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Thu, 11 Nov 2010, 03:40 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Right Lane: Mike Drake Runs 7.450/128.74, Now #1

11:55 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 68 degrees, relative humidity 23 percent, barometer 29.06 inches, adjusted altitude 1,909 feet, track temperature 93 degrees.

This appears to be Drake's first run of the year (late bloomer?) and he ran it to half track, then clicked it off with no visible problems.

Left Lane: Bret Williamson Runs 14.015/63.01, Now #3
Right Lane: Shane Westerfield Runs 5.699/251.81, Now #1

Williamson shook and lost traction almost immediately. Westerfield made a career-best run, then the chutes were late and he went into the sand trap. Hard to tell from here, but it did not look like he did much damage to the car.

Left Lane: Keeter Ray Runs 9.429/99.54, Now #4
Right Lane: Brian Smith Runs 5.913/249.30, Now #2

Ray shook hard and lifted quickly. Smith made a clean run, but that time probably won't make the cut with the tough field of cars entered here.

Left Lane: Sean Bellemeur Runs 5.816/241.76, Now #3
Right Lane: Steve Burck Runs 5.619/253.66, Now #1

Bellemeur's car started to fire, then quit and the crew thrashed to refire the engine. By the time they got it running again, Burck was already back from his burnout and Bellemeur made a very short burnout, just enough to clean the tires. It didn't appear to hurt the run too much, but he is usually a bit quicker. Meanwhile, Burck ran a career-best ET to take over the top spot.

Left Lane: Ken Webster Runs 5.729/252.47, Now #4
Right Lane: Mark Woznichak Runs 5.639/253.85, Now #2

Two solid runs, Woznichak with his best ET of the year to move into the second spot.

Left Lane: Alexis De Joria Runs 12.215/56.21, Now #10
Right Lane: John Bojec Runs 5.646/251.81, Now #3

DeJoria's car shook, turned left, and she lifted. Bojec made a nice opening run to move into the third spot.

Left Lane: Doug Gordon Runs 5.676/255.68, Now #5
Right Lane: Brent Henry Runs 5.624/247.57, Now #2

Gordon had a tough weekend at the Las Vegas Divisional race, failing to make the talent-loaded 8-car field, so he was in no mood to lift when his car shook and tried to turn right on the launch. He drove through it without lifting and salvaged a pretty good run. Henry's run was not as dramatic, straight down the groove.

Left Lane: John Lombardo Jr. Runs 15.379/83.09, Now #15
Right Lane: Steve Gasparrelli Runs 5.633/259.01, Now #3

Gasparrelli also had a tough weekend in Vegas, barely making the field, then going out in the first round with lots of tire shake. This one ought to easily make the field here, he was quick and straight and fast. Meanwhile, Lombardo shook and bounced for about 100 feet before throwing in the towel.

Left Lane: Clint Thompson Runs 8.716/102.88, Now #13
Right Lane: Brian Hough Runs 5.664/257.38, Now #6

Once again, tire shake in the left lane, decent run in the right.

Left Lane: Sean O'Bannon Runs 5.565/259.06, Now #2
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 5.548/264.18, Now #1

Two very good runs, but Bartone's career-best speed doesn't even make the top ten because Frank Manzo has kind of dominated in that statistic.

Sean O'Bannon's incremental times: 60ft-0.963 sec., 330ft-2.486, 660ft-3.678/207.56 mph, 1,000ft-4.698.
Tony Bartone's incremental times: 60ft-0.975 sec., 330ft-2.503, 660ft-3.689/209.75 mph, 1,000ft-4.696.

Left Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.639/248.29, Now #8
Right Lane: Mickey Ferro Runs 5.489/259.61, Now #1

Last pair and two more good runs. Well, one good run, one outstanding run. Ferro is finishing the season with one good run after another and this was a career-best ET for Ferro, by a thousandth. Payne's car left hard, but was a bit loose early in the run and he appeared to eat a few pistons on the top end.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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