ENNIS, Texas - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Pro Stock at the 14th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec 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: Warren Johnson Runs 6.843/202.33, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.913/200.13, Was #4
Right Lane: Ed Heck Runs 7.025/196.46, Now #24; Best prior run: 7.063/196.03, Was #26
Based on the e.t. prediction software these racers use, the crew chiefs I talked to this morning expect to pick up anywhere from two to three hundredths today just due to the cooler temps and higher barometer. WJ took out the new engine he ran during both sessions yesterday and replaced it with his race engine, which he plans to take out after this pass. After this performance those plans may change, WJ driving the black car to the second quickest Pro Stock run in history and the fastest-ever Pro Stock speed.
Left Lane: George Marnell Runs 6.872/200.08, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.943/198.41, Was #10
Right Lane: Jeg Coughlin Runs 6.912/200.31, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.919/199.73, Was #6
Marnell slides right in behind WJ with a great run, one that they predicted when I visited their pit just before this round... I've never seen them so confident, in fact. Based on his quicker e.t., we'll give him credit for making the 100th 200+mph Pro Stock run, as WJ's pass was the 99th. The best news is the fact that Marnell joins the Speed-Pro 200mph Club with that run, taking one of the four remaining spots.
Left Lane: Allen Johnson Runs 6.885/199.86, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.916/198.98, Was #7
Right Lane: Tony Gillig Runs 6.991/198.71, Now #13; Best prior run: 6.960/198.41, Was #13
Johnson makes his foray into the eighties, and moves the Other Dodge right in behind Marnell and WJ. Gillig slows from his earlier pace and will likely fall from the top sixteen.
Left Lane: Jim Yates Runs 6.868/199.77, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.932/198.54, Was #9
Right Lane: Mike Edwards No Time, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.934/198.50, Was #10
The Schmidt engine that Edwards ran in his back-to-back wins has moved on to Arturo Delgado, and he's running a new piece this weekend, nicknamed "Goldberg." And Edwards probably wishes he had the old engine back, as this one expires with a flourish during his burnout here, sending fluid under his rear tires and making for a scary situation for the Oklahoma driver. He manages to slide the Dewco Firebird to a sideways stop just past the Christmas tree, but we'll be down for a bit while the Safety Safari cleans up the mess. Yates is able to complete his burnout and make his run, and it's a good one, putting him into the #2 slot just ahead of Marnell.
Left Lane: Arturo Delgado Runs 17.393/45.71, Now #27; Best prior run: 7.068/195.48, Was #27
Right Lane: Robert Patrick Runs 16.304/49.92, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.994/197.02, Was #20
Edwards' engine must have emptied its dry sump tank on that burnout, as the Safety Safari took over 20 minutes to clean up the residue and return the racing surface to its previous condition. But they're the best in the business at that, and they took their time to make sure all the competitors have an equal opportunity to qualify. We're back in business, and it's the left side that gets out of shape, Delgado's Firebird all over the lane for the first hundred feet, until he finally throws in the towel. Patrick shook and shut off in the Ford.
Left Lane: John Nobile Runs 6.921/199.77, Now #9; Best prior run: 6.947/198.54, Was #11
Right Lane: V. Gaines Runs 7.012/198.45, Now #15; Best prior run: 6.969/197.75, Was #15
Nobile improves while Gaines does not... the difference in their 60' times was about 0.02, 1.05 to a1.07 for Gaines.
Left Lane: Ron Krisher Runs 6.921/197.97, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.974/197.49, Was #18
Right Lane: Randy Jones Runs 7.204/194.30, Now #25; Best prior run: 7.053/196.59, Was #25
Krisher moves in and bumps Franks, and takes the bump down to Gaines' 6.969.
Left Lane: Troy Coughlin Runs 6.893/200.53, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.932/198.76, Was #11
Right Lane: Larry Morgan Runs 9.164/103.53, Now #21; Best prior run: 7.001/197.32, Was #21
Morgan moves up and the crew is not happy with his position on the track, so they back him off and try again... to no avail, the car is still out of shape off the line. Meanwhile Coughlin moves up right behind Johnson's Dodge, making history's 102nd 200mph pass.
Left Lane: Steve Schmidt Runs 6.931/198.98, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.947/197.88, Was #13
Right Lane: Kurt Johnson Runs 6.915/201.38, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.908/200.49, Was #8
Kurt makes the fifth 200mph run of the day, but fails to move up the ladder.Schmidt leapfrogs Edwards to take over the 12th spot.
Left Lane: Mike Thomas Runs 6.888/199.64, Now #5; Best prior run: 7.013/198.01, Was #22
Right Lane: Hurley Blakeney Runs 12.101/112.83, Now #30; Best prior run: 7.095/195.99, Was #30
Thomas has the best 60' time of the session, a 1.027, and parlays it into a great qualifying spot, right between Johnson's Dodge and Coughlin's Olds.
Left Lane: Mark Pawuk Runs 6.966/200.22, Now #16; Best prior run: 7.071/197.58, Was #28
Right Lane: Robert Harman Runs 7.068/196.29, Now #28; Best prior run: 7.071/195.10, Was #29
The Summit Firebird shakes hard but Pawuk drives thru it since he's not qualified coming into this round. And it pays off, the top end speed good enough to put him in the sixteenth spot in spite of the fact that he matched Anderson's e.t.
Left Lane: Mike Trumble Runs 6.947/198.41, Now #15; Best prior run: 6.974/197.84, Was #20
Right Lane: Jerry Eckman Runs 20.238/31.54, Now #27; Best prior run: 7.056/196.03, Was #27
Pawuk's tenure in the qualified field is short-lived, as Trumble bumps him and puts Gillig on the bubble. Eckman gets loose again and coasts thru, taking the early turnoff.
Left Lane: Darrell Alderman Runs 6.890/199.77, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.979/197.28, Was #21
Right Lane: Tom Martino Runs 6.886/200.75, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.900/199.29, Was #7
Alderman puts the Dodge into the show, while Martino's 1.036 short time is good enough to move him downtrack and ahead of Thomas and Alderman in the order, and earn him a spot in the Speed-Pro 200mph CLub with his career-best pass.
Left Lane: Bruce Allen Runs 6.860/200.49, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.906/199.51, Was #9
Right Lane: Gary Wiggins Runs 7.038/196.16, Now #26; Best prior run: 7.098/193.42, Was #31
Allen continues to impress this Texas crowd, sliding right in behind WJ to take the second slot and give up the seventh 200mph run of the day, a career-best for the Reher & Morrison team.
Left Lane: Ray Franks Runs 7.240/195.73, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.969/197.45, Was #21
Right Lane: Richie Stevens Runs 6.946/198.36, Now #16; Best prior run: 7.017/196.59, Was #24
Steven's run is good enough for the bump spot, pushing Trumble out of the show.
Right Lane: Greg Anderson Runs 6.965/199.24, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.966/198.28, Was #20
As we conclude an awesome round of qualifying, Anderson improves only marginally and fails to make the cut with just one more shot tonight. So it's WJ on the pole and Richie Stevens on the bump, eight cars in the eighties, eight cars over 200mph (including the #20 qualifier, Pawuk), all with what promises to be the best weather conditions of the weekend still to come later today.
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