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Fri, 29 Oct 1999, 09:26 PM

HOUSTON - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Larry Sullivan





BAYTOWN, Texas - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 3rd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions 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: Eddie Hill Runs 4.596/315.86, Now #1; Best prior run: 10.921/86.75, Was #19
Right Lane: Steve Smith Runs 10.586/81.63, Now #20; No Prior Run

7:46 PM Hill had traction problems in the first session, but there was absolutely no problem with this run, the car right down the groove and all eight candles lit all the way to the finish line. Smith, who did not run in the first session, lost traction early in the run and called it off.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.698/308.71, Now #8; Best prior run: 8.939/93.10, Was #19
Right Lane: Tim Gibson Runs 4.648/312.42, Now #4; Best prior run: 11.780/76.40, Was #21

Both these drivers had problems early in their first run, and again no problems this time around. Both cars went straight down the lane with all eight cylinders firing, Gibson using a career-best ET and speed to vault into the top part of the field.

Left Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.561/319.60, Now #1; Best prior run: 8.857/84.34, Was #20
Right Lane: Joe Amato Runs 10.490/82.80, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.696/124.11, Was #16

All the adjectives for Dunn's run here, another picture-perfect pass. Not so for Amato, the header flames going out very early in the run. Couldn't see why in the darkness, but when they go out that early it's usually a traction problem.

Left Lane: Allen Hartley Runs 13.224/77.51, Now #20; Best prior run: 8.820/91.10, Was #20
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.611/300.06, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.880/149.75, Was #16

Hartley lost traction immediately. Vandergriff made a good pass, his header flames turning green briefly in the middle of the run as the engine ate some internal parts, but the header flames were tall all the way to the finish line.

Left Lane: Mike Smith Runs 4.669/301.60, Now #9; Best prior run: 8.555/93.91, Was #19
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 10.528/71.95, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.206/231.32, Was #16

Grubnic's header flames went out around the 1,000-foot marker. Smith made a full pass, his header flames getting very green in the middle of the run, but the engine pulling hard enough to give him a career-best elapsed time.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 5.282/181.76, Now #18; Best prior run: 7.174/117.27, Was #19
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.604/323.27, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.932/298.93, Was #16

Bernstein was on a good run to half-track and then the header flames went out. Cory Mac laid down a strong run, the car pulling hard on the top end of the run for a big speed.

Left Lane: Doug Foxworth Runs 11.332/77.88, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.792/296.57, Was #15
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.592/320.58, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.846/221.63, Was #16

Scelzi needed a good run to get off the bump spot and "Big Red" came through with a pretty run, right down the groove with the header flames tall and steady all the way through the lights. Herbert lost traction early in his run and coasted through, Scelzi's good run pushing Foxworth down onto the bubble.

Left Lane: Randy Parks Runs 5.113/200.14, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.670/313.15, Was #12
Right Lane: Bruce Litton Runs 4.825/289.45, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.760/288.70, Was #15

Parks' car was on a very good run, pulling away from Litton early in the run, but then the car began to move around on the top end and he had to shut it off. Litton made a straight, clean pass, his header flames going out well before the finish line.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.637/321.96, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.658/316.90, Was #9
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 9.970/82.51, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.663/312.78, Was #10

Nice pass by Schumacher - all the descriptive adjectives from the earlier good runs also apply to this one. Head lost traction before the 330-foot marker.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.576/313.15, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.603/317.27, Was #4
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.684/295.01, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.641/303.64, Was #8

Scott Kalitta will skip this round, "to save parts." Looks like the Kittyhawk team will need a few of those parts to repair Doug's car after this run, the engine ablaze as he pulls to a stop in the shutdown area. He got out okay and the damage appeared to be limited to the engine. Meanwhile, Dixon made another of those good runs - straight, smooth, and smoke-free.

That's it, just 106 Super Comp cars left on the schedule to complete the day.




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