LAS VEGAS - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the Inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals 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: Chuck Beal Runs 5.932/191.19, Now #18; No Prior Run
1:33 PM Chuck Beal will be opening the third session making his first pass of the weekend. The session begins with Whit Bazemore in the top spot and Del Worsham on the bump. The Top Fuel cars ran well so this could be a good session for the fuel coupes. Beal cards a .911 short time and seemed to be well on his way. At about 500 feet the fire went out and he coasted to the finish stripe.
Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.564/190.48, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.390/278.86, Was #14
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.044/304.67, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.156/297.09, Was #11
Haddock has Negley Electric Corporation on the side of his racer and he asked me to say a big thank you to those folks. Both drivers are in the field but with the way the funnies have been running the times might not hold. Lawson steps up almost a tenth but does not move up in the field. Haddock has big daylight header flames so it was easy to see the engine shut off early. No help for that team.
Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 4.974/301.81, Now #10; Best prior run: 8.194/99.12, Was #21
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.836/315.19, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.849/320.13, Was #4
Sarver has really suffered to this point in the weekend but his team mate, Gary Scelzi, stepped up in the Top Fuel car a few minutes ago. Pedregon has one good lap out of the prior two. Sarver makes the move I expected and gets into the field. Pedregon picks up a hundredth, and one spot to #3.
Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.913/310.34, Now #10; Best prior run: 7.873/136.66, Was #21
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 5.279/220.98, Now #15; Best prior run: 9.191/90.24, Was #23
Both of these drivers are looking for one good one at this point as tire smoke has claimed both of their prior attempts. Big move for Gilbertson and he's now well into the field. Bode was all over his lane as he started a move towards the center stripe followed by a trip towards the outside wall as he car moved right big time when he corrected. He stayed close to the wall and clicked it off in self defense.
Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.812/168.94, Now #20; Best prior run: 7.318/113.96, Was #22
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 5.254/240.00, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.859/313.66, Was #6
Toliver is going to need the final session to try and make the field. The car didn't leave all that hard and was slowing until he clicked it half track. Johnson's numbers didn't look all that much better and shutoff early as well. He remains in the #6 spot for the moment. After the run the Safety Safari proceeded down TJ's lane and began laying down the sweep. We're down for a pretty nasty cleanup in the right lane.
Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 6.990/124.60, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.925/156.88, Was #21
Right Lane: Louis Sweet Runs 9.099/87.31, Now #23; Best prior run: 8.346/96.40, Was #23
Another pair of drivers that havn't got it all together to this point in the weekend. Between the two drivers there has been a lot of tire smoke. The cleanup is finished at 2:01 PM and the call is 'Fire the next pair'. Again it's tire smoke that claims the pair. Both are down to the final session this evening. Tough day.
Left Lane: David Benjamin Runs 5.348/282.84, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.443/222.58, Was #18
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.586/198.67, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.659/182.08, Was #19
Yet another pair that hasn't gotten down the track. Benjamin is swapping a few cylinders but runs his career best ET and mph. It's good enough to get him the bump spot. Worsham's was in trouble all the way to the finish. Dropped cylinders. Tire smoke and all over the lane.
Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 10.093/88.27, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.386/205.35, Was #17
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 5.194/256.75, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.199/229.86, Was #14
Creasy was up in smoke before half track and he's forced to shut it off. Burkart stays with it long enough to start laying parts on the ground. Near the finish his car disappears behind a wall of smoke and it was hard to see exactly what happened. On the replay you could see that along with the smoke Burkart's racer was throwing oil around as well. we're down at 2:13 PM for another cleaning of the right lane.
Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 11.206/77.33, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.866/310.91, Was #7
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 6.458/136.88, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.975/294.05, Was #12
K&N didn't wait until 2002 to start with it's advertising on the Dunn and Hofmann racer. As they pull out from under the bridge we see the car done in orange and black with a big K&N Performance Filters sign on the sign. Lots of orange paint on the Firebird. Halloween is coming! Actually the car looks very nice. That was a short clean up as both cars fire at 2:17 PM. Hofmann has one of the better sixty foot numbers of the session at .897. The car was on a good pass until he clicked it at about five hundred feet. Capps was slower to half track and smoked the tires.
Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 5.634/178.28, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.855/315.64, Was #5
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.916/319.82, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.899/318.47, Was #9
Cannon makes his second straight good pass of the weekend. He doesn't improve but he has gotten down this surface two straight. Skuza's was just a bit better until half track. At that point the Spiderman car hazed the tires and he clicked it off.
Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.864/314.09, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.838/316.52, Was #4
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 9.470/88.87, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.888/306.46, Was #8
Wilkerson also makes it two in a row. Nice clean run down the middle of the lane. Pedregon was all over the right lane in the blue CSK car and calls it off at about 400 feet.
Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.873/266.06, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.748/323.04, Was #1
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.879/290.69, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.790/317.94, Was #2
Ok boys and girls. Here they are again. Last evening's staging duel and the big numbers are history and they have a chance to go at it again. What will it be this time? The staging duel lasts for twenty one seconds before Force lights the second bulb. Bazemore stages next and at the hit he gets a reaction time lead. Both cars seemed to labor after half track and looking at the speeds both drivers lifted just a bit early. Perhaps the crew chiefs might have some words for the kids?