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Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 07:36 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in 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 this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: James Day Runs 8.123/85.47, Now #20; Best prior run: 8.087/86.47, Was #20
Right Lane: Terry Haddock No Time, Now #21; Best prior run: 8.331/88.25, Was #21

3:40 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 24 percent, barometer 28.94 inches, adjusted altitude 2,569 feet, track temperature 89 degrees.

Jim Head is on the bump spot at 4.751. We will update the championship points situation when Matt Hagan comes up later in the session.

Haddock's crew did not even fire the engine before pushing the car over to the return road, so his weekend and season are over.

Day left hard, started to rattle the tires, and shut it off, his weekend and season also over.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.243/293.66, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.563/143.43, Was #18
Right Lane: Justin Schriefer No Time, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.581/101.25, Was #19

Densham got down the track under power and into the field. Schriefer lost traction in the middle of the run, tried to pedal it, and oiled the track. His 4.919 at 155.24 mph would not have qualified anyway, but the Creasy Family team runs on a tight budget and the penalty will not help that situation.

Now Tim Wilkerson is on the bump spot at 4.574.

Left Lane: Grant Downing Runs 4.385/277.37, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.370/139.79, Was #19
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.352/219.08, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.751/172.01, Was #17

Both drivers made improved runs, both got in, but Head came close to not making it, his car very loose in the final 200 feet. That bumped Wilkerson and Ron Capps. Downing is now on the bump spot.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.664/184.25, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.574/191.29, Was #18
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.486/197.22, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.179/296.57, Was #11

Wilkerson lost the blower belt near half track and failed to get back into the field. Pedregon also had problems on the top end, but he was already safely in the field

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.176/290.32, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.437/250.88, Was #17
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 6.257/116.65, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.153/293.66, Was #10

Capps is the last car in a position to bump into the field and he did so in style. His car dropped a cylinder on the left side and tried to go to the wall, but Capps cranked the wheel over and refused to lift, bumping Downing to end the bumping process. Bode's car started to get the front end up in the air and he lifted.

Left Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.239/289.14, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.261/290.07, Was #15
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.302/240.81, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.153/294.88, Was #9

Troxel picked up a few hundredths to move around Densham in the order. Arend had good early numbers, started losing ground past the 660-foot marker.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 8.440/78.50, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.190/290.38, Was #13
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 10.620/74.15, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.114/307.93, Was #4

Oh-for-two, both up in smoke almost immediately.

Left Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.094/301.67, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.136/288.70, Was #7
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.077/305.70, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.085/310.34, Was #3

THe two championship contenders ended up side-by-side for their final qualifying runs. Based on bonus points awarded so far, Hagan is 41 points ahead of Force, but when you consider the "small" points for qualifying position, Force only trails by 38 points.

It was a great side-by-side show for the crowd, Hagan with his best run of the weekend, and Force doing likewise. That gives Force low ET of the session so far, puts them on opposite sides of the ladder.

We'll have to wait until the session is finished to update the situation, but it looks certain that they will be less than two rounds apart going into eliminations.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.119/307.30, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.136/306.46, Was #7
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 5.645/123.67, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.080/312.35, Was #3

Hight was up in smoke about 400 feet out. Beckman made the third-quickest run of the session, moved up one spot on the ladder.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.100/307.37, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.128/298.67, Was #7
Right Lane: Ashley Force Hood Runs 4.155/263.87, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.076/309.98, Was #1

Last pair. Two good runs, Force Hood losing traction before the stripe. Pedregon moves into third-quickest of the session and fifth on the ladder, and qualifying is complete.

The championship contenders end up second (Force) and fourth (Hagan), they are 38 points apart going into eliminations.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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