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Thu, 8 Feb 2007, 08:12 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel 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:
Right Lane: Arley Langlo No Time, Now #1

4:18 p.m. Langlo is a storied veteran in Division 7, running on a shoestring. He made the burnout, staged, and tried to launch. The engine went silent almost immediately and he rolled about 50 feet down the track.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.533/324.28, Now #1
Right Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 5.116/243.99, Now #2

bazemore's first official run in Top Fuel was "a keeper," the car smoothly down the middle of the groove, the header flames tall and steady. Chrisman's car lost two tenths to bazemore in the first 330 feet and struggled the rest of the way.

Left Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 10.355/84.75, Now #3
Right Lane: Doug Foley Runs 10.668/76.59, Now #4

This was Foley's first run in competition after a serious accident at a race in Canada. Both cars launched, shook, then lost traction.

Left Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.709/291.26, Now #3
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.679/315.56, Now #2

Millican will be running the full NHRA tour this year, plus a few crossover races on non-conflicting dates. Crew chief Mike Kloeber struggled all last year, but appeared to find the combiation again during pre-season testing.

Strasburg trailed Millican to half track, then there was a big fireball from Strasburg's car and he slowed. Millican started strongly, but fell off the pace a bit before half track. Then the Safety Safari went to work in Strasburg's lane.

Left Lane: Alan Bradshaw Runs 4.552/321.04, Now #2
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.730/282.60, Now #5

Nice run by Bradshaw, the car clean and straight, the flames tall and steady. Vandergriff's car steadily lost ground and the header flames went out early.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.790/268.22, Now #6
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.084/198.93, Now #7

vandergriff's car left a trail of "stuff" on the top end and shutdown area, so the Safety Safari got another workout before these two could make their run.

Both astarted off well, but there was lots of smoke in both lanes at the other end and Lucas' car nosed over before the 1,000 foot marker.

Left Lane: Hillary Will Runs 12.386/82.06, Now #12
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.674/317.05, Now #3

Will's car struck the tires early and she coasted through. Cory Mac got off to a good start, but his car also lost a lot of steam before half track, running almost the same intermediate numbers as Millican. Once again the Safety Safari rolled, once again in the right lane.

Left Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 4.515/320.43, Now #2
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.504/327.59, Now #1

Two very nice runs and Dixon takes the new SkyTel dragster to the top spot - for now.

J.R. Todd's incremental times: 60ft-0.854 sec., 330ft-2.148, 660ft-3.054/277.15mph, 1,000ft-3.829
Larry Dixon's incremental times: 60ft-0.841 sec., 330ft-2.130, 660ft-3.046/273.77mph, 1,000ft-3.826

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 10.935/77.34, Now #15
Right Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.497/329.34, Now #1

Grubnic wa sup in smoke and lifted early. Fuller steamed right down the track, matching the pace he ran with the "mono-strut" in testing at Phoenix. Rod Fuller's incremental times: 60ft-0.860 sec., 330ft-2.151, 660ft-3.058/278.23mph, 1,000ft-3.824.

Left Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.632/322.50, Now #7
Right Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.494/331.61, Now #1

Another 49 in the right lane, Bernstein's slightly quicker to take over the top spot. Brandon Bernstein's incremental times: 60ft-0.861 sec., 330ft-2.150, 660ft-3.060/277.49mph, 1,000ft-3.826. Troxel made a good run, but was down a tenth and 10 mph at half track.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.495/323.50, Now #2
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.502/324.20, Now #4

Two more nice runs and another 49, but this one was not in the right lane and wasn't by Schumacher. Bernstein stayed #1 by a thousandth of a second to close out the first day of qualifying for the 2007 season.

Doug Kalitta's incremental times: 60ft-0.853 sec., 330ft-2.134, 660ft-3.037/277.26mph, 1,000ft-3.814
Tony Schumacher's incremental times: 60ft-0.856 sec., 330ft-2.137, 660ft-3.053/270.21mph, 1,000ft-3.826

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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