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Sat, 3 Nov 2007, 07:30 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Darryl Jackman

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 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: Jim Head Runs 4.874/321.35, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.008/244.29, Was #22
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.219/229.70, Now #24; Best prior run: 8.380/109.14, Was #26

3:35 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 27 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 2,600 feet, track temperature 106 degrees.

We're down to the final qualifying session of the 2007 season. Considering everything that has happened this year, I can't say I'm sorry to help usher it out. TJ breathes a big sigh of relief and remains on the bump spot as both Head and Haddock fail to make the cut.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.911/318.09, Now #21; Best prior run: 4.977/303.64, Was #22
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.829/318.92, Now #13; Best prior run: 8.199/113.87, Was #26

Uh oh...Densham manages to sneak one in and he pushes T. Ped down to #15. A few folks just sat up a bit straighter around here. C. Ped will be watching from the trailer come Sunday. That's to bad because they really needed to go out on a high note.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.120/254.71, Now #23; Best prior run: 4.959/302.08, Was #23
Right Lane: Peter Russo Runs 8.099/107.56, Now #26; Best prior run: 5.799/183.22, Was #26

I'd like to have had the blower belt concession in this pair. Both drivers lost belts before the finish line.

Left Lane: Grant Downing Runs 4.969/296.18, Now #22; Best prior run: 4.917/286.19, Was #22
Right Lane: James Day Runs 11.017/77.29, Now #24; Best prior run: 5.198/265.90, Was #24

Downing has to go about a nickel quicker than his own career best to crack the field. He uses a bunch of lane and can barely keep the Firebird off the concrete. Man, he was busy. Day was chattering and shaking the Goodyear's really early in the run and that ends his weekend dream just a bit early.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 8.985/87.82, Now #20; Best prior run: 4.888/309.98, Was #20
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.849/320.20, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.856/318.62, Was #17

Bode is off the pedal early and watches Johnson flash by and make the field, on the bump spot. That bumped Toliver.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 5.562/182.35, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.876/323.12, Was #19
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.820/326.24, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.852/322.96, Was #17

Toliver was just bumped out and here he is to return the favor to TJ. He does it! This has just been a little bit magic for a final session. The pressroom is watching their story fall to the bump spot and out of the field. I actually think that Toliver was the last car that could actually put someone else out of the show so T. Ped is safe. He's also up next...

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.842/314.02, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.847/315.49, Was #16
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.796/324.83, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.840/305.22, Was #15

Wilkerson overshadows all of that as he goes all the way to the #3 qualifying position. T. Ped hangs on to the bubble and he will face whoever finally finishes #1. Arend has held that spot since session one on Thursday.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.914/284.51, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.827/316.45, Was #14
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 6.165/150.38, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.821/318.02, Was #12

Hight just can't buy a qualifying pass that could put him in the top half. He slows to a 4.91 and remains #14. Worsham has no luck this weekend either. He has the fire go out and and he coasts across the finish.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 6.976/124.55, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.826/321.42, Was #13
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 8.543/95.27, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.813/318.77, Was #9

Another 0-2 as both cars are up in smoke before half track.

Left Lane: Mike Neff Runs 5.264/205.41, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.819/322.27, Was #10
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 10.030/80.84, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.812/323.50, Was #8

Neff has the Pony bolt on him and he crosses the centerline around half track. Not a fun ride for the ex-tuner. Capps was losing traction in the other lane.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.802/317.42, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.806/323.81, Was #6
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 4.827/323.97, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.807/318.62, Was #7

The Ashleys, a pair will run side by side here in the final session. They leave hard but it's A. Force that gets to the finish line first. She bumps Bernstein down a spot and for the moment she's #5. M. Ashley had a nice pass but remains in the #7 spot.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 5.176/215.86, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.804/322.19, Was #6
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.788/326.87, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.798/322.65, Was #4

Bernstein looked like a belt came odd after half track. Scelzi goes A to B and moves up to #3.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.829/295.85, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.786/320.89, Was #2
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 7.192/115.88, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.781/324.90, Was #1

Beckman must have encountered a few problems at the top end as the MTS car slowed pretty quickly. Good ET but the mph was way off. Arend was off the power way early after smoking the tires.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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