Big and little changes for 2014 March Meet

2/13/2014

 
Jim Murphy

 
Jason Rupert

Jim Murphy will be chasing his record setting fifth March Meet title March 6-9, piloting the front engined dragster that has won the last two March Meets. The car, formerly owned by Frank and Debra Ousley and driven by Jimmy Young, has been purchased by Murphy, giving him what many feel is his best possible chance of securing another March Meet win. The Ousleys will be back at the 2014 March Meet with their Crop Duster Funny Car. Jimmy Young will return in his own front engine dragster.

Funny Car driver and owner Jason Rupert has had a stranglehold on the NHRA Heritage Funny Car championship. 2013 was his third consecutive title and rumor has it that he may be preparing to field two Funny Cars at this year’s March Meet. Rupert wasn’t ready to commit to a “for sure thing” but we may see the Black Plague and the Mert Littlefield flopper campaigning under the Rupert flag at the 2014 March Meet.

Funny Car and Top Fuel pilot Mendy Fry will return to the Heritage Series chase after taking a year off and helping Denver Schutz and his Top Fuel team. This time Fry will find herself back in the familiar surroundings of a Funny Car. Larry “Smokey” Alleman wooed Fry to pilot his Smokey’s Darkside 1978 Challenger for the 2014 season. Alleman and crew will be running a 426-cubic inch Arias hemi, a “Hemi heads on a Chevy block” combination, unique to the 30-plus expected entrants for the 2014 March Meet Funny Car class.

Peter Gallen and his Poverty Stricken Funny Car will be making the long trek from Pennsylvania to California. Sick of the cold and snow, Gallen decided to load the flopper up and enjoy some California sun. This will be Gallen’s first trip back to Auto Club Famoso Raceway in three years.

Tim Boychuk in the Troy-Lee Designs Funny Car will pair up with nitro tuning guru Roland Leong for a run at the 2014 March Meet title. Boychuk and co-owner Ron Hodgson won the 2013 March Meet.

The top eight points earners from the 2013 Boise-Bakersfield Blitz will compete in a special eight-car shootout during Funny Car qualifying on Friday and Saturday with the winner receiving a $3,000 bonus.

Boychuk, Rupert, Rick Rogers and Dennis Taylor (all tied for 9th place) have a chance to participate in the eight-car car shootout now that third-place finisher Dennis LaCharite has vacated his driving position to Cory Lee, who will pilot the Back in Black ‘69 GTO Funny Car for the 2014 season.

Every year the crowds cheer the short wheelbase, flame-spewing, nitro-burning altereds as they wiggle their way down the quarter-mile. Usually ran as an exhibition class, this year the fuel altereds will compete in a six-second index class, allowing all the drivers a chance to compete for a prized Wally and be crowned March Meet champion. Another addition this year will be the 6.90 Doorslammer class. These giant-motored beasts will be a new class competing at the 2014 March Meet.

Auto Club Famoso Raceway has again partnered with TheFOAT.com. TheFOAT.com has handled the on-line ticket sales quickly and efficiently. Purchasing tickets online allows fans to bypass the lines at the gate and get right into the event.

Race fans can purchase a “Super 4-Day Event Pass” for $100 online. There are also specially priced passes for three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday: $75) and two days (Saturday and Sunday: $55).

Walk up tickets for the event will go on sale March 6 at the track. Ticket prices are $25 for Thursdsy, March 6; $25 for Fridsy, March 7; $30 for Saturday, March 8; and $30 for Sunday, March 9. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $10 each day and kids 5 and under get in free when accompanied by an adult with paid admission.

Other prices announced include, event camping: $125 for all four days; VIP parking: $50 (good for the entire event); and VIP four-day Quarter Mile Courtyard seating: adults $165, children $105 (space is limited).

March Meet tickets can be ordered online at www.autoclubfamosoraceway.com. Racer, Swap Meet, and Vendor entry forms can be found on the website as well.