ridden by Karen Stoffer ran a speed of 196.36 mph in 6.823 seconds while our wheelie rider Jerry Savoie ran 196.67 mph in 6.836 seconds. We call that close racing. Karen rides a ’03 Suzuki sponsored by Big St. Charles Motorsports while Jerry rode Collection. After four rounds of Qualifying, Jerry was top dog at 197.51 in 6.803 seconds and Karen was second at 196.36 mph in 6.823 seconds. Both went on to win Round 1 in Eliminations. In round 2 Jerry got sideways off the line stops on the track while Karen red-lights.
Round two of Qualifying Friday evening at the 2015 Auto Club Finals at Pomona pitted both the Lucas Oil cars against each other (JMC_5750). Closest to us we see Morgan Lucas in the Geico/Lucas Oil car just before he started to smoke the tires at half track and clicked it. He coasted through at 194.18 mph in 4.259 seconds. Richie Crampton on the far side also lost traction and clicked it just after we captured them both. He coasted through at 147.20 mph in 4.143 seconds. After this round, Morgan was in 12th of the 18 car field at 210.05 mph in 4.143 seconds and Richie wasn’t qualified in 13th at 160.44 mph at 4.633 seconds. At the end of round 4 Qualifyingund 4 Richie ended up in 5th at 323.89 mph in 3.735 seconds and Morgan was stuck down in 14th but made the show at 305.98 mph in 3.811 seconds. In first round eliminations, Richie won over Brittany Force but Morgan was a goose egg after losing to Clay Millican. In Round 2 Richie won again over J. R. Todd. In Round 3 Richie smoked it off the line and coasted through at 81.71 mph in 10.354 seconds as Antron Brown went on to make the quickest pass of the weekend at 323.58 mph in 3.7 seconds after banging the blower in the lights.
We walked around after the races and shot a few more shots for you. After that it was head for home, get some sleep in a warm bed and then head out for El Mirage the next morning. While we have lots of details on the races at Pomona thanks to the internet, things are a little slower getting posted from El Mirage.
Our next group of shots is short on speeds but we’ll get them attached to the shots down the road.
What makes Lakes Racing way at the top of the motorsports list is thest is the i’ve got a better idea and i’ll make it myself mentality. John Neilson built his own Lakester and then his own head for the Model B four-banger that powered it (JMC_5752). We see the engine in John’s Class V4 Gas Lakester on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at the last S.C.T.A. lakes meet of the year right after his first run. At the September 13th meet John ran 126.222 on the 179.000 class record. Let’s hope he went faster at this meet.
We try and stay out of the way most of the time when shooting, especially when the driver has on his race face like in this shot. Fortunately for us we also know most of the players so we can get away with a few things like this pix of starter Ken Carlson signifies that Bill Kennedy in his Class C Grand Touring Corvette has one more vehicle in front of him before it’s his turn to step on the loud pedal. That he did as he put about half a mile an hour on the class record. Congrats Bill!
Harold Johansen has been racing at the lakes since the late ‘4k (BPC_074). He’s seen with the Beck-Travers number 6 Roadster Class entry at the lakes back in 1946. Jim Travers of Traco fame built the car and he and Beck go back to before the WWII and yes the car was powered by a Ford flattie V8. At the April meet it ran 110.70 mph, in June it ran 107.91 mph and it July it ran 110.02 mph. Now the fun begins as to locking down the actual date. On the right, you can see a Deuce fitted with a flattie. On the door that we’ve cropped off we can read the numbers 2 and 7 and ?0’s and has set so many records it’s hard to keep count of. At the November 2015 meet Ray Solis got to drive and push the car too (JMC_5755). Harold’s bright orange number 32 Gas Modified Roadster is powered by one of his ageless Model B Ford engines. A couple of meets ago the clutch let go in the car and some flying objects ended up hitting his driving shoe. Luckily there was no damage to Ray.
“Fast” Freddy Dannenfelzer brought out his mothballed Lakester for the November 2015 lakes meet at El Mirage (JMC_5753). He’s spent the last couple of years constructing a streamliner and was using the meet to do a little engine development for the car. On the left is the number 505 Class A Gas Roadster of Deeds Meter Kilger.
One of the bad thing about the lakes is the wind. As you can see right before noon on Sunday Mother Nature let loose (JMC_5754). Ed Stuck and his number 299 Class B Blown Fuel Roadster came all the way from Texas and only managed one run on Saturday at 222 or so and was on the line Sunday with the engine running when visibility went to zero. He wasn’t alone as three other cars from Texas, one from Montana, Utah, and Canada were left high and dry also as well as close to 200 other entries. Bummer.