Greetings Friends and Family!
I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what a GREAT weekend we experienced with the Smith-Fair A/Fuel Dragster. A 25 year plus dream for Forrest Fair came to reality these past few months culminating in a Final Round appearance at the last NHRA Division 4 race at Thunder Valley Raceway in Noble Oklahoma this past weekend.
The weather this weekend was quite a challenge in itself. We arrived at the track on Thursday so the crew would be fresh for the first qualifying pass on Friday. Mother nature saw it a little different as Friday and Saturday were rainouts. Generally a race of this nature would have been rescheduled for a future date, but being it was the end of the season and the other weekends were already booked with other races and the fact the weather does not generally improve this time of year, the race had to be put on. So, the decision was made that the top Div 4 classes would qualify and run their complete eliminations in one day.... Sunday, and the lower classes would do the same on Monday or Tuesday weather permitting. There were a lot of NHRA National and Divisional Championships affected by the outcome of this race.
We did not come to be spoilers per say, but we did come to race. This event was not on the culmination of a 25 year plus dream, but the culmination of a three year plan of Steven and Stuart Smith and Forrest Fair to put this car together and be a formidable challenge in NHRA D4. In 2008 The trio worked under old friend and crew chief Joe Monden with the Aaron Tatum A/Fuel Dragster to learn A/Fuel and that year rewarded Aaron as the D4 Champion. We planned to campaign this car in 2009, but as Forrest was a General Motors engineer, the government takeover of GM affected his job and our plans had to be put on hold that culminated with Forrest taking early retirement in October of 2009. At that time he and Steven started back on the car and completed their own engine, fuel and induction system program, with input from some fine people in the racing industry. We have a lot of folks to thank, but I'll do that at a later time.
So, here we come to Sunday with one shot at qualifying and then the race commences. With no data for the unusual air conditions or track, we had to take an educated guess at what might get us down the track quick enough to qualify, but not break the tires loose. As it had been raining for a couple of days the track preparation was minimal. Well, our first hit culminated a #6 Qualifying position which is decent anytime. Then Forrest headed through the field with the older competitor treeing the young guys. It was GREAT. We basically bracket raced the car with eliminations passes within three hundredths with a 5.57, 5.56 and 5.55 and a best MPH of 262 which were great numbers considering the air conditions and what the track would hold. AND WENT TO THE FINALS.... with a runner up finish to Chris Demke and out of Division racer gaining points for the National Title. Chris is currently #2 in the nation and Forrest cut a light on him too!
Noteworthy to me is to mention our CREW!!! These guys each have prior race experience with their own vehicles, but had not worked together on a team or have any A/Fuel experience. I picked them for their HEART, ABILITY, and DESIRE to EXCEED. I knew we all would be green at the start of the season, but felt I could put them up against anybody by the end of the year.... and I was RIGHT. These guys proved yesterday that they can stand the test. Very few times will an A/Fuel or Top Alcohol Car be forced to make 4 passes in one single day. The between round maintenance is grueling to maintain the engine, clutch, chutes, fuel, tires, and all the other things on a hot car in less than 90 minute turn around. This team did this with time to spare and not one time did the NHRA or our competitors have to wait on us. THANKS GUYS!!!
The Crew is as follows:
Stuart Smith, Car Chief working with Jim Christian on car safety, chutes, fuel, etc. Kept the NITRO within 1/10 of a percent all day!
Jerry Aaron lead Clutch Specialist working with Nelton Humphries on Clutch, Wing, Tires, etc.... Kept that clutch changed and adjusted all day!
Jim Cornett, lead track specialist also working with engine maintenance and oil change. Read that crazy track well!
Joel Fair lead on computer data and video also working with maintenance aspects of car.
Steven Smith, Crew Chief, Primary Engine Maintenance and Tuning.
Forrest Fair, Driver and Tuning..... and cut those young guys down on the tree
A GREAT TEAM INDEED!!! You know this was a win for the Old Guys!!!!
A special heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have helped and encouraged us all year!!!
AND ABOVE ALL..... THANK YOU TO THE LORD OUR GOD AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST WHO KEPT ALL RACERS SAFE DURING THIS EVENT AND ALLOWED US TO PERFORM OUR SKILLS, DREAMS AND PASSIONS TO HIS GLORY!
Smith-Fair A/Fuel Dragster