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Fri, 21 Sep 2001, 04:43 PM

MEMPHIS - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Rick Green





MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 14th annual AutoZone NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:


Right Lane: Jerry Freeman Runs 6.146/149.10, Now #1

Freeman making his first pass in NHRA competition in a long time, he has raced a couple IHRA races earlier this year. Freeman started to loose traction around 300 feet he pedaled it and then it threw the blower belt off.

Left Lane: Rob Passey Runs 5.770/192.96, Now #2
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 4.895/284.45, Now #1

Passey with some tire shake right off the starting line and then got over close to the centerline. Weis with good baseline pass here keeping the candles lit all the way through the quarter mile.

Right Lane: Luigi Novelli Runs 5.179/230.88, Now #2

Luigi started mixing up the cylinder around 330-foot mark and the engine went away in a big flash of flame. He got the fire put out and the car stopped safely.

Left Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 4.862/301.60, Now #1
Right Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 10.891/75.88, Now #6

Cowin chattered the tires right off the starting line and clicked it off and coasted on through the quarter mile. Karamesines launched hard and kept the Goodyears stuck to the track to take the number one spot for now.

Left Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 4.741/303.16, Now #1
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.846/294.50, Now #2

A pretty god looking drag race here, Rhonda with a little tire shake, but was able to drive through it.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.707/307.37, Now #1
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 5.907/150.60, Now #8

Herbert threw the blower belt off around half-track. Schumacher was able to get it to hook and stay stuck here.

Left Lane: Darrell Russell Runs 4.678/306.81, Now #1
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.757/294.37, Now #4

Russell launched hard with a 0.858-second 60-foot time and then just stretched it into the first 4.60 of the weekend and the number one spot for now. He had a puff of smoke out of the engine as he crossed the finish line. Kalitta a soft pass here no apparent problems.

Left Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.624/306.67, Now #2
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.621/309.49, Now #1

This was a great drag race. Dunn's car was skating around all the way down the 1320. Scelzi straight and true for the number one spot.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.608/317.27, Now #1
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.637/314.17, Now #4

Here we go with number one and two in points to round out the first round of qualifying. A couple good passes as the header flames were lit all the way through the quarter mile. Bernstein to the top of the pack like he has done eight times already this season.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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