CHANDLER, Ariz. - Notes from round 3 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: Bob Bode Runs 7.866/112.73, Now #18; Best prior run: 12.318/71.39, Was #22
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 9.026/99.10, Now #19; Best prior run: 9.182/97.86, Was #18
1:22 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 70 degrees, relative humidity 16 percent, barometer 29.05 inches, adjusted altitude 1,832 feet, track temperature 94 degrees.
We open with Bode and Haddock, two independents and neither one of them currently in the show. 0-2 is the score on the first pair.
Both strike the tires at about 150ft, have tire smoke and raw fuel coming out of the pipes. Not a pretty beginning.
Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 7.852/106.44, Now #18; Best prior run: 9.658/89.13, Was #21
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 9.677/92.31, Now #22; Best prior run: 10.742/77.76, Was #22
Another pair of side by side tire smokers. Both of these cars are down to their last shot at the CSK field later on this afternoon.
Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.841/316.08, Now #11; Best prior run: 9.539/89.36, Was #21
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.828/260.91, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.750/321.12, Was #9
It appears that Capps's chute way out well before the finish line and he speed was off about 70 mph. Densham rode the center stripe after half track but makes the field for the moment. He's #11 and Bartone is out of the show. That puts J. Force on the bubble.
Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.926/294.18, Now #13; Best prior run: 7.295/154.12, Was #18
Right Lane: John Force Runs 8.580/101.58, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.507/232.99, Was #16
Here we go again. Force is at 393 straight but now goes into the final round not qualified...again. Just like Pomona he strikes the tires again in the third session and gets bumped by Gilbertson. Gilbertson had as ugly a four second run as you could imagine. As the car got further and further down course the header flames changed color and parts began to exit the bottom of the engine. After several flashes he reached the finish and could pull the chutes. Currently the Safety is cleaning the lane behind the Autolite XP Dodge Stratus.
Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 12.313/71.95, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.878/257.58, Was #12
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 7.929/100.61, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.296/222.58, Was #16
I hate to repeat myself but this is not a real pretty session. Worsham is still in, as is Head, but both loose traction early in the run.
Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 6.918/122.48, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.804/165.13, Was #18
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 8.295/92.14, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.954/295.08, Was #14
Bartone started this session on the bump but is currently #18. Arend is in the field and will likely remain there for the rest of this session. both cars loose traction before half track and Bartone will be down to that final session.
Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.730/261.02, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.110/218.87, Was #15
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.913/303.78, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.748/323.04, Was #8
This was ugly and working on being REALLY ugly! Beckman drove away from Cruz early in the run after the Advance Auto Parts car struck the tires. Cruz tired to pedal the car and when he did the engine exploded and caused the body to arc up to the point he appeared blinded. The body distortion make also have locked the front wheels and he drifted over into the lane behind Beckman. Cruz passed Beckman on the right hand side and between him and the wall. Beckman jerked the wheel to the left and turned early when Pedregon passed him. Cruz is out of the car and talking to Alan Reinhart at the top end and he says he'll return for the final round. Exciting for all the wrong reasons folks.
Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.942/273.00, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.810/314.09, Was #10
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 9.200/90.76, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.733/330.88, Was #6
Johnson struck the tires early in the run and he watched Wilkerson ride the center line to the finish. Neither driver improves.
Left Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 12.185/87.42, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.740/321.81, Was #7
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 10.095/80.99, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.730/319.82, Was #5
Both Force cars smoke the tires early and coast for most of the length of the track. Both cars are well positioned in the top half with the Boss sitting at #17.
Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 7.111/116.12, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.727/326.48, Was #4
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 9.599/77.10, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.697/330.07, Was #3
Not a pretty session. Both drivers are pedaling before 330 and after that they both fall silent.
Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 12.898/72.32, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.636/327.74, Was #1
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 8.978/88.99, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.659/324.44, Was #2
What will Prock come up with in this session? Same thing everyone else did, tire smoke. Hight was trailing smoke at about 100ft. Pedregon got a bit further but his hit ended the same as the rest with more smoke. That closes out the first nitro session of the day.