After not being sure what 2011 would look like racing wise to say it has been a great year is putting it mildly. Dennis Murphy and the crew wanted me back for the full 2011
season which was just a really cool thing to have happen. We decided to run the full Heritage Series and focus on just it. Our 1st race was at SpeedWorld outside of Phoenix AZ.
WOW... We qualified #4 and has the most consistant car on the grounds and with a 6.52 to 6.53 semi final WIN over Doc Bates we were in the finals!!!, I hadn't raced in a final since
driving for Richard Buzdas in NE1, the opponent, the always tough Bill Wayne. The tree was close my .021 to his .032 but our 6.53 beats Bill's 6.58 WINNER!!!! We got the 1st
Heritage Series Wally handed out in A/FD... Dennis and the entire crew were flawless and the car was as well, This was such a well deserved win for all involved and all the efforts
and time that get puts towards making this car and team perform. The next event was in Las Vegas and again we qualified #4 and again we are in the Final against Bill Wayne but
this time we hurt the motor in the Semi Final win over Doc Bates while running an all time best of 6.50. We decided to not run the final as we were not 100% sure of why we hurt
the motor, so Bill picks up the win and we have a runner up... 2 races 2 finals we are THRILLED!!! Next event is Sacramento. We qualify #2 and have high hopes of another solid
event, unfortunately the rods have a different idea and 2 seconds into the run the car shuts off...Rod broken hole in the block and a mess of oil everywhere...One of them racin'
deals. Sean Cobari takes the win over Bill Wayne and we go into the last 2 events in 2nd place 2 rounds behind Bill Wayne for the Championship...
Next event was the Fall Champioship at Famoso, this was going to the 1st of Back to Back races with the Reunion to very next weekend. The Fall Championships was a tough
one as we skipped the 1st qualifier to make sure we had out tune up just right, we ended up #6 on the ladder with a 1st round meeting with Ryan Davenport. Strapped into the car
I get to witness
Bill Wayne go out in the 1st round, this is our open door to pick up a full round in the points, unfortunately we can't take advantage as Davenport drives around me on the top
end to take the stripe. It all goes down to the Reunion as Doc Bates takes the win to tighten up the points Big Time!!! 2011 CA. Hot Rod Reunion, the 20th version, A-Fuel has 3
cars that can win it all, Bill Wayne, Doc Bates and Me. Qualifying is a rough one as we just can't get the combo right, we have a best of a 6.74 holds on for the bump stop. In the
last qualifier the car kicked rods out in the burnout so we now have an all night thrash to make a complete engine change. The entire crew led by Dennis is up til 3:00 am after
sending me to get sleep at midnight and the car is ready to rock for 1st round, THANKS AGAIN to my team!!! We are paired up with #1 qualifier Doc Bates and after Bill Wayne
loses in Rd 1 our race could be for the championship. The car drives into tire shake and Doc just pulls away for the round win. Another 1st round loss!! Doc goes on to win the
race and the Championship. We finish the season #3 in points with a win and a runner up, we qualified for every race and ran low 6.50's pretty much every time out, it was a great
season and the Wally on the shelf is a daily reminder of how great it was!!!
It was a good year. Drove the 2nd half of the season for Dennis Murphy with his NEW AFD... Dennis assembled a great group and the car is just awesome
every time out and we have alot of fun racing together, I have to thank everyone involved cause you all made me look good a lot! We began in
Sacramento doing a test session and ran the Heritage Series Events in Sacramento and Phoenix AZ. Qualified well at both events and ended up #10 in
Points. Ran low 6.60's every time out and was getting good data to use for the NHRA CA. HotRod Reunion in Bakersfield. We got invited to run as part of
an Exhibition group during the Pinks All Out event at Sears Point (to be televised in Nov.) This was alot of run, we decided to try some fuel system stuff
to see how the car would react. Short version it didn't like that much fuel. We ended up hurting the motor on Sunday kicking out 2 rods and damaging the
block. Looked like the season would be over. Dennis had already decided to move over to the BAE set up for 2011 and made the call to implement this
set up early. So for the Reunion we had a whole new motor combo and no data... Dennis and I both made alot of calls and have to thank Sean Bellemeur,
Nick Norton and Sean Corbari for the baseline tuning data it helped a TON!!! Our first run was a 6.70, not bad for a new deal. We then went out for Q2 and
spun the tires and ended up #9 in an 8 car show BUMMER. We did make a run on Sunday paired up with #10 qualifier Bobby Evans and we ran a 6.58 an all
time best for Dennis and me. A good way to end the year, best run and no hurt parts. As a side note I again got to handle the duties with Bruce Bartlett's
Cackle Car, too much fun with a great group of people.
Simply put 2009 was 4 races, 4 cars (all funny cars!!) and 4 different tracks. The season began late for me as the 1st race was the National Hot Rod
Reunion in Bowling Green KY. Very cool deal got to drive Kevin Sine's new BB/FC blown alky hemi with a 3 speed Titan Pedal clutch. It was HOT in BG
but an awesome event. We ended up #3 qualifier and lost in the 1st round but Kevin was thrilled as his car got down the track under power for the 1st
time and he got good data. Next up was Salt Lake City and the chance to drive one of the most recognized funny cars ever, Ron and Ed Lenarth's Holy
Toledo Jeepster. This was a fun and laid back event. 1 day deal make 2 passes and call it a night. We were 2nd pair out and did side by side burnouts to
put on a show with the Pure Heaven car. After the 1st session we were the 4th quickest car on a 1000 ft click off pass. For our final run we made a slight
clutch change to see how it would react. So after being a little squirrely in the burnout it launches heads towards the wall I pedal once and it heads to the
middle so I give up and idle through. Not what we had hoped for but again more solid data and the beginning of more races with the Lenarth's. Next
event was the Nitro Nite of Fire in Sacramento. For this race I would be driving Dennis Murphy's BB/FC in CIFCA a 7.20 index. We qualified really well with
a 7.24 making us number 4. The car was real consistent and I did a decent job on the starting line and we made the semi finals and would have made the
finals but hurt the tranny and called it a night. The last event of the year would be the California Hot Rod Reunion and for this race, George Doty's
HotWheels Crazy Horse nitro funny car. It was a great event, as always but we struggled and just could not get the fuel system right and ended up with a
DNQ. It was an interesting season of nothing but Funny Cars and hopefully leads to some good things for 2010.
Back together with Dennis Murphy and Scott Sharp AND I get to be part of the Cacklefest!!!
About 2 months before the Reunion I got a call from Bruce Bartlett. Bruce was part of Fred Smith's team when I drove for them a few years ago and just a gem of a guy.
Well Bruce calls me and ask if I would shoe his NEW CackleFest digger...YES. The car is gorgeous and totally period correct. The Hustlers Car Club Las Vegas digger
and me in a firesuit from 1964 Just Too Cool. Being part of the Cacklefest I have watched for so many years was incredible, and Sabrina and Ty really dug it as well...
As for racing we just couldn't get a handle on the car and shook every time. On our first pass we were the last pair and in front of us was Lisa LaVoie and Darrell Waters,
they ended up in a bad wreck, both were OK but Lisa's car was a write off, thank goodness for our safety measures cause this could have been SO much worse. We
ended up 1st alternate but due to the tragic loss of Shawn Corbari's brother we got to race on Sunday. I went over to see Shawn Sunday morning and let him know how
sorry we all were and that I was truely racing for his family and would do my best. We were paired up with Doc Bates and I got the jump at the line but he flat flew and we
were down on power with our blower. Race Year OVER...
Oh Yes 1 thing to add in, Dennis Murphy set it up so I could drive his Funny Car in Sacramento and we made the necessary passes so I am now officially
a licensed Funny Car Driver!!! 713 N/FC
In what was one of the most pleasant surprises in a while was the call I got while crewing for Sean Bellemuer during the Autolite Nationals, Butch Blair, owner of the
Fugowie!! Top Fueler contacted me and asked if I was interesting in driving for him at the NightFire Nationals in Boise...I could not pass up the chance to be back in a
fuel car, especially hte car that had won the event the year before. Boise is just an AWESOME event we qualify at night Friday and Saturday and race on Sunday. On
Saturday afternoon they have a HUGE driving signing event and there were just a ton of people lined up to get autographs from the Funny Car and Dragster drivers. I
was seated near Adam Sorokin, James Day and Leah Pruitt-LeDuc and I would say I have not laughed that hard in a long time, we drivers had as much fun as the fans,
maybe more... Getting to drive for Butch and Terri Blair was a highlite of my driving career, they were great, the crew was great and the car is awesome. We struggled in
qualifying losing a fuel line Fri. nite and spinning the tire hard on Saturday but due to the car count we were #12. Sunday morning Butch tells me he has something for
these guys be ready to grab some brake and haul butt!!! So we have #1 qualifier Jim Murphy in Rd1 at the green I got a bit of a jump and the car went out and rattled
some, which Butch told me to drive through and just then we lose a fuel line, again...Day over... But no complaints from me, back in an awesome fuel car and at Boise.
Plus as we learn later at The Reunion the data Butch got worked cause he ran 5.89....Congrats to them and there is a possibility I may get to drive for them again.
Fuel & Gas Championships
Back together with Ed in the Eddie Camp A/FD car. After struggling through qualifying we got together saturday night and figured out we were having fuel pump
problems so we borrowed one from Genco Racing, our 1st round opponent and the car reacted the way it should and we got into Rd 2. Having a semi final finished
moved me up to 6th in points. I didn't think either team, Eddie Camp or Dennis Murphy were gonna make the Fontana event so next looked to be the Hot Rod Reunion...
The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series kicked off in a BIG way, the 50th March Meet. It was so cool to just be a part of this event. I remember being a kid and going to
March Meets and seeing all the biggest names in Drag Racing so getting to race at the 50th was BIG... Due to personal issues Eddie Camp was not able to race SO he
set it up for me to drive once again for Dennis Murphy. Dennis and his crew chief (and my dear friend) Scott had put a whole new combination in the car with a BAE
Hemi motor and due to limited testing did not really have a handle on the car yet. Our goal was to make passes and get data... Well we exceeded our goals as we got
alot of good data and qualified!!! We were #8 in an eight car show but we were in. In the 1st round we lost to Darrell Waters but We did have a holeshot with my .026
light but we were down on power and fought tire shake. No complaints we raced at the 50th March Meet and are currently in the top 10 in points... Next up the Fuel &
Gas Championships, Hot Rod Heritage event in Bakersfield at the end of May.
We were again driving for Eddie Camp Racing and his Blown Alky Digger. We only ran the March Meet and Reunion as the Nostalgia Series really did not have a true
"series" to speak of... Alot of rumors and finally the announcement that NHRA will host the Heritage Series meaning 2008 could be looking up.
The Highlights of 2007 were running a 6.66 in Ed's car, a best ever at the Reunion. The 2nd was getting to make some runs in James Hartley's blown alcohol Funny
Car. It looks like I will get to do some additional racing in James' car for 2008 as he switches it over to a Blown Altered to race in the new 7.0 class. James has a 1st
class operation and he and his wife are just wonderful.
I was offered the opportunity to drive for Eddie Campana with his A/Fuel Dragster. Ed runs a really nice operation and the car a stunner, maroon and black with gold leaf.
A blown BBC for power and a really great group of guys. We will only run a partial schedule for 2006 highlighted by a # 4 qualifying spot semi final finish at the
Governors Cup event in Sacramento and a 1st round loss at the Hot Rod Reunion. We are looking forward to 2007 where Ed has asked me to continue to drive for him...
Jerry Kumre Jr. and the Foothill Flyer AA/FD Nostalgia Dragster team have parted ways.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone from the Free Mexican Airforce and especially to Pete Jensen for the 2005 season. We had some highs and lows during the
season but I have learned so much and truly enjoyed my time with Gerry Ninnes, Jim Wilson, Mike Civelli, Skippy, CIA Mike, Wingman and everyone involved for helping me
accomplish something I had as only a passing dream, driving a Top Fuel car. The parting is amiable and everyone involved feels it is best to move in separate directions moving
forward towards 2006. In addition to driving the dragster I was involved with the filming of a Nostalgia Racing reality documentary through Media Group titled Fast Lane Summer,
I am currently looking for opportunities for the 2006 season and am open to AA/FD, A/Fuel as well as the new Nostalgia Funny Car class
In what may be the biggest thing to hit the Nostalgia Drag Race Scene to date the Foothill Flyer race car and crew are being featured
in a documentary type film. A film crew has been following the Flyer to events throughout the 2005 season and is looking to end
filming at the 2005 Hot Rod Reunion in late September with the goal of putting together a 1 1/2 to 2 hour production.
Smile you might be on camera.....
The Movie Is In Production...
www.mg-films.com and click on "what we are up to"
Fast Lane Summer is high speed high drama.
It is an inside picture of what life is like for a top fuel nostalgia racing team.
Weeks of preparation for six seconds of speed… ending with the burst of a parachute to slow you back down… or a burst of flame from an exploded engine.
It is a spectacularly colorful sport, surrounded by a much looser atmosphere than most top racing championships. And both on and off the grounds of the circuit, and the owners, drivers and
crew chiefs tend to mingle freely with the crowd.
Fast Lane Summer is an inside picture of what life is like for the owner… and for the people he depends on… his crew chief and his mechanics, his friends and family, his sponsors, and of course,
It chronicles the constant tuning, testing, and traveling… the good times and the bad times... and the desperate times as well. The times when things are running smoothly and everyone is
getting along, and the times when nothing seems to work… and you don’t know who to blame.
Fast Lane Summer is an exciting subject for fans familiar with racing because it brings you right inside the team… and inside a racing series as well.
Fast Lane Summer will be equally exciting for the layman… because it is an interesting story, filled with interesting characters, and interesting cars. © mediagroup
2005 has been a building year for the Foothill Flyer team.
The team was parked for all of 2004 to reorganize. In 2005 a new motor and fuel system was added to the venerable Foothill Flyer, which included the new 392 Billet heads
recently allowed for Nostalgia Drag Racing.
The other new addition was behind the wheel. Jerry Kumre Jr was tabbed to drive for 2005 and beyond. Jerry had competed in the Nostalgia scene in both Nostalgia Eliminator 1
(7.60 index) as well as A/Fuel.