DINWIDDIE, Va. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 10.992/73.65, Now #1
4:03 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 62 degrees, relative humidity 37 percent, barometer 29.87 inches, adjusted altitude 354 feet, track temperature 92 degrees.
Lee's car shook hard for a couple hundred feet, then he lifted.
Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.975/244.38, Now #1
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.039/264.80, Now #2
Pedregon is in Bob Gilbertson's Autolite XP Stratus this weekend while Gilbertson spends the weekend with his son at a big West-coast autocross event.
Beckman made a relatively clean run, may have lost the blower belt past half track because he was
running 258 mph at that point and was on a 4.8 pace at 1,000 feet. Pedregon had at least one dead cylinder early, looked like at
least two on the top end.
Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.500/239.70, Now #3
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 12.327/76.52, Now #5
Head lost traction early and lifted. Wilkerson dropped a cylinder or two early, may have gone through the clutch, and dropped a couple more at half track, the engine sounding very ragged and raw fuel pouring from the pipes. He didn't lift until about 1,000 feet and everyone watching was cringing, just waiting for the explosion. It didn't happen, to the collective relief of the nice Friday afternoon crowd.
Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.911/266.85, Now #1
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 13.174/69.93, Now #7
Kalitta almost made a full pass, dropping cylinders (and maybe a blower belt) on the top end. Ashley lost traction almost immdeiately.
Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.985/250.27, Now #3
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.292/262.85, Now #5
Densham got a couple hindred feet out, lost traction and pedaled. Bartone got really loose around 1,000 feet and the header flames went out.
Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.937/260.31, Now #2
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.902/171.95, Now #8
Almost the same story here, Pedregon with traction problems early, Worsham with lots of raw fuel from the headers around 1,000 feet.
Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 7.346/111.02, Now #9
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 14.071/71.30, Now #13
Scelzi lost traction immediately, Burkart about 300 feet out.
Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.866/300.06, Now #1
Right Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 4.936/249.86, Now #3
TJ made the best run of the round so far, but Medlen was ahead at 1,000 feet and then pitched the blower belt.
Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.895 sec., 330ft-2.320, 660ft-3.305/258.07mph, 1,000ft-4.132
Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.923/296.70, Now #3
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 8.015/132.80, Now #13
Hight lost traction before going 300 feet. Pedregon got almost all the way to the line, may have lifted early (it's hard to tell from this angle, just a few feet to the left of the lanes, almost directly behind the cars).
Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.867/302.21, Now #3
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.860/293.73, Now #1
Last pair, just one point apart for the POWERade Championship. This shows why, they were welded together all the way down the track, Capps' car nosing over before Force's on the top end.
Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.309, 660ft-3.310/255.15mph, 1,000ft-4.137