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Fri, 4 Nov 2005, 08:11 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 41st annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals 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: Ray Stutz Runs 25.859/22.53, Now #21; No Prior Run

4:12 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 64 degrees, relative humidity 44 percent, barometer 29.36 inches, adjusted altitude 1,132 feet, track temperature 78 degrees.

David Grubnic is on the bump spot at 6.428.

Stutz did not make a run yesterday. He got about 20 feet, lost traction and shut it off, coasting down the track, barely clearing the finish line before stopping.

Left Lane: David Baca Runs 4.914/252.66, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 10.772/75.97, Now #20; Best prior run: 10.176/74.72, Was #19

Baca did not run yesterday Kalitta smoked the tires. There are rumors Kalitta will return to his roots next year and drive a Funny Car, by the way.

Kalitta lost traction once again. Baca lost a bunch of cylinders on the right side of the engine around 1,000 feet.

Left Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 9.266/86.66, Now #20; No Prior Run
Right Lane: John Smith Runs 4.621/321.81, Now #9; Best prior run: 9.814/85.47, Was #19

The Safety Safari (presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California) had to work on the shutdown area before these two could run, mainly in Kalitta's lane. Chrisman's header flames went out after 200 feet, the car dancing around. Smith made a very nice run, recording his fastest speed of the year.

Left Lane: Bobby Lagana Jr. Runs 4.673/315.05, Now #11; Best prior run: 10.764/75.90, Was #22
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 7.596/100.67, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.428/121.63, Was #18

Smith's run put David Baca on the bump spot at 4.914.

Last round, both drivers got off the starting line pretty well, but lost traction around the 330-foot marker. This time around, Lagana made a full pass, posting an NHRA career-best elapsed time, but Grubnic once again went up in smoke after 200 feet or so.

Left Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 4.856/271.73, Now #16; Best prior run: 7.060/118.52, Was #20
Right Lane: Robert Reehl Runs 8.228/111.79, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.865/297.02, Was #16

Reehl shook and then smoked the tires early in the run. Hartley was on a good run, but pitched the blower belt off on the top end, putting him in, but on the bump spot.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 12.802/93.32, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.989/206.95, Was #19
Right Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.673/298.01, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.822/269.56, Was #15

Beckman was up in smoke immediately. Strasburg made a good-looking run, but the header flames went out well before the finish line after running 267 mph at half track. Then the track crew went to work in the first part of Beckman's lane, cleaning up a thin trail of oil.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 4.843/227.19, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.748/281.30, Was #15
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.578/319.90, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.696/300.53, Was #14

That's more like it, Millican's car was strong all the way down the track. Weis was actually quicker to half track, but started losing cylinders there and coasted across the line. Millican's plans for the 2006 season are still up in the air, by the way, team owner Kenny Koretsky leaning toward running for the NHRA POWERade championship next year, while major sponsor Werner Enterprises wants to maintain their recruiting presence on the junior tour. Tough decision.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.491/325.45, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.672/314.83, Was #11
Right Lane: Doug Foley Runs 4.607/315.64, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.673/308.35, Was #13

Nice runs, Bernstein going to the top of the heap and Foley not too far back at the finish line.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 6.327/132.13, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.601/323.81, Was #10
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 8.952/95.76, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.597/283.49, Was #9

Both cars started out with tall header flames that steadily got smaller as they lost traction and dropped cylinders. Cory Mac's car over-revved and pushed out a head gasket, putting on a fire show for the on-board camera.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 6.944/119.05, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.573/324.75, Was #7
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 9.578/89.64, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.549/324.20, Was #5

Both cars lost traction, Dixon about 100 feet out, Kalitta about 200 feet out.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.537/321.19, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.553/317.79, Was #6
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 9.740/80.77, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.534/326.63, Was #4

Troxel smoked the tires about 100 feet out. Herbert made a full pass and improved slightly, moving up one spot in the order.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 14.524/77.24, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.504/328.78, Was #3
Right Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.597/327.35, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.501/316.08, Was #2

Last pair. Schumacher lost traction almost immediately. Fuller started to smoke the tires about 200 feet out, pedaled twice, and saved the run nicely.

After two rounds, with two more to go, it's Brandon Bernstein atop the ladder at 4.491 and Joe Hartley is on the bump spot at 4.856.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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