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Sun, 09 Feb 2014, 14:55 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals:

    7 Tony Schumacher                        99 Khalid alBalooshi            
E1                   0.052  3.847 321.50     ****WINNER****  0.075  3.760 324.20
 Qualified:            #10  3.793 320.89                        #7  3.774 324.59
Weather conditions: air temperature 60 degrees, relative humidity 65 percent, barometer 29.09 inches, adjusted altitude 1,584 feet, track temperature 65 degrees.

This is Tony Schumacher's 17th start at the Winternationals and it's his worst starting position (10th) since he was 11th here in 2001. Schumacher is 6 - 3 against alBalooshi in prior events. Schumacher was out of the gate first and then had a quick pedal job right off the starting line. That was all alBalooshi need for the win. He runs his quickest pass for the win. Khalid alBalooshi's incremental times: 60ft-0.841 sec., 330ft-2.142, 660ft-3.018/288.89 mph.

   44 David Grubnic                           9 Bob Vandergriff              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.085  4.200 319.67                     0.068  7.862  58.52
 Qualified:            #13  3.830 321.96                        #4  3.743 328.14
Grubnic and Vandergriff have each won 9 times against the other in prior events. David Grubnic starts from the lucky number13 spot. The 13th qualifier hasn't won a round at the Winternationals since 2006 and they have only won the opening round three times since 1998. Vandergriff with the starting line advantage, but then started to lose traction and banged the blower causing the chutes to deploy. Grubnic started to lose traction and pedaled it and got it to hook up to take the win.

    6 Clay Millican                           2 Antron Brown                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.098  3.797 312.28                     0.040  4.076 266.53
 Qualified:            #14  3.843 307.86                        #3  3.731 326.00
Antron Brown is pitching a shutout against Clay Millican having won all ten of their previous meetings and six of those have come in opening round races. Brown with the starting line advantage and the lead until around 300 feet when he started to smoke the tires...Millican with his quickest pass of the weekend to take the win. Clay Millican's incremental times: 60ft-0.849 sec., 330ft-2.152, 660ft-3.034/285.05 mph.

  288 Sidnei Frigo                           22 Doug Kalitta                 
E1                   0.045  4.035 243.68     ****WINNER****  0.076  3.725 329.42
 Qualified:            #16  3.872 313.58                        #1  3.713 327.98
This is Doug Kalitta's 37th number one spot, a spot that hasn't been very good to him over his career. He has not won from the top spot since 2004, a span of eighteen races. He is 31-5 in round one when starting from the top spot..Sidnei Frigo is making his seventh start in Top Fuel and his fourth from the #16 spot. Frigo with the starting line advantage, but Kalitta had the lead by the time they went by the Christmas tree. Kalitta with a great looking pass, he was straight down the groove with the seventh quickest pass of 1000-foot racing. Kalitta also runs top speed of the event. Doug Kalitta's incremental times: 60ft-0.837 sec., 330ft-2.120, 660ft-2.993/291.01 mph. Frigo was on a good pass and then started mixing up cylinders, the engine let go with a huge explosion and then the right tire blew out. Frigo did a great job keeping the car straight and getting it stopped.

  497 Troy Buff                               1 Shawn Langdon                
E1                   0.073  7.173  85.89     ****WINNER****  0.064  4.420 299.40
 Qualified:            #15  3.850 309.34                        #2  3.715 326.79
Langdon is 4 - 2 against Buff in prior events. Langdon with the starting line advantage, and then both cars with a lot of tire shake right at the hit and they bot are off the throttle at the same time and let them settle down and Langdon was first to recover and take the win light. Langdon will give up lane choice to his teammate in the next round.

  777 Leah Pritchett                          5 Spencer Massey               
E1                   0.050  3.850 321.27     ****WINNER****  0.054  3.783 320.51
 Qualified:            #12  3.817 320.05                        #5  3.768 324.51
This is Leah Pritchett's second start at the Winternationals and twelfth overall in Top Fuel. She qualified 14th last year and lost in round one. Massey is 1 - 0 against Pritchett in prior events. Pritchett with a slight starting line advantage, but Massey has the lead by the time they go by the Christmas tree and never trailed after that. Massey with another good pass for the win and will have lane choice over Grubnic in the next round. Pritchett with a good, clean pass in the losing effort.

   21 Terry McMillen                        475 Steve Torrence               
E1                   0.064  3.993 260.41     ****WINNER****  0.078  3.788 323.66
 Qualified:            #11  3.806 321.50                        #6  3.773 329.02
McMillen and Torrence have each won 3 times against the other in prior events. McMillen with the starting line advantage, but Torrence has the lead by 100 feet and never trailed for the win. torrence with another great pass and he will have lane choice over Millican in the next round. McMillen started mixing up cylinders and then the engine let go with a quick fireball.

  358 Richie Crampton                       745 Brittany Force               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.065  3.747 322.88                     0.081  4.617 279.50
 Qualified:             #9  3.786 318.09                        #8  3.778 326.24
Last year's Rookie of the Year and this year's candidate for Rookie of the Year. Crampton is out of the gate first and never trailed for the win. Crampton with his quickest pass of the weekend and the second quickest of the round, but will give up lane choice to Kalitta in the next round. Force started to shake right at the hit and pedaled it to end her weekend.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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