GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Chad Head Runs 4.597/182.75, Now #1
1:23 p.m. The track temp has climbed to 104 degrees... This is Chad's debut in National Event Funny Car Competition. The crew had the body up for quite awhile after the burnout, but it's finally lowered, and he moves to the starting line.
Chad danced around quite a bit as the clutch timers kicked in, he pedaled, then lifted when he started hazing the tires at about half track.
Left Lane: Blake Alexander Runs 4.469/217.42, Now #1
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 6.736/112.71, Now #3
Creasy clicked it when he started to lose traction past the 60-foot timers, Alexander got off the loud pedal at the halfway point, which is what they had planned for this run.
Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 6.475/100.24, Now #4
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.162/274.83, Now #1
Arend had problems early, Pedregon kept the candles lit for the whole 1000 feet, the first one to do so in this first round of qualifying.
Left Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.121/306.53, Now #1
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.191/296.31, Now #3
DeJoria did a great job keeping her car in the groove, and carded the first 300 mph pass of the session. Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.917 sec., 330ft-2.359, 660ft-3.327/266.95 mph.
Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.122/302.55, Now #2
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 7.892/76.70, Now #9
Beckman missed the top spot by just a tick, Hight clicked it early.
Left Lane: John Force Runs 6.577/101.51, Now #9
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.139/302.21, Now #3
John gave a memorable introduction for retired crew chief Bernie Federly into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame last night. The event is going to air on television in October...
Force had a .897 60-foot time, then the big slicks lost traction in a big cloud of tire smoke. Wilkerson left a puff of smoke at the stripe when he clicked off the loud pedal.
Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.059/305.49, Now #1
Right Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 7.761/77.06, Now #12
Pedregon was straight as a string the whole way - nice pass! Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.283, 660ft-3.260/262.64 mph.
Gray was off the throttle before the 330-foot markers.
Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 7.094/86.19, Now #13
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.140/296.24, Now #5
Tasca had to lift when the car vaulted toward the centerline, he showed a good amount of the right side of his Mustang to the folks here in the Tower. Hagan danced around, but stayed in the groove the whole way.
Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 7.054/84.68, Now #14
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.589/176.01, Now #9
Both drivers lifted after finding traction lacking past the 60-foot mark. We end the first round of qualifying with Cruz Pedregon on top with a 4.05. 1:54 p.m.