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Fri, 2 Nov 2007, 04:26 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 43nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals 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: Troy Buff Runs 5.411/259.41, Now #10; Best prior run: 11.415/67.04, Was #23
Right Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 16.374/43.65, Now #26; Best prior run: 17.012/61.23, Was #26

12:18 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 45 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 2,370 feet, track temperature 98 degrees.

It's starting to warm up and the track temperatures are close to ideal for the high horse power dragsters. Buff's team did their homework last night and he gets a full pull well into the field. Pierce's car struggled off the line and then went quiet. There was a trail of Stuff underneath the dragster. It looks like it's fuel though, as the NHRA guys scuff their shoes in it and wait for it to evaporate.

Left Lane: Greg Tacke Runs 5.577/222.00, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.608/257.58, Was #21
Right Lane: Brian Smith Runs 14.836/81.87, Now #25; Best prior run: 16.003/75.83, Was #25

Dave DeAngelis is on the bump spot at 5.490. Smith's tires are up in smoke at the hit. Tacke was on a good looking pass with a 0.922 sixty foot and then the blower went BANG near the 1000 foot lights.

Left Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.429/261.88, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.545/253.56, Was #20
Right Lane: Chris Demke Runs 8.194/106.28, Now #24; Best prior run: 12.108/83.26, Was #24

Lots of excitement for Demke with big time shake at the hit. The slicks start to spin hard and that powers the back end out to push the car close to the centerline. No drama for Perkins, as he shows the power to bump into the current #11 spot. Thomas Bayer is on the bump spot at 5.478.

Left Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.490/251.44, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.517/250.04, Was #20
Right Lane: Dennis Swearingen Runs 14.462/50.97, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.799/224.92, Was #23

Swearingen loses the belt before the sixty foot lights. Ahten's engine starts dropping cylinders early in the run and, while improving, won't bump into the stout field.

Left Lane: Dave DeAngelis Runs 5.499/257.33, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.490/255.48, Was #17
Right Lane: Dave Heitzman No Time, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.666/250.83, Was #22

Heitzman engine has problems and won't keep running. The team pushes the car off the line. DeAngelis runs close to yesterday times and won't improve on his #17 position.

Left Lane: Joey Severance Runs 5.412/263.98, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.466/257.53, Was #15
Right Lane: Brandon Johnson Runs 5.777/252.05, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.503/261.27, Was #20

Johnson's car has a unique Diamond Plate silver and red paint job. Unfortunately, the engine loses a bunch of cylinders at the hit and the car grumbles on down the track.Severance makes a clean pass and moves further away from the bump spot.

Left Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.233/275.73, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.443/256.99, Was #14
Right Lane: Diana Harker Runs 5.377/256.31, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.491/248.93, Was #19

Five hundredth ET and five qualifying spots separate these two before the engines start. Nice side by side pass down the track and Reichert jumps up into the new #1 spot, with Diana Harker just missing the top half of the field. Shawn Cowie is on the bump spot at 5.453.

Left Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.551/255.05, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.432/260.11, Was #15
Right Lane: Thomas Bayer Runs 5.560/242.50, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.478/259.01, Was #17

Hirata has holes out at the hit and slows. Bayer had a 0.960 sixty foot time, but it sounded like the engine banged hard near the lights. He stops on the track near the last turn out and the Safety Safari guys are out dusting and cleaning near by.

12:46 p.m.

Left Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 5.378/265.06, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.391/264.80, Was #10
Right Lane: Shawn Cowie Runs 5.395/266.85, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.453/264.23, Was #16

12:48 p.m. That didn't take long! Great side by side pass and both cars improve on the ET's and MPH's. Whiteley will stay #10 and Cowie moves well away from the bump spot. Dave Hirata is on the bump spot at 5.432.

Left Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.406/254.18, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.351/257.58, Was #7
Right Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 5.358/263.15, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.410/258.52, Was #12

Two more great looking passes and Miersch moves into the top half of the field. Eakins had a clean pass, but does not improve.

Left Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.346/272.78, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.316/268.81, Was #5
Right Lane: Kate Harker Runs 5.295/268.65, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.365/264.29, Was #9

The Other Harker moves hard at the hit and pulls steadily away from Olivarez and into the new #3 spot. The Harker Twins are now qualified well in the field.

Left Lane: Mark Niver Runs 5.369/262.13, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.304/262.13, Was #5
Right Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.308/273.16, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.329/273.33, Was #7

Shields keeps all the cylinders lit through the lights and moves a spot up the ladder. Niver was running on less than eight in the lights and doesn't improve.

Left Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 5.249/275.06, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.304/270.16, Was #4
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.279/265.12, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.280/260.06, Was #2

Last pair of the session and a great one at that. Right down Broadway {or Parker Ave.] and Lucas improves a little and is still moved down a spot by a thundering Massey.

1:01 p.m. Bill Reichert stays #1 and Dave Hirata is on the bump spot at 5.432.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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