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Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 04:38 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Jason Murray

CONCORD, N.C. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.177/299.13, Now #1
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.410/231.99, Now #2

Weather conditions: air temperature 85 degrees, relative humidity 60 percent, barometer 29.43 inches, adjusted altitude 3,208 feet, track temperature 118 degrees.

3:49 p.m. Would should see some good numbers from what we saw in the Pro Stock ranks. This will be the first pair of nitro cars going down zMax Dragway. Arend is racing for the second time this year in the DHL car. Hagan is on and off the throttle at 200ft, puts he foot back into and goes through the lights under full power. Arend makes a very nice run to start the weekend.

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.921 sec., 330ft-2.372, 660ft-3.369/259.36mph.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.957 sec., 330ft-2.425, 660ft-3.460/244.56mph.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.137/155.40, Now #3
Right Lane: Frank Hawley Runs 7.589/79.51, Now #4

Gilbertson is the home town boy this weekend and has Mike Kloeber tuning his car here in North Carolina. Hawley has looked really good in the past few races. Nothing special here for either team. Gilbertson launches and has a cylinder out, Hawley goes about 300ft and lifts.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.261/293.73, Now #3
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.176/296.96, Now #1

The clouds have started to move back in. Both drivers make good runs, Head was better early and he will go into the top spot for now.

Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.951 sec., 330ft-2.428, 660ft-3.433/254.42mph.
Jim Head's incremental times: 60ft-0.909 sec., 330ft-2.346, 660ft-3.349/254.28mph.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 7.012/88.50, Now #7
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 6.313/94.74, Now #6

Both drivers launch and both lift at 300ft.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.219/292.33, Now #4
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.162/300.46, Now #1

Troxel makes a really good run and she will go to the top of the pack, and we have our first 300 mph pass here at zMax Dragway. Scelzi makes a nice opening run for his weekend.

Gary Scelzi's incremental times: 60ft-0.927 sec., 330ft-2.373, 660ft-3.386/251.91mph.
Melanie Troxel's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.348, 660ft-3.347/256.99mph.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.243/290.57, Now #6
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.188/288.70, Now #4

Tasca just broke ground earlier this week on his new race shop he is buliding here in the Charlotte area. Both drivers make full pulls, Worsham was better early and cross the finish-line first. Tasca makes a good run to start his weekend off.

Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.928 sec., 330ft-2.389, 660ft-3.404/251.72mph.
Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.353, 660ft-3.352/256.02mph.

Left Lane: Mike Neff Runs 4.165/303.30, Now #2
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.170/296.50, Now #3

We are now into our Countdown drivers. We should now see how good Troxel's run really was. Capps is just a little better on the short numbers, but Neff had more power down track and Neff moves into the 2nd spot. Troxel's run looking really good as she stays #1.

Mike Neff's incremental times: 60ft-0.914 sec., 330ft-2.362, 660ft-3.358/259.56mph.
Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.357, 660ft-3.348/258.27mph.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.147/298.14, Now #1
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.250/290.76, Now #10

Force's run looks really good at the hit and the time on the scoreboard shows how good it was. John goes to the top of the ladder for the time being. Densham makes a solid run for his first run here at zMax Dragway.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.904 sec., 330ft-2.340, 660ft-3.330/258.22mph.
Gary Densham's incremental times: 60ft-0.951 sec., 330ft-2.410, 660ft-3.414/253.37mph.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.206/293.35, Now #9
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.116/302.08, Now #1

Remember no crew chief or driver have any tuning information for this track as this is the first time any nitro car has been down the track. Ashley sees dad go to the #1 spot and she decides to take it away from him. Force makes the quickest run of the weekend as she sits in the top spot. Beckman drifted towards the centerline just past 1/8th mile.

Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.356, 660ft-3.373/251.95mph.
Ashley Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.330, 660ft-3.309/262.13mph.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.216/292.96, Now #11
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.212/276.35, Now #10

Cruz sits 4th in the points but has not won a race this race, he is hoping to change that this weekend. Hight is coming off his Indy win. A great side-by-side race, Hight's engine started to eat itself, there is lots of smoke out of the pipes, but we here there is no problem. Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.915 sec., 330ft-2.368, 660ft-3.383/252.61mph.
Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.917 sec., 330ft-2.338, 660ft-3.345/249.53mph.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.180/297.02, Now #8
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.215/288.77, Now #12

Our final pair pull to the line. Both cars launch clean and they both get full pulls. Pedregon was better early and he will be the quicker of the two. Ashley Force will stay in the #1 spot and Tim Wilkerson will be on the bump going into the next session later this evening.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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