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Sat, 10 Nov 2012, 16:08 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard





POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 48th 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: Terry Haddock Runs 5.093/151.87, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.105/310.91, Now #10; No Prior Run

12:00 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 64 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 28.93 inches, adjusted altitude 1,672 feet, track temperature 90 degrees.

DeJoria gets a full pass this time and moves into the field for now.

Haddock's Impala had better incrementals down low but was done before the 660 lights.

Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.917 sec., 330ft-2.337, 660ft-3.317/263.41 mph.


Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.247/302.62, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.443/248.29, Now #15; No Prior Run

Pedregon gets a starting line advantage and then has to quickly pump the pedal. He's after it again and gets to the finish line under power.

Bode is up in smoke before the 660 lights.

Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.899 sec., 330ft-2.427, 660ft-3.439/257.43 mph.
Bob Bode's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.373, 660ft-3.482/224.66 mph.

Left Lane: Todd Lesenko Runs 4.787/147.33, Now #16; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.053/313.07, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.096/311.56, Was #8

Terry Haddock is on the bump spot at 5.093.

Hight is already in the top half of the field and looking for the number one spot. He has a strong leave and powers on down the track to move all the way up the ladder to the new number three spot. Nice!

In the other lane, Lesenko's good leave, sixty foot, and three thirty numbers are quickly forgotten, as he does a quick pump on the throttle right after that and launches the Charger's body way high into the air. It comes down on the return road nearby in more or less one piece.

The rest of the run will be shown over and over on highlight reviews. As the body starts to come off the car, the chassis is turned well pass sideway and up onto the front tires. As it comes back down, it lands on the left slick and drives the car back forwards and towards the centerline. It's then up on the edge of the right slick and the headers as it grinds across the center line right after the 1000 foot lights. It continues to bounce and bang and runs for a while with just the front wheels on the ground. The car finally comes to a stop and he stays in the car until the Safety Safari and ambulance arrive. Spectacular!!

Todd Lesenko's incremental times: 60ft-0.901 sec., 330ft-2.322, 660ft-3.443/197.25 mph.
Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.898 sec., 330ft-2.306, 660ft-3.271/269.19 mph.

12:05 p.m. This will take a while to clean up!

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.131/276.69, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Josh Crawford Runs 8.380/77.46, Now #19; No Prior Run

12:24 p.m. Hopefully, the rest of the session will be quick and fast with no further drama. Todd Lesenko is on the bump spot at 4.787.

Capps really need to get into the field to ensure a shot at the Championship. The Charger is strong down low and drops a couple of cylinders down track. That drives the car towards the wall, but he is able to save the run and take over the current #14 spot. That may not be safe, as there are still more cars left to qualify.

Crawford leaves well and then quickly smokes the tires.

Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.895 sec., 330ft-2.325, 660ft-3.301/265.43 mph.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.036/312.93, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.127/309.27, Was #12
Right Lane: Mike Neff Runs 7.620/86.88, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.062/313.66, Was #7

Arend makes a huge improvement and a new career best ET to move up into the top three for now.

Neff's tuneup is too strong for the track and he smokes the tires off the line. No small points this time.

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.886 sec., 330ft-2.287, 660ft-3.256/266.69 mph.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 5.342/143.00, Now #19; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.102/303.43, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.128/302.35, Was #13

Bob Bode is on the bump spot at 4.443.

Wilkerson leaves the line well and drives towards the top end. The car starts to move around a lot, but he is able to stay on the throttle.

Johnson's car is a little lazy off the line and then spins and shakes before the 330 lights.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.896 sec., 330ft-2.317, 660ft-3.303/261.88 mph.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.090/308.71, Now #10; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 6.946/99.66, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.100/308.50, Was #10

Force leaves hard with a 0.897 sixty foot time and then has his hands full right after the 660 lights, as the car gets wacky and starts to tail wag big time. We get to see both sides of the Mustang body several times before the finish line. The run is good enough to get him into the field in the current #10 spot.

Hagan joins the "Up in Smoke" group.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.897 sec., 330ft-2.329, 660ft-3.303/266.32 mph.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 6.338/102.46, Now #21; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 6.395/100.55, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.082/308.28, Was #9

Tony Pedregon is on the bump spot at 4.247.

Dueling tire smokers. Tasca gets off the line first and Lee strikes the tires first.

Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.009/305.56, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.059/311.85, Was #6

Grant Downing was scheduled to be in the left lane, but will sit this session out.

Say "Hello" to your new number one qualifier and a tie for the track ET record. He leaves the line with a strong 0.880 sixty foot time and is running over 266 MPH at the 660. The engine lays down a little in the lights and leaves a trail of smoke behind the Camry.

Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.881 sec., 330ft-2.261, 660ft-3.220/266.53 mph.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 8.640/71.08, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.060/313.22, Was #7
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.088/297.55, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.056/306.40, Was #6

They are just 0.001 at sixty feet, but Gray's Charger is up in smoke after that. Head makes another strong pass to stay number six for now.

Jim Head's incremental times: 60ft-0.894 sec., 330ft-2.317, 660ft-3.297/261.83 mph.

Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.090/312.21, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.032/315.93, Was #3
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.292/219.72, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.025/319.75, Was #2

Force makes a clean straight an true pass to the finish line and will stay #3.

Beckman was away first and was quicker to the 660, but was already slowing, as the car got out of the groove and he had to lift.

Courtney Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.896 sec., 330ft-2.331, 660ft-3.305/265.80 mph.
Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.900 sec., 330ft-2.305, 660ft-3.296/244.74 mph.

12:50 p.m. Cruz Pedregon is number one at 4.009 and Tony Pedregon is on the bump spot at 4.247.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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