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07132017 bellemeurtsrWords Brad Littlefield/Photos David Smith

The driving prowess of Sean Bellemeur, the blown alcohol engine mastery of Steve Boggs, and the competitiveness and resources of Tony Bartone have proven to be a winning combination when the three intertwine.

Bellemeur’s busy racing schedule that also includes wrenching on the High Speed Motorsports front-engine Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster that won this year’s March Meet has revolved around driving father Gregg’s Top Alcohol Funny Car at West Coast events. The chemistry of the trio has been undeniable when they get together as further evidenced by consistent high-5.4-to-low-5.5-second runs during a victory at Route 66 Raceway, leaving open the possibility of the team competing for a championship together in the future.

“We’ll see what the future holds,” said Bellemeur. “My family is always a priority – I have a baby on the way. I’m always going to race with my dad whether I’m in the driver’s seat or not.

“I think we can have a really good combination together with this team. We’ve shown it with the amount of winning we’ve done in a short amount of time. We all mesh really well together. I have a great relationship with all the guys. Tony Bartone is awesome as an owner. Steve Boggs is a great tuner; he has made me better as a driver. I think I’ve been able to bring something over with what I’ve learned from my dad. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. Either way, I’m looking forward to 2018.”

The drama heightened after a semifinal victory over Ulf Leanders. A damaged engine and a short turnaround time before the final round gave the crew a chance to shine.

“It really highlighted how good that team is at that race, because we hurt a motor between the semi’s and the final and didn’t have a lot of time to fix it,” said Bellemeur. “They all put their heads together and got ready. It’s a testament to how good they are. Shane Westerfield waited for us, which was a really sportsman-like thing to do. We made it up there after putting a rack of rods and pistons in and a set of cylinder heads on in 40 minutes. It didn’t cross my mind that something was incorrect, because those guys are so good.”

Chicagoland featured a final round between two very familiar drivers from Southern California’s Orange County. Bellemeur and Westerfield, both of whom hold strong arguments toward being the best starting line leaver in the class, dueled again with Bellemeur getting a slight .023 to .027 edge on the Tree. Bellemeur stretched his lead with a 5.528 at 266.90 mph while Westerfield had to gather up an uncooperative setup within the bellhousing.

“Shane and I even joke when we’re not at the track about how fun it is racing each other,” said Bellemeur. “I think we bring each other up to another level. His team is maybe the best team in Alcohol Funny Car right now and I don’t think anyone would argue that he’s the best driver. There’s no question that Steve Boggs and Tony Bartone are going to give me the car. I have to make sure I rise to the occasion. I tried to at least race with Shane as a driver because I knew he was going to be tough.”

Bellemeur thanked Bartone Bros. Racing sponsors Red Line Oil, Hussey Performance, and Roger Dean Automotive with a special nod to the crew.

“It was a special race for everybody on the team,” said Bellemeur. “A couple of the crewmembers had close friends or family members pass away recently. They all pushed really hard and did a great job when it looked like we might not even make it up there for the final. The win is dedicated to the friends and family of the crew who are no longer with us. It was great to seal the deal for them.”

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