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Sat, 27 Sep 2003, 01:11 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Bob Orme

JOLIET, Ill. - Notes from final, round 2 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Third annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals 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: Bruce Carlson No Time, Now #19; Best prior run: 7.139/137.50, Was #19
Right Lane: David Kovar Runs 6.674/160.86, Now #15; Best prior run: 6.168/228.96, Was #15

10:31 AM Current weather conditions: 55 degrees, 82 percent relative humidity, the barometer 29.75 inches.

This was not a good run for either driver. Carlson got out of shape early and crossed the centerline taking out the half track timing cones. Kovar pitched the blower belt at about 1000 feet.

Left Lane: Dale Brand No Time, Now #23; Best prior run: 9.377/92.19, Was #23
Right Lane: Steve Addleman Runs 6.044/242.41, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.935/236.05, Was #13

The left lane is unkind to another driver. Brand got out of shape and tagged the retaining wall at about 200 feet. He was able to continue down the track, but the weekend is over for him.

Left Lane: John Patton Runs 6.203/227.73, Now #17; Best prior run: 7.310/119.71, Was #21
Right Lane: Don DeVault Runs 6.066/238.30, Now #15; Best prior run: 6.362/236.09, Was #17

Patton improves, but not quite enough. DeVault had to fight to keep his car from crossing the centerline from about 400 feet through the finish.

Left Lane: Fred Hagen Runs 9.574/124.83, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.743/258.76, Was #11
Right Lane: Mick Snyder Runs 5.668/251.11, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.670/249.67, Was #5

Hagen shook the tires on the hit and was off the throttle at about 200 feet. Snyder drove through some early tire shake on his way to a career best elapsed time and speed.

Left Lane: Doug Gordon Runs 5.598/255.97, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.736/251.58, Was #10
Right Lane: Bob Newberry Runs 5.638/256.89, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.658/255.53, Was #3

A good looking drag race, both cars moving around a little with Gordon getting his first-ever 5.5-second pass.

Left Lane: Jeff Craig Runs 5.924/247.66, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.786/251.30, Was #12
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 5.870/250.64, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.965/250.18, Was #14

No real problems for either driver here as Lee moves up a step on the ladder.

Left Lane: Larry Bakke Runs 16.598/45.07, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.741/164.05, Was #19
Right Lane: Wayne Butler Runs 6.103/229.78, Now #16; Best prior run: 6.282/230.13, Was #18

Bakke had traction troubles on the hit and he was off the throttle almost immediately. Butler hazed the tires on the launch and had his hands full trying to keep the car in the groove for most of this pass.

Left Lane: Kirk Williams Runs 5.745/254.33, Now #12; Best prior run: 7.700/144.18, Was #22
Right Lane: Vern Moats Runs 5.695/250.83, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.693/245.76, Was #8

Williams was very close to the retaining wall at about 400 feet, but he was able to reign it in and put the car into the show.

Left Lane: Steve Gasparrelli Runs 5.913/202.09, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Cy Chesterman Runs 5.613/256.70, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.614/256.99, Was #1

Gasparrelli was moving around his lane quite a bit, but he is quick enough to make it into the show for now.

Left Lane: Frank Manzo Runs 5.578/260.46, Now #1; Best prior run: 7.240/130.96, Was #23
Right Lane: Chuck Cheeseman Runs 11.857/70.89, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.654/252.76, Was #4

A very stout pass for Manzo, the car running straight down the groove. Cheeseman shook hard on the launch and he lifted.

Left Lane: Bucky Austin Runs 5.592/258.42, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.670/251.95, Was #7
Right Lane: Tate Branch Runs 6.359/173.12, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.699/249.86, Was #11

Austin ran it straight down Broadway to move into the number two position on the ladder. Branch was on a good pass until he blew the burst panel at half track.

Left Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.583/259.86, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.679/251.34, Was #8
Right Lane: Jim Sickles Runs 5.663/255.68, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.699/253.75, Was #10

Both cars were moving around a little, but overall, this was a good looking drag race.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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