BAYTOWN, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil:
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 10 Hillary Will 524 Joe Hartley E1 0.015 10.184 73.84 ****WINNER**** 0.059 4.820 246.57 Qualified: #8 4.630 310.41 #9 4.631 312.421:59 p.m. About half an hour ago the clouds started breaking up and now the starting line arrea is bathed in sunshine, a welcome sight after all the clouds and rain we've seen for the last two days. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 69 percent, barometer 29.97 inches, adjusted altitude 1,641 feet, track temperature 98 degrees.
Hillary Will is 27 today and is making her 27th start. Hartley is making his 25th start and both his father and brother have been in Top Alcohol final rounds here.
No birthday present here, Will's car got the front end up and started drifting toward the
centerline, forcing her to pedal it to get the front end down. When it came down, she lost traction. Hartley was on a strong run to
half track, 3.166 seconds and 271.30 mph at the 660 clocks, then started spinning the tires on the new asphalt on the top half of
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 8 J.R. Todd 104 Clay Millican E1 ****WINNER**** 0.048 4.597 307.58 0.040 4.642 323.97 Qualified: #7 4.618 311.77 #10 4.632 314.61This is the first time Todd and Millican have met in NHRA competition. Millican is Todd's 18th different opponent, Todd is Millican's 34th.
Good drag race, Millican with a slight edge at the start, the two cars side-by-side the rest of the way. Todd
stepped up slightly from his qualifying effort, Millican almost matched his. J.R. Todd's incremental margins: 60ft(0.021), 330
ft(0.032), 660ft(0.047), 1,000ft(0.049). MOV: 0.0378 seconds (approximately 18 feet). Give the Safety Safari a big hand, they did
a great job of giving them a good track to race on.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 91 Larry Dixon 2 Doug Kalitta E1 ****WINNER**** 0.048 4.626 309.06 0.107 4.748 295.27 Qualified: #6 4.597 313.44 #11 4.633 315.27These two are almost dead-even against each other, Dixon 22-21 against Kalitta. Dixon won here in '00, Kalitta in '03. This is Kalitta's 496th round of competition.
This was Dixon's race all the way, Kalitta uncharacteristically late and then forced to
pedal it briefly to get through tire shake.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 1 Tony Schumacher 3 Brandon Bernstein E1 0.065 4.540 309.42 ****WINNER**** 0.034 4.553 322.58 Qualified: #5 4.558 312.50 #12 4.649 310.34Schumacher won here in '05, Bernstein in '04 and '06, so the winners of the last three races here are meeting in the first round. Schumacher comes in with a 13-6 record against Bernstein, who is coming off the first-ever DNQ of his career (Gainesville).
On a holeshot, Bernstein sends Schumacher home. Schumacher was actually ahead most of the way, but his car slowed
on the top end and Bernstein went around Schumacher for the win. Brandon Bernstein's incremental margins (negative if behind):
60ft(0.018), 330 ft(-0.011), 660ft(-0.012), 1,000ft(-0.003). MOV: 0.0182 seconds (approximately 8 feet). The sweeper truck did a
quick cleanup in Schumacher's lane at the finish line, so it looks like something broke.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 743 Morgan Lucas 6 David Grubnic E1 0.070 10.135 93.56 ****WINNER**** 0.074 4.620 317.42 Qualified: #4 4.538 305.49 #13 4.650 309.91Morgan Lucas and David Grubnic are tied against each other, 5-5. Grubnic was runner-up here in '98 (against Cory Mac) and this is the 13th time he's qualified 13th (and that's no April Fool's joke).
Lucas lost traction immediately. Grubnic advances, runs
quicker than he qualified, but loses lane choice to Bernstein.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 5 Rod Fuller 345 Bruce Litton E1 0.068 12.287 73.92 ****WINNER**** 0.081 4.703 303.37 Qualified: #3 4.533 326.56 #14 4.658 312.78This is the first meeting between Fuller and Litton. It is Litton's 48th start and he has qualified 14th eleven times, the most of any position.
More tire smoke in the left lane, Fuller losing traction right off the starting line. Litton could not match his
qualifying pace and Dixon will choose the lanes in round two.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 73 Whit Bazemore 9 Cory McClenathan E1 ****WINNER**** 0.069 4.559 320.05 0.055 5.719 171.51 Qualified: #1 4.514 326.87 #16 4.689 276.86This is Bazemore's 30th #1 qualifier, first in Top Fuel and he is the 15th driver to qualify #1 in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Cory Mac won here in '98 and has been runner-up here twice in his career. This is only the third time he's qualified #16 and he has no round wins from that starting spot.
Make that 0-3 from the bump spot, Cory Mac started to spin the tires, pedaled, and lost
traction, dropping a couple cylinders in the process. Bazemore was clean and straight down the left lane and he will have lane
chocie against Hartley in round two.
Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed 530 Alan Bradshaw 4 Melanie Troxel E1 0.038 5.668 172.47 ****WINNER**** 0.073 4.623 314.39 Qualified: #15 4.670 313.58 #2 4.530 323.89This is Troxel's best qualifying result in 18 races and she is 4-0 against Bradshaw, with a runner-up finish here last year. Bradshaw was runner-up here in TAD in ''02 and '03.
Bradshaw was away first with a great light, but started losing ground immediately and started shaking the tires around half track. Troxel made a flawless-looking run, right down the groove, but lost lane choice to Todd in round two. She chose the less-favored right lane for her run this round, so that may not be a problem.
p.m. The racers are only getting 65 minutes between rounds today in order to keep the TV show on schedule, so Top Fuel should be
back around 3:30.