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Fri, 26 Apr 2013, 17:48 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

BAYTOWN, Texas - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 26th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Todd Simpson Runs 6.166/108.62, Now #1
Right Lane: Jon Capps Runs 15.549/32.32, Now #2

4:15 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 64 percent, barometer 30.09 inches, adjusted altitude 2,094 feet, track temperature 125 degrees.

For the first time this weekend, the sweet sound of blown nitro engines fills the air. Despite some 'wacky" weather forecasts, there's a good Friday crowd to share the experience.

Capps spun the tires immediately, Simpson got about 100 feet and did the same.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.280/146.15, Now #1
Right Lane: Blake Alexander Runs 9.546/73.06, Now #3

Alexander two-stepped the start, then smoked the tires. Haddock had a clean launch, but lost traction before the 330-foot marker.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.221/292.39, Now #1
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 6.343/103.40, Now #4

Pedregon started to smoke the tires around the 330-foot mark and the car made a mobve toward the centerline. He lifted. Arend had a clean launch and legged it through to stake his claim to one of the twelve "provisional" spots for today.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.191/293.28, Now #1
Right Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.929/162.68, Now #3

Force's team spent the last few days rebuilding his car to make John more comfortable in the car. It may have helped, Force's car went right down the groove. DeJoria had a solid start, but she started smoking the tires around the 330 foot market.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 7.740/79.11, Now #8
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.161/299.26, Now #1

Tasca had a clean launch, but started smoking the tires around the 330-foot marker. Wilkerson had a nice launch and a smooth, clean run to go to the #1 spot.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 7.003/94.35, Now #9
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.191/287.78, Now #3

Stop me if you've heard this before...Worsham had a clean launch, then started smoking the tires around the 330-foot marker. Beckman made a solid run to get a tuning baseline for the second session today.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 8.690/73.00, Now #12
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 7.588/77.04, Now #10

In almost-perfect synchronization, these two launched, went about 300 feet, then lost traction. Capps had the best 60-foot time of the session so far, a 0.888.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.544/227.65, Now #6
Right Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.153/294.56, Now #1

Gray led for the first part of the run, but started hazing the tires about 400 feet out and the engine started to go sour, the header flames getting very orange. Force trailed early in the run, but came on strong on the top end and she is now in the #1 spot.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.700/178.76, Now #8
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.202/296.76, Now #5

Last pair. They were close together past the 330-foot marker, but Pedregon appeared to lost traction around the 660-foot marker and he clicked it off. Hagan made a clean run, just not a qiuick one.

After one session, Courtney Force leads the field at 4.153 seconds and Tony Pedregon is on the bump spot at 6.343.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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