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Fri, 14 Sep 2007, 06:24 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 20th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver No Time, Now #1

4:39 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 87 degrees, relative humidity 47 percent, barometer 29.68 inches, adjusted altitude 2,614 feet, track temperature 114 degrees.

Toliver makes a pretty good looking run here....but we'll never know what it was. The timing system had problems and everyone took a second look at the scoreboard, a 3.804 showing up as the ET.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.971/300.26, Now #1
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 5.053/244.87, Now #2

4:47 p.m. and hopefully the timing system bugs are gone. Bartone hits the throttle and starts to move around. The rear of the car starts swaying, he drifts toward the center-line, but he never lifts. Kalitta was on a decent pass, then the car noses over about 1000 feet out.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.524/186.72, Now #4
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.933/293.66, Now #1

Densham left first and was out in front, then he hazes the tires at half-track and clicks it off. Wilkerson goes right down Broadway and takes the pole for now.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 10.840/82.22, Now #6
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.905/299.60, Now #1

Pedregon shakes the tires off the line, gets about 200 feet out and clicks it off. Force goes right down the groove to take the top spot for now.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.915/309.84, Now #2
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 6.539/141.85, Now #7

Johnson starts hazing the tires early, then goes up in smoke about 300 feet out. Arend makes a decent pass to get in the two spot for now.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 12.410/75.00, Now #10
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.920/312.28, Now #3

Bernstein struck the tires right off the line and has to abort the run. Worsham goes right down the groove and moves into the third spot.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 12.166/65.13, Now #11
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.954/301.74, Now #5

The problems in the left lane continue. Head gets about 50 feet out and goes up in smoke. No problems for Scelzi, right down the groove, the engine hitting on eight cylinders all the way through the run.

Left Lane: John Force No Time, Now #16
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.915/309.56, Now #3

Force didn't qualify in Indy and will need to do well at this race to stay in contention for the countdown. Beckman is in a new car for this race.

Force makes it to half-track, then starts smoking the tires. He makes a move to the right, backs off the throttle, but crosses the center-line and takes out the 1000 foot timing cone. Beckman was out in front at that time so their was never any danger of the two meeting each other in the right lane. Beckman makes a clean run and gets in the third spot.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.965/303.57, Now #7
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.507/191.19, Now #10

Capps is also in a new car for this race. He solves the left lane problems, going right down the groove, never a hint of tire smoke. Problems for Pedregon in the right lane, going up in smoke just before half-track, and he has to give up on the run.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.916/311.13, Now #5
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.844/299.46, Now #1

Last pair, number one and two in points....and they show why here. Both cars go right down the groove, no traction problems for either car. Hight makes a great pass to take the pole by a bunch. Ashley gets in the top half in the fifth spot.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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