Check out the new article written by Cole Coonce on the Hot Rod Network.
Read the story here: AAFD – Bakersfield Update
Jeff Stich (1961-2015)
Veteran Champion Speed Shop pit-crew leader Jeff Stich was killed in a freak sprint-car pit accident September 5th at Calistoga Speedway in California. Jeff sustained fatal head and spinal injuries after being thrown off the back of a quad pit vehicle while holding a rear tire for a car in the race. Jeff was a lifelong friend of Champion’s McLennan family. “The news is tragic for the crew and friends of the Champion Speed Shop team,” car owner Bob McLennan said. God bless Jeff Stich.
This mini dragster was built by Mickey Thompson and given to Jim McLennan for his Champion Speed Shop. Bob McLennan is donating the dragster for the 2015 Nitro Alumni Auction to benefit the Wally Parks Motor Museum. Check out the other items that have been donated at: We Did It For Love. See you at the reunion!!
Check out the new featured article article written by Thom Taylor at : Hot Rod Network
August 7th 2015
Champion Crew headed for Boise!
After our 1st round loss due to a spectacular wheelstand in Bowling Green, Adam Sorokin and the Champion Crew are headed to Boise, Idaho for the Nightfire Nationals, Aug 13th – 16th. It looks like there will be a full field of Top notch Fuel cars for this years event.
A special thank you to Bob Brown for providing the great photos.
By piloting the Champion Speed Shop Special AA/Fuel Dragster to a runner-up finish at Auto Club Famoso Raceway’s 21st annual California Hot Rod Reunion, Adam Sorokin snagged the 2012 NHRA Heritage Series Championship. Sorokin clinched the Title during the Reunion’s quarter-final round of eliminations, when his Tony Bernardini-tuned small-block Chevrolet-powered machine ran its quickest and fastest quarter-mile time ever at 5.69 seconds with a top speed of 244.35 mph. Despite posting these previously-unprecedented numbers, the victory wasn’t settled until the finish line as opponent Rick White ran a slightly quicker 5.690 to Adam’s 5.697. However, Adam’s superior reaction time enabled the Champion dragster to score a hole-shot win and, by extension, the 2012 Championship.
Later that evening, and for the third race in a row, the Heritage Series AA/Fuel Dragster final round pitted Sorokin and the Champion entry against Rick Williamson in the Team Craig effort. Initially, and like their previous encounters, Adam left first. He seemed to have the race won until a valve failure caused a massive blower explosion that allowed Williamson to go on for the win.
Despite their spectacular runner-up finish, for Champion the Heritage Series Points Title was the greater victory.“It was a great year for us,” said team owner Bob McLennan. “Having the small block win it is so special for our family — this one wasfor (team founder) Jim McLennan. I know he was watching over us. The entire team knows he is our foundation to running this car. He provided us with the never say die confidence in the small-block Chevrolet.”
“The Champion cars of the past have been blessed with incredible drivers,” McLennan continued, “but this year’s Championship was due to Adam Sorokin’s uncanny driving ability race after race. He had two critical hole-shot victories that ultimately earned us the Championship.” McLennan also said that the Champion team provided Adam with “a consistent power plant that really came alive the second half of the year. We made a few more believers in the Chevrolet power.”
Champion Speed Shop is led by Tony Bernardini, along with Mike Perry and Jeff Stich, who specialize in cylinder-head maintenance; Dave Carkhuff works the bottom end; Tom McLennan dials in the clutch; Tom Homer manages the fuel; Dennis Barranza and Nick Sharp serve as the anything-goes utility-men , Bob Gavron keeps everyone well fed and Sparky keeps everybody honest as the team statistician.
Round 2 of qualifying- 5.90 202 mph
Famosa October 19,2012
1st Qualifier round not as planned.
Adam Sorokin took the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet on it’s first qualifying run on Friday and the result was not was expected. The Chevrolet smoked the tires right at the hit and had to coast down the track on a aborted run. “The car just had too much power at that particular time of the day”, says crew chief Tony Bernardini. “We will adjust and give it a good run tomorrow”.
Sorokin has a 61 point lead going into the last race of the year. The entire crew is primed for a competitive weekend knowing they are the car to beat.
The 2nd round of qualifying will be at noon on Saturday and the first round of eliminations will be at 3:30pm the same day.
Check out the live track action on www.BANGshift.com.
Get the best seat at the track with NitroAmerica’s 2012 NHRA Heritage Series drag race videos. Great work by Les Mayhew.
Adam Sorokin drove the Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet to its 2nd win in a row, at the NHRA Top Fuel Heritage Series in Sacramento, California. The Champion Car was low qualifier at 5.82, which gave them a first round bye. The semi-finals pitted Adam against longtime friend Terry Cox. The Cheetah car was having one of its best outings but fell victim to the small block, as Adam left first and ran another 5.80’s pass at 5.83 to Terry’s 6.25.
The final round was a repeat of the Boise Nightfire National, Rick Williamson vs. Adam Sorokin. The Small Block Chevy was ready for battle, knowing the “Team Craig” car is having its best year to date. The Champion crew headed by Tony Bernardini ,had to throw down the power to get by the Hemi. Adam left first, with a scorching 1.02 60ft time on a late night track that tends to get loose after 9:00 pm. Rick Williamson smoked the hides right at the hit to assure the Small block a victory. Things got a little edgy at the 1000 foot mark as the Chevrolet power was kicking in, the car started to drift to the center line prompting Adam to lift and tip toe pass the finish line. The car still posted a 5.85 for the win.
The win puts the Sorokin/Champion Speed Shop team 61 points in front of Rick Williamson in the run for the championship going into the last race of the season. It will be decided at the NHRA Hot Rod reunion October 19th, 20th and 21st.
Team owner Bob McLennan would like to congratulate his outstanding crew: Tony Bernardini, Dennis Barranza, Dave Carkhuff, Bob Gavron, Tom Homer, Tom McLennan, Mike Perry, Nick Sharp and Jeff Stich, the best in the business.
August 12, 2012 – Boise, Idaho
The Champion Speed Shop small block Chevrolet got its first win of the year at Firebird Raceway’s Nightfire Nationals in Boise,Idaho. Adam Sorokin took the canopy car to the winners circle with an incredible final round win over low qualifier Rick Williamson. Adam left first and never looked back as he drove the flame throwing Chevy from center line to guard rail to nail down the victory. The crew led by crew chief Tony Bernardini had to change an engine between rounds after a broken rod occurred while racing Jim Murphy in the previous round. This was the closest race of the day, as Murphy ran a 5.90 to Adam’s 5.95. Adam’s .032 reaction time to Murphy’s .128 gave the Chevrolet the win light.
The win puts the Champion Car #2 in the NHRA Heritage Series point race. The next race is at Sacramento Raceway, Sept 14th followed by the final race of the year, the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion, Oct 20th and 21st in Bakersfield CA.
Brian Lohnes has posted a great article on CSS on the BANGshift blog. BANGshift.com
South San Francisco
The Champion team had to settle for a 1st round win and that’s it. The Chevrolet decided to take to the sky on the second round against Mendy Fry. Adam did his best to get it back to earth but the damage was done and Mendy went on to take the win. Adam had a great light at .032 but the car made a direct move upward right at the hit of the spoon so the great reaction time was wasted.
Overall the car produced it’s best performance ever as it posted times of 5.78,188.8.131.52 on all three of it’s full runs. The team is looking forward to the remainder of the year and bettering it’s good performance in Bakersfield.
A big thank you to our fans.
Photo by Mark Gewertz
In a last minute move, Bobby McLennan decided to take the small block out of retirement and take on the “new quickies” in Top Fuel. The class has seen some incredible times in the last two races, times in the mid 5.50s is not uncommon now. The Champion Speed Shop crew put the small block in contention the first time out, with a respectable 5.78 during qualifying and a huge first round win over Terry Cox running a 5.79. So far, it has been a good outing for the Champion Team, Tomorrow they are paired up with Mendy Fry for the second round of eliminations at noon.
News just coming in from Bob McLennan aka BobbyNitro