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Fri, 12 Sep 2003, 03:51 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

MOHNTON, Pa. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: John Headley Runs 11.366/55.75, Now #1
Right Lane: Bruce Insinger No Time, Now #2

2:17 PM Current weather conditions: 70 degrees, 46 percent relative humidity, the barometer 30.21 inches, under cloudy skies.

Insinger's car stalled at the end of the burnout and was pushed back by hand. Headley's car spewed raw fuel from the pipes as soon as he hit the throttle, the car started spraying what looked like fuel, puttering and skating around on wet tires. It must have been more than fuel, because then the "Zamboni" (industrial spill cleaner) made a pass to clean the first part of the lane and the Safety Safari laid down a wide swath of "Green Stuff" from half track on.

Meanwhile, because of the delays in the two Top Alcohol sessions, NHRA race officials postponed the second round of Super Comp eliminations to Saturday and cancelled the final round of qualifying for Comp Eliminator.

Left Lane: Cliff Bozzelli Runs 5.996/247.75, Now #2
Right Lane: Sheila Tafur Runs 5.698/235.19, Now #1

2:46 PM This one wasn't quite as long as the oildown that opened the TAFC session, but not by much, a little over 30 minutes. Bozzelli shook the tires, pedaled, then hazed them most of the way. Nice run by Tafur, no visible shake.

Left Lane: Mark Albert Runs 5.627/224.17, Now #1
Right Lane: Fran Monaghan Jr Runs 6.167/259.61, Now #4

Monaghan's car shook and almost stopped, spinning the tires, then got them hooked up and went down the track for a career-best speed. Albert made a good run to 1,000 feet, then there was a flash of flame and a POP as the burst panel let go.

Left Lane: Douglas Foley Runs 5.692/194.27, Now #2
Right Lane: David De Angelis Runs 11.949/64.28, Now #7

Foley made a clean run, right down the groove. DeAngelis shook hard and then shut it off.

Left Lane: Richard Bourke Runs 5.430/266.90, Now #1
Right Lane: Ken Winward Runs 5.580/240.42, Now #2

Both cars drove through light tire shake to make good runs, a nice side-by-side show for the crowd.

Left Lane: Daniel Mercier Runs 5.477/260.97, Now #3
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.474/265.48, Now #2

Nice runs, both lanes, Mercier with career best ET and speed, by a bunch.

Left Lane: Mike Kosky Runs 6.722/134.35, Now #11
Right Lane: Rich McPhillips Runs 5.551/259.06, Now #4

McPhillips' car was rocking from side-to-side at half track and he drove through it. Kosky was quicker to 330 feet, then he slowed with tire shake.

Left Lane: Steven Cantrell Runs 7.713/110.81, Now #13
Right Lane: Arthur Gallant Runs 5.565/240.38, Now #5

The Safety Safari did a quick cleanup at the finish line in McPhillips' lane, may have popped the burst panel when he lifted.

Gallant's car lumbered down the lane, but he kept the tires glued to the track. Cantrell's engine expired in a flash of flame, possibly a burst panel, before half track.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 5.371/271.62, Now #1
Right Lane: Karen Benkovich Runs 5.574/246.35, Now #7

Two good runs, no sign of tire shake from either car.

Left Lane: Bruce Horner Runs 5.973/184.17, Now #13
Right Lane: Michael Gunderson Runs 5.232/280.54, Now #1

Whooahhhh! Baby!!! The first TAD in the 280s, Gunderson bettering his best from Indy just a week ago, with a career-best elapsed time to go with it. Horner launched hard, with a 0.974 60-foot time, but fell way off the pace by the 330-foot marker, the problem not evident.

Left Lane: Jeff Bohr Runs 5.582/231.24, Now #10
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 15.756/47.15, Now #21

Lucas chattered the tires hard and shut it off. Bohr made a nice pass, with just a bit of shake early in the run.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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