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Thu, 1 Nov 2007, 04:34 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster 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: Diana Harker Runs 5.491/248.93, Now #1
Right Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.517/250.04, Now #2

12:47 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 63 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.00 inches, adjusted altitude 1,528 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

The Alcohol Funny Cars struggled with the track conditions in their first session, but the first pair in the dragster catagory make clean passes to near the finish line. Ahten is the first to start to drop cylinders down track, followed shortly by Harker.

Left Lane: Brian Smith Runs 16.003/75.83, Now #4
Right Lane: Greg Tacke Runs 5.608/257.58, Now #3

Clutch problems at the hit for Smith, as the tires are up in smoke immediately. Tacke gets his car to the finish line without any drama.

Left Lane: Dennis Swearingen Runs 5.799/224.92, Now #4
Right Lane: Troy Buff Runs 11.415/67.04, Now #5

Buff's crew has problems getting the fueler started and has to do a very short burnout to get back to the line before Swearingen gets staged. Buff continues to have issues and clicks the engine right after the sixty-foot lights. Swearingen has something fall off the car near the 330 lights, but it must not have been too important, as the car still gets to the finish line under power.

Left Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 5.410/258.52, Now #2
Right Lane: Mark Niver Runs 5.304/262.13, Now #1

Niver cards a nice .936 sixty foot time and parleys it into the current #1 spot. He was dropping cylinders before the 1000 foot lights and still runs over two hundred and sixty two. Miersch was just behind him all the way to slide into the current #2 spot.

Left Lane: Dave Heitzman Runs 5.666/250.83, Now #7
Right Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.351/257.58, Now #2

Eakins car sounded terrible in the burnout, but has no problems getting to the finish line and into the current #2 spot. Not much MPH though... Heitzman's car is slower off the line and can't stay with Eakins.

Left Lane: Shawn Cowie Runs 5.453/264.23, Now #4
Right Lane: Joey Severance Runs 5.466/257.53, Now #5

Severance goes 1500 feet weaving his way to the finish line. I though I heard a Bang in the lights, but no oil is found. Cowie sets the mark for blown dragsters with a nice looking pass and goes into the current #4 spot.

Left Lane: Brandon Johnson Runs 5.503/261.27, Now #7
Right Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.545/253.56, Now #9

Both cars get to the finish line without problems.

Left Lane: Chris Demke Runs 12.108/83.26, Now #15
Right Lane: Dave DeAngelis Runs 5.490/255.48, Now #6

Demke spins the tires at the hit. DeAngelis leaves hard and makes a clean pass to the lights

Brian Smith is on the bump spot at 16.003.

Left Lane: Kate Harker Runs 5.365/264.29, Now #4
Right Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.316/268.81, Now #2

Five thirties a pair.Harker is off the line first and has to watch Olivarez drive on by and pull away into the new #2 spot. Nice looking runs!

Left Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 17.012/61.23, Now #20
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.432/260.11, Now #6

Troy Buff is on the bump spot at 11.415. Hirata's engine sounded flat going down the track and still runs a stout 5.432. Pierce's tires are up in smoke at the hit.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.329/273.33, Now #4
Right Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 5.304/270.16, Now #1

We now have a "respectable" bump spot: Dennis Swearingen at 5.799. Nice pair of side by side passes and Massey takes over the current #1 spot. Shields chased him down the track and slides into the #4 spot.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.280/260.06, Now #1
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 5.391/264.80, Now #8

Say Hello to your new #1 qualifier and our first five twenty pass. Lucas has a .921 sixty foot time and pushes it hard to the finish. Whiteley's blown car runs well enough to just get into the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Thomas Bayer Runs 5.478/259.01, Now #14
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.443/256.99, Now #11

Last two of the session and they move the bump to 5.491. Reichert's car was a little slow in sixty feet and was dropping cylinders on the top end, but still manages to get a good qualifying position. Bayer's blown car is stronger to half track and then has to settle for just getting in the field.

1:28 p.m. Morgan Lucas is #1 with a 5.280 and Diana Harker is on the stout bump spot at 5.491. Twenty six cars in both FC and dragster in session one.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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