"The Root Beer Report"
March Meet 2004
(Frank Hedge, Tom Shelar, Sean Bellemeur,Walt Stevens, Brett Johansen
Todd Shappie, Roger McMartin,Timmy Swain, Bert Touloutte, Rick Shelar and me Ruthi Hedge)
Famoso Raceway - Bakersfield, California


Brett is officially the "Crew Chief" now and Todd shappie is moving up. He's now enrolled in the "Johansen Clutch College". This officially puts Todd in as the "Can...Man", or as Frank would say;
"He's In The Can"!
Wow! Speaking of Brett, I met his mom Linda and her life long friend Shirley. At the time I had no idea who they were so I did my usual thang started talking and laughing with them; I figured they were somebody's friends. Then Brett came up to me and started telling me about Shirley and that "Shirley is OK! and that she is an old time friend of his mothers". Now, me being the quick thinker that I am I put 2 and 2 together and figured out that the other one must be his mother. I felt just a little stupid and when I confronted Linda Joe about my discovery she says "so all this time you thought we were these two groopy hookers hanging around these young guys"!
Soooooo! the weather could not be more perfect today, 85 degrees and the light breeze just at the moment I needed it most.
It has absolutely fantastic meeting Linda and Shirley and to be a part of their reunion. They are a hoot.
Spirits could not have been higher.

They are just resting!

It has been a real experience being out in Oklahoma and keeping the car here in California. There have been a few bugs to work out and a few more later on, but the with the races out on the West and the East Coasts it puts us at about the halfway point to all the racing places.
Sean Bellemeur and Tracy Sterbens are part of the team this year. What an asset they are to have on the team. Their willingness to help and their want to make everyone feel comfortable is in keeping with the Rootbeer tradition of drag racing.
The perc is the following of family and friends. As some of the old racers might say, "a pile of sweet hearts".
As Frank always says!
"The Racing starts long before you ever hit the track and the experience happens even if you never make it to the starting line."

Watching Frank working on the car with the Tom and Walt. He is so very busy, but he is loving every minute of it. He helped Ron build his Dyno and Frank feels good about that.
He seems to thrive on helping someone in a long lasting and meaningful way.
He never seizes to amaze me and a few others as well.
Qualifications!
Sean had to shut off at half track for first round of qualifications leaving us with a 6.42/179.10mph. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.
As we broke her down we found pieces of a rocker arm and through further investigation Brett discovered that we cracked the other 7....oh gees.
But we're OK! We'll be out there for yet another day. Tom scurried and managed to procure a set from the Tadford bunch.
2nd Round Qualifications!
Wow! We needed that 6:17/238.03mph. We didn't care that Murphy was in the other lane with a 596/243.63. Back in the pits the guys were flying. "There is a lot to be said for the teams hard work and the "Hedge Factor".
Sean was so excited, this was his personal best. Brett told him to stay tuned; "I think there is more in there."
"Third Round Qualifications"
I'm taking pictures of the car coming toward me, what am I doing....arrgh! I'm suppose to be behind the car...I'm fired.
Well. . . . We smoked the tires.
Sean's fan club is showing up in droves. It is great The whole family is getting involved we've got neighbors of the neighbors sister of their mom.
It's just great!

Brett is doing a might fine job as a crew chief. He is certainly not afraid to stay with the team until everything is ready to go. He can make a decision on what to do, you just have to push him a little to actually get him state what that might be; and it's usually worth hearing and is a good call with regards to the teams time.
Eliminations! Round One!
Found us with a 6:12/245mph.
Now that's what I'm talking about. Doesn't make us first but we were winners in getting a base line. She was consistent and that's what we're lookin for. Oh! Yeah!, remember I told you that the 6:17/238.03mph was Sean's personal best well, guess how he feels now!
Second round of Eliminations we should have beat the 6:12 but we lost to Tadford's 6:08, they were having a pretty tough time throughout testing and qualifying. They were fretting and trying to find the combo again. Sean was out on Rick but we pinched a fuel line and lost number three. She laid down and ran a 6:22 on 7 cylinders. So we were happy for them. Brett was heard in the distance saying,
"Give me a revolver"
I'll shoot myself in the other foot."

Rick was back over wanting his rockers and Brett say's "what rockers"......hmmm!
If the truth be known,
We can't think of any body we'd rather lose to. They are genuine good people.

(We may have lost the race but kept the braggin rights)!
Sean left on old man Rick!

"This is the Pits"

I'll say farewell to Prospero! A dear old friend!
Dec 1st, 1982 to Oct 10th, 2003