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October 18, 2009

18TH CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION, Bakersfield, CA, October 18th — With twenty-eight machines lighting it off and jostling for the eight-quickest positions during Saturday’s AA/Funny Car Eliminator qualifying round, one has to expect some broken hearts — and broken parts.

For “Nitro Kitty” Mendy Fry and her mount, McCain’s Bomb Squad, that meant a broken rear end — and one that was impractical to mend.  At the shift-point during the first of what should have been two qualifying runs, a puff of smoke came out of the ‘73 Duster’s headers, a signal that the pinion gear lost more teeth than two cowboys in a bar fight, and the damage spread throughout the drivetrain, including destroying the axle and snapping a steel input shaft like a pretzel. With power to the slicks dis-engaged, Fry coasted to a quarter-mile elapsed time of 7.13 at 131 mph, netting a provisional 19th position, insufficient to qualify for Sunday’s race.

Which was academic, because after the damage was assessed, in hopes of making Sunday’s qualifying round, a frantic search for a replacement rear axle was met with sympathetic responses from members of the Nitro Funny Car community, most specifically by the teams of Claude LaVoie and Todd Lesenko, but to no avail. And after McCain’s Bomb Squad spent the night disassembling the drivetrain in hopes of putting it back together in time for more qualifying, the team’s season came to end for want of a spare axle. Which begs the question: How do you mend a broken heart? Or even a  broken rear end? -30-

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich Enos permalink
    April 28, 2011 4:06 pm

    Mindy, Have a good ride this weekend at Vegas.

  2. Al Orsini permalink
    September 4, 2011 8:58 am

    Greetings Mindy!
    It’s been a long time, when I met you, I worked for L&N Tool. You had come in to see John.
    I am watching NHRA on ESPN, and Nitro Kitty poped in my brain. I hope all is well with you, wanted to give you a shout!
    Take Care,

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