POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 53rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.104/306.26, Now #1
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.280/286.50, Now #2
2:31 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 73 degrees, relative humidity 25 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 2,419 feet, track temperature 95 degrees.
Worsham has returned to driving this year in the DHL Toyota Funny Car. Burkart
is driving Steve Pluger's Monte Carlo.
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.053/307.09, Now #1
Local hero, Densham, lays down a career best ET and MPH and then doesn't have a parachute. It's short here at Pomona and the Charger goes into the kitty litter, and stops before the net. He's quickly out of the car and walking around.
The great news quickly became the bad news.
Gary Densham's incremental times: 60ft-0.900 sec., 330ft-2.298, 660ft-3.259/265.12 mph.
Left Lane: Todd Lesenko Runs 11.749/63.41, Now #5
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 6.579/101.92, Now #4
2:51 p.m. The sand box is empty, so we are back to racing.
Two broken runs and they both stop on the track.
Weird! At the green, Pedregon's car left hard with a strong 0.903 sixty foot time and then was done before the 330 lights. He left a light snow of plastic from the Funny Car body wrap in the air going on down the track.
Left Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.232/244.83, Now #4
Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.190/305.08, Now #3
Tasca is away first and makes a strong pass, until near the top end, where the header flames get weird.
DeJoria Camry left hard and was quicker to the 330 foot light and then the parachute came out right after that.
Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.923 sec., 330ft-2.389, 660ft-3.386/257.97 mph.
Left Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.097/304.46, Now #2
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 7.107/95.17, Now #8
More stuff on the top end. Time out for clean up.
3:06 p.m. Arend's car was lazy off the line and he clicks it off early.
Hagan leaves with the best sixty foot time of the session nd thunders on down the track into the new number two spot. Nice!
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.892 sec., 330ft-2.305, 660ft-3.294/255.82 mph.
Left Lane: John Force Runs 6.626/98.58, Now #9
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.221/283.25, Now #5
Wilkerson was away first and running strong until near the finish line, where the engine got unhappy. He lifts, but there is a wall of smoke from the car and the sweepers are rolling.
Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.906 sec., 330ft-2.352, 660ft-3.373/249.63 mph.
Force's Mustang made a strong leave, but kicked the tires before the 330 lights. He pumps the pedal to no avail.
3:11 p.m. Lots of dusting and cleaning between the 1000 and 1320 on the track.
Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 8.083/86.25, Now #12
Right Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.087/308.78, Now #2
3:19 p.m. Back to qualifying. This should start the bump spot.
Gray takes the long way down, with the car drifting towards the centerline on the top end. He just missed the reflectors to save the run. It's good enough for the new #2 spot and the fastest run so far.
Hight, joins Force with tire smoke right off the line.
Johnny Gray's incremental times: 60ft-0.921 sec., 330ft-2.334, 660ft-3.299/266.06 mph.
Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.071/311.49, Now #2
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.093/296.44, Now #4
Robert Hight is on the bump spot at 8.083.
Courtney shows Force Power and drive her Mustang right on down the track to be the next to take over the number two spot.
Pedregon was right behind her, with similar incrementals, but looked to have clicked it a little early on the top end.
Courtney Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.893 sec., 330ft-2.320, 660ft-3.291/268.12 mph.
Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.894 sec., 330ft-2.307, 660ft-3.293/256.65 mph.
Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.115/146.91, Now #12
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.148/309.13, Now #7
The team mates leave almost together and Capps gets a strong lead until right after the 330 lights, where the tires start to smoke.
Beckman's car gets unhappy in the lights and there is a bunch of smoke from the engine. No oil though.
Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.928 sec., 330ft-2.374, 660ft-3.351/263.15 mph.
3:27 p.m. Gary Densham stays number one with a 4.053 and Ron Capps is on the bump spot at 5.115.