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Sun, 1 Oct 2006, 01:41 PM

Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Dan Bennett

MOHNTON, Pa. - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals:

    4 David Grubnic                           7 Brandon Bernstein            
E2   ****WINNER****  0.111  4.535 323.43                     0.108  4.600 313.00
 Prior rounds:
E1    (M Lucas     ) 0.100  4.592 290.57      (D Baca      ) 0.095  7.064 210.67
 Qualified:             #5  4.533 326.95                        #4  4.528 325.69
Beer versus cosmetics. Where else are you going to find a matchup like that?

Bernstein has been hot, and Grubnic wants to cool his jets for a while.

Mission completed. The StriVectic car looked a lot happier off the line as Brandon's front wheels did that little hip-hop thing again while Grubnic's car was driving forward with no wasted motion.

It didn't get any better downtrack for the Bud car as it appeared to drop a cylinder or two.

Grubnic helps his teammate in the points battle and advances for one more round.

Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 55 percent, barometer 29.65 inches, adjusted altitude 1,090 feet, track temperature 94 degrees.

  507 Melanie Troxel                         10 Rod Fuller                   
E2   ****WINNER****  0.092  4.536 325.53                     0.096  4.570 311.56
 Prior rounds:
E1    (L Dixon     ) 0.109  4.576 320.81      (D Herbert   ) 0.088  4.582 328.46
 Qualified:            #11  4.566 319.37                        #3  4.518 328.78
Has Melanie returned to her early season excellence?

Wow, sure looks like it. Her car was a study in applied physics as there was no wasted motion that I could see. It was a pretty run.

Fuller gives it his best and also has a really nice pass, but today it just wasn't enough. His chutes are very late but he manages to get the car slowed down just before the sand trap.

    3 Doug Kalitta                          763 Hillary Will                 
E2   ****WINNER****  0.190  4.534 329.02                     0.069  8.885  83.57
 Prior rounds:
E1    (L Novelli   ) 0.072  4.543 325.53      (B Vandergrif) 0.075  4.597 316.97
 Qualified:             #2  4.488 321.88                       #10  4.560 322.19
Teammates on the line. One wants the title, the other wants Rookie of the Year.

Hillary absolutely welds Doug to the tree. The difference was apparent even to the untrained eye.

Hillary did her job perfectly but the car didn't. She was up in smoke by 150 feet and the race was over.

Kalitta flexes his muscles for another win and keeps his path to the championship on track.

    1 Tony Schumacher                       373 J.R. Todd                    
E2                   0.107  4.490 325.37     ****WINNER****  0.089  4.502 325.22
 Prior rounds:
E1                   0.129  4.512 310.98      (C McClenatha) 0.065  4.595 316.01
 Qualified:             #1  4.440 327.27                        #8  4.549 324.98
Speaking of Rookie of the Year, somebody just added a bunch to their credentials.

J.R. does what a top level driver needs to. He leaves on the Army car and drives through minor shake.

The normally all-conquering Schumacher has to be shaking his head. Other than the car in the other lane, he just ran fast time of the session.

That was why we all come to the races, a memorable race.

Come on back for the semifinals. Kalitta has lane choice (by .002 seconds) over Melanie, and the kid (J.R.Todd) gets to pick over Grubnic.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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