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Sat, 29 Sep 2001, 10:22 PM

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

JOLIET, Ill. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Top Fuel at the Inaugural NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:

Right Lane: Don Sosenka Runs 5.627/261.57, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.516/257.48, Was #18

No apparent problems for Sosenka, but he slowed from his earlier pass today and will not make the show.

Left Lane: Luigi Novelli Runs 6.083/144.47, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.016/245.99, Was #17
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 5.747/155.65, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.928/224.88, Was #15

Weis launched hard with the front end in the air, but dropped cylinders right off the starting line and never picked them up. He lifted the blower around 1000 feet, but will make the show. Novelli was mixing up cylinders all the way down the track and he will not make the show.

Left Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 4.617/290.69, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.955/237.21, Was #16

Cowin with a 0.843 second 60-foot time and is on a really good looking pass until he had a big explosion. Sending parts and pieces high into the air, but he moves into the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Paul Romine Runs 4.704/307.44, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.723/317.49, Was #14
Right Lane: Bruce Litton Runs 4.651/308.92, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.718/307.93, Was #13

They leave together and both have 0.861 second 60-foot times and then Litton just motored away in the battle of Indianapolis. That was a career best et pass for Litton.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.720/299.00, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.622/295.79, Was #9
Right Lane: Darrell Russell Runs 4.621/315.56, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.641/305.49, Was #11

Grubnic was dropping cylinders right off the starting line and pedaled it and when he got back on it there was a big bang. Russell continues to creep up on it after smoking the tires in round one he has improved every round. He was loose on the top end again.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.546/316.45, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.576/316.90, Was #6
Right Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 10.693/91.69, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.633/317.42, Was #11

Hartman-Smith was up in smoke as soon as she hit the throttle. Scelzi with a nice 0.842 second 60-foot time and then started mixing up the cylinders around 1100 feet.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.550/322.73, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.542/325.69, Was #5
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.573/321.12, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.581/326.56, Was #7

Herbert with a 0.847 60-foot time and was running 272.61 mph at half track to lay down another good looking pass. There was a big puff of smoke out of the Herbert ca as he crossed the finish line. Schumacher was right there with Herbert until a 1000 feet.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.514/320.58, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.525/320.74, Was #3
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.554/318.02, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.541/319.37, Was #4

Dixon with a great 0.829 second 60-foot time and then just blasted on through the 1320. Kalitta with a real good looking pass.

Left Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 11.446/78.72, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.511/326.95, Was #1
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.522/323.89, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.513/325.22, Was #2

Dunn overpowers the track by a 100 feet. Bernstein with a picture perfect pass here, but not enough to take away the number one spot. Dunn holds on to the number one spot and will face Scott Weis in round one.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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