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Sat, 10 Nov 2012, 18:35 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan





POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   15 John Finke                            487 Mark Taliaferro              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.051  5.487 260.31                     0.053  5.595 262.18
 Qualified:             #8  5.357 266.37                        #9  5.373 270.05
2:14 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 64 degrees, relative humidity 27 percent, barometer 28.87 inches, adjusted altitude 1,864 feet, track temperature 82 degrees.

Seven of the top ten in the points are here this weekend and the qualifying shows it. With only two qualifying sessions because of rain, the bump was still a 5.549.

They left together, but Taliaferro's engine dropped a couple cylinders on the left side and he steadily lost ground.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    1 Duane Shields                        6067 Don St. Arnaud               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.083  5.311 266.37                     0.080  5.601 229.94
 Qualified:            #10  5.382 261.88                        #7  5.353 276.41
Don St. Arnuad, who has top speed coming into round one, is in a re-match with Duane Shields from the Winternationals final round here in 2011 (Shields won)..Duane Shields was also runner-up here in 2001 & 2007.

St. Arnaud's car started rattling the tires, dancing from one rear slick to the other, and that cost him a lot of time. By the time he got the car settled down, Shields was long gone, makingh his quickest and fastest run of the event.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  613 Joey Severance                        596 Randy Meyer                  
E1                   0.063  5.409 245.40     ****WINNER****  0.030  5.282 265.80
 Qualified:            #12  5.418 262.69                        #5  5.335 259.16
This is the first time Severance and Meyer have faced each other in eliminations.

Meyer left first and made his best run of the event despite what appeared to be a dropped cylinder on the rigth side past half track. Severance also ran his best ET of the event, but was well back at the finish.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  717 Aaron Olivarez                         10 Chase Copeland               
E1                  -0.019  5.535 263.20     ****WINNER****  0.073  5.326 267.69
 Qualified:            #11  5.404 263.05                        #6  5.351 263.10
This is the first time Olivarez and Copeland have faced each other in eliminations.

Olivarez went red, giving Copeland an easy pass to round two.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   17 Jackie Fricke                         611 Garrett Bateman              
E1                   0.066  6.198 245.05     ****WINNER****  0.051  5.450 264.96
 Qualified:            #13  5.430 263.87                        #4  5.326 264.34
This is the first time Fricke and Bateman have faced each other in eliminations.

Lots of tire smoke and then raw fuel from Fricke's car. Bateman also dropped a cylinder part way through the run, but he was far enough down the track that it didn't hurt him that much. However, he won't have lane choice when he meets Meyer in round two.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   62 Ray Martin                              2 Bill Reichert                
E1                   0.150  5.495 262.95     ****WINNER****  0.079  5.343 254.81
 Qualified:            #14  5.508 235.68                        #3  5.265 267.85
Ray Martin is the 161st different driver that Bill has faced in his career Martin was the runner-up here last year and Reichert has won this race three times.Martin was late and Reichert had a huge lead before dropping a cylinder on the top end, winning easily. However, the dropped cylinder may have slowed him just enough to lose lane choice to Copeland in round two.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 7402 Randy Eakins                            5 Chris Demke                  
E1                   0.064  6.958 142.61     ****WINNER****  0.048  5.279 270.27
 Qualified:            #15  5.514 255.43                        #2  5.259 271.52
Eakins smoked the tires, then dropped a couple of cylinders and was never a factor. Demke didn't quite match his qualifying pace, but he will have lane choice against Shields in round two.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   77 Larry Miersch                           3 Jim Whiteley                 
E1                   0.070  5.490 255.97     ****WINNER****  0.019  5.205 274.50
 Qualified:            #16  5.549 266.32                        #1  5.227 274.27
Jim Whiteley's qualifying numbers were the best ever for a blown car. This is Whiteley's 6th #1 spot of the year, he has won the event in three of the previous five times. He has also won this race three times.

Again, Wow!!! Whiteley sawed the tree down, then ran the quickest and fastest run ever for a blown car - for the second round in a row. He will have lane choice against Finke in round two.

Jim Whiteley's incremental times: 60ft-0.909 sec., 330ft-2.319, 660ft-3.431/222.29 mph, 1,000ft-4.389.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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