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Thu, 8 Feb 2007, 05:42 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 47th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.569/239.02, Now #2
Right Lane: Chris Perl Runs 5.236/266.16, Now #1

1:40 p.m. Perl is making his debut in A/Fuel in the Darien and Meadows racer. Weather conditions: air temperature 64 degrees, relative humidity 25 percent, barometer 29.15 inches, adjusted altitude 1,342 feet, track temperature 77 degrees.

Not a bad opener for the rookie I'd say. Eakins was a few tenths behind Perl on his first hit of the season.

Left Lane: Darryl Hitchman No Time, Now #4
Right Lane: Frank Dischbein Runs 6.383/158.41, Now #3

Hitchman just flat blew the tires off the car. That phrase doesn't even do the reality justice! The car actually sounded like banged the blower in the burnout but it kept running as he returned to the starting line. Dischbein had some ugly noises coming from the engine after half track. He clicked it off but we are waiting for Hitchman to be towed on through.

Left Lane: Greg Tacke Runs 5.646/227.31, Now #3
Right Lane: Brian Smith Runs 5.914/243.02, Now #4

Tacke was on a good looking run until about 1000ft. The car disappeared behind a wall of smoke and the Safety Safari was called out to restore the left lane to pristine condition. Smith was way off the pace as his A/Fueler had holes out on the right bank.

Left Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.909/246.44, Now #5
Right Lane: Jeff Isbell Runs 5.487/257.28, Now #2

Ahten had holes out and just never picked up the pace. Isbell goes to #2.

Left Lane: Edwin Schmeeckle Runs 5.736/253.18, Now #6
Right Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 5.533/252.71, Now #3

Schmeeckle rattled the tires pretty good at the hit and to about 330. Miersch had holes out on both sides of the motor. Well that turned into a bit of a bummer. By the time it was all over the Safari had to clean both lanes after that pair.

Left Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.436/262.03, Now #2
Right Lane: Jeff Veale Runs 5.607/252.57, Now #6

Perkins sets his career best speed on this run and just misses on his best ET. That was after he used about 1380 feet to make the run. A little straighter and he would have found the .02 he needed for a personal best. Veal gets a baseline.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.291/263.92, Now #2
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 6.355/149.95, Now #12

As most know Lucas is doing double duty this season running the Top Fueler and the A/Fuel car. Lucas slots in right behind Perl and into the #2 spot. Whitely was off the throttle well before the end of the attempt.

Left Lane: Mike Austin Runs 6.632/147.29, Now #15
Right Lane: Brandon Johnson Runs 5.462/256.02, Now #4

Austin appeared to rattle the tires almost to half track before the called it off. Johnson had his own problems as he approached the lights as the engine was dropping holes. That 256mph could have been much better.

Left Lane: Mark Niver Runs 5.369/263.36, Now #3
Right Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 5.417/249.76, Now #4

Niver has painted the car black and I admit it looks really nice. Frey is in midseason form as he called a 5.370 for Niver and he runs 5.369! Midseason form I tell you! Pierce with a nice run, without Frey's help.

Left Lane: Garrett Bateman Runs 5.397/258.86, Now #4
Right Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.686/259.51, Now #13

Bateman wandered around the lane but still cards a nice set of numbers. Demke got a good look at the concrete wall but managed to horse the car back to the middle of the lane before he took a bite out of it.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 12.983/81.76, Now #21
Right Lane: Sean O'Bannon Runs 5.371/268.76, Now #4

Shields was smoking the tires right at the hit and was way to busy to even watch O'Bannon drive away from him. That's the final pair of cars and Chris Perl will hang onto the top spot in his very first session of qualifying.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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