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Sun, 10 Oct 1999, 12:41 PM

MEMPHIS - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from final, round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 12th annual AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil 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:

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.591/316.75, Now #2; Best prior run: 9.750/83.91, Was #19
Right Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.795/296.37, Now #16; Best prior run: 9.711/69.89, Was #18

10:52 AM Time for the Kings of the sport. We start out with Schumacher and Dunn, both on the outside looking in. Schumacher will need to get in here to have a chance of maintain his lead in the points....and he does it easily. It looks as though the problems that plagued the Funny cars early on may not affect these longer cars. Dunn gets in but is on the bump.

Left Lane: Paul Romine Runs 5.488/165.72, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.254/184.35, Was #19
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.648/314.39, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.020/229.39, Was #17

Dunn is in danger here, neither of these cars are in yet and both are capable of bumping him out. Bernstein gets a little out of the groove but straightens it out. Romine gets out of shape, kisses the wall about half track and has to abort the run. That pretty well ends Dunn's chance at the title.

Left Lane: Luigi Novelli Runs 16.994/67.27, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.031/223.88, Was #18
Right Lane: Joe Amato Runs 9.202/90.94, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.756/303.57, Was #16

Amato just has to survive this run with Novelli to stay in the show. Both cars go up in smoke right off the line. Amato pedals, breaks the tires loose a second time and finally gives up. Amato is safely in, Novelli being the la st driver that could bump him from the program.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.676/311.85, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.752/308.92, Was #15
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 12.668/70.33, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.716/299.60, Was #12

Dixon stays in the groove and makes a good enough run to get him in the top half of the field. Head comes off the line, breaks the tires loose and pedals, then backs off the throttle.

Left Lane: Terry Mullins Runs 4.655/287.23, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.750/268.44, Was #15
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 10.680/66.87, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.698/303.37, Was #10

Mullins gets a little out of shape around halftrack but hangs on for a very good run for him. Cory suffers the same fate as many others before him as he goes up in smoke about 100' feet out.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.728/303.23, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.715/308.57, Was #13
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.834/250.74, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.688/299.60, Was #10

Vandergriff pulls the wheels and carries them about 100 feet out. About half track, the engine goes up in a ball of flames. Herbert's run was right down the middle but he doesn't improve over his first run. Vandergriff's car left some oil on the track and we're down for a few minutes for a cleanup.

Left Lane: Eddie Hill Runs 4.616/311.27, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.710/309.63, Was #12
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.602/31.13, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.592/313.73, Was #3

Hill has been qualifying well the past few races....and he continues that here as he jumps into the #5 position. Kalitta makes a picture perfect pass.

Left Lane: Randy Parks Runs 4.666/311.34, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.683/305.15, Was #10
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 10.977/77.17, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.570/306.67, Was #1

Parks makes a good pass and moves up one position. Grubnic rattled the tires pretty hard right off the line and shut down.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.674/307.16, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.618/311.85, Was #6

Scelzi makes a pretty decent run and should get a pretty good baseline to tune from later on this afternoon during eliminations.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 10.481/74.44, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.594/316.67, Was #4

Kalitta is the last car in this final round of qualifying for the top Fuelers. He comes off the line, breaks the tires loose and with nothing to gain aborts the run. The field is set with Grubnic on the pole and Amato in the 16 th spot with a 4.756.

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