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Fri, 2 Nov 2007, 07:58 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 3 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Brandon Pierce Runs 5.487/256.11, Now #18; Best prior run: 16.374/43.65, Was #26
Right Lane: Greg Tacke Runs 5.745/191.87, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.577/222.00, Was #21

4:11 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 34 percent, barometer 29.90 inches, adjusted altitude 2,698 feet, track temperature 98 degrees. Dave Hirata is on the bump spot at 5.432.

Good start for both cars, but wet pipes in the lights slows Tacke. Pierce finally gets a full pass, but it's too little, too late.

Left Lane: Brian Smith Runs 13.733/86.89, Now #26; Best prior run: 14.836/81.87, Was #26
Right Lane: Johnny Ahten No Time, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.490/251.44, Was #20

Ahten's crew gives him the kill sign and the car is pushed back off the line after the burnout. Smith takes the green and then strikes the tires. No joy for these two.

Left Lane: Chris Demke Runs 11.581/66.72, Now #25; Best prior run: 8.194/106.28, Was #25
Right Lane: Dave DeAngelis Runs 6.216/163.73, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.490/255.48, Was #19

Well, both cars were way loose at the hit. Demke has to start chasing the car first and finally lifts before getting in trouble. Right after that, DeAngelis starts to chase his car and stays in it too long. He nails both of the mid-track reflector blocks before he too clicks it. The sweeper is out cleaning up the little pieces of orange fluff left on the track.

Left Lane: Dennis Swearingen Runs 5.581/255.05, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.799/224.92, Was #24
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.762/253.52, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.432/260.11, Was #16

4:24 p.m. Hirata has holes at the hit and it costs him a lot of ET. He'll stay on the bump for now. Swearingen picks up almost two tenths and only one spot on the field. He'll stay #23.

Left Lane: Dave Heitzman Runs 5.687/252.85, Now #24; Best prior run: 5.666/250.83, Was #24
Right Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.425/261.62, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.429/261.88, Was #15

Both cars run close to yesterday's times and don't move up the ladder.

Left Lane: Brandon Johnson Runs 5.459/257.19, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.503/261.27, Was #21
Right Lane: Joey Severance Runs 13.823/69.69, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.412/263.98, Was #14

I believe that there are only two cars left that can bump in and Johnson is one of them.

WOW! The wheels come up on Severance's dragster and then the tires are up in smoke. Johnson improves this time and just misses the bump spot.

Left Lane: Thomas Bayer Runs 5.451/259.36, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.478/259.01, Was #18
Right Lane: Troy Buff Runs 5.605/257.78, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.411/259.41, Was #13

Bayer is in a tough position coming to the line still not qualified. The team is up to it and the driver is up to it, but the car misses by 0.001 seconds! Buff makes a full pull and doesn't improve.

Left Lane: Shawn Cowie Runs 5.399/266.48, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.395/266.85, Was #12
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 12.637/78.18, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.378/265.06, Was #11

Whiteley fires and falls back. Cowie runs close to his prior best and will stay #12.

Left Lane: Diana Harker Runs 6.005/169.72, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.377/256.31, Was #10
Right Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.481/249.86, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.351/257.58, Was #8

Harker's engine has holes out at the hit and slows. No joy for Eakins either.

Left Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 5.497/246.93, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.358/263.15, Was #9
Right Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.283/275.11, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.316/268.81, Was #7

Miersch's engine starts dropping holes at the hit. Olivarez has it all right this time and marches down the track and into the #4 spot. Nice 0.935 sixty foot number.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.423/271.90, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.308/273.16, Was #7
Right Lane: Mark Niver Runs 5.408/254.95, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.304/262.13, Was #6

They leave together and Niver starts to pull steadily away until near the 1000 foot lights, where the engine starts to lose cylinders.

Left Lane: Kate Harker Runs 5.374/267.27, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.295/268.65, Was #5
Right Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 5.593/250.60, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.249/275.06, Was #2

Massey's Hemi has holes out on the right bank off the line. Harker doesn't improve, but makes a strong pass for the session.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 13.792/74.95, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.279/265.12, Was #3
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.222/273.83, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.233/275.73, Was #1

Lucas strikes the tires at the green. Reichert shows his power. While most of the field struggled to pick up on their prior best, Reichert drops another load on them with a great 5.222 ET. Bill Reichert's incremental times: 60ft-0.927 sec., 330ft-2.378, 660ft-3.475/228.07mph, 1,000ft-4.409

4:50 p.m. Dave Hirata ends up on the bump spot at 5.432.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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