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Fri, 23 Feb 2007, 04:38 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Darryl Jackman

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals presented by Castrol listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.363/112.31, Now #1
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.806/169.04, Now #2

1:57 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 23 percent, barometer 28.23 inches, adjusted altitude 1,950 feet, track temperature 83 degrees.

Funny Car is out for the first hit. It appears from the skies at this moment that we are going to get away with Friday. the only thing that might slow so is if the track gets to cold later in the evening. Densham didn't quite make it to half track and Worsham only went a few feet further.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 9.933/90.17, Now #3
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 13.055/45.33, Now #4

Bernstein has been on this track a lot lately. He crossed over his license here in late January and here he is again. That wasn't very pretty as they both shook hard and lost traction at about 100ft.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 12.318/71.39, Now #5
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 9.182/97.86, Now #3

Both drivers rattle the tires hard again and the result is the same as earlier pairs. Tire smoke abounds.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.878/257.58, Now #1
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 5.170/218.09, Now #2

Head really had is hands full as the Toyota made a huge more towards the center stripe. Force was pretty busy herself as the rattled the tires loose at about 1000ft and had to lift.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 11.065/87.65, Now #8
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 5.797/167.68, Now #4

The wind is really beginning to whip up right now and might have an effect on the cars. The smoke and fuel could shows that the wind is coming in from the right at a brisk pace. Johnson fell victim to tire shake, same as most of the rest. Gilbertson got loose very early in the run and had to abort.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 10.068/92.46, Now #9
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 6.682/131.93, Now #6

Beckman was loose after 330 and had to lift. Kalitta with more of the same.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.359/236.51, Now #3
Right Lane: John Force Runs 5.507/232.99, Now #5

At the moment there is a dust storm that is actually covering the end of the track. No chance of that as both were coasting at the finish. Force pedaled a couple of times and appeared to injure parts on the top end. Wilkerson had the same result but with far less excitement. Both turned off before the blowing sand.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 9.302/88.05, Now #11
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.747/319.22, Now #1

This was the middle of the pair qualified pair at the Winters. Since the first session pairings are on points, here they are again. T. Pedregon just misses his track record of 4.70. Certainly that was the best looking run of the session. C. Pedregon will go back and do some head scratching before tonight's second session.

Left Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 8.738/93.75, Now #11
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.750/321.12, Now #2

Capps just misses Pedregon's top time and has to settle for #2 after his run. His pass seemed less stressful than Pedregon's as his engine sounded sharp even as he crossed the stripe. Medlen rattled the Goodyears and tried a slap that failed.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 6.001/185.28, Now #11
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.956/293.15, Now #4

Arend gets into the fours but that was an ugly run! The header flames on the left side of the engine were much more visible than the right and as the car got close to the stripe the engine should signs of eating it's self up. A better run now means better seeding in the round of qualifying this evening so he stayed with the run. Ashley shook hard, pedaled and then finally gave up.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 9.670/88.49, Now #17
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.794/309.20, Now #3

Scelzi appeared to be on the run of the session until something went south in the Dodge engine at about 1100ft. The car fell off and Scelzi winds up #3 in an off and on session. Hight experienced the shake and smoke issues that plagued so many others. Top Fuel will tackle what appears to be a pretty tricky track...right after the dust storm clears from the starting line area. The Safari won't have to clean but it was close.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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