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Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 04:54 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Stig Neergaard Runs 4.253/224.62, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 9.054/79.32, Now #6; Best prior run: 3.892/311.63, Was #6

12:48 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 18 percent, barometer 29.01 inches, adjusted altitude 2,478 feet, track temperature 101 degrees.

No bump stop. Lots of smoke and shake in the Funny Car ranks, so this may be a tough session for the TF cars.

Neergaard makes close to a full pass and that will put him in the field temporarily. Torrance smokes the tires at the hit.

Stig Neergaard's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.308, 660ft-3.298/255.10 mph.

Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 3.905/300.60, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.813/318.39, Was #1

Dixon will make a single pass, after a broken run last night.

He starts the pass with a 0.844 sixty foot time and thunders to the finish line without issues. Nice clean pass.

Larry Dixon's incremental times: 60ft-0.844 sec., 330ft-2.176, 660ft-3.107/272.67 mph.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 3.960/302.48, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Tim Cullinan Runs 4.114/269.78, Now #14; No Prior Run

Lucas has struggled at the last two races. He gets to the finish line under power and without any oil to move into near the bottom of the ladder and into the current #13 spot.

Cullinan almost matches the Geico incrementals, but runs out of motor down track.

Morgan Lucas' incremental times: 60ft-0.874 sec., 330ft-2.222, 660ft-3.163/268.87 mph.
Tim Cullinan's incremental times: 60ft-0.876 sec., 330ft-2.243, 660ft-3.236/248.98 mph.

Left Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 4.246/226.70, Now #16; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Ron August Runs 4.019/275.00, Now #14; No Prior Run

This will be Chrisman's first attempt to qualify this weekend. This pair will set a bump spot too.

Big puff of smoke just before the top end from Chrisman's engine and he stops the car on the track.

August's car is a little lazy off the line and he makes near a full pass into the current #14 spot.

Steven Chrisman's incremental times: 60ft-0.875 sec., 330ft-2.243, 660ft-3.281/238.51 mph.
Ron August's incremental times: 60ft-0.894 sec., 330ft-2.251, 660ft-3.189/269.08 mph.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.068/264.70, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 3.935/268.49, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.853/317.87, Was #4

Steven Chrisman is on the bump spot at 4.246.

Neither car can get to the finish line under power, with a yellow haze near the lights.

David Grubnic's incremental times: 60ft-0.879 sec., 330ft-2.252, 660ft-3.224/259.06 mph.
Cory McClenathan's incremental times: 60ft-0.855 sec., 330ft-2.180, 660ft-3.102/271.30 mph.

Left Lane: Lex Joon No Time, Now #21; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Joran Persaker Runs 9.329/79.10, Now #19; No Prior Run

Tim Cullinan is on the bump spot at 4.114.

Ouch! Joon's dragster moves hard out of the groove off the line and then has most of the left bank cylinders out right away. There is a huge billow of fire from the engine just before mid-track and he stops the fueler on the track. He runs 5.114 at 139.66 MPH, the time is DQ'ed for oil.

Persaker strikes the tires at the hit and slows right away.

Left Lane: Mark Mariani Runs 4.057/286.01, Now #16; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 4.007/301.47, Now #14; No Prior Run

1:28 p.m. That was a long clean up!

Mariani used all of his lane getting to the finish line and he just bumps into the field.

McMillen engine is struggling and he gets in too for now.

Mark Mariani's incremental times: 60ft-0.890 sec., 330ft-2.251, 660ft-3.221/257.04 mph.
Terry McMillen's incremental times: 60ft-0.869 sec., 330ft-2.236, 660ft-3.201/263.15 mph.

Left Lane: Troy Buff Runs 5.186/130.92, Now #21; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 5.071/137.88, Now #10; Best prior run: 3.927/306.46, Was #10

Mark Mariani is on the bump spot at 4.057.

Buff is away first and has to give it up near the 330 mark. Vandergriff is right behind him with better incremental, until he gives it up near the same spot on the track.

Left Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 4.527/178.24, Now #22; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Scott Palmer Runs 3.991/292.52, Now #14; No Prior Run

It's Palmer from stay to finish with a clean pass into the new #14 spot.

The Greek may have popped a burst panel just before mid-track and the car slows.

Scott Palmer's incremental times: 60ft-0.870 sec., 330ft-2.222, 660ft-3.179/264.55 mph.

Left Lane: T.J. Zizzo Runs 4.120/236.22, Now #9; Best prior run: 3.918/310.77, Was #9
Right Lane: Mike Strasburg No Time, Now #12; Best prior run: 3.943/309.20, Was #12

Strasburg's chute comes out on the line and he has to shut the engine off.

Zizzo makes a good leave and then slows on the top end.

Left Lane: Antron Brown Runs 4.487/178.00, Now #8; Best prior run: 3.905/312.28, Was #8
Right Lane: Dom Lagana Runs 5.049/140.97, Now #11; Best prior run: 3.939/308.85, Was #11

No joy for either car, as they both click it early.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.996/140.94, Now #7; Best prior run: 3.895/314.83, Was #7
Right Lane: Shawn Langdon Runs 3.849/316.01, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.881/313.80, Was #5

Bernstein was on a good pass and then the engine went silent down track for no apparent reason.

Great pass for the Lucas Team, as Langdon takes the dragster into the top four.

Brandon Bernstein's incremental times: 60ft-0.856 sec., 330ft-2.207, 660ft-3.464/168.72 mph.
Shawn Langdon's incremental times: 60ft-0.839 sec., 330ft-2.160, 660ft-3.080/275.84 mph.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.766/153.06, Now #2; Best prior run: 3.840/320.58, Was #2
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.135/249.26, Now #3; Best prior run: 3.840/316.30, Was #3

Two good leaves and then both cars slow around mid-track to end the looong round.

1:48 p.m. Larry Dixon is still #1 at 3.813 and Ron August is on the bump spot at 4.019.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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