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Sat, 3 Nov 2007, 09:16 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Steven Chrisman No Time, Now #22; Best prior run: 4.899/296.37, Was #22
Right Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.707/288.39, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.806/241.37, Was #21

4:30 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 27 percent, barometer 28.92 inches, adjusted altitude 2,645 feet, track temperature 99 degrees.

Chrisman starts to drop cylinder down track and will not qualify. Strasburg makes a clean and straight pass until just after the 1000 foot lights. The engine drops a cylinder or two and then erupts in flames through the lights. The right slick blows and the car slows in a shower of sparks on three wheels. He safely stops in the center of the track near the finish line. With all that, he still doesn't qualify.

Lots of clean up commences in the right lane. Chrisman doesn't get a time due to the flash from Strasburg's fire in the lights.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 7.265/105.72, Now #20; Best prior run: 4.714/326.16, Was #20
Right Lane: Urs Erbacher Runs 5.870/155.74, Now #21; Best prior run: 4.731/315.19, Was #21

Two broken runs.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.676/288.52, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.600/317.64, Was #18
Right Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 10.458/86.92, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.608/321.81, Was #19

Cannon slows on the top end. Hartley fires and falls back.

Left Lane: Alan Bradshaw Runs 4.667/284.51, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.589/323.27, Was #17
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 4.541/330.47, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.576/325.45, Was #15

Bradshaw is with Lucas until mid-track and then slows as the pipes go wet. Lucas misses the top half of the field, but moves into the current #9 spot with a career best MPH.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.586/314.90, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.587/326.32, Was #16
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 10.750/75.79, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.574/314.83, Was #15

Kalitta just picks up a little in these difficult conditions, but there is a lot of smoke from the engine in the lights. Herbert does the fire and fall back problem too.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.811/227.31, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.566/321.50, Was #10
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.541/322.96, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.572/323.50, Was #12

5:06 p.m. The clean up took a while. Two great passes until the Fram car loses the belt near the lights Dixon makes a strong pass up the ladder.

Left Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.549/324.83, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.564/325.85, Was #10
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.555/323.81, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.570/321.73, Was #12

The conditions continue to improve with the delays for clean up.Two clean passes and both cars pick up ET.

Left Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.532/333.08, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.543/324.51, Was #8
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.508/320.58, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.544/323.04, Was #9

Start you calculations for qualifying over. Two major improvements and a new top speed of the meet. Schumacher gets the top qualifying spot and Vandergriff moves further into the top half of the field with a huge 333.080 MPH! He went by Schumacher's car like he was tied to a poll on the top end.

Left Lane: Doug Foley Runs 11.653/77.71, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.540/330.72, Was #8
Right Lane: Hillary Will Runs 4.547/330.07, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.538/331.04, Was #7

Foley gets about 100 feet out and smokes the tires. Will gets a full pull and runs another 330 plus MPH to stay #7. That may have been a career best speed.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.524/328.54, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.529/329.83, Was #5
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.561/327.19, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.525/309.27, Was #4

...and the hits keep coming. Two more clean passes and Bernstein gets there first and swaps qualifying positions with Troxel on the ladder. Troxel makes her fastest run of the weekend.

Left Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 4.528/323.66, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.521/328.22, Was #2
Right Lane: David Baca Runs 4.545/326.24, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.523/329.18, Was #3

Last cars to qualify for the year! Two great looking side by side passes, but no improvements. Baca has made four fifty passes in a row.

5:27 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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