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Sun, 11 Feb 2007, 04:28 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By David Gerard





POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 47th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   72 Mike Strasburg                          6 David Grubnic                
E1                   0.090  8.873  99.03     ****WINNER****  0.074  4.563 323.43
 Qualified:             #9  4.518 328.78                        #8  4.517 327.35
12:50 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 66 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.03 inches, adjusted altitude 1,738 feet, track temperature 79 degrees. Lots of low clouds with interminant sunshine for first round. The TF'ers are qualified so close together that this could be anyone's day to win. With all of the rain last night and this morning, we have a whole new track for the teams to deal with. In addition, due to the weather delay this morning, the Pro's are on a 65 minute turn around between rounds. Grubnic is making his one hundred and seventh-six start and is 1/0 against Strasburg.

Strasburg ran a careen best to qualify yesterday.

It's Grubnic wire to wire, as he gets the advantage off the line and better numbers down low. It's over for Strasburg by 100 feet, when the tires start to spin and smoke.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    9 Cory McClenathan                       73 Whit Bazemore                
E1                   0.078  7.492 265.95     ****WINNER****  0.076  6.499 200.98
 Qualified:            #10  4.530 334.07                        #7  4.507 325.14
Bazemore meets his sixty-eighth different opponent today and McClenathan, his eighty-fourth. He was runner up in 2003.

Pedal fest, after the two leave the line together. Bazemore gets the advantage, when McClenathan strikes the tires first. Road speed and seven pumps for Bazemore give him his first win in TF. He may have wanted to hit the throttle more, but the blower belt broke after mid-track.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   12 Bob Vandergriff                        91 Larry Dixon                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.101  4.563 324.83                     0.053  4.708 306.74
 Qualified:            #11  4.536 318.77                        #6  4.504 327.59
Dixon has won here three times, 1998, 2002, and 2003. He has a 13/6 advantage over Vandergriff.

Vandergriff is making his one hundred and forty-seventh start in Top Fuel.

Dixon is first off the line, but it's all Vandergriff down track. He runs close to his qualifying to take the upset win in a side by side pass.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    4 Melanie Troxel                          8 J.R. Todd                    
E1                   0.037 11.051  83.90     ****WINNER****  0.074  4.699 295.27
 Qualified:            #12  4.541 332.51                        #5  4.500 325.77
Todd is making his nineteenth start in Top Fuel, thirteen times from the top half of the field. He is 3/1 against Melanie Troxel.

Troxel is the defending Winternationals champion and only Larry Dixon has ever repeated.

Troxel's engine goes silent off the line and she just rolls on down the track. Todd has his hands full near the top end light, as he gets the car nearly sideways trying to stay in his lane. Looked like one of the Drifting racers.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  524 Joe Hartley                             1 Tony Schumacher              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.069  5.252 257.33                     0.080  6.650 130.85
 Qualified:            #16  4.575 322.34                        #1  4.472 331.36
Schumacher now has thirty-six number one qualifying spots, three at this event. He has a 4/0 advantage over Hartley

Hartley is making his 24th start in Top Fuel, three times from the #16 spot.

Major upset as Schumacher's car strikes the tires about the 330 mark. Harley's run was no jewel, as he is in and out of the throttle down track. He'll give up lane choice to Grubnic next round.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   11 Doug Herbert                            5 Rod Fuller                   
E1                   0.096  6.453 111.63     ****WINNER****  0.071  4.807 323.04
 Qualified:            #15  4.566 318.09                        #2  4.481 327.27
Fuller is making his forty-third start and is 5/2 against Herbert.This the fourteenth time that Herbert has qualified in the #15 position and he was the runner up here in 2005.

Fuller "almost" wire to wire with a brief time in front at the 330 mark for Herbert. 'Rod Fuller's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.024), 330 ft(-0.161), 660ft(0.024), 1,000ft(0.636). MOV: 1.6718 seconds (more than 100 feet).

Herbert's day then goes from great to terrible with major engine carnage right after the 330 lights. Fuller passes him and takes the win, while Herbert stops on the track with the injectors sitting almost sideways on the engine.

Fuller will have lane choice over Bazemore in round two.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   10 Hillary Will                            2 Doug Kalitta                 
E1                         No Time           ****WINNER****  0.115  5.975 150.73
 Qualified:            #13  4.545 322.81                        #4  4.495 323.50
Kalitta has one hundred and sixty-one starts in TF and has a 4/0 win/loss advantage over Will.

Will has her work cut out for her, as no one has won this race from the thirteenth position in twenty-five years.

Make that 26 years, as Will can't get the racer in reverse and has to motor on down the track. Kalitta waits and was there for the picking, as he has to pump the throttle several times to get to the finish line.

J.R. Todd will get lane choice later today.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  530 Alan Bradshaw                           3 Brandon Bernstein            
E1                   0.077  5.338 200.14     ****WINNER****  0.072  4.519 327.66
 Qualified:            #14  4.552 321.04                        #3  4.494 331.61
Bernstein has qualified at everyone of his seventh-eighth appearances

Bradshaw is making his twelfth start and is 1/0 against Bernstein.

Excellent run and low ET to the round to the Bud Team. Clean pass from start to finish. Bradshaw had to pump it a couple of times and then gave it up.

1:16 p.m. Bernstein will have lane choice over Vandergriff in sixty five minutes or so...

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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