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Sun, 15 Oct 2006, 03:39 PM

Top Fuel Round 3 Eliminations
By Dan Bennett

DINWIDDIE, Va. - Results of round 3 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals:

    3 Doug Kalitta                            9 Cory McClenathan             
E3                   0.068  8.336 111.89     ****WINNER****  0.091  6.984 227.80
 Prior rounds:
E2    (B Bernstein ) 0.038  4.601 308.85      (D Baca      ) 0.083  4.723 300.33
E1    (H Will      ) 0.089  4.587 309.20      (D Grubnic   ) 0.060  4.592 311.63
 Qualified:             #4  4.549 309.56                        #8  4.569 321.73
Fram car in the right lane, Mac Tools in the left.

Both cars disappeared in billowing clouds of smoke less than 20 feet off the lane. Cory won this battle and according to my ear he was off and on the throttle right around twice as often as Doug.

Kalitta's sprint car experience didn't help him much here as both cars pretty much stayed pointed in the right direction.

Cory will go to his first final since Columbus of this year.

  373 J.R. Todd                              10 Rod Fuller                   
E3                   0.073  9.834  90.07     ****WINNER****  0.075  5.540 269.73
 Prior rounds:
E2    (M Troxel    ) 0.103  4.541 318.17      (L Dixon     ) 0.078  4.593 305.84
E1    (B Lagana Jr ) 0.111  4.516 324.05      (D Herbert   ) 0.129  4.582 310.05
 Qualified:             #2  4.528 318.39                        #3  4.543 317.79
After watching the last pair, I'm wondering how these two relatively new drivers are going to deal with the track and what they're thinking.

The setup can be crucial and put one of the cars right down the track so that may not be an issue in this pair.

But it was. Big time.

Both cars made didn't even get a full revolution of their slicks before the smokefest began. J.R. reacted quickly but his pedalling was less effective than Fuller's.

Once he finally got the car stuck, Fuller kept his foot planted even as his engine was destroying itself just inches behind his head. Parts started flying, smoke was puffing, and finally a big flash of flame signalled that the beast was dead.

The fireball quickly disappeared and Fuller goes to the final round. Remember this for a trivia question in the future because I don't know how many times a 5.54 is going to get lane choice in a Top Fuel final.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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