POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Right Lane: Jonnie Lindberg No Time, Now #1
3:51 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 85 degrees, relative humidity 14 percent, barometer 28.92 inches, adjusted altitude 3,129 feet, track temperature 92 degrees.
First time out in the USA for Lindberg. She launched into tire shake, pedaled,
and the car skated to the left, taking out the 330-foot timing marker, DQ'ing the run.
Left Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.599/258.76, Now #1
Right Lane: Von Smith Runs 5.621/258.57, Now #2
Smith is wheeling the Centre Point Collision Mustang again at the finals after a strong outing at Las Vegas two weeks ago.
Two nice runs, with career-best ET and speed for Perkins and a season-best ET for Smith.
Left Lane: Steve Harker Runs 5.766/243.33, Now #3
Right Lane: Nick Januik Runs 15.014/80.93, Now #4
Januik was up in smoke immdeiately. Harker was on a good run past 1,000 feet, then slowed in a dense cloud of aluminum smoke. The spotters took a look, the track is clean.
Left Lane: Ulf Leanders Runs 6.986/138.27, Now #5
Right Lane: Bernie Harrington Runs 5.862/244.03, Now #4
Leanders put on a good show last weekend, at the Las Vegas Divisional race, qualifying in a tough eight-car field, losing to event-winner Annie Whiteley in the semifinals.
This time, it looked like he was racing on an ice rink, the car skating all over the left lane, forcing him to lift to stay in that lane. Meanwhile, Harrington made a relatively tame run down the right lane.
Left Lane: Mark Woznichak Runs 5.632/251.77, Now #3
Right Lane: Bret Williamson Runs 11.949/83.63, Now #7
Williamson also lost traction immediately. Woznichak made a safe run, but trailed white smoke when he lifted at the stripe.
Left Lane: Clint Thompson Runs 5.563/259.91, Now #1
Right Lane: Jason Rupert Runs 5.727/255.92, Now #5
Nice pass by Thompson to move to the head of the class. Rupert struggled a bit with early tire shake.
Left Lane: Brian Hough Runs 5.694/256.89, Now #6
Right Lane: Jirka Kaplan Runs 5.658/253.14, Now #5
Two clean runs, nice side-by-side show.
Left Lane: Sean Bellemeur Runs 5.620/257.28, Now #3
Right Lane: Doug Gordon Runs 6.031/172.89, Now #11
Bellemeur made a nice run, right down the groove. Gordon paced him past half track, then slowed.
Left Lane: Kris Hool Runs 5.659/259.06, Now #8
Right Lane: Steve Gasparrelli Runs 5.626/259.96, Now #5
Two more good runs and another side-by-side show. There are now six cars between 5.620 and 5.659.
Left Lane: Annie Whiteley Runs 5.568/258.42, Now #2
Right Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.570/258.81, Now #3
Another nice side-by-side race, Whiteley with the better ET and Payne getting to the stripe first. There are now four cars in the fifties and seven in the sixties. On their first passes of the event.
Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 5.568/263.00, Now #2
Right Lane: Shane Westerfield Runs 5.614/243.28, Now #6
Rupert struggled a bitTwo more strong runs, but Westerfield ate a few pistons in the lights.
Now it's five in the fifties and eight in the sixties. Bernie Harrington is on the bump spot at 5.862.
Left Lane: John Lombardo Jr. Runs 5.557/260.66, Now #1
Right Lane: Frank Manzo Runs 5.578/262.59, Now #6
Just as you'd expect, Manzo and Thompson finish the first session with runs in the fifties, but it's Thompson with the "monster run" and Manzo is only sixth.
After one session, we have seven cars in the fifties, eight in the sixties, and Jason Rupert is on the bump spot at 5.727. Tough field!