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Fri, 14 Sep 2007, 08:36 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 20th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.867/302.69, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.539/141.85, Was #14

7:02 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 86 degrees, relative humidity 46 percent, barometer 29.70 inches, adjusted altitude 2,335 feet, track temperature 101 degrees.

No traction problems for Johnson on this pass, right down the middle of the track, header flames high and steady all the way through the run.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 6.938/122.92, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.507/191.19, Was #13
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.821/316.45, Now #1; No Prior Run

Force really needs to make a good pass here to get near the top of the field....and he does it. Not only near the top, but on top with a great run right down the groove. Pedregon lost traction and was moving around all over the track, then gives up on the run about 300 feet out.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.887/304.80, Now #4; Best prior run: 28.000/0.00, Was #19
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 8.111/166.91, Now #17; Best prior run: 12.410/75.00, Was #18

Bernstein makes it 0 for 2, striking the tires again about 60 feet out. Toliver makes a good run, then the engine starts to go away as he goes through the lights.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.852/311.85, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.053/244.87, Was #14
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.927/319.37, Now #11; Best prior run: 12.166/65.13, Was #19

Head isn't in but the bump is a soft 5.524 so it shouldn't take much to get in the show. A couple of good looking runs, Kalitta gets a small lead off the line and inches ahead all the way through the run. More importantly for Head, he gets in the show is a reasonably safe least for this round. Kalitta moves up all the way to the third spot.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 5.185/208.59, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.954/301.74, Was #13
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 7.828/105.93, Now #18; Best prior run: 10.840/82.22, Was #19

Scelzi was on a decent pass then gets about 800 feet out and the header flames disappear. Pedregon has traction problems again, he strikes the tires about 300 feet out, pedals once, then gives up on the run.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.960/302.08, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.933/293.66, Was #12
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.898/309.06, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.524/186.72, Was #17

Two more good looking runs, side-by-side through most of the run. Densham gets in the show in a big way, all the way to the sixth spot, and he bumps out Tony Pedregon. No help for Wilkerson.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 12.778/81.25, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.920/312.28, Was #11
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.922/267.64, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.971/300.26, Was #16

Worsham goes up in smoke just past the sixty foot mark and gives up on the run. Bartone was on a good pass, then it appears the engine went away about 1100 feet out. He still manages to get off the bump and move into the 12th spot.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.873/311.99, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.915/309.56, Was #9
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.869/311.70, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.965/303.57, Was #16

A good side-by-side, these two were glued together all the way through the run and they are together on the list, numbers five and six.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.810/316.38, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.905/299.60, Was #9
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.921/267.37, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.916/311.13, Was #11

Force has dropped all the way to the ninth spot, Ashley to 11th. Force improves, the best short time of the round, and she moves all the way to the top spot. Ashley was on a decent pass, just .03 slower at half-track, then the engine lets go about 1100 feet out.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.811/314.02, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.844/299.46, Was #3
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 8.037/101.96, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.915/309.84, Was #10

Arend has traction problems early in the run and has to click it off. Hight makes another great pass and just misses passing his team-mate for the top spot. That makes the Force cars 1-2-3 after this second round of qualifying.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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