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Fri, 5 Oct 2001, 04:52 PM

READING - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan





MOHNTON, Pa. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 17th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals presented by Greased Lightning listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:


Right Lane: Brady Kalivoda Runs 9.932/89.39, Now #1

12:24 PM Kalivoda opened the round with a short, tire-smoking run.

Right Lane: Bobby Lagana Jr Runs 5.930/182.77, Now #1

Another right-lane single. Lagana's "Amish on Nitro" entry shut down very early. Jim Cavalieri was in the staging lanes, but they towed the car back to the pits without firing the engine.

Left Lane: Steve Smith Runs 5.067/274.33, Now #1
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 7.295/112.17, Now #3

Weis shook the tires and then smoked them, something coming off the car. Smith made a full pass, off the pace all the way.

Left Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 4.709/300.13, Now #1
Right Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 4.776/244.43, Now #2

We've got beer wars, and we've got filter wars. Fram was winning the battle here until the blower belt went sailing around the 1,000-foot mark.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.748/278.75, Now #2
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 8.296/86.44, Now #7

Herbert's 0.859 60-foot time was the lowest we've seen so far and apparently it was a bit more than the track would hold, the tires up in smoke about 100 feet out. Schumacher's car chattered the tires about 100 feet off the line and he may have pedaled it to regain traction.

Left Lane: Darrell Russell Runs 9.871/78.46, Now #9
Right Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.570/326.40, Now #1

Russell's car immediately dropped a cylinder on the left side and then lost traction about 100 feet out. Not much wrong with Dunn's run, his 0.871 60-foot time a little softer than usual for the Yankees dragster. He was running 272.12 mph at half track, a huge speed - and 326 ain't bad either!

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 12.056/103.28, Now #12
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.619/310.34, Now #2

Scelzi lost traction almost immediately. Kalitta posted a very strong 0.854 60-foot time and made it stick, the car smoke-free all the way down the track.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.579/312.50, Now #2
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 9.768/81.87, Now #11

Now we've got the "beer war." We've also got a whale of a points chase, Bernstein leading Dixon by just 14 points for the last-ever Winston Top Fuel crown. But Dixon won this round, Bernstein losing traction about 100 feet out. Dixon also posted a stout 60-foot time, a 0.851, quickest of the round. Looks like Connie Kalitta and Dick LaHaie have the clutch profile for this track dialed in pretty well.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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