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Fri, 2 Jun 2000, 01:50 PM

GRAND BEND - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

GRAND BEND, Ont. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the Inaugural Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:

Left Lane: Monty Todd Runs 6.322/213.82, Now #2
Right Lane: Jim Lape Runs 6.011/233.82, Now #1

1:02 PM Both cars were dancing around on the launch.

Left Lane: Wayne Butler Runs 6.339/204.26, Now #4
Right Lane: Frederick Tigges Runs 6.129/229.82, Now #2

Butler's car veered toward the wall and he had to lift to get the front wheels down and steer away from the wall. The car went left again on the top end.

Left Lane: Herb Rodgers No Time, Now #6
Right Lane: Billy Gibson Runs 6.010/236.03, Now #1

Rodgers' car started dancing on the launch and never did settle down. He veered right, taking out the half-track speed-start reflector block and falling in right behind Gibson in the right lane. Meanwhile Gibson, unaware he had company, made a nice, smooth, clean run down the groove for the temporary pole position.

Left Lane: Jimmy Rector Runs 5.955/235.84, Now #1
Right Lane: Monty Todd Runs 5.986/231.54, Now #2

Rector has a reputation for never lifting and he showed why here - the car veering left, leaving two black tire tracks, and he stayed on the throttle, driving it back to the middle of the lane, driving about 1,500 feet to get to the finish line. Meanwhile, Todd made a fairly mundane pass by comparison.

Left Lane: Paul Zgoda Runs 6.516/217.65, Now #8
Right Lane: Von Smith Runs 5.959/237.52, Now #2

Smith doesn't lift very often either and also showed how he got that reputation here, the car shaking and fishtailing for the first 200 feet and Smith staying on the loud pedal all the way.

Left Lane: Mark Thomas Runs 6.040/237.96, Now #6
Right Lane: Andy Kelley Runs 6.279/221.02, Now #8

Kelley made the burnout, backed up, and the crew scrambled to lift the body - but they put it back down and he continued. Nice pass by Thomas, off-pace run by Kelley.

Left Lane: Santo Volpe Runs 6.657/220.69, Now #12
Right Lane: Terry Munroe Runs 6.311/185.75, Now #9

The Crown Vic is sporting a new body, the sharp angles on the front end rounded off to give it a more aerodynamic look - whether it's really an improvement remains to be seen. The rear tires chattered hard on the launch, leaving "tank tread" marks on the launch pad, and Volpe had to get completely out of the throttle to tame it down. Munroe's car was sluggish and he shut it down way before the finish line.

Left Lane: Paul Athey Runs 6.108/227.84, Now #7
Right Lane: Dale Brand Runs 6.243/188.32, Now #9

Brand's car was all over the lane and spit out the blower belt at the 1,000-foot marker.

Left Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 6.364/203.75, Now #13
Right Lane: Russel Mudd No Time, Now #17

Mudd hit the 330-foot reflector on the burnout and drove out the other end.

Left Lane: Dan Crownhart Runs 6.609/207.75, Now #15
Right Lane: Jeff Lancaster Runs 6.975/158.11, Now #17

Two more crooked runs, both cars wandering over near the centerline.

Left Lane: Scott Weney Runs 6.067/231.12, Now #8
Right Lane: Rob Atchison Runs 6.067/232.43, Now #7

Wild! The pressure relief panel in the hood of Atchison's car came off as he launched, sailing over the fence, and then the two cars posted identical ETs, Atchison getting the position by virtue of a better speed.

Left Lane: Chris Hunt No Time, Now #22

The foam block concession should make a lot of money today - Hunt's car took dead aim on the 330-foot reflector and sent it sailing.

That's it for today for the Pro Funny Cars.

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