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Sat, 13 Sep 2008, 01:46 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Jason Murray

CONCORD, N.C. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals 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: John Force Runs 4.157/299.33, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.240/295.66, Now #14; No Prior Run

Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 55 percent, barometer 29.35 inches, adjusted altitude 3,455 feet, track temperature 123 degrees.

12:59 p.m. The clouds are starting to move in little by little. Force is not yet qualified, that would not be the way to start off the Countdown for his team. Top Fuel showed us that the track is getting tricky. Both cars make very good runs. Force goes into the 13th spot as he kept his car planted in the middle of the groove. Toliver will go in to the show for now.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.907 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.341/258.22mph.
Jerry Toliver's incremental times: 60ft-0.936 sec., 330ft-2.399, 660ft-3.411/253.66mph.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.430/266.74, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 5.073/150.53, Now #16; No Prior Run

Both of the these cars are capable of getting in and staying in the show. Hagan goes about 300ft, the cars makes a move to the right , then he pedals the car, but he decides that he will save the car for another run. Gilbertson was able to make a full pull but the engine starts to go away as he gets to the finish-line. Gilbertson has dropped oil on the track.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.134/299.40, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.144/303.91, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.121/300.60, Was #11

The cleanup only took about 10 minutes. Both cars are involved in the Countdown to 1, Wilkerson is already in the show, Pedregon is sitting on the outside. Both lay down great numbers for the conditions. Tony Pedregon gets into the show, Wilkerson makes a very nice run.

Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.907 sec., 330ft-2.336, 660ft-3.324/260.51mph.
Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.916 sec., 330ft-2.349, 660ft-3.337/260.31mph.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.695/181.08, Now #17; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.157/298.54, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.117/299.73, Was #10

Capps makes a good looking run, not the case for Johnson. TJ goes about 500ft then smokes the tires. Johnson will have to wait for the final session to bump into the big show.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.131/304.19, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.240/292.71, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.108/296.18, Was #9

Densham is safely in the show. Arend really wants to put the DHL Toyota into the show. Arend gets into the show. Arend will move to the 13th spot and that will now put Jerry Toliver on the bump.

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.930 sec., 330ft-2.355, 660ft-3.332/262.44mph.
Gary Densham's incremental times: 60ft-0.930 sec., 330ft-2.402, 660ft-3.407/254.47mph.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.457/204.23, Now #18; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.226/294.37, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.100/304.53, Was #7

Troxel is in, Bartone is not. Bartone had a nice run untill he starts to haze the tires at 600ft, then he lifts. Troxel makes a nice solid run for her to establish more information for her crew chief.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.118/300.86, Now #11; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.164/298.07, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.089/303.57, Was #6

Beckman is not yet into the field and he is driving one of the hottest cars coming into this event. WOW! Beckman plants the car in the center of the groove, is able to keep the candles lit all the way down zMax Dragway. Beckman will get into the show and he is the first driver to bump into the top 12. John Force will now be on the bump with one car to go that has not yet made a pass today.

Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.902 sec., 330ft-2.323, 660ft-3.308/259.71mph.
Jim Head's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.343, 660ft-3.344/255.77mph.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.119/299.66, Now #12; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.143/304.05, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.075/307.02, Was #4

Tasca is trying to get in and it would bump out John Force. Ashley is in the show. Tasca lays down a great run. Tasca will be all the way to the 12th spot. Ashley does a very nice job keeping her car in the center of the groove. John will have to wait for the final session to bump into the field.

Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.918 sec., 330ft-2.337, 660ft-3.309/261.98mph.
Ashley Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.352, 660ft-3.338/260.81mph.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.162/296.57, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.123/301.67, Was #14
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.140/301.54, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.074/304.12, Was #3

Every driver left to run is in the show. Nice runs by both teams.

Gary Scelzi's incremental times: 60ft-0.924 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.342/256.99mph.
Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.344, 660ft-3.329/260.01mph.

Left Lane: Mike Neff Runs 4.716/177.16, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.104/304.46, Was #8
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.140/302.01, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.072/300.33, Was #2

A pair of Force cars. Hight will make a full pull, Neff was good until 500ft when the tires start to haze. Hight's number is very good for the heat.

Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.917 sec., 330ft-2.347, 660ft-3.333/260.66mph.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.139/298.80, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.087/303.43, Was #5
Right Lane: Frank Hawley Runs 6.037/116.45, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.072/307.16, Was #1

Cruz makes a very nice pass for the conditions. Hawley is off the throttle by 500ft. We will go into the final session with Tony Pedregon on the bump and John Force not in the show.

Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.908 sec., 330ft-2.333, 660ft-3.322/259.01mph.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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