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Mon, 22 Sep 2003, 12:25 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 16th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil:

    6 Darrell Russell                       319 Scott Kalitta
E1   ****WINNER****  0.063  4.613 320.81                     0.049 10.518  75.52
 Qualified:             #8  4.604 321.04                        #9  4.664 318.24
Current weather conditions: 69 degrees, 76 percent relative humidity, the barometer 30.09 inches, with a track temperature of 77 degrees under cloudy skies. We have had a few rain drops during pre-race, so lets hope the weather holds off.

Russell has qualified for 65 consecutive races. This is the first time these two have ever raced.

Kalitta is out of the gate first and is up in smoke before he get to the 60 foot mark to end his weekend. Russell with nice looking pass here straight down Broadway just a tick off his qualifying time.

    2 Kenny Bernstein                         7 Doug Herbert
E1   ****WINNER****  0.066  4.590 321.19                     0.056  4.687 286.74
 Qualified:             #7  4.592 323.43                       #10  4.679 310.98
Bernstein has qualified seventh 35 times in his career and has only won from that spot twice. He hold a big advantage over Herbert 22-10 and the last time Herbert was able to put Bernstein on the trailer was in Phoenix last year.

Herbert with a slight advantage on the starting line, but Bernstein had the difference made up by 60-feet and held on for the win. Herbert had a quick flash of flame as something went away on the top end. Bernstein took the win by about a car length and half with his best pass of the weekend.

  104 Clay Millican                         337 Paul Romine
E1   ****WINNER****  0.041  4.683 311.70                     0.051  4.763 310.63
 Qualified:             #6  4.587 315.34                       #11  4.681 280.31
Millican beat Romine in the only time they race here in the NHRA.

Millican was out of the gate first and never looked back, but this was a pretty good looking drag race.

    1 Larry Dixon                           201 Scott Weis
E1   ****WINNER****  0.068  4.589 319.90                     0.086  7.723 108.19
 Qualified:             #5  4.586 322.19                       #12  4.728 315.78
Dixon is the defending event champ and holds a 6 to 1 advantage over Weis.

We just had a short delay for rain drops.

Dixon with the starting line advantage and launched with the front wheels in the air set them down gently and blasted on through for the win. Weis was up in smoke by 100 feet and just blistered the Goodyears.

    5 Cory McClenathan                     5050 Scott Palmer
E1   ****WINNER****  0.095  4.594 321.81                     0.052  4.753 302.21
 Qualified:             #4  4.570 307.93                       #13  4.745 304.74
McClenathan picked up his first career victory here in Memphis and he did when he started from the number four spot. He is starting from the number four spot today. He defeated PAlme in the only time they have raced. This is Palmer's third career start.

Palmer is out of the gate first and McClenathan is able to chase him down just before the 330-foot mark and motor on for the win. He will give up lane choice to Dixon in round two. Palmer with a nice pass, just not enough for McClenathan.

4:36 pm and NHRA has just plug the plug for the day after the rain just keep getting harder.

    3 Tony Schumacher                       757 David Grubnic
E1   ****WINNER****  0.065  4.560 326.40                     0.070  8.003  86.03
 Qualified:             #3  4.551 321.65                       #14  4.763 306.12
It is now Monday morning and the sun is trying to break through the clouds. Current weather conditions: 71 degrees, 78 percent relative humidity, the barometer 29.97 inches, with a track temperature of 84 degrees.

Schumacher is out of the gate first and just rocketed down the quarter mile for low E.T. of the first round. He will lane choice over Clay Millican. Grubnic made it to about 60 feet and the started to rattle the tires and then clicked it off.

    4 Doug Kalitta                           10 John Smith
E1   ****WINNER****  0.053  4.677 306.12                     0.012  4.744 297.35
 Qualified:             #2  4.542 327.90                       #15  4.770 290.19
Smith with a big starting line advantage and Kalitta was able to chase him down around 700 feet to take the win by about 12 feet. Both cars through the blower belts off on the top end at about the same time.

Doug Kalitta's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.012), 330 ft(-0.006), 660ft(-0.006), 1,000ft(0.004). MOV: 0.0264 seconds (approximately 12 feet).

  797 David Baca                              9 Rhonda Hartman-Smith
E1   ****WINNER****  0.113  4.774 302.35                     0.060  6.063 146.19
 Qualified:             #1  4.533 319.75                       #16  4.823 285.05
Hartman-Smith with a big starting line advantage and then started to shake the tires and then smoked them around 330 feet to end her weekend. Baca with a good clean pass and he will give up lane choice to Russell in the next round. Kalitta will will give up lane choice to Bernstein in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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