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Fri, 9 Feb 2007, 09:22 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 3 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Right Lane: Dennis Swearingen Runs 7.515/121.16, Now #22; No Prior Run

5:13 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 66 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.16 inches, adjusted altitude 1,536 feet, track temperature 74 degrees.

This will be Swearingen's only attempt to qualify. The car is lazy off the line and then powers hard towards the centerline. He lifts and stabs it again, but finally has to give it up.

Left Lane: Mike Austin Runs 5.996/226.54, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.202/211.66, Was #20
Right Lane: Chris Perl Runs 5.272/266.32, Now #2; Best prior run: 34.651/44.86, Was #23

Greg Tacke is on the bump spot at 5.646. Stout field! Outhouse to Penthouse! Perl [if the car isn't light] will be racing tomorrow. Austin continues to struggle. He runs a much better ET and still loses a spot on the ladder.

Left Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.963/237.88, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.909/246.44, Was #19
Right Lane: Frank Dischbein Runs 9.607/88.26, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.383/158.41, Was #22

Jeff Veale is on the bump spot at 5.607. No joy for these two.

Left Lane: Edwin Schmeeckle Runs 6.338/162.18, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.736/253.18, Was #18
Right Lane: Brian Smith Runs 13.458/77.25, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.914/243.02, Was #20

Smith smokes the tires at the hit. Schmeeckle is all over the track getting to the finish line and has "stuff" out of the motor to boot.

Left Lane: Greg Tacke No Time, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.646/227.31, Was #17
Right Lane: Jeff Veale No Time, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.607/252.57, Was #16

These two are fighting it out for the bump spot. Veale has it and Tacke wants it! Oh, well! Tacke's car is pushed off to the side and Veale's car leaves hard and drives right over the center line before mid-track. His time was DQ'ed, but it was only a 7.006 ET at 128.62 MPH.

Left Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.654/226.13, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.569/239.02, Was #15
Right Lane: Jeff Isbell Runs 6.683/142.49, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.487/257.28, Was #13

Big bang from the blower before mid-track by Isbell and fire off the back of the engine down the track. Eakins gets to the finish line under power, but slows from his earlier passes. They are doing a little clean up in Isbell's lane near the turn out.

Left Lane: Darryl Hitchman Runs 5.661/242.58, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.536/231.95, Was #14
Right Lane: Brandon Johnson Runs 5.342/266.79, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.462/256.02, Was #12

Two full pulls and Johnson picks up a bunch to move into the top half of the field. Hitchman runs a better MPH, but can't beat his earlier ET's.

Left Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.333/264.86, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.436/262.03, Was #12
Right Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 5.333/250.32, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.417/249.76, Was #11

WOW! Nice pair of runs! They leave the line with identical RT's and then run identical ET's. the blown car of Perkins has the MPH advantage at the top end. A .0001 difference!! Cool...Cody Perkins' incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.497/216.31mph, 1,000ft-4.487
Brandon Pierce's incremental times: 60ft-0.926 sec., 330ft-2.387, 660ft-3.503/222.99mph, 1,000ft-4.466

Left Lane: Garrett Bateman Runs 10.353/82.44, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.397/258.86, Was #11
Right Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.438/263.72, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.408/265.90, Was #12

Bateman shake the tire loose at about 100 feet, but Demke runs another great five forty time in the other lane.

Right Lane: Jim Whiteley No Time, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.397/267.96, Was #10

Whiteley with a single run and a good thing too! The car leaves hard with a strong .943 sixty foot time and then powers over the center line about mid-track. He snaps it hard back into the right lane and drives hard into the guard rail. In a cloud of sparks, the car flew back across the track and into the left guard rail at a sharp angle. The car continues on down the left lane in a wall of sparks and sounded like it over rev'ed the engine. It may have tagged the right guard rail again before stopping on the track after the finish line. The TV folks have already gone home after the Pro's, so no coverage of the pass. It's reported that Whiteley is generally OK, walking around, and taking to the Safety Safari guys. 5:48 p.m.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.124/277.09, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.291/263.92, Was #3
Right Lane: Sean O'Bannon Runs 5.349/269.51, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.371/268.76, Was #9

6:07 p.m. Thank God for good safety equipment...the engines are started and we are back to qualifying.

Oh, my goodness!!! What a pass!!! Lucas runs close to the track and national ET and MPH record on that pass... Almost unnoticed in the right lane, O'Bannon makes a strong pass too and moves into the current top half of the field. Morgan Lucas' incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.302, 660ft-3.388/229.04mph, 1,000ft-4.321

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.240/269.83, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.264/275.62, Was #2
Right Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 9.076/90.03, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.356/262.03, Was #9

Nice pass for Shields, as he improves on his earlier 5.264 pass. Miersch was right with him to the 330 lights and then lifted.

6:15 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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