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Sun, 6 Nov 2005, 04:33 PM

Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 41st annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

  743 Morgan Lucas                          507 Melanie Troxel               
E2                   0.075  9.342  94.89     ****WINNER****  0.054  4.535 325.92
 Prior rounds:
E1    (D Herbert   ) 0.084  4.528 324.59      (D Foley     ) 0.090  4.510 328.22
 Qualified:             #7  4.503 323.74                        #2  4.473 329.83
1:17 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 29.29 inches, adjusted altitude 2,033 feet, track temperature 89 degrees.

None of the four drivers left on the right side of the ladder has won a national event, so one of them will have a chance today. Lucas came in with a 2-0 edge over Troxel, but that went up in smoke about 100 feet out and Troxel went right down the groove and into the semifinals.

  104 Clay Millican                          13 David Baca                   
E2                   0.073  4.628 311.92     ****WINNER****  0.097  4.599 290.57
 Prior rounds:
E1    (S Kalitta   ) 0.031  4.566 324.20      (J Beckman   ) 0.089  4.509 321.88
 Qualified:             #6  4.503 326.08                        #3  4.485 324.28
These two have met twice before and Baca got the win light both times. The RPMs on Baca's car shot way up at the end of his burnout, almost sounded like he broke something, but he backed up and prepared to stage as if nothing was wrong. Millican was away first and led almost to half track, then Baca took the lead the rest of the way, but his engine started eating itself up and Millican was closing fast, passing him a few feet past the line. David Baca's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.018), 330 ft(-0.014), 660ft(0.008), 1,000ft(0.021). MOV: 0.0053 seconds (approximately 2 feet). Baca faces Troxel in the semifinals, Troxel will have lane choice.

    5 David Grubnic                           3 Brandon Bernstein            
E2                   0.079  4.577 321.04     ****WINNER****  0.074  4.512 321.50
 Prior rounds:
E1    (R Fuller    ) 0.068  4.528 327.66      (D Kalitta   ) 0.093  4.498 327.82
 Qualified:            #12  4.543 327.51                        #4  4.491 325.45
Good race, but the Budweiser dragster steadily pulled ahead to win by a car length.

   91 Larry Dixon                             1 Tony Schumacher              
E2                   0.055  4.672 298.73     ****WINNER****  0.074  4.513 324.67
 Prior rounds:
E1    (C McClenatha) 0.097  4.534 325.22      (J Smith     ) 0.077  4.486 326.63
 Qualified:             #8  4.522 326.79                        #1  4.466 324.83
Dixon left first and that was about the only time he was in front, spinning the tires and drifting toward the wall while the Army dragster was once again almost flawless.

There were hugs all around on the starting line as one of the legends of our sport closed out his career, Dick LaHaie now headed for a rocking chair on the porch. Schumacher marches on, but he gave up lane to Bernstein by a thousandth of a second.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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