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Thu, 1 Nov 2007, 03:52 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 43nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Larry Miner Runs 5.839/248.25, Now #1
Right Lane: Paul Crifasi Runs 5.973/241.84, Now #2

11:50 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 63 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.00 inches, adjusted altitude 1,528 feet, track temperature 91 degrees.

Some of the high powered Comp cars were having a little trouble getting a hold of the racing surface so of course Alcohol is out next. No signs of problems here as Miner and Crifasi were on a string all the way down. They did appear to be a bit soft though.

Left Lane: Russ Parker Runs 5.865/250.23, Now #2
Right Lane: Alexis De Joria Runs 10.178/85.47, Now #4

De Joria shook the tires pretty hard down low and was coasting very early in the run. Parker with the full pull.

Left Lane: Bernie Harrington Runs 5.787/221.38, Now #2
Right Lane: Jeff Carroll Runs 5.641/249.03, Now #1

Carroll shows the rest of the field what's possible and shoots to the top of the pack. He actually used a bit of extra real estate on that run and there may be a bit more left in his racer. Harrington trailed but will hold down an early #2 after his pass.

Left Lane: Steve Burck Runs 5.823/248.16, Now #3
Right Lane: Steve Gasparrelli Runs 5.908/236.13, Now #6

That was the straightest run I've seen from the Gasparrelli clan in a long time. Next I suspect they'll pour in a little more power. Burck with a nice pass in the left lane. That makes half a field with eight cars having recorded times.

Left Lane: Bret Williamson Runs 9.777/91.42, Now #9
Right Lane: Jason Rupert Runs 5.834/246.66, Now #4

Williamson has his car take a dive towards the center before 330ft and he's forced to lift to haul it back in. Rupert with a clean pass.

Left Lane: Sean O'Bannon Runs 5.838/254.62, Now #5
Right Lane: Mark Woznichak Runs 5.925/247.38, Now #9

O'Bannon suffered a pretty good shaking at 200ft but he managed to drive through it. Woznichak was straighter but just a couple of ticks slower.

Left Lane: John Patton Runs 6.403/167.84, Now #12
Right Lane: Kebin Kinsley Runs 5.712/251.25, Now #2

I think it's safe to say that Patton was very, very busy. He was all over the left lane and just barely managed to color inside the lines but the finish. Kinsley was much better off in the right lane and he slides into #2, right behind Carroll. What I thought was tire smoke from Patton's car was actually the insides of the engine coming out to daylight. We're down while the Safari does some lane cleaning. Talk about insult to injury.

Left Lane: Ken Kraus Runs 5.818/246.57, Now #4
Right Lane: Ron August Jr Runs 6.781/135.74, Now #14

August appeared to lose a blower belt or the magneto as the pipes we wet from 300ft or so to the finish. The left lane is taking it tough as Kraus disappeared behind a wall of smoke as he crossed stripe. We're down again. 12:20 p.m.

Left Lane: Hank Coolidge Runs 5.996/242.50, Now #14
Right Lane: Vern Moats Runs 5.846/252.52, Now #9

12:26 p.m. That wasn't quite as long as I expected it to be. The call is 'Fire the next pair!'. Coolidge is all over the left lane but finishes under power. Moats has the top speed at the moment.

Left Lane: Doug Gordon Runs 8.614/96.29, Now #17
Right Lane: Dennis Taylor No Time, Now #20

Taylor goes bowling for dollars in the right lane and converts the spare. He took out both markers at half track. There went his 6.501/158.20. Gordon didn't use up quite as much lane but rattled the tires hard.

Left Lane: Clint Thompson Runs 5.926/250.69, Now #14
Right Lane: Marty Nothstein Runs 5.866/242.10, Now #11

Thompson has to tiptoe off the starting line and apply the power further down track. Clint Thompson's incremental times: 60ft-0.997 sec., 330ft-2.656, 660ft-3.951/195.65mph, 1,000ft-5.026. Nothstein is just outside the top half with his run: Marty Nothstein's incremental times: 60ft-0.989 sec., 330ft-2.585, 660ft-3.853/194.10mph, 1,000ft-4.939. Coolidge is on the bump at 5.996.

Left Lane: Von Smith Runs 5.649/255.05, Now #2
Right Lane: Brian Hough Runs 5.818/239.19, Now #6

Smith gets really close to the top spot but can't quite catch Carroll. he does get top speed for the class. Von Smith's incremental times: 60ft-0.965 sec., 330ft-2.522, 660ft-3.738/204.45mph, 1,000ft-4.770. Hough gets into the top half and now it's Thompson on the bump at 5.926.

Left Lane: Sean Bellemeur Runs 5.723/254.71, Now #5
Right Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.681/256.31, Now #3

Payne and Bellemeur close out the session in the #3 and #5 spots in the field. So we end with Gasparrelli on the bump at 5.908. The long engine stands are out on the pad.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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