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Sat, 6 Sep 2003, 11:39 AM

Top Alcohol Dragster Round 1 Eliminations
By Keith Burgan





CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   24 Michael Gunderson                       9 David Wells
E1   ****WINNER****  0.137  5.323 278.35                           No Time
 Qualified:             #8  5.424 260.01                        #9  5.444 263.31
Current weather conditions: 64 degrees, 37 percent relative humidity, the barometer 30.02 inches, with a track temperature of 86 degrees. Wells was shut off after his burnout after putting some "stuff" on the track and Gunderson got a freebie. Gunderson's solo was a stunner as he picked up a tenth from his qualifying pace and ran the best speed ever for the category at 278.35 mph

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  391 Bill Reichert                           2 Duane Shields
E1   ****WINNER****  0.086  5.309 276.46                     0.038  5.407 261.57
 Qualified:             #5  5.388 272.39                       #12  5.473 260.06
Shields had the better light but Reichert drove around him as both cars picked up from their qualifying pace in the ideal weather conditions this morning

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    4 Darren Nicholson                       33 Jeff Wilson
E1                  -0.004  5.458 247.61     ****WINNER****  0.059  5.454 259.61
 Qualified:            #10  5.453 258.27                        #7  5.406 259.31
Nicholson wasted a 5.458 with a 4 thou early leave as Wilson slows just a tad from his qualifying pace but still has the better time by the same 4 thousandths.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  312 Keith Stark                             8 Shelly Howard
E1                   0.099  6.390 154.81     ****WINNER****  0.048  5.499 250.04
 Qualified:             #6  5.403 261.32                       #11  5.470 258.57
After a quick mid track clean up in Wilson's lane we are back with another pair of mid field runners.Howard is first out of the gate and never headed as Stark slows at half track and coasts across the line.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    7 Marty Thacker                        2155 Guy Kelly
E1   ****WINNER****  0.048  5.350 264.18                    -0.001  5.464 262.08
 Qualified:             #4  5.380 262.79                       #13  5.484 258.57
Again the sweeper and tractor make a pass down the right lane, this time from the start line to the 330 clocks. After around 10 minutes of grooming we are back in action. As he did throughout qualifying Thacker lofts the front wheels off the line but they stay within 8" of the track as he takes the automatic win over Kelly's .001 foul.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  185 Mike Kosky                            276 Bill McCornack
E1   ****WINNER****  0.012  5.486 255.53                     0.026  5.900 191.00
 Qualified:            #14  5.500 256.45                       #17  5.527 254.66
First alternate McCornack is in the show replacing third qualified Bradshaw who is running the divisional race in Earlville, Iowa this weekend but he slows considerably from his qualifying pace and Kosky takes an easy win from the bottom half of the ladder.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 7438 Morgan Lucas                           10 John Haley
E1   ****WINNER****  0.059  5.350 265.22                     0.051  5.387 262.08
 Qualified:             #1  5.314 264.80                       #16  5.506 258.67
Haley leaves just ahead of Lucas and holds the lead until just short of the 1000' mark as he improves considerably from his qualifying effort but the defending champ does not quite have enough for Lucas.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  303 Todd Datweiler                       1301 Douglas Foley
E1   ****WINNER****  0.061  5.388 264.34                     0.104  5.469 257.63
 Qualified:             #2  5.346 259.76                       #15  5.503 255.63
Datweiler did not have a stellar light but Foley was even later and despite picking up nearly half a tenth from his qualifying pace he trailed by almost 50 feet in the traps.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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