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Sat, 3 Sep 2005, 05:01 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. 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: Scott Weis Runs 4.757/305.36, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: David Baca Runs 11.904/80.63, Now #24; Best prior run: 9.693/89.43, Was #23

3:06 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 33 percent, barometer 29.74 inches, adjusted altitude 1,717 feet, track temperature 122 degrees.

baca smoked the tires almost immediately. He pedaled, no help. Weis broke on the burnout last night, but made a decent pass here. However, the right-side headers looked like acetylene torches on the top end of the run, shooting out long, bright orange flames.

Left Lane: Luigi Novelli Runs 16.209/76.79, Now #27; Best prior run: 15.149/82.45, Was #27
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 7.196/104.90, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.888/245.14, Was #18

Weis' run put Doug Herbert on the bump spot at 4.868. Novelli boiled the hides immediately. Millican got out about 300 feet, then shut it down.

Left Lane: Tim Cullinan Runs 13.632/54.82, Now #25; Best prior run: 10.641/78.94, Was #25
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 6.986/115.41, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.868/228.15, Was #16

Both drivers had troubled runs last night, Cullinan with immediate tire shake and Herbert shutting off around the 1,000-foot marker. This time, Cullinan smoked the tires immediately and Herbert lost traction about 200 feet out.

Left Lane: John Smith Runs 4.945/243.55, Now #20; Best prior run: 9.607/86.07, Was #23
Right Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 7.584/110.91, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.771/316.01, Was #14

Hartley got about as far as Millican and Herbert did in that lane, then struck the tires. Smith got further, but started hazing the tires at half track and smoked them on the top end.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.613/324.67, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.868/145.86, Was #23
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 17.840/34.10, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.701/270.64, Was #11

Beckman lost traction immediately. Grubnic's car went right down the middle of the groove with no signs of tire smoke anywhere along the way.

Left Lane: Scott Palmer Runs 7.944/105.14, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.139/213.37, Was #22
Right Lane: T.J. Zizzo Runs 11.247/80.80, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.618/313.58, Was #11

Zizzo smoked the tires almost immediately. Palmer's car was off-pace on the launch with a 0.954 60-foot time and then the engine went very sour, blubbering into silence.

Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.569/324.83, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.615/291.51, Was #9

Dixon's chutes deployed early last night, but he made up for it here on a solo pass so we could hear the clutch timers coming in. Larry Dixon's incremental times: 60ft-0.851 sec., 330ft-2.174, 660ft-3.102/271.35mph, 1,000ft-3.888.

Left Lane: Bobby Lagana Jr. Runs 5.742/163.12, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.838/281.30, Was #16
Right Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.965/212.63, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.570/326.32, Was #9

Oh-for-two. It looked like lagana lost a blower belt at half track and bernstein's car nosed over by the 1,000-foot timer.

Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 7.849/92.81, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.565/326.48, Was #7

The Safety Safari cleaned up Lagana's lane, the worst of it starting a couple hundred feet out and running past half track, before these two ran. Troxel had the same fate as most others in that lane (excepting Dixon, of course), 200 feet and a cloud of tire smoke.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 6.203/132.92, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.534/325.30, Was #5
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.630/320.28, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.550/316.82, Was #6

Cory Mac made a nice run in the troublesome right lane, not as quick as last night, but smooth and straight. Lucas started out well, slightly quicker than McClenathan early in the run, but he lost traction about 300 feet down the track.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.603/323.43, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.531/328.78, Was #4
Right Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.595/323.66, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.520/325.61, Was #3

This was a nice side-by-side show for the nice Saturday crowd, the two cars locked together all the way down the track. Both were quicker last night, but these runs today are more representative of conditions they should see for eliminations Monday.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.553/324.59, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.459/329.18, Was #1
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.585/325.06, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.517/327.59, Was #2

These two runs were also impressive, but they were not side-by-side because kalitta sat at the starting line until he was ready to leave and by then Schumacher was way down the track. As with the preceding pair, these runs were impressive because they should see these conditions again Monday.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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