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Sat, 1 Sep 2007, 09:20 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from round 3 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: Bob Bode Runs 12.431/76.97, Now #22; Best prior run: 13.498/62.33, Was #22
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.786/321.04, Now #6; Best prior run: 11.484/74.00, Was #21

8:28 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 78 degrees, relative humidity 40 percent, barometer 29.22 inches, adjusted altitude 2,319 feet, track temperature 92 degrees.

Pedregon is usually in the show by now and has the most to lose, being in the countdown to the championship race.Tim Wilkerson is on the bump spot at 4.902.

He takes care of that little problem in a hurry with a clean and safe run into the top half of the field for now. Bode is up in smoke by sixty feet and clicks it off.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.803/320.28, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.809/314.17, Was #12
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 9.443/89.76, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.805/319.75, Was #11

Kalitta has better numbers down low, but is too agressive for the track. The slicks are up in smoke before the 330 foot mark.Nice pass for Bernstein and he just misses the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 6.583/129.97, Now #21; Best prior run: 7.490/109.30, Was #21
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 11.699/82.93, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.051/153.16, Was #19

John Force is on the bump spot at 4.882. The sun is down now and we are enjoying the header flames, noise, and speed!

Oh, my! Barton almost drives the racer into the wall at mid-track, as the Lucas Oil funny car makes a violent move towards the wall. He quickly jerks it back to save the shiny. Good job of driving. Far less drama in the right lane, as Johnson is up in smoke after the sixty-foot lights and has to lift.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 6.787/130.00, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.181/151.17, Was #20
Right Lane: Jon Capps Runs 4.883/318.47, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.826/311.49, Was #15

We had a brief delay in qualifying to allow for the crowning of the Ringers Glove Pro Bike Challenge Champion on the starting line.

Brother Cruz isn't in the field yet and won't on this run either. Both cars leave together and run that was until just before the 660 lights, where the pipes go wet and the Advanced Auto Parts Impala slows. Capps makes another four eighty pass to stay #15 for now.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.173/207.37, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.773/324.98, Was #4
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 6.735/135.16, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.754/309.70, Was #2

Both cars leave hard and run almost identical 60 foot number [.897/.898] and then fall back. Force gets to the 330 lights and Capps gets to mid-track before kicking the tires.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 12.940/70.79, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.797/320.81, Was #7
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.779/327.35, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.805/324.67, Was #11

OK! Ashley takes it to the field with a great looking pass into the current top half of the field in the #5 position. Toliver's car is up in smoke before the 330 lights.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.922/159.32, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.882/264.23, Was #16
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.778/320.97, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.754/327.51, Was #1

This would be your first round match on Monday, if the ladder stays the same. Force runs a strong .886 sixty foot time and leads Arend until mid-track where the tires start to smoke . He double pumps it and has to chase the tail happy car in the lane before giving it up. Arend has his act together and makes another strong four seventy pass.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.823/280.72, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.799/322.50, Was #9
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.951/124.25, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.056/290.26, Was #18

Gilbertson drifts out of the groove after about 100 feet and the tires go up in smoke. Scelzi was on a strong pass and then has to click it off early before the lights. He said the tire wer spinning and he stayed in it, but it wouldn't pull. He'll stay #9 for now.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 6.409/139.13, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.785/323.66, Was #6
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.800/320.28, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.818/316.90, Was #14

Strong leave for Worsham until just before the 660 lights. He has to lift, as the tires start to spin and smoke. Densham drove on by and finishes the run with big sparklers flying out of the headers. He moves up four spots to the current # 10 spot.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.825/313.95, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.902/319.52, Was #17
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 24.867/20.75, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.804/324.12, Was #12

Head car is smoking the tires off the line and he lifts. Wilkerson needs to finish well on this pass to get into the field and he has a great looking pass to bump Force out. He moves two slots up to take over the current #15 spot.

Jon Capps is on the bump spot at 4.826.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.759/325.85, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.810/321.27, Was #14
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 7.107/119.07, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.764/323.89, Was #3

Nice pass by Beckman to end the nights activities. Both cars leave together and have almost the same numbers until near mid-track. The Mustang loses traction before the 660 foot lights and slows, while Beckman powers on down the left lane with an eleven spot move up to the #3 spot for tonight.

9:10 p.m. Jeff Arend stays number one with a 4.754 and Jon Capps is on the bump spot at 4.826.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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