Bartone Leads March Meet Friday Fueler Field

After two sessions of Top Fuel Qualifying at the 2016 Good Vibrations March Meet, AA/Fuel Dragster driver Tony Bartone has marched to the front of the field with an early-shutoff 5.66. Adam Sorokin is on the bump for the 8-car eliminator, with one qualifying session left before eliminations begin Sunday morning.

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Murphy Tests Best Among AA/Fuelers

Good Vibrations March Meet, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA, March 2, 2016—A handful of AA/Fuel Dragsters took turns down the legendary Famoso 1/4-mile yesterday in preparation for this weekend’s Good Vibrations March Meet.

Jim Murphy paced the field with a clean 5.72 @ 231mph in “WW2” fueler. Also noteworthy: 2015 NHRA Heritage Series Top Fuel Champ Tony Bartone debuted his new Murf McKinney chassis and “Nitro-Hemi” owner Steve Harwood made a hit towards procuring his license in Top Fuel. Jimi Young, winner of the 2012 and 2013 March Meets, pounded the pavement in his Chrysler-powered “Young Guns” entry with a 6.01, shutting off at 800′.

“It’s going to haul,” Young said afterward.



Thursday, March 3

3:00 PM – Nitro Testing Session

Friday, March 4

12:30 PM – Funny Car & Top Fuel Qualifying Session 1
3:15 PM – Funny Car & Top Fuel Qualifying Session 2

Saturday, March 5

12:30 PM – Funny Car & Top Fuel Qualifying Session 3
3:15 PM – Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
4:00 PM – Fuel Altered Qualifying Session 2

Sunday, March 6

11:00 AM – Opening Ceremony
11:45 AM – Nitro Final Eliminations
Run Order: Funny Car, Top Fuel, Fuel Altereds
2:00 PM – Nitro Semi Finals
4:15 PM – Nitro Finals



AAFD HQ, December 8, 2015Who says print is dead? Not the AA/Fuel Dragster media mavens, who have organized a digest-format magazine chronicling all of this year’s action from the wildest circuit in drag racing, front-engine Top Fuel.

Available at, the 2015 AA/FD Top Fuel Digest compiles explosive coverage of the Bakersfield March Meet, the Boise Nightfire Nationals, Bowling Green and more. Follow the exploits of Tony Bartone, Adam Sorokin, Bill Dunlap and the rest of the fearless fueler heroes as they made 2015 a year to remember. An instant collectible for fans of nostalgia-style Top Fuel, the Digest has 36 pages of spectacular photography and razor-sharp race reporting with contributions from seasoned dragstrip shutter bugs “Max Cackle,” Ted Soqui, and Dave Kommel as well astute correspondence from veteran copy chimp Cole Coonce. -30

March Meet Winners, 1959 thru 2014

Top Fuel and Funny Car Winners

1959 Art Chrisman
1960 Ted Cyr
1961 Chet Herbert
1962 Don Prudhomme
1963 Art Malone
1964 Connie Kalitta
1965 Don Garlits
1966 Mike Sorokin
1967 Mike Snively Jack Chrisman
1968 Ron Rivero Fred Goeske
1969 Jim Dunn Danny Ongais
1970 Tony Nancy Hank Clark
1971 Don Garlits Jim Dunn
1972 Tom McEwen Ed McCulloch
1973 Dwight Salisbury Tom Hoover
1974 Carl Olson Ed McCulloch
1975 James Warren Dale Pulde
1976 James Warren Jim Liberman
1977 James Warren beat Garlits Eddie Pauling
1978 Dennis Baca last 32-car show Denny Savage
1979 Don Garlits Simon Menzie
1980 Connie Kalitta Jim Dunn
1981 Shirley Muldowney Dale Pulde
1982 Lucille Lee Tom Ridings
1983 Danny Dannell Mike Dunn
1984 Gary Beck John Force
1985 Gary Beck Rick Johnson
1986 Don Garlits John Force
1987 Don Garlits John Force
1988 Butch Blair John Martin
1991 Gerry Steiner NDRA?
1994 Bill Dunlap Goodguys VRA
1995 Pete Kaiser
1996 Paul Romine
1997 Bill Dunlap
1998 Jim Murphy
1999 Jim Murphy
2000 Bill Alexander
2001 Jack Harris
2002 Jack Harris
2003 Jim Murphy
2004 Jim Murphy Randy Walls
2005 Howard Haight Mike Savage
2007 Brett Harris Steve Romanazzi
2008 Jack Harris Bucky Austin
2009 Brett Harris Bucky Austin
2010 Adam Sorokin Leah Pruett
2011 Rick White Kris Krabill
2012 Jimi Young Chad Head
2013 Jimi Young Tim Boychuk
2014 Tony Bartone James Day

Live! On Speed Scene Live! Tuesday Nite! Top Fuel Wormhole!

Scott “Lucky” Hudson, the co-host of the “Speed Scene Live” webcast, has gracefully invited yours truly to discuss my new collection of drag strip journalism, Top Fuel Wormhole, on his show tomorrow night.

As Hudson hisself writes, “Author and nitro junkie, Cole Coonce, on Speed Scene Live TV tomorrow talking about his great new book! Check out “Top Fuel Wormhole” at

Show time is: 6 pm PST, Tuesday, May 5th. To hear the show, point your browser to:

There will be call-in segments also. The number is 1-800-809-0802.  Feel free to  phone the show and discuss anything from The Surfers AA/Fuel Dragster to Thrust SSC’s Mach One land speed record to “Jocko” Johnson’s streamliners to “Wild Willie” Borsch driving around opposing guardrails to “Nitro Neil” Bisciglia’s behind-the-wheel asphalt poetry to Arley Langlo’s political acts in a Top Fuel dragster… My hope is that the tenor of the broadcast will be nitromaniacal equivalent of the nights talk jock Art Bell would shoot the cosmic bullbutter with Terence McKenna. Or thereabouts. — Cole Coonce

A Coterie of Nitro Funny Cars Coming to DragFest

Beach City Chevrolet

Beach City Chevrolet

As a follow-up to yesterday’s report of Top Fuel cars coming to Bakersfield May 1-3 for Drag Fest, there is also a complement of Nitro Funny Cars that are slated to appear at this Rod & Kulture Magazine-sanctioned drag race.  Among the rumored and proposed Famoso Raceway-bound entries: Jack Wright’s Joker Challenger,  Dale Pulde’s War Eagle Trans Am, the Future Flash Dodge Charger, the Beach City Chevrolet Corvette, Mendy Fry in McCain’s Bomb Squad Plymouth Duster, the Fighting Irish machine, the Crazy Horse Mustang,  Lee Paul Jennings and his American Revolution (nee Code Red), Kris Krabil in bike magnate Gary Turner’s Pedaler, and the Burnin’ Money Camaro.

Pontiacs, Plymouths, Chevrolets, Dodges, and Fords, etc…?  There will be more diversity at Drag Fest than the registration line at the Rosemead DMV— Cole Coonce