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Sun, 2 Sep 2007, 11:06 AM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Dan Bennett

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 4 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:
Left Lane: Ken Perry Runs 5.421/260.86, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.901/102.61, Was #21

A smooth looking single for Perry gets him in the field.

Left Lane: Robin Samsel Runs 5.456/257.73, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.682/241.37, Was #21
Right Lane: Brandon Lewis Runs 13.394/86.58, Now #23; Best prior run: 12.144/75.20, Was #23

Lewis rolls a few feet before the smoke starts.

Samsel gets into the field but is going to have a hard time staying there. The car looked smooth and straight but just wasn't quick enough.

Left Lane: Dave Hedges Jr. Runs 5.508/258.17, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.556/258.71, Was #18
Right Lane: Jared Dreher Runs 6.335/160.63, Now #22; Best prior run: 7.630/113.76, Was #22

Hedges picks up but not enough to get in the field.

Dreher looked good on the front half of the track but white smoke started pouring out of the left bank at 800 feet or so. We're down for a cleanup in the right lane.

10:24 a.m.

Left Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 5.579/249.07, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.520/257.28, Was #18
Right Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 5.496/267.48, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.662/262.08, Was #21

10:35 a.m. and the Safety Safari is leaving the track. That was a pretty big spill but as usual, the track is back to excellent condition.

Meyer does his burnout but the rpms don't settle back down afterward. He's obviously having problems getting reverse. The crew runs out and pushed him back.

Pierce has been waiting patiently.

Two clean runs but no help for either team.

Left Lane: Shawn Umphries Runs 5.897/240.94, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.461/253.28, Was #16
Right Lane: Ray Hack Runs 5.975/240.38, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.610/256.02, Was #21

Shawn Umphries is on the bump spot at 5.461. Hack would like for that to change as this is his last chance to get in the show.

Hack had a hole out on the right side from the time he hit the throttle.

Left Lane: Todd Datweiler Runs 5.428/267.16, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.420/265.53, Was #13
Right Lane: Dave Heitzman Runs 13.811/62.35, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.603/259.61, Was #20

Anything can happen at Indy, so it's only a small surprise that Heitzman is not in the field as he does his burnout before his last shot at making it. He's been as quick as 5.270 but only needs a 5.460 right now.

He doesn't get it and will not qualify for Indy 2008.

Datweiler repeats and stays in the 13th position.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.310/270.05, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.392/267.53, Was #12
Right Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.353/255.00, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.380/252.10, Was #11

Nice passes on both sides and both racers improve their position.

Left Lane: Tim Bowgren No Time, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.379/265.74, Was #12
Right Lane: Marty Thacker Runs 5.337/267.00, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.374/267.32, Was #11

Thacker slows a bit but Bowgren never gets all of his cylinders lit.

Left Lane: Noah Condo Runs 5.351/265.43, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.359/264.44, Was #9
Right Lane: Jeff Bohr Runs 8.531/104.47, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.371/267.48, Was #11

Nice consistent pass for Condo. Bohr ran into some shake, but I'm not sure if that's why he lifted.

Left Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.284/276.18, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.273/277.54, Was #3
Right Lane: Kate Harker Runs 8.981/88.25, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.361/267.75, Was #10

Reichert shows his power once again.

Harker had problems getting to half track. Shake got bad enough to make the car start darting around and she lifted.

Left Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.345/272.50, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.257/273.39, Was #2
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.406/260.81, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.301/261.07, Was #5

Two clean passes and Olivarez steadily drives away from Hirata.

Left Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 9.856/82.46, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.233/272.94, Was #1
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.278/268.49, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.300/267.91, Was #4

Massey slowed before halftrack, reason unknown as I didn't see anything unusual.

Lucas runs his best pass of the weekend but stays in the 4th position.

We end Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying with Massey leading the pack and Shawn Umphries holding on to the final spot. A lot of notable teams are going home.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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