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Sat, 15 Jun 2013, 17:16 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan





BRISTOL, Tenn. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 13th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers 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: Blake Alexander Runs 6.150/108.28, Now #15; Best prior run: 7.822/87.16, Was #15
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.414/215.34, Now #14; Best prior run: 10.133/69.44, Was #16

4:48 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 42 percent, barometer 28.51 inches, adjusted altitude 3,763 feet, track temperature 127 degrees.

Tony Pedregon is on the bump spot at 10.133. However, there are only 16 cars here, so nobody goes home early this weekend.

Alexander started hazing the tires about 300 feet out and he lifted. Pedregon lost a cylinder on the left side of his engine and the unbalanced exhaust force kept pushing him toward the centerline. He managed to stay in his own lane and moved up a couple spots.


Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 6.739/109.02, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.177/293.47, Was #13
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 6.849/90.78, Now #16; Best prior run: 7.334/82.25, Was #16

These two are not usually in the bottom half of the field: Pedregon has qualified in the top half of the field in 257 of the 432 races he's showed up for and Hight has done the same at 142 of the 193 races he's attempted to qualify for.

Both lost traction after about 300 feet and both stayed put on the ladder. Hight improved slightly over his first run today, but he stayed 16th.

Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.129/306.95, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.134/309.56, Was #11
Right Lane: Chad Head Runs 6.593/97.89, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.136/301.54, Was #12

Head also went about 300 feet, then started smoking the tires. Force made a nice-looking run and improved slightly, but not enough to move off the 11th spot on the ladder.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 7.448/86.69, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.109/302.69, Was #9
Right Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.804/171.12, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.127/298.73, Was #10

Arend joined the 300 feet club. Gray did much better, but started hazing the tires on the top end and the header flames went out well before the stripe.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.242/294.63, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.082/310.70, Was #7
Right Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 5.937/117.59, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.096/312.42, Was #8

Now we start working on the top half of the field after going through the bottom half with only one ladder change.

DeJoria lost traction about 300 feet out. Tasca looked like he was going to make a full pass, but the header flames started getting a little "wacky" on the top end.

Left Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.174/305.29, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.049/317.05, Was #3
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.153/306.33, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.071/301.54, Was #6

Nice side-by-side show from these two, no stunning numbers, but both cars were smooth and straight with no visible problems.

Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.921 sec., 330ft-2.380, 660ft-3.375/260.91 mph.
John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.908 sec., 330ft-2.359, 660ft-3.354/259.86 mph.

Force will face daughter Courtney in round one.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.133/304.74, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.012/317.05, Was #2
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.142/304.60, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.066/310.84, Was #5

Another nice show, and a little quicker than the Force-Hagan pairing. Again, straight, smooth, and no visible problems.

Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.916 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.334/261.67 mph.
Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.905 sec., 330ft-2.343, 660ft-3.339/259.26 mph.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 6.638/95.79, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.008/314.83, Was #1

Tim Wilkerson elected to skip this session, so we ended up with an odd number of cars and Worsham got to close out qualifying on a solo run, already knowing he was the #1 qualifier.

Worsham only got about 200 feet before the rear tires started to spin and he lifted. He's #1 and will face Robert Hight in the first round, tomorrow.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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