GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Southeast Division, Prelude to the Gators at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville 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: John Finke Runs 20.098/36.46, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.677/196.99, Was #9
5:44 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 29.77 inches, adjusted altitude 1,113 feet, track temperature 81 degrees.
Last chance and Finke starts the session outside the the field.
Left Lane: Bill Evans Runs 5.554/259.36, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.542/261.88, Was #8
Right Lane: Wayne Morris Runs 5.487/261.93, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.418/263.20, Was #6
The remaining cars are jockeying for first-round lane choice and pairings.
Evans' second-round run got him into the field, but he was a quarter-second slower than his career-best and he likes to be #1, not #8. Morris was sixth with a career-best run, looking to improve on that.
Nope! No help for either driver. They stay sixth and eighth, will not have lane choice tomorrow.
Left Lane: Artie Allen Runs 5.633/240.77, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.460/246.30, Was #7
Right Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 11.313/92.58, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.383/260.01, Was #4
Like Finke, Meyer smoked the tires immediately. Allen had a strong launch, but had to backpedal to get through tire shake and failed to improve.
Left Lane: Dan Mercier Runs 11.579/65.47, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.392/263.72, Was #5
Right Lane: Rich McPhillips Runs 9.567/85.28, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.351/262.90, Was #3
McPhillips' car "started climbing the ring gear" right off the starting line and the wheels got way up in the air before he lifted to avoid a blowover.
Did not see what caused Mercier to lift in the other lane, but he was out of the throttle before McPhillips' front end started coming back down.
Right Lane: Richard Bourke Runs 5.372/265.64, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.324/267.53, Was #1
Bourke was already #1, so he didn't have to make this run. However, he was well off his pace in the second session, so this was probably to check his setup for tomorrow.
Nice run, not as quick as his first run today, but it was the quickest of the session and if he can do that three times tomorrow, he has a good chance of winning the event.
Richard Bourke's incremental times: 60ft-0.938 sec., 330ft-2.410, 660ft-3.557/217.25 mph, 1,000ft-4.533.