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Fri, 28 Sep 2001, 10:52 PM

CHICAGO-2 - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Rick Green

JOLIET, Ill. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel at the Inaugural NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:

Right Lane: Rob Passey Runs 6.072/163.02, Now #1

Hopefully the Top Fuelers will be able to get a hold of the track better than the Funny Cars did. Passey launched hard and then started skating around at half track.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 4.928/224.88, Now #1
Right Lane: Paul Romine Runs 10.884/79.96, Now #3

Romine labored off the starting line and then the engine went silent by 100 feet. Weis was on a pretty good pass until around 1000 feet and that was when you could see the green engine smoke trailing the car through the quarter-mile.

Right Lane: Luigi Novelli Runs 10.468/83.01, Now #3

Novelli started to loose traction right off the starting line and clicked it off.

Left Lane: Chris Karamesines No Time, Now #5
Right Lane: Tim Gibson No Time, Now #6

Gibson broke on the burnout and rolled on through the quarter-mile. "The Greek" decided to shutoff because he has a small fuel cell and thought he had burnt off too much fuel. He could have run later in the session, but choose to skip this session.

Left Lane: Bruce Litton Runs 4.732/308.43, Now #1
Right Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 4.955/237.21, Now #3

Litton was moving around, but was able to get from A to B for the number one spot for now. Cowin went out about 300 feet and started to loose traction, pedaled it one time. Around half track he started loosing traction and started mixing up the cylinders then the big fireball. The fire trailed him through the finish line, he got it stopped and the fire put out.

Left Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 4.800/291.89, Now #3
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.680/307.30, Now #1

Rhonda was on a great pass until right at the finish line and then there was a quick flash of flame. Grubnic was able to keep the candles lit and the Goodyears stuck to the track all the way through the quarter-mile for the number one spot.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.829/322.27, Now #4
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 8.982/92.59, Now #8

Schumacher is the proud new father, his wife Cara giving birth to a 7 pound 10 ounce baby boy Anthony Joseph yesterday. Schumacher with big top end speed he was going 256.65 mph at half track. Herbert was up in smoke immediately.

Left Lane: Darrell Russell Runs 14.559/71.44, Now #12
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 6.658/111.94, Now #8

Russell was up in smoke as soon as he hit throttle. Scelzi made it to half track before he overpowered the track.,

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 11.981/77.50, Now #13
Right Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.565/325.53, Now #1

Kalitta made it to about 100 feet before he started blistering the Goodyears. Dunn shows the rest of the Top Fuel field how it is done with a real nice pass. He was running 271.08 mph at half track and drove on through for the number one spot.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.563/319.98, Now #2
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.532/320.20, Now #1

Here we go with number one and two in the points chase and they show us why. This was a great looking drag race. Both cars with header flames shooting way over the big rear wings. Dixon with a real quick 0.832 seconds 60-foot time and parlayed that into the number one spot. Dixon was running 271.68 mph at half track. Bernstein was just a tick behind him for the number two spot.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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