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Fri, 2 Nov 2007, 07:28 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Grant Downing Runs 4.917/286.19, Now #11; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Peter Russo Runs 5.799/183.22, Now #14; No Prior Run

3:24 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 35 percent, barometer 28.93 inches, adjusted altitude 2,692 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

We're just about on schedule for the Pros and now it's the Nitro Funny Cars that come to front and center. Downing lost his run on Thursday to tech so he comes back today and just about duplicates his Thursday effort. Russo was all over the right lane and finally had to give it up.

Left Lane: Mike Neff Runs 4.819/322.27, Now #5; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 7.384/113.84, Now #18; No Prior Run

Neff had engine problems yesterday and Worsham had just about the same effort. They meet here in the second round of qualifying and Neff makes the program. Worsham stuck the tires pretty early in the run and he had to lift. Tough weekend for the Red Team so far.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.819/308.35, Now #6; Best prior run: 9.737/86.35, Was #25
Right Lane: James Day Runs 5.198/265.90, Now #16; No Prior Run

A. Force redeems her weekend as she goes into the top half of the field. Day gets his first pass of he weekend and he qualifies in a very difficult position...the bump!

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.876/323.12, Now #13; Best prior run: 9.605/88.63, Was #26
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 5.205/222.69, Now #18; Best prior run: 8.905/94.86, Was #25

Kalitta makes the most of the session and cracks the field. Ashley was on and off the pedal, finally coasting across the finish line quietly.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.977/303.64, Now #16; Best prior run: 8.330/98.70, Was #25
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 8.380/109.14, Now #26; Best prior run: 8.515/102.52, Was #26

Cruz manages to get into the show as the field begins to tighten. C. Pedregon is now on the bump and he puts Bob Bode out of the show. Haddock struck the tires before the 330ft marker and coasted on down.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 5.008/244.29, Now #17; Best prior run: 7.973/100.40, Was #24
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 8.311/106.01, Now #25; Best prior run: 8.199/113.87, Was #25

Oh man! Head has the car make a huge move at around 1000ft. That car appeared to move 10 feet to the left! Densham rattled the tires loose at about the same spot as the rest of the cars in this session.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.831/308.07, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.855/127.44, Was #23
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.856/318.62, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.301/143.54, Was #22

This was just a nice side by side qualifier. Both drivers left at the same time and got to watch each other all the way down. Both are now solidly in the program.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 5.067/302.48, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.084/265.12, Was #20
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.840/305.22, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.872/300.66, Was #14

Bode has made two runs that appeared about identical and neither of them will make the Sunday show. Wilkerson gets deeper into the field with a good looking run in that other lane. For the moment he's in the top half at #8.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.396/202.88, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.959/302.08, Was #17
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 10.284/81.75, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.869/320.36, Was #14

Toliver was off the pedal very early as the Goodyear's shook loose at about 100ft. Gilbertson''s numbers looked pretty good down low but the pipes went wet and it appears the engine and the blower belt parted company.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.827/316.45, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.867/287.66, Was #13
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.813/318.77, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.850/319.98, Was #10

What we have here is a big bunch of improvement! The Force army now stands #5, #6,#7 and #8, most of the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.847/315.49, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.864/311.56, Was #13
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.812/323.50, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.845/322.42, Was #11

The sun has been on the track pretty much all day but these racers seem to be getting a handle on the Pomona surface. Capps goes into the top half and Pedregon goes up one position. That also makes A. Force #8 and Hight #9. First round now? Anyone?

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.905/308.78, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.804/322.19, Was #3
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 6.933/121.45, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.813/319.98, Was #5

Scelzi strikes the tires pretty early and it appears that right lane is a little bit tricky. Bernstein slows to a 4.905 but stays #3 based on his first round effort.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 10.589/76.96, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.786/320.89, Was #2
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 8.678/93.15, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.781/324.90, Was #1

Not exactly the way we hoped to close this session out. Both cars fall silent before half track and roll off into the haze. Twenty six cars have made runs to this point, perhaps the best turnout we've seen in awhile. Next up is final qualifying for the Alcohol Cars. Oh, and through all of this, Arend is STILL the #! qualifier!

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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