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Sat, 30 Oct 1999, 09:31 PM

HOUSTON - Pro Stock Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

Mother Nature 1, NHRA 0

BAYTOWN, Texas - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Pro Stock 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: Allen Johnson Runs 10.131/88.76, Now #9; Best prior run: 6.915/198.61, Was #9
Right Lane: Mark Pawuk Runs 6.900/198.55, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.903/199.79, Was #5

7:05 PM The final qualifying session opens with Greg Anderson on the bubble at 6.931. The Pro Stock Motorcycle session just completed saw no changes in the qualified order, so this session may be a bummer. But Pawuk improves, only a little bit, but he improves. Looked like Johnson ran into shake early in the run and clicked it off.

Left Lane: Gary Wiggins Runs 6.992/196.16, Now #25; Best prior run: 6.977/197.16, Was #25
Right Lane: Hurley Blakeney Runs 6.986/196.47, Now #28; Best prior run: 6.987/196.85, Was #28

No help for this pair, running just about what they ran earlier today and last night.

Left Lane: Richie Stevens Runs 6.949/196.04, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.912/198.20, Was #8
Right Lane: Mike Trumble Runs 6.964/198.64, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.953/198.99, Was #20

So far Pawuk is the only driver to improve this session.

Left Lane: Ron Krisher Runs 6.947/197.19, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.940/198.15, Was #18
Right Lane: Mike Edwards Runs 6.889/198.79, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.932/198.55, Was #17

Mike Edwards found the magic elixir somewhere, just three thousandths slower than WJ's pole position run.

Left Lane: Troy Coughlin Runs 9.339/98.84, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.920/199.29, Was #12
Right Lane: Ray Franks Runs 7.014/196.76, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.953/197.57, Was #21

Troy slowed early in the run. No help for Franks.

Left Lane: George Marnell Runs 7.065/197.36, Now #24; Best prior run: 6.975/198.09, Was #24
Right Lane: Jerry Eckman Runs 6.942/196.96, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.967/197.77, Was #22

Eckman is going in the right direction, but comes up short of the bump time.

Left Lane: Tony Gillig Runs 7.482/143.64, Now #26; Best prior run: 6.979/198.52, Was #26
Right Lane: Brad Klein Runs 7.210/194.66, Now #31; Best prior run: 7.021/196.64, Was #31

Both cars had problems getting down the groove, using up a lot of race track.

Left Lane: Warren Johnson Runs 6.977/200.38, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.886/200.95, Was #1
Right Lane: Victor De La Garza Runs 6.937/198.12, Now #18; Best prior run: 7.025/195.93, Was #32

De La Garza finally gets the car to stay off the walls and centerline and makes a good run. He just misses the field, by 0.008 seconds.

Left Lane: Rickie Smith Runs 12.149/65.49, Now #11; Best prior run: 6.918/198.47, Was #11
Right Lane: Joe Lepone, Jr. Runs 7.022/194.91, Now #33; Best prior run: 7.027/195.96, Was #33

Smith had problems as soon as he let out the clutch and he coasted slowly through the course.

Left Lane: Don Beverley Runs 6.885/198.85, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.992/198.12, Was #30
Right Lane: Bruce Allen Runs 6.839/199.64, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.898/199.08, Was #5

Wow! Two unbelievable runs...and the incremental times support the finish line numbers for both cars, Allen with a 1.009 60-foot time and Beverley a 1.018 in Richie Stevens' backup Valspar Pontiac, well below the 1.03 to 1.04 60-foot times we've seen from those running low 6.90s elapsed times. .

Left Lane: Jamie Yates Runs 6.940/197.16, Now #21; Best prior run: 7.034/196.19, Was #34
Right Lane: Steve Schmidt Runs 8.243/117.88, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.929/198.88, Was #17

Left Lane: Randy Jones No Time, Now #32; Best prior run: 7.018/195.03, Was #32
Right Lane: Kurt Johnson No Time, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.890/200.71, Was #5

As these two started to pull up to the water, rain started to fall - not heavy rain, but enough to bring things to a halt for awhile. They were pushed back after their burnouts to cool off before running.

Left Lane: V. Gaines Runs 7.032/198.41, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.906/199.88, Was #8
Right Lane: Greg Anderson Runs 21.802/33.97, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.931/198.70, Was #18

Gaines made a full pass, well off his earlier pace. Anderson launched and his car immediately turned left, the left tire spinning and the right tire biting.

Before the next pair could make their run things came to a stop again, more light rain. Not much, but enough to make exposed surfaces shiny.

8:24 PM The plug was just pulled. Another rain squall is headed this way and it's getting too cold to dry the track. Qualifying is completed and we'll return in the morning for eliminations.

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