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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Fuller & Dunlap Break Through, McDaniel Brings
Home 2nd Consecutive Goodguys Top Fuel Crown

By John Drummond

November 4th, Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA - Heading into the Goodguys Fuel & Gas Finals, the quest for the Goodguys 2001 Top Fuel Championship was a clear-cut, two horse race. So everyone thought. While Jack "The Sheriff" Harris held a 29 point lead on defending champion Rance McDaniel prior to the event, McDaniel was able to shave that number down to 25 points by virtue of out-qualifying the sheriff by three positions on Saturday. When Sunday's eliminations began, it was a pretty basic championship scenario. In light of the fact that the first round awards drivers 40 points, if Harris or McDaniel faltered in the dreaded first round, the one who advanced looked like the sure-fire champ. But wait. In third position in the points chase was Bill Dunlap driving Mike Fuller's "Midnight" entry and if both Harris and McDaniel went out early, coupled with a win, Dunlap would be the champion by a scant one point!

Unfortunately for the "Sheriff," he ran out of bullets and lost his 1st round race by virtue of smoking tires to number one qualifier Rick McGee (who ran back to back 6.04's in Saturday qualifying - a career best). McDaniel meanwhile, had by no means, a free pass to the championship title. His quest? To win round one by taking out Dale Pulde - a feared competitor who was due for some lady luck driving John & Linda Eirich's "Ground Zero" entry. In what ultimately turned out to be "the" race of the event and 2001 season, McDaniel got the win over Pulde by a whisker 6.10 to the loser's 6.13, but the margin of victory measured not feet but inches! Pulde's .489 light to McDaniel's .500 made things too close for comfort. "I saw way too much of Pulde," said a jubilant McDaniel in the shut-off area. "I watched Harris lose and all the pressure was on us at that point. Thank god the Championship is over, now we can have fun and race." Indeed, it was over. Rance and Bobby McLennan's "Champion Speed Shop" small-block Chevy entry had repeated as Top Fuel Champions. In the end, McDaniel and Dunlap faced off for the event title with Dunlap taking his first Goodguys event win since 1996, running 6.16 to McDaniel's shut-off 8.14.

Bob Muravez, driving John & Jeannie Halstead's "Western Hoist" entry collected the Top Fuel "B" honors (second fastest eight qualified cars) taking out veteran west coast drag racer Kirk Kuhn's in the final. Interestingly, Muravez' final run of 6.15 was one-thousandth of a second quicker than Dunlap's Top Fuel "A" victory, proving the Western Hoist team has what it takes to compete on any level.

The Pro-Supercharged event title and season championship went to Steve Woods who for the 4th consecutive year driving his BAE Hemi powered 1948 "Hypocrite" Prefect proved he is indeed the master of his domain. Woods held a 1 point advantage over rival and near-namesake Steve Wood at the start of Sunday's title quest, but Wood, pilot of the Richwood Meats '53 Studebaker, had a huge blower explosion in his round one race with Chris Abbey. The resulting damage and fireball cost him a 1st round victory handing Woods his familiar crown. Showing his muscle, Woods ran Low ET of the meet in the semis with a 6.93 before defeating Ronnie Nunes in the final 7.05 to 7.12.

Although he had the Junior Fuel Championship all neatly wrapped up heading into the Fuel & Gas finals, Bullhead City, Arizona's Bill Wayne would like to forget his weekend in Bakersfield. In fact, he doesn't really remember much of it. In a second round race with Mendy Fry, Wayne's right front spoke wheel apparently came apart at the half-track mark, sending the car violently into the guardrail, which then sent the Lucas Oil Products sponsored dragster through a series of bounces and tumbles, before coming to a stop about 100 yards past the finish line. Wayne was cut out of the remainder of the car by the Famoso Raceway safety crew and was then transported to a local trauma center. Dazed and sore, Wayne was released Tuesday, November 6th listed in fair condition with no broken bones, just lots of stiffness and soreness. Second place points holder Wayne Ramay advanced to the finals from his #4 qualifying position to face Burlingame, Kansas wonderboy Scott Parks -who's one year removed from high school. Parks, who was in search of his third career Goodguys Junior Fuel event title, came up short in the final falling to Ramay's 7.301 to 7.305.

A/Fuel low qualifier Ron Attebury, who's been looking for his first career Goodguys event title since he and partner Skip Rebozzi debuted their new BAE powered dragster in April, will have to wait until next year to try again. He fell to Jim Paul's "Mischief Maker Racing" small-block Chevy powered entry in the final 6.62 to 6.73. 2001 Class champion Sean Bellemeur fell to Attebury in the semi's, but in the process wrapped up his first-ever Goodguys A/Fuel Championship crown.

Other event winners at the Goodguys Fuel & Gas Finals were Sean Renteria (A/GAS), Brad Chafee (B/GAS), J. Cameron (C/GAS), Mike Cross (Nostalgia Eliminator), Dave Ward (N/E II), Dave Flagg (N/E III), Carrie Marlin (Hot Rod) and Dean Kirkman (Street Machine).

Final 2001 Goodguys West Coast Championship points standings:

Top Fuel 
1. RANCE MCDANIEL 372 
2. BILL DUNLAP 350 
3. JACK HARRIS 349

A/Fuel 
1. SEAN BELLEMEUR 482 
2. JIM PAUL 474 
3. KIN BATES 278

Pro-Supercharged 
1. STEVE WOODS 474 
2. STEVE WOOD 400 
3. RICH ROBERTS 366

Junior Fuel 
1. BILL WAYNE 415 
2. WAYNE RAMAY 360 
3. SCOTT PARKS 320

A/GAS 
1. SEAN RENTERIA 444 
2. MARK MAHOOD 332 
3. STEVE CASTELLI 326

B/GAS 
1. KEVIN RILEY 428 
2. KEN RATZLOFF 292 
3. DAVE NUGENT 230

C/GAS 
1. BOB PATTEN 364 
2. BRET PICHLER 164 
2. CLAY BENTSON 164 
3. CHAD DEMLER 160

Nostalgia Eliminator 
1. MIKE SAVAGE 232 
2. SCOTT CHRISTLEIB 229 
3. DAVE GRUZEN 190

N/E II 
1. ROBERT LANDER 330 
2. JERRY BUCKLEY 286 
3. DAN SCHROKOSON 280

N/E III 
1. DAVE GRUZEN 428 
2. JUDSON WITTY 422 
3. DEAN PROCHISON 280

Summary of eliminations in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals:

Round 1: Lee Jennings, Chino CA, Stirling-Donovan, Left lane, (0.773) 5.997 233.64 def. Mark Malde, Windsor CA, Stirling-KB, (0.555) 12.924 55.13 Bill Dunlap, Capitola CA, Uyehara Donovan, Right lane, (0.601) 6.159 229.94 def. Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa CA, Stirling-Donovan, (0.538) 6.473 232.31 Rick McGee, Exeter CA, Tedford-Donovan, Right lane, (0.522) 6.103 225.62 def. Jack Harris, Kaysville UT, N&P-Chrysler, (0.538) 11.327 77.89 Rance McDaniel, Daly City CA, -Chevy, Right lane, (0.500) 6.109 236.96 def. Dale Pulde, Sylmar CA, Dragster-Donovan, (0.489) 6.130 242.71 

Round 2: B Dunlap, Left lane, (0.528) 6.154 233.34 def. R McGee, (0.360 foul) 6.408 178.92 R McDaniel, Right lane, (0.502) 6.129 237.65 def. L Jennings, (0.514) 6.193 219.08 

Round 3: B Dunlap, Left lane, (0.507) 6.166 226.92 def. R McDaniel, (0.512) 8.143 110.52

Low ET: Lee Jennings 5.997 seconds Top Speed: Jack Harris 243.24 MPH

Summary of eliminations in Nostalgia B Top Fuel at the Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals:

Round 1: Kirk Kuhns, Yorba Linda CA, Hansen, Left lane, (0.599) 6.470 228.13 def. Glenn Hutchison, Citrus Heights CA, Stirling, (0.486) 14.723 51.05 Bob Muravez, Burbank CA, -Chrysler, Right lane, (0.656) 6.117 236.15 def. John Shoemaker, Rancho Cordova CA, , (0.529) 6.438 183.82 Tim Gibson, Glenwood NM, , Left lane, (0.530) 6.243 224.83 def. Rich Howell, Long Beach CA, , (0.550) 6.310 227.67 Lee Jennings Jr, Chino CA, , Right lane, (0.517) 6.409 192.10 def. Kent Terry, San Miguel CA, Stirling-Rodeck, (0.587) 6.958 173.37 

Round 2: B Muravez, Right lane, (0.524) 6.211 219.45 def. L Jennings Jr, (0.465) 7.744 148.12 K Kuhns, Right lane, (0.549) 6.496 225.45 def. T Gibson, (0.506) 15.280 58.53 

Round 3: B Muravez, Right lane, (0.518) 6.159 225.00 def. K Kuhns, (0.557) 8.116 106.96 

Low ET: Bob Muravez 6.117 seconds Top Speed: Bob Muravez 236.15 MPH

Summary of eliminations in A/Fuel at the Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals:

Round 1: Steve San Paolo, Salinas CA, Stirling-KB, Right lane, (0.713) 6.762 202.74 def. Mark Woods Jr, Kingsburg CA, Berry-Chevy, (0.514) 10.591 71.79 Sean Bellemeur, La Canada CA, Uyehara-KB/BAE, Left lane, (0.479) 6.886 202.52 def. Steve Dickerman, Fullerton CA, , (0.471) 7.269 184.65 Ron Attebury, San Jose CA, '01 Attebury, Left lane, (0.566) 6.614 211.01 def. Jason Richey, Pleasanton CA, Sterling-Chevy, (0.146 foul) 9.422 188.67 James Paul, Auburn CA, Uyehara-Chevy, Left lane, (0.689) 6.677 205.19 def. Kin Bates, Anderson CA, Tuttle-Chrysler, (0.680) 6.955 190.47 

Round 2: J Paul, Left lane, (0.471) 6.642 198.50 def. S San Paolo, (0.791) 6.774 203.85 R Attebury, Left lane, (0.488) 6.671 209.59 def. S Bellemeur, (0.440) 6.773 208.04 

Round 3: J Paul, Left lane, (0.464) 6.620 205.99 def. R Attebury, (0.479) 6.731 213.82 

Low ET: Ron Attebury 6.590 seconds Top Speed: Ron Attebury 216.24 MPH

Summary of eliminations in Junior Fuel at the Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals:

Round 1: Scott Parks, Burlingame CA, N&P-Chevy, Right lane, (0.500) 7.492 176.81 def. Stacy Paul, Auburn CA, Uyehara-Buick, (0.467) 7.628 173.37 Bud Hammer, Oxnard CA, Tuttle-Chevy, Left lane, (0.478) 7.720 173.24 def. Jim Moore, Watsonville CA, Dragster-Chevy, (0.381 foul) 8.441 156.65 Mendy Fry, Chula Vista CA, Meyer-Chevy, Left lane, (0.429) 7.380 180.43 def. Kristin Neumann, Ventura CA, Victory-Olds, (0.600) 7.967 167.13 Kelly Craig, Campbell CA, Davis-Chevy, Left lane, (0.438) 7.517 173.31 def. Brad Woodard, Oceanside CA, -Chevy, (0.482) 7.658 169.68 Wayne Ramay, Simi Valley CA, JP Mtrsprt-Chevy, Left lane, (0.459) 7.379 180.18 def. Dan Fenton, San Lorenzo CA, -Chevy, Broke Todd Movius, Long Beach CA, Stirling-Chevy, Left lane, (0.625) 7.368 178.07 def. Brett Murphy, Hillsborough CA, Innovative-Chevy, (0.541) 7.581 176.47 Mike Chrisman, Lake Forest CA, Chrisman-Chevy, Left lane, (0.484) 7.315 180.18 def. Dean Carter, Glendale CA, , (0.372 foul) 7.519 176.02 Bill Wayne, Bullhead City AZ, JP-Olds, Left lane, (0.405) 7.245 183.15 def. Alan Hull, Arcadia CA, Fuller-Chevy, (0.423) 7.543 174.45 

Round 2: W Ramay, Left lane, (0.446) 7.387 179.39 def. B Hammer, (0.516) 8.648 154.87 S Parks, Right lane, (0.484) 7.478 176.29 def. T Movius, (0.624) 7.396 177.69 M Chrisman, Left lane, (0.445) 7.373 179.56 def. K Craig, (0.390 foul) 7.451 174.38 M Fry, Right lane, (0.438) 7.368 179.35 def. B Wayne, (0.452) 10.683 60.29 

Round 3: W Ramay, Right lane, (0.442) 7.346 181.81 def. M Chrisman, (0.288 foul) 9.837 82.38 S Parks, Left lane, (0.500) 7.330 176.72 def. M Fry, (0.429) 7.403 181.23 

Round 4: W Ramay, Right lane, (0.453) 7.301 182.85 def. S Parks, (0.483) 7.305 177.51 

Low ET: Bill Wayne 7.245 seconds Top Speed: Bill Wayne 183.15 MPH

Summary of eliminations in Pro Supercharged at the Goodguys Fuel and Gas Finals:

Round 1: Steve Woods, San Leandro CA, '48 Austin, Right lane, (0.577) 7.288 197.62 def. Mike Leonard, Pleasanton CA, '69 Chevy, Broke Chris Abbey, Clovis CA, '63 Corvette, Left lane, (0.592) 7.106 197.67 def. Steve Wood, Merced CA, '53 Studebaker, (0.427) 7.798 130.45 Howard Anderson, Applegate CA, '38 Chevy, Left lane, (0.576) 8.105 180.39 def. Gary Reinero, Merced CA, '48 Austin, Broke Ron Nunes, Danville CA, '63 Vette, Right lane, (0.489) 7.121 197.36 def. Rich Roberts, Winton CA, '34 Willys, (0.424) 7.378 181.34 

Round 2: R Nunes, Left lane, (0.494) 7.161 190.47 def. C Abbey, (0.540) 7.205 194.55 S Woods, Right lane, (0.558) 6.930 198.15 def. H Anderson, (0.433) 10.181 81.32 

Round 3: S Woods, Right lane, (0.521) 7.059 193.50 def. R Nunes, (0.473) 7.121 197.62 

Low ET: Steve Woods 6.930 seconds Top Speed: Steve Woods 199.77 MPH

John Drummond
johnd@goodguysgoodtimes.com

 

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