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Fri, 19 Sep 2003, 09:35 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Rick Green

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 16th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil 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: Darrell Russell Runs 4.604/321.04, Now #5; Best prior run: 10.132/87.57, Was #19
Right Lane: Mitch King Runs 11.131/81.64, Now #20; No Prior Run

Current weather conditions: 64 degrees, 79 percent relative humidity, the barometer 30.10 inches, with a track temperature of 82 degrees.

King launched with the front wheels in the air and they just keep climbing before he finally lifted. Russell was able to the Goodyears to stick and the candles lit all the way down the 1320.

Left Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 5.435/175.91, Now #13; Best prior run: 6.378/135.65, Was #15
Right Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.592/323.43, Now #3; Best prior run: 9.203/84.45, Was #19

Bernstein launched hard and the header flames were high over the rear wing and he sets the track mph record here.

Hartman-Smith was out ahead of Bernstein until about the 330-foot mark and then she start to lose traction and then lost the blower belt.

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 10.745/79.04, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.369/125.01, Was #16
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.763/306.12, Now #11; Best prior run: 7.768/87.54, Was #19

Kalitta is up in smoke as soon as he hits the throttle. Grubnic with a good clean pass straight down the groove to get in the show and that bumps out Kalitta.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.587/315.34, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.508/166.27, Was #15
Right Lane: Bill Ancona Runs 13.430/90.41, Now #19; Best prior run: 7.564/102.82, Was #19

Millican with a great looking pass here with the header flames lighting up the night sky all the way down the quarter mile to move into the number three spot. Ancona lost traction right off the starting line.

Left Lane: John Smith Runs 8.059/98.77, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.770/290.19, Was #13
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.679/310.98, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.237/131.57, Was #16

Smith started to lose traction around the same spot as his wife and clicked it off. Herbert with a good looking pass right down the groove to get off the bubble.

Left Lane: Paul Romine Runs 4.681/280.31, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.762/296.89, Was #12
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 6.806/122.02, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.728/315.78, Was #10

Weis had clutch problems right off the starting line and clicked it off. Romine got a little loose in the middle of the run real close to the centerline, but was able to reel it in. The car then started mixing up cylinders a and he shut it off early.

Left Lane: Scott Palmer Runs 14.048/61.95, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.745/304.74, Was #12
Right Lane: David Baca Runs 4.533/319.75, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.680/262.23, Was #9

Palmer was up in smoke as soon as he hit the throttle. Baca with a great looking pass and around 900 feet it made a quick dart toward the centerline, but he was able to keep it in his lane and set the track E.T. record.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.570/307.93, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.598/316.60, Was #7
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.542/327.90, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.573/321.88, Was #3

This was a great looking side by side drag race. McClenathan headed toward the centerline right off the starting line and he reeled it back into the groove. Kalitta was straight down the groove to move into the number two spot and the fastest pass here.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 7.072/90.11, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.592/322.27, Was #7
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 5.057/66.59, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.551/321.65, Was #3

Dixon launched with front end high in the air and he finally lifted and the front end banged to the ground. Schumacher was on a great pass here until around 1100 feet when the chassis bowed up and then the car went airborne. The car went high in the air and flew for a long time before crashing back to earth. This was very similar to Dixon's 2000 crash. Schumacher is out of the car on his own and it is reported he is okay.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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