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Sat, 27 Sep 2008, 05:44 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 21st annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil 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: Tony Bartone Runs 4.248/286.74, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.520/201.94, Was #18
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.205/287.47, Now #15; Best prior run: 7.206/81.80, Was #20

3:47 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 83 degrees, relative humidity 37 percent, barometer 29.67 inches, adjusted altitude 2,468 feet, track temperature 114 degrees.

Hagan goes right down the middle of the track with his quickest pass of the weekend to get in the show for now. Bartone was skating around a little near the end of the run and does not make the show.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.232/288.52, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.234/291.19, Was #17
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.158/292.77, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.779/171.34, Was #20

Pedregon saves his best for last, right down the groove to get in the show, bumping out Tasca. Worsham makes another clean run but can't improve.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.332/235.76, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.194/288.89, Was #15
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.225/276.52, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.239/287.05, Was #19

Head makes a clean run but cna't get in the show. Pedregon has problems late in the run and slows.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.146/291.76, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.165/289.51, Was #13
Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.197/291.95, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.214/289.45, Was #17

Capps makes an impressive run, the quickest of the round so far, and he moves up a notch to the tenth spot. Tasca goes right down the groove to get in the show on the bump spot.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.868/161.94, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.162/295.79, Was #13
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 6.633/97.32, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.167/296.50, Was #14

Johnson gets about 200 feet out and goes up in smoke. Arend gets about 500 feet out and blows the engine.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.209/280.60, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.154/300.40, Was #11
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.131/295.08, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.134/293.73, Was #8

4:17 p.m. and we're back from a short cleanup in the left lane. Scelzi makes his quickest pass of the weekend and the quickest of the session so far. Wilkerson was falling back at every marker then seemed to loose power just before the finish line. Smoke was coming out of the back of Wilkerson's vehicle and the Safety Safari rolls for a cleanup.

Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 14.724/77.01, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.122/285.95, Was #7

Not sure what happened here, hight hits the throttle, moves about five feet and the engine drops back to an idle.

Left Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.178/296.44, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.117/302.28, Was #6
Right Lane: Mike Neff Runs 4.231/293.98, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.113/297.42, Was #4

Troxel makes another consistent pass and stays in the sixth spot. Neff was on a decent pass, then starts mixing up cylinders about 800 feet out.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.168/290.07, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.113/291.89, Was #5
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.142/294.43, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.105/300.26, Was #3

A good side-by-side, both right down the middle of the track.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.122/298.14, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.093/301.40, Was #2
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.131/297.02, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.079/298.87, Was #1

A great way to end the session, both cars right down Broadway with the two best passes of the session. One of the key first round match-ups tomorrow will be Tony Pedregon vs. Jack Beckman, numbers two and three in the point standings.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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