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Sat, 1 Sep 2007, 11:54 AM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Dan Bennett

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals 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:
Right Lane: Ken Perry Runs 8.044/76.52, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.901/102.61, Was #20

11:16 a.m. and it's going to take better than a 5.662 to get into the field. Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 45 percent, barometer 29.26 inches, adjusted altitude 2,265 feet, track temperature 87 degrees.

Perry leaves normally and then bangs the blower at 4 to 5 hundred feet. He rolls to a stop in the shutdown area and waits for a tow off the track.

Left Lane: Brandon Lewis Runs 12.581/90.00, Now #23; Best prior run: 12.144/75.20, Was #22
Right Lane: Todd Datweiler Runs 5.420/265.53, Now #10; Best prior run: 16.254/57.58, Was #23

Neither of these cars has made it to the finish line under power as yet this weekend, and they're running out of chances. Both are capable of getting solidly into the qualified order.

Lewis hammers the tires in the first 100 feet and loses this chance. Datweiler makes a good run into the 10th position.

Left Lane: Jared Dreher Runs 7.630/113.76, Now #22; Best prior run: 9.720/82.42, Was #22
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.273/277.54, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.401/272.17, Was #7

Randy Eakins is now on the bump spot at 5.614.

Reichert lays down a pass showing what the team is capable of. Dreher begins to quiver the tires, gets them under control, and then begins to spin again as the car moves left out of the groove.

Left Lane: Ray Hack Runs 5.610/256.02, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.706/255.34, Was #19
Right Lane: Noah Condo Runs 5.359/264.44, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.453/262.90, Was #11

Two local racers line up. Hack's from Valparaiso, which is about as far north as you can be and still be in Indiana. Condo hails from Monticello which is a hour or so away.

Nothing wrong on either side that I could see. Hack gets in for now but likely won't last the session.

Left Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 15.431/60.22, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.662/262.08, Was #18
Right Lane: Shawn Umphries Runs 5.461/253.28, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.746/244.47, Was #20

Ray Hack takes over the bump spot at 5.610.

Pierce smokes the tires at the hit, while Umphries runs the quickest pass in his career by a bunch. Way to go for the Nevada team. He picks up almost 10 mph also, making great progress in his short career.

Left Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.380/252.10, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.614/247.38, Was #18
Right Lane: Robin Samsel Runs 22.957/28.89, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.682/241.37, Was #20

Samsel's rear tires jumped up at the hit and immediately started boiling white smoke. Eakins runs a good pass and picks up ten spots in the order.

Left Lane: Dave Heitzman Runs 13.118/66.29, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.603/259.61, Was #17
Right Lane: Tim Bowgren Runs 5.379/265.74, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.575/254.81, Was #16

Tim Bowgren is on the bump spot at 5.575.

We've been in direct sunlight all morning and the track temp has now risen to 107. It's still got plenty of hook as we've seen from the previous passes.

Another car running out of Valpo in the right lane. It makes a good pass and picks up a bunch. Instant smoke for Heitzman.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.366/265.74, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.300/267.91, Was #2
Right Lane: Dave Hedges Jr. Runs 5.566/253.52, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.556/258.71, Was #16

Hedges has been going quicker with each pass, while Lucas has been slowing down. Hedges is currently on the bump so his focus this round has to be in getting some breathing room.

Lucas takes his time lighting his last bulb as Hedges waits with his RPMs up.

Hedges almost repeats his previous best ET (which is not a good thing) while Morgan goes very near the top of the order.

Left Lane: Marty Thacker Runs 5.382/266.58, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.374/267.32, Was #7
Right Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 5.924/238.01, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.520/257.28, Was #15

Thacker repeats but doesn't improve. Meyer has an assortment of dead cylinders and lopes (not sprints) to the finish line.

Left Lane: Jeff Bohr Runs 5.371/267.48, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.411/265.90, Was #11
Right Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 5.233/272.94, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.413/267.53, Was #12

Spencer left first and then the cars pretty much maintained their relative distance to just past half track. The fuel load started pushing the Massey car and he easily drove away from Bohr.

The Snowman team from Texas is our new top qualifier.

Left Lane: Kate Harker Runs 5.408/257.87, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.361/267.75, Was #7
Right Lane: Duane Shields Runs 18.207/53.08, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.392/267.53, Was #12

Harker began this session in the 4th position and has been dropped down 3 spots.

Shields blasts the tires at the hit. Harker gets off the line but her tires begin to spin and she slaps the pedal once at about 300 feet. The car recovers and goes straight to the finish line. She cards a pretty decent time considering it was more or less a busted run until she saved it.

Left Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 6.785/137.13, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.301/261.07, Was #4
Right Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.257/273.39, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.354/273.16, Was #5

Hirata shuts off at half track, while Olivarez goes across the finish line under power and jumps to the second spot.

Massey leads the field with Hedges in the 16th and final spot. We've got one more session so please stay tuned.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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