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Sun, 4 Sep 2005, 03:59 PM

Pro Modified Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Pro Modified 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: Kirk Kuhns Runs 6.482/183.79, Now #24; Best prior run: 9.884/89.14, Was #26
Right Lane: Zach Barklage Runs 6.269/227.00, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.357/193.29, Was #21

2:20 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 36 percent, barometer 29.74 inches, adjusted altitude 1,752 feet, track temperature 118 degrees.

Oildowns in other categories yesterday cost the Pro Mod racers a qualifying session, so this is their third and final effort. Mike Castellana is on the bump spot at 6.281.

Barklage's front fender was loose and flapping in the breeze as he went down the track - he's had that problem with this body before. He improved a bunch anyway, bumped into the field. Kuhns improved slightly, but came up a couple tenths short of the cutoff. That puts Doug Palmer on the bump spot at 6.273.

Right Lane: Brandon Pesz No Time, Now #15; Best prior run: 6.270/226.01, Was #15

Pesz' car got loose on the launch, got looser at mid track, and he swapped lanes, taking out the half-track speed timing reflector.

Left Lane: Brian Daniels Runs 6.444/219.58, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.359/220.84, Was #22
Right Lane: Annette Summer Runs 8.455/127.07, Now #26; Best prior run: 9.169/108.00, Was #26

Summer's turbo car shook and skated around on the launch and her weekend is over. Daniels' crew thrashed to rebuild the engine overnight, but he came up short of the field.

Right Lane: Troy Critchley Runs 6.179/227.34, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.216/226.73, Was #11

This was a pretty run, the car smoothly down the groove and into the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Ben Bray Runs 6.269/227.42, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.296/226.54, Was #18
Right Lane: Frankie Taylor Runs 6.298/223.88, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.301/204.51, Was #19

Bray lists his home town as Kallaguar, Queensland - see if you can find that in your Funk & Wagnalls. he is catching on to this "American doorslammer" racing, making a nice, smooth pass to bump into the field. Taylor improved slightly, came up short. Now Brandon Pesz is on the bump spot at 6.270.

Left Lane: Mike Castellana Runs 6.270/226.92, Now #16; Best prior run: 6.281/225.37, Was #18
Right Lane: Scott Ray Runs 6.372/221.71, Now #23; Best prior run: 6.483/216.13, Was #25

Castellana started this round on the bump spot. He got back in on speed, bumping Pesz. Ray improved a tenth of a second, came up well short.

Left Lane: Doug Palmer Runs 6.248/224.14, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.273/225.30, Was #18
Right Lane: Steve Engel Runs 6.213/232.15, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.149/232.07, Was #3

Palmer made a clutch run to bump Castellana back out, putting Zach Barklage on the bump spot at 6.269. Engel was unable to improve, staying third.

Left Lane: Shannon Jenkins Runs 6.198/228.46, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.233/227.00, Was #12
Right Lane: Chip King Runs 8.858/103.73, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.328/222.84, Was #20

Jenkins is the only nitrous car in the field and appears to be safely in. King needed a great run to get in. He didn't get it, his car chattering the tires, first skating right, toward the wall, then left, toward the center line. Meanwhile, Jenkins solidified his position in the field with a strong run and he will get a chance to play at his strong suit, head-to-head eliminations.

Left Lane: Ed Hoover Runs 6.159/231.44, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.206/226.16, Was #12
Right Lane: Bryan Seward Runs 6.221/229.20, Now #13; Best prior run: 6.248/227.88, Was #13

Two nice runs, straight down the groove, each driver making his best run of the weekend.

Left Lane: Jay Payne Runs 6.105/235.93, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.205/234.09, Was #12
Right Lane: Glen Kerunsky Runs 6.241/229.94, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.144/226.47, Was #2

Okay, everybody take a step back, Jay is in the house. Awesome run, huge speed. Kerunsky has been losing ground, his first run also his best.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 6.127/231.95, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.152/230.41, Was #5
Right Lane: Rick Stivers Runs 6.141/233.92, Now #4; Best prior run: 6.198/232.99, Was #11

Two more very nice runs, Stivers jumping into the top four from the bottom half of the field.

Left Lane: Troy Coughlin Runs 6.147/231.36, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.181/230.13, Was #11
Right Lane: Mike Bell Runs 6.173/232.43, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.158/232.11, Was #7

Coughlin improved nicely, Bell fell back a bit.

Left Lane: Thomas Patterson Runs 6.204/226.89, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.176/227.84, Was #10
Right Lane: Joshua Hernandez Runs 6.089/231.40, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.117/230.80, Was #2

Hernandez' car made a right turn on the launch and he drove through it to take the top spot back from Payne.

Going into eliminations, Hernandez is atop the field, Zach Barklage is on the bump spot at 6.269, and Ben Bray will face Jay Payne in the first round in the first race where he has been seated on the left side of the car. Fortunately, there are no "roundabouts" on a drag strip.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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