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Fri, 15 Feb 2013, 20:35 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 53rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries 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:
Right Lane: Garrett Bateman Runs 5.670/259.76, Now #14; Best prior run: 12.614/59.67, Was #16

4:35 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 22 percent, barometer 29.03 inches, adjusted altitude 2,481 feet, track temperature 88 degrees.

Garrett Bateman is on the bump spot at 12.614 and this is his last chance to improve. He can't be bumped though.

He has to slap the pedal a short ways out, but still runs well enough to move up to the current number fourteen spot.

Garrett Bateman's incremental times: 60ft-0.964 sec., 330ft-2.661, 660ft-3.842/216.20 mph, 1,000ft-4.818.

Left Lane: Edwin Schmeeckle Runs 6.296/114.86, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.542/239.44, Was #12
Right Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.651/253.99, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.343/243.28, Was #16

Duane Shields is now on the bump spot at 6.343. He has had traction problems on both prior attempts. The Peak dragster gets off the line this time, but sounded like a double pump before the 330' light. He stays after it and moves up to #14.

Schmeeckle is off on a strong pass. The engine goes bang near the 1000' lights and the car slows. No oil!

Edwin Schmeeckle's incremental times: 60ft-0.906 sec., 330ft-2.352, 660ft-3.508/211.86 mph, 1,000ft-4.685.
Duane Shields' incremental times: 60ft-0.979 sec., 330ft-2.620, 660ft-3.787/216.48 mph, 1,000ft-4.780.

Left Lane: Larry Miersch No Time, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.435/270.27, Was #9
Right Lane: Casey Grisel No Time, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.475/261.12, Was #11

Brooks Brown is on the bump spot at 5.692.

Well, the Computer Gods have decided to play a joke on us and quit recording numbers right after the two cars passed the 330' lights. There was a power glitch on the timing sensors.

Both cars were on a clean passes too.

4:49 p.m. Time out to check out the timing issues.

Left Lane: Fred Hanssen Runs 5.342/266.58, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.379/265.43, Was #6
Right Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.588/256.36, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.457/255.82, Was #10

5:10 p.m. Back to qualifying.

Strong pass for Hanssen into the top four. Ahten slows a little.

Left Lane: Joey Severance Runs 5.330/265.33, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.370/266.48, Was #6
Right Lane: Don St. Arnaud Runs 5.309/274.16, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.400/272.45, Was #8

A good ol' side by side pass with both cars making their best runs of the weekend.

They leave with in 0.002 of each other and finish just 0.021 seconds of each other!

Joey Severance's incremental times: 60ft-0.885 sec., 330ft-2.337, 660ft-3.491/213.84 mph, 1,000ft-4.484.
Don St. Arnaud's incremental times: 60ft-0.937 sec., 330ft-2.425, 660ft-3.546/223.28 mph, 1,000ft-4.496.

Left Lane: Megan McKernan Runs 12.048/63.24, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.351/252.38, Was #7
Right Lane: Ray Martin Runs 5.468/254.38, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.330/268.60, Was #3

McKerrnan fires and falls back.

Martin has strong numbers down low, but slows on the top end to stay #3.

Ray Martin's incremental times: 60ft-0.926 sec., 330ft-2.377, 660ft-3.553/207.82 mph, 1,000ft-4.587.

Left Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.273/270.92, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.343/267.43, Was #6
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 5.262/274.05, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.251/273.27, Was #1

Last pair to qualify in Top Alcohol Dragster. Two blown alcohol dragsters, #1 and #6 in 2012.

...and the best is saved for last! Spectacular side by side passes. They leave close together and run together to the finish line.

Whiteley is faster on this pass and can't quite match his best ET to stay number one.

Demke gives it his best and just can't get by Whiteley. Nothing wrong with number two!

Chris Demke's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.335, 660ft-3.469/217.81 mph, 1,000ft-4.444.
Jim Whiteley's incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.354, 660ft-3.479/220.08 mph, 1,000ft-4.443.

5:27 p.m. Brooks Brown is on the bump spot at 5.692.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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