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Sun, 27 Apr 2014, 12:34 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

BAYTOWN, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 27th annual O'Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries:

  745 Brittany Force                        358 Richie Crampton              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.071  3.787 327.82                     0.081  3.813 323.74
 Qualified:             #8  3.801 325.30                        #9  3.807 322.11
Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 76 percent, barometer 29.62 inches, adjusted altitude 2,517 feet, track temperature 101 degrees.

Crampton is 1 - 0 against Force in prior events. Force is out the gate first and never trailed for the win...she runs the second quickest pass of the event and the fastest pass of the event for the win. That is the track speed record. Brittany Force's MOV: 0.0362 seconds (approximately 17 feet).

    9 Bob Vandergriff                        22 Doug Kalitta                 
E1                   0.079  3.810 321.88     ****WINNER****  0.064  3.779 326.48
 Qualified:            #11  3.813 323.27                        #6  3.793 321.35
Bob Vandergriff in the defending event champion. There has never been a back-to-back winner in Top Fuel at this event!! Kalitta is 15 - 12 against Vandergriff in prior events. Kalitta with the starting line advantage and then runs the quickest pass of the event for the win. Doug Kalitta's incremental times: 60ft-0.853 sec., 330ft-2.153, 660ft-3.039/286.98 mph.

   99 Khalid alBalooshi                       7 Tony Schumacher              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.089  3.802 321.19                     0.060  3.838 313.80
 Qualified:            #13  3.841 319.22                        #4  3.790 322.04
Khalid alBalooshi starts from the lucky #13 spot, the same position as last year's winner, Bob Vandergriff. In the history of the class, and that spans 762 races, the #13 qualifier has only won the race five times..Tony Schumacher won this race in 2005 & 2009. Schumacher is 6 - 4 against alBalooshi in prior events. Schumacher with the starting line advantage and the lead until right in the lights when Schumacher's engine started to go away. The word from the top end there is oil on the track and that will use up his freebie. alBalooshi was able to chase him down and take the win by 0.0076 seconds (approximately 3 feet).

   21 Terry McMillen                        475 Steve Torrence               
E1                   0.055  3.866 321.81     ****WINNER****  0.079  3.776 328.86
 Qualified:            #16  9.343  69.65                        #1  3.786 321.81
This is the fourth number one spot for Steve Torrence. They last time he was the top qualifier (Denver, 2013) he lost in the first round..This is the 12th time Terry McMillen has been the #16 qualifier. He is 2 -9 in round one in his previous starts from the last spot in the field. Torrence is 5 - 3 against McMillen in prior events. McMillen with the starting line advantage and then runs his quickest pass to give Torrence a race. Torrence launched hard and then runs the quickest and fastest pass of the event. Torrence sets the track speed record. Torrence will have lane choice over Force in the next round. Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.841 sec., 330ft-2.145, 660ft-3.037/286.56 mph.

    6 Clay Millican                           2 Antron Brown                 
E1                   0.090  3.899 305.91     ****WINNER****  0.052  3.843 318.47
 Qualified:            #15  4.057 250.55                        #2  3.787 322.04
This is the 20th time that Antron Brown has started from the #2 spot in Top Fuel. He has won his last twelve opening round races when starting from the second spot in the field..Antron is 6 -1 against Clay Millican in opening round matches. Brown with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win light. Millican with his quickest and fastest pass of the weekend in the losing effort.

  497 Troy Buff                               1 Shawn Langdon                
E1                  -0.097  3.903 309.34     ****WINNER****  0.066  7.140  93.10
 Qualified:            #14  3.906 301.74                        #3  3.788 320.05
Langdon is 5 - 2 against Buff in prior events. Buff is too quick on the tree and turned on the red light giving Langdon the freebie. Langdon is up in smoke as soon as he hits the throttle and he gets lucky break here. He will give up lane choice to Kalitta in the next round.

  777 Leah Pritchett                        373 J.R. Todd                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.036  3.813 313.22                     0.069  5.867 116.08
 Qualified:            #12  3.830 314.75                        #5  3.792 321.42
Leah Pritchett and J.R. Todd are meeting for the fist time. Leah will be the 32nd different driver J.R. has faced in his TF career..Todd won here in 2007. Pritchett is out of the gate first and never trailed as Todd is up in smoke early. Pritchett with her quickest pass of the weekend for the win, but will give up lane choice to alBalooshi in the next round.

    5 Spencer Massey                         91 Larry Dixon                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.044  3.990 270.81                     0.104 12.967  36.10
 Qualified:            #10  3.809 320.13                        #7  3.796 321.50
Larry Dixon has won this race twice, in 2000 & 2010. Massey is 9 - 5 against Dixon in prior events. Massey with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win as Dixon was up in smoke as soon as he hit the throttle. He shook hard and the chutes came out. Massey slows on the top end and he will give up lane choice to Brown in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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