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Sat, 3 Nov 2007, 04:08 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 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: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.852/322.96, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.869/320.36, Was #14
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.786/320.89, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.786/320.89, Was #2

12:03 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 71 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 29.01 inches, adjusted altitude 2,053 feet, track temperature 89 degrees.

Beckman and Toliver are out first based on their times from the one hit yesterday. Not THAT'S consistent! Two out of three runs for Beckman have been recorded at 4.786...that third run? Not so good. Toliver almost duplicates his first hit and picks up one spot.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.885/320.74, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.781/324.90, Was #1
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.141/123.98, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.959/302.08, Was #17

Arend had holes out early but the engine appeared to dry up pretty quickly. He does lose a tenth to his best of the weekend. Gilbertson had the pipes go wet on him very early in the run and he was silent after 200ft.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 8.635/27.37, Now #26; Best prior run: 8.380/109.14, Was #26
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.888/309.98, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.067/302.48, Was #20

Haddock kicks the loose early and coasts slowly to the lights. Bode got the full pass but was using a lot of the right hand lane for his enjoyment. He certainly had his hands full. Uh oh...the Safety Safari is out in force and cleaning up the left lane! Down for a few minutes I believe. 12:04 p.m.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 8.222/117.90, Now #25; Best prior run: 8.199/113.87, Was #25
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 8.859/89.61, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.008/244.29, Was #20

12:15 p.m. and the call goes out to fire the next pair. Not much to say for these two. Both strike the tires and fall silent at about 300ft. One to go and Densham is in danger of not qualifying for his home event. Head came a bit further but could suffer the same fate.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.821/318.02, Now #9; Best prior run: 7.384/113.84, Was #24
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.020/295.66, Now #20; Best prior run: 4.977/303.64, Was #19

Worsham gets a hold of one and goes from outhouse to penthouse in under five seconds. C. Pedregon got pretty close to the wall as he neared the stripe and I believe he might have lifted pretty early.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.798/322.65, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.813/319.98, Was #5

Scelzi is feeling a bit better after that hit. He still has pretty slim hopes for the championship as the weather might not allow a new record in the Funny Car class. He might win the event but that record is pretty elusive.

Left Lane: Peter Russo Runs 13.069/44.01, Now #24; Best prior run: 5.799/183.22, Was #24
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 10.212/87.06, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.804/322.19, Was #4

Russo has never run in the fours here in the good ol' USA and that remains a goal after this hit. Bernstein was late getting the car started and Russo was already back in the staging area as he did his burnout. He hustled back and didn't hold Russo up at all. All that and both rattle the tires loose and fall silent before 100ft.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.807/318.62, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.205/222.69, Was #23
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 5.658/175.18, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.876/323.12, Was #16

Kalitta had an orange fog around the car after half track and he finally clicked it off. Ashley had the car erupt in smoke at the finish line but still manages to go into the top half of the show.

Left Lane: James Day Runs 8.591/98.81, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.198/265.90, Was #23
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.643/174.32, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.847/315.49, Was #14

Day is another driver that needs to run a new personal best to make the field. Don Schumacher's son-in-law set that best yesterday but this time early smoke ends this chance. T. Ped also had to step off early and he remains #14 for the moment. There just might be a couple of drivers out there that would like to see him get bumped. I'm guessing Scelzi and Capps maybe?

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.862/195.53, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.856/318.62, Was #16
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.826/321.42, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.831/308.07, Was #12

Two good runs but TJ remains on the bump. Bartone takes Big Jim's racer to one spot better in the show.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.866/285.23, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.840/305.22, Was #13
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 7.719/109.10, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.827/316.45, Was #12

No help for either driver or team. Hight kicks the Goodyear's loose early in the run and Wilkerson wandered the lane to his second best hit of the weekend. I will say that this has been a very consistent weekend for Wilk and team. All three have looked good.

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 8.514/97.24, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.813/318.77, Was #7
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.806/323.81, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.819/308.35, Was #9

Burkart kicks the tire loose before 330ft but A. Force improves and goes into the top half of the ladder. He did geet very close to the wall as she closed on the finish line but she still had at least three feet to spare. The Mustang DID kick up a lot of dust though.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 10.654/77.64, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.812/323.50, Was #7
Right Lane: Mike Neff Runs 8.255/97.64, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.819/322.27, Was #9

We have the Goodyear smoke ballet being played out in front of us. Both cars kicked 'em loose early and they coasted on out. After three it's Arend on the pole and TJ Jr on the bump. One to go later this afternoon.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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