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Sun, 10 Nov 2002, 04:41 PM

Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Darryl Jackman





POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 38th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Cory McClenathan    4.615 320.28  Q    5 Rhonda Hartman-Smi  4.617 315.19
   (J Smith     ) 0.497  9.179  91.75  E1   (D Baca      ) 0.621  8.542  99.87
 *****WINNER***** 0.503  4.636 317.72  E2                  0.509  4.712 313.88

This pair couldn't have been closer in qualifying and both had tire smoking problems in the first round. Current conditions are good. 68 degrees, 51% humidity and 30.07 and falling on the barometer. Pretty even start but it's Cory Mac driving away at every marker. This was the best side by side pair of fuel cars to this point in eliminations.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  15 Scott Weis          8.793  93.42  Q    7 Doug Herbert        4.674 274.55
   (L Dixon Jr  ) 0.451  4.830 311.99  E1   (D Grubnic   ) 0.503  5.054 276.80
                  0.480  4.718 319.52  E2 *****WINNER***** 0.509  4.648 317.79

Weis does have lane choice over Herbert in this round and takes the favored left lane. This was a lot closer than some might have predicted. Weis had .02 in hand at the start and it was Herbert that had to drive around him at the other end of the track. Another good race. It appears that the crew chiefs are getting a handle on the racing surface.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  16 Andrew Cowin        8.800   NS    Q    8 Jim Head            4.676 311.49
   (D Russell   ) 0.517  4.638 319.67  E1   (M Strasburg ) 0.501  5.186 240.68
 *****WINNER***** 0.533  4.633 322.19  E2                  0.511  4.727 301.67

Cowin was second off the line but Head starts to loose cylinders before half track. Nothing on the track and Cowin moves on to face Cory mac with lane choice. He earned that by .003.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   3 Doug Kalitta        4.599 319.52  Q   11 Yuichi Oyama        4.864 266.27
   (T Schumacher) 0.480  4.629 322.19  E1   (K Bernstein ) 0.532  4.676 318.24
                  0.498  6.479 185.66  E2 *****WINNER***** 0.521  4.910 285.41

Kalitta strikes the tires very early into the run and disappears behind a wall of smoke. As the smoke cleared it was Oyama-san with the huge win and a trip to the semi finals. That was the most interesting top end interview I've seen lately. When he was given the microphone he spent abut 15 second speaking Japanese. Don't know what he said but you could really tell he was happy and excited. Herbert will have lane choice over Oyama in the other semi.





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