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Sat, 10 Feb 2007, 08:54 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Arley Langlo No Time, Now #21; No Prior Run

5:01 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 68 degrees, relative humidity 35 percent, barometer 29.02 inches, adjusted altitude 1,825 feet, track temperature 81 degrees.

It's really starting to cool down and the sun is setting behind the high clouds. After all of the excitement in Funny Car, TF may set a new quickest field too.

The engine starts up and then quickly dies in Langlo's dragster. The crew calmly puts away the starter and then push the car away. Hmmm...???

Left Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 13.580/83.44, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.116/243.99, Was #20
Right Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.518/328.78, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.709/291.26, Was #18

WOW! That didn't take long!! A new Nation Record for Top Fuel Qualifying in the first pair to take the green!

Strasburg makes a career best ET and near best MPH. He almost bumps into the top half of the field. It's over at the hit for Chrisman, as the tires go up in smoke at the hit.

Left Lane: Doug Foley Runs 5.051/202.70, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.905/216.24, Was #19
Right Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 4.575/322.34, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.647/283.07, Was #18

...and the hits keep coming Hartley runs his career best too and bumps into the field. Foley begins the pass well and then has engine failure near mid-track.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 4.633/266.58, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.630/302.75, Was #18
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.566/317.64, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.566/318.09, Was #15

Lucas has too short a fuze on the engine. He had the numbers down low to bump into the field. Herbert repeats to the thousandths and will stay #15 for now.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 9.719/75.39, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.577/327.43, Was #17
Right Lane: Hillary Will Runs 4.545/322.81, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.561/320.28, Was #14

Millican is the last car that can bump into his record field, but smokes the tires before the 3300 lights. Will has the tune up and makes a clean pass up the ladder into the current #11 spot.

Left Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.536/318.77, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.556/322.65, Was #14
Right Lane: Alan Bradshaw Runs 4.637/312.93, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.552/321.04, Was #13

Vandergriff's car is back on four wheels and powers into the new #11 spot with a near clean pass. Lots of "stuff" from the engine in the lights slows him down a little. Bradshaw stays with him until mid-track and then slows from his prior best.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.824/235.47, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.530/334.07, Was #10
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.541/332.51, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.541/332.51, Was #12

Major move off the line for McClenathan with a .851 and nice pass until about 900 feet, when the engine expires big time with a lot of flames. Troxel doesn't spin the tires this time. Both a great ET and big MPH keep the Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA dragster in the #12 spot.

5:23 p.m. Lots of clean up in the left lane.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.533/315.78, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.504/327.59, Was #6
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 5.300/182.75, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.517/327.35, Was #8

5:28 p.m. ...and we are back. Four clean passes in a row for Dixon in the new SkyTel dragster. Grubnic was on a good pass too and them had mechanical problems just before the 1000 foot lights.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.551/281.19, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.494/331.61, Was #3
Right Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.507/325.14, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.516/329.75, Was #7

Bazemore improves on his ET, but will stay #7. Nice pass! Bernstein had better number through the 1000 foot, until the engine gave up and he slowed a bunch. They are doing a little clean up in his lane at the top end.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.472/331.36, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.483/328.30, Was #2
Right Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 4.504/319.29, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.500/325.77, Was #5

Bang! Schumacher moves the top spot up another notch with a strong pass. The car made a move towards the center line near the lights and he pulled it back to save the run. J.R. Todd has another clean pass and shows the consistency for running rounds tomorrow.

Left Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.489/329.75, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.481/327.27, Was #2
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.499/322.96, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.495/323.50, Was #4

This field just keeps getting better. Two more "forties" for these two. Kalitta's pass could have been better, as the flames went down before the lights. Great passes to end qualifying.

5:44 p.m. U.S. Army on the top with a 4.472 ET and Joe Hartley on the bump spot at 4.575.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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