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Fri, 23 Feb 2007, 07:18 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Darryl Jackman

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Notes from round 2 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 10.742/77.76, Now #20; Best prior run: 13.055/45.33, Was #21
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.295/154.12, Now #13; Best prior run: 11.065/87.65, Was #19

4:27 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 59 degrees, relative humidity 24 percent, barometer 28.82 inches, adjusted altitude 1,405 feet, track temperature 82 degrees.

This just about duplicates the first run for both of these racers. Both rattled the tires hard and both sets of Goodyears were trailing smoke by about 100ft. Two more tries on Saturday for them.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.748/323.04, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.682/131.93, Was #12
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 9.658/89.13, Now #17; Best prior run: 10.068/92.46, Was #19

Beckman picks up the pace big time here in session two. Fast Jack goes to #2 and sets the class top speed mark for the moment. The head scratching continues in the Kalitta camp.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.296/222.58, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.806/169.04, Was #11
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 5.804/165.13, Now #12; Best prior run: 9.933/90.17, Was #19

Worsham was on and off the pedal several times but manages #8 in what could be described as a soft field, early. Bartone was all over his lane and at about half track he gave the pedal a slap that resulted in the front wheels getting off the ground about 8-10 inches. It drove him into the stripe and he had to lift.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.733/330.88, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.797/167.68, Was #11
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.636/327.74, Now #1; Best prior run: 9.670/88.49, Was #19

Ok. It appears the AAA team has it figured out as Prock tunes Hight to the quickest run in Funny Car history. Johnson made a great lap but just got lost in the hype as Hight drove around him and into momentary history. Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.878 sec., 330ft-2.243, 660ft-3.175/273.16mph, 1,000ft-3.955 Conditions are really good!

Left Lane: John Force Runs 8.256/111.32, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.507/232.99, Was #12
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.110/218.87, Now #9; Best prior run: 9.302/88.05, Was #18

Lots of flash and flame underneath C.Pedregon's racer right after half track. It appeared to be a headgasket, at the least. Force tried to pedal the Mustang but it was to no avail. At half track the tires rattled loose and the engine rpms really zinged to high C.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.730/319.82, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.170/218.09, Was #10
Right Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 4.740/321.81, Now #4; Best prior run: 8.738/93.75, Was #17

Of course John was in front of the tower to watch Ashley make her career best run, both ET and mph. She slots in behind Hight. In a way that's tough. Career best is a tenth off the pace. Medlen was just a tick behind and goes to #4.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.954/295.08, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.956/293.15, Was #10
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.727/326.48, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.001/185.28, Was #16

M. Ashley pushes Ashley Force down a spot with his best run of the season. He's #2 and Force falls to #3 by .003 seconds. Arend was chewing up some parts, but the good news is they stayed inside the engine.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.697/330.07, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.794/309.20, Was #9
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 9.539/89.36, Now #19; No Prior Run

Densham rattled the tires loose early in the run and could only watch as Scelzi puts his Dodge in the 4.6s, right behind Hight.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 9.706/89.48, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.750/321.12, Was #9
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.810/314.09, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.359/236.51, Was #14

Wilkerson got very close to the center line from 1000ft to the finish. So close I couldn't actually tell if he did cross. Capps struck the tires early and was a spectator on this one.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.659/324.44, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.747/319.22, Was #7
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 6.204/153.58, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.878/257.58, Was #11

Well, 4.6s are cheap in Funny Car. T.Pedregon runs the third quickest run in Funny Car history. He just misses taking that top spot away from Hight. Head was very close numbers wise to Pedregon until his engine took it's self apart. Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.868 sec., 330ft-2.251, 660ft-3.200/270.48mph, 1,000ft-3.980

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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