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Thu, 1 Nov 2007, 07:06 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 43nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Urs Erbacher Runs 4.849/297.88, Now #2
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.600/317.64, Now #1

3:08 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 40 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 1,887 feet, track temperature 98 degrees.

Lots of struggles in Fuel Funny Car, but our first two Top Fuel cars manage the asphalt with full pulls. Cannon gets away first and pulls steadily away from Erbacher. Looks like a lot of "Stuff" from the Swiss dragster after the finish line. The Safety Safari is out on the track cleaning to the last turnout.

Left Lane: David Baca Runs 4.523/329.18, Now #1
Right Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 12.864/87.15, Now #4

3:19 p.m. and we are back...

Chrisman's car is dead by 100 feet. Baca thunders on down the track and sets the mark for the field with a stout pass.

Left Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.806/241.37, Now #4
Right Lane: Alan Bradshaw Runs 4.589/323.27, Now #2

Looks like the Bill Miller team found their problems from last week, as Bradshaw runs near his career best ET and MPH. Strasburg's time to the 1000 feet was better than Bradshaw and then the fire went out and the smoke started.

Left Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 4.608/321.81, Now #5
Right Lane: Doug Foley Runs 4.540/330.72, Now #2

Two more good looking passes and Foley runs a good ET and a great MPH into the current #2 spot. Hartley makes a clean pass to the current #5 spot.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 10.941/77.44, Now #9
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.764/320.66, Now #6

Both cars shake and spin off the line. Millican gathers it back up and is the top half of the field for now. Lucas pumps it and then gives it up.

Left Lane: Hillary Will Runs 4.573/328.94, Now #4
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.566/321.50, Now #3

Two great looking four fifty passes and both cars run well into the top half of the field. Lots of smoke in the lights for the Fram car, but no oil on the track.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.574/313.73, Now #5
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.893/219.90, Now #12

Kalitta loses the fire right after mid-track as the pipes go wet. He was right with Grubnic until then. Aussie Dave has the advantage after the 330 lights and makes a clean pass.

Left Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.579/326.87, Now #7
Right Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 4.521/328.22, Now #1

Todd wire to wire! A strong 0.853 sixty foot time with over 277 MPH at mid-track. Great looking pass and a new career best MPH to boot. Troxel's car is strong too and she takes the fueler into the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 7.508/95.70, Now #16
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.543/324.51, Now #4

Herbert's car leaves hard and then smokes the tire after the 60 foot mark. Things go from bad to worse as there is oil in his lane from there to well after the finish line. Vandergriff makes a strong pass to near the lights with dropped cylinders. It's still good enough to get the current #4 spot. 3:38 p.m. No oil down penalty for Herbert, as he'll cash in one of his "Get Out of Jail" cards for this one. This puts Doug Herbert on the bump spot.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.544/323.04, Now #6
Right Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.529/329.83, Now #3

3:53 p.m. ...and we are back.

Here are the first two of the Countdown to One contenders. Schumacher will need to go to the scales on this pass. Both cars run hard with Bernstein having the advantage from sixty feet to the finish line.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.572/323.50, Now #8
Right Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.643/265.85, Now #15

Last pair and Dixon gets it to the finish line under power and into the #8 spot. Fuller was quicker and faster until near the 1000 foot lights where the pipes go wet.

J.R. Todd is the #1 qualifier at 4.521 and Clay Millican is on the bump spot at 4.764.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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