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Sun, 25 Feb 2007, 01:52 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals presented by Castrol:

   91 Larry Dixon                             9 Cory McClenathan             
E1                   0.063  9.998  92.65     ****WINNER****  0.109  4.528 322.65
 Qualified:             #8  4.511 323.19                        #9  4.516 327.51
Weather conditions: air temperature 61 degrees, relative humidity 21 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 1,443 feet, track temperature 86 degrees.

Dixon won his first National event here in 1995, he now has 419 round wins. He holds a 30 to 16 advantage over Cory Mac in head to head meetings. Cory Mac has 387 round wins and has won this event twice setting the national record at both of those events in 1994 and 1998. Dixon was out of the gate first, but up in smoke immediately. Cory Mac with a nice pass to start the day with the win and a lot of engine smoke right as he crossed the finish line.

    8 J.R. Todd                              12 Bob Vandergriff              
E1                   0.064  9.715  96.45     ****WINNER****  0.064  4.853 323.81
 Qualified:             #7  4.510 323.43                       #10  4.523 329.58
Todd has a 29 and 15 overall round win - lost record, and he beat Vandergriff the only time they have raced. Vandergriff was the runner-up here in 2000. They leave the line together, and Todd is up in smoke right off the starting line. Vandergriff started to haze the tires and he pedaled it and was able to save and take the win light. Todd attempted to get back on the throttle, but lost traction again.

   73 Whit Bazemore                          10 Hillary Will                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.104  4.513 326.95                     0.093  4.589 321.88
 Qualified:             #6  4.507 327.19                       #11  4.535 327.98
This is Bazemore's 70th different driver in his career, he has a 339 wins and 225 losses in his career. Will has qualified for all 25 events since turning Pro, and this is her 15th different driver. Will with a slight starting line advantage, but from there on it was all Bazemore with a real nice pass. Bazemore's chutes were late coming out again, but he got it stopped. Will with a good pass in the losing effort.

  104 Clay Millican                        1301 Doug Foley                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.072  4.802 247.84                     0.087  5.353 178.85
 Qualified:             #3  4.479 309.20                       #14  4.560 326.16
These two battled for the IHRA championship last, but this is the first time they have raced on the NHRA circuit. Millican leaves first and never looked back for the win light. Foley started mixing up cylinders around half track and the engine was spitting parts out. Millican's engine went away on the top end losing the blower belt. Millican will give up lane choice to Bazemore in the next round.

    5 Rod Fuller                              6 David Grubnic                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.079  4.466 329.91                     0.102  9.553  79.98
 Qualified:             #2  4.471 331.61                       #15  4.589 322.42
Fuller won this race last year and he has qualified in the top half of the field at 17 races in the last 18. Fuller holds a four to three advantage in head to head match ups with Grubnic. This is Grubnic's 177 start. Grubnic lost traction as soon as he hit the throttle. Fuller with a great pass, quick of the day so far. This is a career best E.T. for Fuller who will have lane choice in the next round against Vandergriff.

    1 Tony Schumacher                        11 Doug Herbert                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.059  4.498 328.70                     0.057  6.879 118.56
 Qualified:             #1  4.430 328.22                       #16  4.594 309.06
This is the 37th time Schumacher has qualified number one in his career. He has won this race twice in 2002 and 2005. He has a 21 to 8 advantage over Herbert in the head to head meetings. Herbert was the runner-up here in 1992. This is the 14th time Herbert has qualified in the number 16 spot, and the first time he qualified number 16 he won the race. Herbert lost traction around 200 feet and Schumacher blast on through the 1320 with another pass in the 4.40 zone. Schumacher will have lane choice over cory Mac.

    3 Brandon Bernstein                       2 Doug Kalitta                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.108  4.457 329.67                     0.052  4.595 326.63
 Qualified:             #4  4.494 330.31                       #13  4.547 327.90
Bernstein won this race in 2003 and 2004, he has qualified for 79 consecutive events. Kalitta was able to keep his qualifying streak alive at 162 event yesterday. Kalitta won this race 2001 and was runner-up in 2004. He hold a slight advantage over Bernstein in head to head meetings, nine to eight. This is a good looking drag race, but Bernstein with his quickest pass in his career for the win light. Brandon Bernstein's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.042), 330 ft(0.024), 660ft(0.048), 1,000ft(0.068). MOV: 0.0822 seconds (approximately 39 feet).

    4 Melanie Troxel                        743 Morgan Lucas                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.110  4.492 330.07                     0.074  7.576 105.27
 Qualified:             #5  4.495 331.12                       #12  4.539 326.32
Troxel was the runner-up here last year. She has an overall round win-lost record of 67 and 59. She holds a seven to two advantage over Lucas in head to head match ups. They are racing as teammates for the first time here. Lucas' overall career round win-lost record is 58-53. With Melanie, Ashley Force and Erica Enders all qualifying for this race, it is the first time that women have qualified in the top three Pro categories at the same event. Lucas gets the starting line advantage, but Troxel has the difference made up by 100 feet and never looked back as she runs her quickest pass of the event. Lucas lost traction and clicked it off. Troxel will give up lane choice to Bernstein in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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