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Sat, 3 Sep 2005, 07:35 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car 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: Bobby Martin Runs 5.737/251.25, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.740/246.26, Was #8
Right Lane: Jeff Burnett Runs 5.799/247.07, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.856/242.84, Was #15

5:38 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 35 percent, barometer 29.72 inches, adjusted altitude 1,674 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

Russell Mudd is on the bump spot at 6.058 as we begin the final qualifying session.

Nice runs by both drivers here, Burnett moving a few spots away from the bump spot.

Left Lane: Vern Moats Runs 5.600/255.92, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.737/253.04, Was #7
Right Lane: Bernie Harrington Runs 5.728/247.57, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.731/247.97, Was #6

There are three drivers jammed together just above the middle of the field, all with 5.73 qualifying times. Harrington's car was dancing around a bit, out of the groove and toward the wall in the middle of the run. No dancing for Moats, right down the groove for a career-best elapsed time and speed - and the #1 spot. Vern Moats' incremental times: 60ft-0.971 sec., 330ft-2.484, 660ft-3.690/205.69mph, 1,000ft-4.723.

Left Lane: Steve Harker Runs 5.700/249.63, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.804/250.41, Was #13
Right Lane: Michael Bell Runs 5.765/250.55, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.129/192.06, Was #18

Two more nice runs, and career-best ET and speed for Bell by a ton! His prior bests were 5.904 and 242.63.

Left Lane: Brandon Lewis Runs 7.945/124.94, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.804/249.86, Was #15
Right Lane: Bob Newberry Runs 10.382/81.07, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.661/254.23, Was #2

Bell bumped Mudd, putting Fred Hagen on the bump spot at 5.843.

Lewis is just 19 years old - Newberry is a bit older. Newberry shook and lifted. Lewis shook, then his car started trailing smoke and it sounded like he popped the burst panel. The track observers went out to pick up the pieces around mid track and the Safety Safari went to work in the shutdown area in Lewis' lane.

Left Lane: Don DeVault Runs 7.037/141.53, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.334/227.61, Was #19
Right Lane: Don Hudson Runs 5.775/242.06, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.749/249.44, Was #10

After the cleanup, Devault shook and the car drifted left. He pedaled once, that didn't help, so he lifted. Hudson made a nice run, right down the groove.

Left Lane: Paul Lee Runs 5.733/252.95, Now #9; Best prior run: 7.759/121.08, Was #21
Right Lane: Frank Manzo Runs 5.642/258.47, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.670/256.06, Was #3

Two nice runs, Manzo moving around Newberry, into the second spot, and Lee jumping into the field, bumping Hagen. That put Brandon Lewis on the bump spot at 5.804.

Left Lane: John Weaver Runs 5.640/252.90, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.712/251.11, Was #6
Right Lane: Steve Addleman Runs 6.219/241.54, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.116/241.11, Was #19

Addleman continues to struggle, but Weaver shows he can play with the big boys with a very nice run, sliding in right behind Moats on the list.

Left Lane: Mick Snyder Runs 5.692/254.04, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.709/253.75, Was #6
Right Lane: Danny Townsend Runs 6.532/157.65, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.754/252.00, Was #12

Townsend shook and shut off part way into the run, but Snyder joined those in the sixties on a nice, smooth run, making it five drivers qualified under 5.700 seconds (and one exactly at 5.700). Apparently Townsend's problems were more than just shake because the sweeper truck made a couple laps in his lane to pick up the small pieces.

Left Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.595/257.24, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.767/253.14, Was #14
Right Lane: Fred Hagen Runs 5.924/251.06, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.843/251.95, Was #17

Payne shuffled the order with a very strong run, right down the groove, to take over the #1 spot. Hagen's car shook early in the run, danced around a bit, and he came up short. Jay Payne's incremental times: 60ft-0.952 sec., 330ft-2.484, 660ft-3.692/205.47mph, 1,000ft-4.723.

Right Lane: Russell Mudd No Time, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.058/201.19, Was #18

Mudd was bumped earlier in the round and this was his final chance to get back in. However, his earlier time was a career-best run, so his chances looked slim. Mudd's car started drifting left, took out the 1,000-foot timing reflector, and this run does not count.

Right Lane: John Bojec Runs 5.666/250.92, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.714/252.24, Was #8

Bojec was safely in the middle of the field, so this run was mainly to check his tuneup for tomorrow. He made a pretty run, making it seven cars under 5.700, a tough field indeed!

Qualifying ends with Jay Payne atop the order at 5.595 and Brandon Lewis on the bump spot at 5.804.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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