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Thu, 11 Nov 2010, 07:26 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel 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:
Left Lane: Lex Joon Runs 4.120/293.98, Now #1
Right Lane: Joran Persaker Runs 4.274/206.35, Now #2

3:12 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 21 percent, barometer 29.07 inches, adjusted altitude 2,307 feet, track temperature 94 degrees.

...and we have a #1 and #2 qualifier from outside the USA.

Both cars get to the finish line without drama, but Persaker is dropping cylinders down track.

Lex Joon's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.295, 660ft-3.292/253.04 mph.
Joran Persaker's incremental times: 60ft-0.866 sec., 330ft-2.238, 660ft-3.216/243.68 mph.

Left Lane: Stig Neergaard Runs 7.630/97.18, Now #3
Right Lane: Ron August Runs 14.989/28.09, Now #4

Now we have the top three from outside the USA!

Both car smoke the tires. August first and then Neergaard next. August stops on the track after the lights.

Tough track conditions, so far.

Left Lane: Mark Mariani Runs 5.148/136.18, Now #4
Right Lane: Tim Cullinan No Time, Now #3

3:17 p.m. ...and we are back.

Both cars get off the line and Mariani strikes the tires first.

Cullinan is the first "benefactor" of the new oil down rule and has his 4.344 ET and 238.17MPH scratched from the ladder. The car ran to near mid-track before the engine expired, with flames and smoke from the engine.

The Safety Safari is out in force dusting and cleaning down track.

Left Lane: Steve Faria Runs 9.358/69.78, Now #7
Right Lane: Dom Lagana Runs 5.353/128.71, Now #5

3:29 p.m. Back to racing.

Now joy for these two, as both cars succumbs to tire amoke almost together. Lagana pumps it and them gives it up.

Left Lane: T.J. Zizzo Runs 4.004/280.89, Now #1
Right Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.113/232.35, Now #2

Both cars are dropping cylinders and that may have helped in these tough conditions, as they move to the top two spots on the ladder.

T.J. Zizzo's incremental times: 60ft-0.864 sec., 330ft-2.198, 660ft-3.170/258.71 mph.
Mike Strasburg's incremental times: 60ft-0.870 sec., 330ft-2.239, 660ft-3.184/270.32 mph.

Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 3.927/306.46, Now #1

Steve Chrisman was supposed to be in the left lane, but won't make an attempt today.

Team Vandewrgriff takes advantage of a chance to refine their tune up and makes a strong pass, with jest a little wet pipes way down thack. That will be our first sub-four second run and a new top qualifier.

Bob Vandergriff's incremental times: 60ft-0.852 sec., 330ft-2.181, 660ft-3.131/265.38 mph.

Left Lane: Troy Buff Runs 8.148/79.57, Now #9
Right Lane: Terry McMillen No Time, Now #13

Both cars similar sixty foot times and then the BME dragster strikes the tires before the 330 lights.

McMillen car continues on down, but the engine isn't happy. Lots of dropped cylinders and then a big plume of smoke cancels his 4.119 ET and 249.44 MPH.

More clean up in the right lane.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 9.306/90.05, Now #11
Right Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 3.892/311.63, Now #1

3:55 p.m. The call goes out to start the engines.

Lucas is away first, but spins and shakes before sixty feet.

Torrance makes it look easy and thunders on down the track to card a sub-three ninety ET and take over the new #1 position on the ladder.

Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.851 sec., 330ft-2.185, 660ft-3.114/272.39 mph.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.384/181.98, Now #8
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 3.840/316.30, Now #1

Steve Faria is on the bump spot at 9.358.

Two strong leaves and the left lane takes another victim, as Grubnic's slicks are smoking right after the sixty foot lights.

Kalitta's pass is almost flawless, but there is a flash from the engine in the lights. NO OIL!

Doug Kalitta's incremental times: 60ft-0.843 sec., 330ft-2.154, 660ft-3.074/276.13 mph.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 3.945/307.37, Now #4
Right Lane: Shawn Langdon Runs 8.240/84.58, Now #14

It's the right lane this time, as Langdon's Lucas Oil dragster shakes and spins off the line.

Bernstein gets a good pass to tune to and moves into the #4 spot on the ladder.

Left Lane: Antron Brown Runs 8.482/79.38, Now #16
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 3.853/317.87, Now #2

Stig Neergaard is on the bump spot at 7.630.

McClennathan is a "Lame Duck" driver here this weekend, as he won't be back next year in the DRS Fram dragster. The car leaves well with a 0.845 sixty foot time and powers down the track to move into the latest #2 spot.

No joy for Brown, as he joins the up in smoke early crowd.

Cory McClenathan's incremental times: 60ft-0.845 sec., 330ft-2.177, 660ft-3.090/278.12 mph.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 3.840/320.58, Now #2
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 3.813/318.39, Now #1

A great side by side pair with both cars getting it all to the track.

They had identical 0.835 sixty foot times and then Dixon's Al-Anabi dragster started a steady pull ahead to the lights to take the top spot on the ladder.

Schumacher won't pick up any points against Dixon this session, but keeps bragging rights for top speed.

Tony Schumacher's incremental times: 60ft-0.835 sec., 330ft-2.168, 660ft-3.082/278.63 mph.
Larry Dixon's incremental times: 60ft-0.835 sec., 330ft-2.144, 660ft-3.054/279.73 mph.

4:13 p.m. David Grubnic is on the bump spot at 4.384.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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