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Fri, 27 Oct 2006, 11:21 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Dave Rowe

LAS VEGAS - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Sixth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA 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: Grant Downing Runs 6.889/122.11, Now #12; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Peter Russo No Time, Now #24; No Prior Run

6:56 p.m. Neither of these drivers made a pass in the first round of qualifying. Downing was on a decent pass, then got about 600 feet out and the car nosed over. Russo got out of shape right off the line and made a hard move to the right. He stayed on the throttle, crossed the center-line, falling in behind Downing in the left lane.

Downing gets in the show in the 12th spot for now, Kalitta is on the bump.

Left Lane: Stephen Neese Runs 6.315/152.87, Now #10; Best prior run: 10.159/74.13, Was #19
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 17.152/40.01, Now #23; No Prior Run

Pedregon was having problems on the line, flames coming out of the right side header while the engine was idling. He hits the throttle, the car leaves the line, then he clicks it off. Neese gets to half-track and the car noses over, not sure why.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.746/320.05, Now #1; Best prior run: 10.156/80.50, Was #19
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 12.831/76.71, Now #22; Best prior run: 12.128/83.33, Was #22

Capps really needs to get down the track on this pass and get in the show. There are two ways to approach this, make a safe pass or go for it and take a chance on going up in smoke......Well, not sure which they were going for, but the result is smoke as soon as he hits the throttle, then clicking it off before he reaches the 60 foot mark. He'll have two more tomorrow.

Scelzi makes a great run, right down Broadway, and he goes from the outside all the way to the top spot for now.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.809/321.04, Now #6; Best prior run: 9.877/115.46, Was #19
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.739/323.97, Now #1; Best prior run: 10.478/99.77, Was #21

A couple of really good-looking passes here, a good side-by-side run. Johnson goes right down the groove, header flames high and steady all the way through the run, and he goes all the way to the number one spot for now. No problems for Gilbertson either, the car going right down the groove and he moves into the top half of the field.

Ashley and Burkart are now out of the show, Downing is on the bump.

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.821/322.65, Now #7; Best prior run: 7.800/113.15, Was #18
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 11.714/80.83, Now #21; Best prior run: 10.409/82.95, Was #21

Bode hits the throttle and goes up in smoke. Burkart leaves the line, drifts to the right, then back to the left. He keeps the candles lit all the way through the run and gets in the top half of the field for now.

Downing is out now, Densham is on the bump.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.787/326.71, Now #7; Best prior run: 7.445/107.46, Was #18
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.726/325.69, Now #1; Best prior run: 9.301/86.11, Was #20

A great pass for Kalitta, a career best ET and MPH for him, and he gets back in the show and takes over the top spot for now. Ashley lost traction early in the first round but goes right down the groove on this one and gets in the field in the seventh spot for now.

Worsham and Densham are on the outside now, Neese is on the bump.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.957/293.92, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.261/216.48, Was #14
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 14.090/70.61, Now #20; Best prior run: 9.060/94.55, Was #20

Bartone is still in the show but probably needs to improve here to stay in. Lawson isn't in yet after shutting it off early in the first round.

Lawson hits the throttle and doesn't move two feet before going up in smoke. He backs off the throttle and coast through the finish-line.

Bartone was on a good run, then started mixing up cylinders about 1000 feet out and slowing. He still manages to move up a notch to 13th.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.868/309.42, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.953/306.53, Was #12
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.883/294.56, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.875/129.43, Was #18

Wilkerson gets about 700 feet out, starts mixing up cylinders, drifts a little to the left, then blows the engine as he goes through the lights.

Densham was on a decent pass, then the engine explodes in a big ball of flame, but he still makes it back into the field. Word comes from the top end, there is oil in Densham's lane so we'll be down for a few minutes.

Neese is now on the outside, Head is on the bump.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.805/317.72, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.925/301.47, Was #13
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.794/301.33, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.623/128.19, Was #18

Pedregon is in the show, Worsham was bumped out earlier.

Worsham was on a good run, then the candles go out just before he crosses the finish-line, not sure why.

Pedregon makes a decent pass and improves on his earlier pass to move up a few notches.

Head is now on the outside, Cruz Pedregon is on the bump.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.770/328.46, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.824/322.81, Was #12
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 12.960/75.50, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.308/204.57, Was #17

Head was just bumped out, but the bump is only a 5.087.....but it doesn't matter if you can't get off the line. Head hits the throttle and the car goes up in smoke.

Beckman makes an impressive run, drifting a little out of the groove early, then steering it back to the middle of the track. He moves into the top half of the field and sets the track speed record.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.687/330.96, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.768/326.87, Was #5
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.341/197.02, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.087/256.84, Was #16

WOW!!! An impressive run here for Hight, the quickest and fastest run ever at this track. He goes right down Broadway, header flames high and steady all the way through the lights, then the blower comes apart just as he crosses the finish-line.

Pedregon was on a decent pass but blew the engine about 700 feet out.

It looks like the Safety Safari is rolling, possibly oil in Pedregon's lane.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.711/329.34, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.760/324.20, Was #5
Right Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 4.712/320.81, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.773/319.52, Was #7

A good side-by-side, both cars right down the groove. Force makes a great pass to get in the second spot, but green flames were coming out of the left side header from the 1000 foot mark through the lights.

Medlen was on a decent pass, ahead of Force at the 1000-foot mark, 4.022 to 4.035, but then lost power just before he went through the lights.

The Force cars are once again 1-2-3, Capps isn't in the show.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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