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Mon, 3 Sep 2007, 11:30 AM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Dan Bennett





CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  743 Morgan Lucas                            9 Cory McClenathan             
E1                   0.075  4.620 326.71     ****WINNER****  0.069  4.621 321.58
 Qualified:             #8  4.537 325.45                        #9  4.544 281.54
11:02 a.m. We kick off the US Nationals with a cloudless sky and bright Indiana sunshine. Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 43 percent, barometer 29.24 inches, adjusted altitude 2,528 feet, track temperature 99 degrees.

This pair has split in their previous meetings, as both have a 3-3 record.

That's a great way to start things off with a great side by side race.

Cory has a slightly better light and then Lucas slaps the throttle once at about 200 feet. That was all it took for a very close race

Cory McClenathan's MOV: 0.0056 seconds (approximately 3 feet).


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 1301 Doug Foley                             10 Hillary Will                 
E1                   0.094 11.251  86.55     ****WINNER****  0.093  5.238 198.58
 Qualified:             #7  4.527 324.20                       #10  4.553 329.83
Foley only gets past the first set of lights before he begins to boil the Goodyears. Will's car gets a little anxious from 200-300 feet but she drives through it, the tires calm down, and she takes the easy win after tossing a blower belt and hazing the track at 1000 feet.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    5 Rod Fuller                             11 Doug Herbert                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.094  4.556 322.27                     0.044  4.659 306.05
 Qualified:             #6  4.524 325.85                       #11  4.561 308.92
Another classic race!

The cars are welded together all the way down the track until the big CAT power does the job on the top end. Fuller was playing catch up until 1000 feet where he had a very slight advantage.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    4 Melanie Troxel                        345 Bruce Litton                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.087  4.556 329.34                     0.077  4.678 302.41
 Qualified:             #4  4.520 329.18                       #13  4.575 324.12
That was a decisive race. Melanie just absolutely dominated this one and nearly equals her qualifying time.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    1 Tony Schumacher                       255 Clay Millican                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.078  4.546 324.59                     0.036  4.643 325.77
 Qualified:             #1  4.477 333.66                       #16  4.595 326.95
The Sarge is 9-2 against Millican. He's pretty much owned this race in the last decade, winning it in 00, 02, 03, 04, and 06 while he was runner-up in 96 and 05.

This is Millican's first start from the 16th position.

Though Clay does his job on the line, the race is over quickly. Schumacher runs another strong pass and will have lane choice over Cory in the second round.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   91 Larry Dixon                           530 Alan Bradshaw                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.044  4.578 321.81                     0.070 15.498  55.21
 Qualified:             #2  4.481 327.74                       #15  4.594 314.61
Great pass for Dixon as he keeps pace with the leaders.

Bradshaw smoked the tires in the first few feet and a quick pedal didn't help the slicks to recover.

Dixon will have lane choice over Will in the second round.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   12 Bob Vandergriff                       317 T.J. Zizzo                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.066  4.582 322.11                    -0.051  4.663 299.33
 Qualified:             #3  4.513 329.91                       #14  4.578 322.11
I'd been bragging on the Zizzo team's sharp looking Peak uniforms and others must have agreed as they were awarded Best Appearing Crew.

Zizzo pushes a bit too hard but it would have been a very good race.

Vandergriff will not have lane choice when he meets Fuller next round.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    6 David Grubnic                           3 Brandon Bernstein            
E1                   0.088  5.676 210.24     ****WINNER****  0.092  4.525 324.90
 Qualified:             #5  4.523 329.91                       #12  4.568 324.36
Grubnic was the first to leave, but quickly ran into problems. He tried two or three times to get the slicks back under control but they were way out in the zone and smoking heavily.

Bernstein runs the pass of the session in the less-favored lane. Just goes to show you it's all about the setup.

Brandon will have lane choice in the second round over Troxel.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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