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Sat, 28 Oct 2006, 09:19 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Dave Rowe

LAS VEGAS - Notes from final, round 4 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:
Right Lane: Peter Russo Runs 5.445/250.04, Now #21; No Prior Run

Russo made one qualifying attempt last night but crossed the center-line and the run was DQ'd. He starts out with a decent looking run, then loses the blower belt about 1100 feet out.

Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 6.355/148.02, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.099/149.45, Was #22

Pedregon has problems around half-track and shuts down.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.966/302.08, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.868/309.42, Was #16
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.816/325.30, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.308/204.57, Was #20

Head goes right down Broadway with his quickest pass of the weekend to get in the show in the 14th spot. Wilkerson drifted to the right all the way through the run, doesn't improve and gets bumped out of the show. Bartone is now on the bump.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 9.993/83.70, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.848/315.71, Was #16
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 8.964/86.81, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.258/217.07, Was #20

Bartone gets about 200 feet out and goes up in smoke. Lawson gets a bit further but has the same result.

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.750/326.00, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.821/322.65, Was #15
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.954/304.94, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.095/242.89, Was #19

Burkart makes an impressive run here, right down the groove, header flames high and steady all the way through the run, and he moves into the top half of the field. Bode made a clean run, just not quick enough to get in the field.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.832/322.19, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.809/321.04, Was #14
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 8.923/99.20, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.895/306.95, Was #18

Pedregon gets about 300 feet out and goes up in smoke. Gilbertson makes a clean pass, right down the groove, but he doesn't improve and stays in the 14th spot.

That does it, the field is set. Now they are just jockeying for position.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.742/303.71, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.805/317.72, Was #11
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.761/325.30, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.806/322.58, Was #13

Pedregon makes a decent pass until the 1000 foot mark, then started putting out cylinders on the right side. He drifts toward the center-line but hangs on to move up to the sixth spot for now. Capps moved around a little but still managed to move up a few notches.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.720/330.39, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.770/328.46, Was #11
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 9.362/96.32, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.806/323.04, Was #13

Beckman makes a great pass, the quickest and fastest of his short funny car career, and he gets in the top half of the field. Densham goes up in smoke about 300 feet out and had to click it off early.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.725/331.36, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.764/324.98, Was #11
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 12.288/76.93, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.794/301.33, Was #12

Worsham makes it about 20 feet and goes up in smoke. No problems for Ashley, right down the groove with the fastest pass of the weekend so far to move up to the fifth spot.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.768/328.30, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.746/320.05, Was #9
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 7.943/104.97, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.739/323.97, Was #7

Johnson gets about 300 feet out and strikes the tires. Scelzi makes a clean run and stays in the ninth spot.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.741/277.72, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.711/329.34, Was #2
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 7.301/114.67, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.726/325.69, Was #6

Force was on a great run here, the 1000 foot time was 4.002, quickest of the session by far, then for some reason the car noses over. Kalitta goes up in smoke about 250 feet out.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.677/333.08, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.687/330.96, Was #1
Right Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 9.448/88.39, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.712/320.81, Was #3

Medlen goes up in smoke about 250 feet out and has to give up on the run. Hight makes a great pass, the quickest and fastest of his career, the fifth quickest in history and the third fastest.

As good as this run was, Force's may have been better if he could have stayed under power all the way through. Force was ahead at every incremental, the 1000 foot time was 4.010 for Hight, 4.002 for Force.

That ends Funny Car Qualifying with Hight on the pole taking on Bartone in round one tomorrow.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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