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Sat, 10 Feb 2007, 04:22 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car 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: Grant Downing Runs 4.900/315.78, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.026/298.47, Was #18

12:33 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 30 percent, barometer 29.11 inches, adjusted altitude 2,146 feet, track temperature 87 degrees.

Downing is going to have to make a career run as the bump is now Arend at 4.849. Downing's career best? 4.933. Well, the good news is that Downing makes the career best run he was looking for, but still not quick enough to make the show. Big mph for the team.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 4.879/311.56, Now #18; Best prior run: 11.549/89.64, Was #23
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 8.285/103.72, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.810/281.19, Was #12

Force is on and off the pedal before the tires just gave up the ghost. Lots of smoke and a coasting racer. Haddock was down Broadway but just ever to slow! He just misses.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 10.248/80.09, Now #23; Best prior run: 11.114/76.64, Was #23
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.848/306.46, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.085/122.96, Was #21

Well...John is in, but I don't think that's quite what the team had in mind when they decided they would qualify here in round three. The Mustang was not exactly a happy horse and Reinhart just announced that Force had a fire in his further comment. Bernstein had more problems than Force and he was coasted very early in the run.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 11.697/66.80, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.073/288.03, Was #21
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 5.597/176.40, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.795/316.01, Was #10

Bode took a shot at Force but he was coasting early in the run. Head made it to half track before he rattled the tires. At least he was already in.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.905/237.13, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.693/326.79, Was #1
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.894/327.66, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.869/318.09, Was #18

Ashley is next to try and put Force down to #17. Ashley was on and off the pedal too many times to make this field. In the end he just misses. Hight lost traction as he approached the lights and he coasted through.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.748/324.98, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.778/322.34, Was #8
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 10.370/76.07, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.849/323.97, Was #17

Arend is currently .001 out of the field behind Force before this run. After the run he remains right where he was. His CSK Blue racer was smoking the Goodyear's early in the run. Johnson gets the quickest hit of the session in the left lane.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.884/302.75, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.210/215.55, Was #22
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.845/305.36, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.800/327.03, Was #11

Bartone is the last car of the session that could bump Force. The early numbers looked good but as the car approached the finish it was getting closer and closer to the center line. He lifted early and just missed. Worsham's motor wasn't real happy and he was off early as well.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.797/322.65, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.833/317.19, Was #14
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.727/330.55, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.741/327.82, Was #3

Low ET of the round and better numbers than hit Thursday hit, but still he will remain #3. He is now the quickest car of this session though. Wilkerson was right with Capps and only fell off a little right at the end. Big speed for Capps.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.802/317.05, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.830/320.74, Was #14
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 5.620/170.28, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.774/325.53, Was #8

Beckman had his ride fall silent at about 900ft and coasted out the back light. Densham picks up just a little and goes from 14 to #13.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon No Time, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.843/302.01, Was #15
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.794/268.28, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.749/317.42, Was #7

Cruz will have his 4.807/291.19 DQd since he went bowling for cones and took out the finish and mph markers. Tony got there first so his time counts.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.927/165.40, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.788/312.86, Was #9
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 10.289/83.87, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.741/317.05, Was #4

Kalitta struck the tires but Gilbertson disappeared in a cloud of orange fumes. I think the rubber band might have fallen off. Both are strong in the field so I'm certain they will be a little disappointed by the inconsistency of the runs.

Left Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 4.851/314.31, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.744/325.22, Was #5
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.754/330.07, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.726/328.54, Was #2

There is just something about the DSR Funny Cars and big speeds. Scelzi makes his second hit out of three at over 330 mph. He remains #2 in the qualifying list. Medlen was side by side with Scelzi but his pony needed just a few more oats to catch the Dodge. The session will end with Hight on the pole and his boss on the bump. On to the long cars.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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