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Sat, 1 Sep 2007, 04:16 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By David Gerard

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Funny Car 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:
Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 14.612/78.82, Now #21; Best prior run: 11.484/74.00, Was #20
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 7.490/109.30, Now #20; No Prior Run

3:32 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 37 percent, barometer 29.25 inches, adjusted altitude 2,325 feet, track temperature 119 degrees.

Pedregon's tires are up heavily in smoke as soon as he hit the throttle. Barton doesn't get to the 330 lights before giving it up too.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 8.558/99.08, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.051/153.16, Was #18
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 19.426/38.48, Now #22; Best prior run: 13.498/62.33, Was #22

Bode emulated Pedregon and does another burn out off the starting line. Johnson does the 330 foot shutoff too. Looks like both lanes are "equal" [bad]!

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.056/290.26, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.639/174.87, Was #17
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 6.181/151.17, Now #19; Best prior run: 7.004/121.49, Was #19

It was ugly, but Gilbertson drives the wounded car far enough to just bump into the field for now. The engine was really flat sounding for the last half of the track and eating itself up. Pedregon car was moving along well until just after the 330 lights and then the tires started to spin.

Left Lane: Jon Capps Runs 6.987/118.21, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.826/311.49, Was #14
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.902/319.52, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.202/289.20, Was #17

Capps gets to half track before traction problems set in. Wilkerson's car was soft down low, but he gets a full pull to bump into the now four second field.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.052/280.49, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.818/316.90, Was #13
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.933/303.84, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.882/264.23, Was #15

Force has the best numbers of the session until near the thousand foot mark, where the engine starts to eat itself up. Densham ran with him to mid-track and then got out of the groove and lifted.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 10.494/81.71, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.805/319.75, Was #10
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.898/318.77, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.810/321.27, Was #12

Kalitta is out first and leads until after the 330 light and then smokes the tires. Beckman keeps most of the cylinder firing and makes the best run of the session. Neither car improves.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 6.603/174.12, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.805/324.67, Was #9
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 9.155/89.48, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.809/314.17, Was #11

They leave together and then smoke the tires together. Ashley pumps it a couple of times and drives on through to the lights in the hope of getting a later run order position for the vital night session later this evening.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.943/303.64, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.804/324.12, Was #8
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.920/314.46, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.799/322.50, Was #7

Finally, two cars get from start to finish under power. Not spectacular, but good heat of the afternoon tune ups.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.880/319.07, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.764/323.89, Was #3
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.963/314.68, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.797/320.81, Was #6

The Prock Rocket takes over the best ET of the session with a nice looking pass.Toliver makes it two in a row in the other lane. Cool!

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 6.978/125.90, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.754/309.70, Was #2
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.915/316.52, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.785/323.66, Was #5

Force makes a strong leave and then starts a "tail wag" when the tires go up in smoke near the 660 lights. Worsham has most of the cylinders firing down track and makes one of the few full passes of the session.

4:01 p.m. Looks like some stuff on the track in Force's lane way down at the last turnout.The dusting and cleaning has started.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 5.136/236.63, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.754/327.51, Was #1
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.732/167.34, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.773/324.98, Was #4

4:04 p.m. ...that didn't take long! Last pair of the session.

Arend is on another great pass until the rubber band comes off near the 1000 foot mark. Capps was slower down low, but had better numbers than the CSK car by mid-track. It goes bad there and he slows.

4:08 p.m. Tim Wilkerson is on the bump spot at 4.902.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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