Mendy Fry's Darkside Dossier

All the hope, all the hype, all the prep, all the pomp of the Bakersfield March Meet... then in a puff of piston smoke, it’s over... and the obligatory depression of MMM (“March Meet Monday”) sets in.

Nothing compares to the energy of the March Meet! On Saturday, If you want unfettered access to parking, pros and port-a-johns, you must show up before 7:30 am, because after that, it’s pandemonium. This year’s event was no exception, and shortly after sunup, it was hells-a-poppin’ in Smokey Alleman’s “Darkside” Funny Car’s pit.  Honestly, my only relaxing moment was the drive up from Los Angeles Thursday night.

But that’s fine. We weren’t there to kick back. We were there to do battle. Funny car is THE class right now. Twenty-nine cars trying to crack a 16-car show. Competing in this class is hard enough if you (a) know where your ass is, and (b) can hit it with either hand. It’s a whole ‘nuther when you are building a program from the ground up. That’s us: An Arias-on-fuel, with a Titan pedal clutch. We estimated it would take a high 5.80 to make it into the show, and at least twenty of the other teams vying for a shot at a March Meet Funny Car title had demonstrated that ability. The Darkside? We rolled into Bakersfield yet to complete our first full pass.