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Fri, 09 Nov 2012, 15:38 PM

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

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Casey Grisel Runs 6.552/236.26, Now #2
Right Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 5.514/255.43, Now #1

11:35 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 65 degrees, relative humidity 47 percent, barometer 28.80 inches, adjusted altitude 2,184 feet, track temperature 93 degrees.

TAD lost a round to rain yesterday, so they will only get two "hits" to set the field for eliminations.

Grisel dropped several cylinders as soon as he launched. Eakins made a nice opening run, a season-best for him.

Left Lane: William Litton Runs 9.770/85.86, Now #3
Right Lane: Brooks Brown No Time, Now #4

Litton's crew fired the car and signaled Brown's crew to go ahead and fire, but Brown's crew was thrashing with some kind of problem and finally put the starter back in the four-wheeler and pushed the car away. Litton made a lazy launch, then the rear tires shook and went into full-blown tire smoke.

Left Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.731/241.76, Now #2
Right Lane: Jackie Fricke Runs 10.562/103.69, Now #5

Fricke was up in smoke immediately. Olivarez was shaking and skating around, gave the throttle a quick slap and settled the car down, but that cost him ET and speed.

Left Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 13.635/76.97, Now #7
Right Lane: Don St. Arnaud Runs 5.353/276.41, Now #1

Miersch was up in smoke immediately. St. Arnaud made a very nice run, a season-best ET and a career-best speed.

Don St. Arnaud's incremental times: 60ft-0.969 sec., 330ft-2.470, 660ft-3.593/223.65 mph, 1,000ft-4.543.

Left Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 10.025/84.12, Now #6
Right Lane: Greg Hunter No Time, Now #10

Hunter's car did not fire and he was pushed to the side. Ahten's car smoked the tires, dropped cylinders, and he shut it off.

Left Lane: Garrett Bateman Runs 11.746/72.61, Now #9
Right Lane: Megan McKernan Runs 7.038/239.06, Now #5

Both cars went up in smoke immediately. Both drivers pedaled, and pedaled, and pedaled. McKernan found a little traction, Bateman never did get the tires hooked up.

Left Lane: Ray Martin Runs 12.340/48.40, Now #11
Right Lane: John Finke Runs 5.727/255.87, Now #3

More tire smoke. Martin did not regain traction, but Finke did, though it took a couple of pedal jobs. Finke got almost to the 330-foot marker before losing traction, so he had more momentum to work with than Martin.

Left Lane: Chase Copeland Runs 5.369/269.24, Now #2
Right Lane: Joey Severance Runs 5.509/247.93, Now #3

We almost had two full passes here, but something went POP on Severance's car as he neared the finish line.

Chase Copeland's incremental times: 60ft-0.938 sec., 330ft-2.442, 660ft-3.583/220.22 mph, 1,000ft-4.542.
Joey Severance's incremental times: 60ft-0.948 sec., 330ft-2.443, 660ft-3.615/210.67 mph, 1,000ft-4.631.

Left Lane: Mark Taliaferro Runs 5.373/270.05, Now #4
Right Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 5.335/259.16, Now #1

There were several flashes of flame from the left side of Meyer's engine, which may account for his slower-than-usual speed, but he still took over the #1 spot. Otherwise, two good runs.

Mark Taliaferro's incremental times: 60ft-0.971 sec., 330ft-2.482, 660ft-3.603/223.62 mph, 1,000ft-4.552.
Randy Meyer's incremental times: 60ft-0.913 sec., 330ft-2.374, 660ft-3.498/219.94 mph, 1,000ft-4.478.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.395/258.76, Now #6
Right Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.259/271.52, Now #1

Larry Miersch is on the bump spot at 13.635.

Demke made the ninth-quickest and second-fastest run ever for a supercharged car to take over the #1 spot. Shields lost a tenth to Demke early in the run and never got it back.

Duane Shields' incremental times: 60ft-0.942 sec., 330ft-2.449, 660ft-3.579/221.63 mph, 1,000ft-4.544.
Chris Demke's incremental times: 60ft-0.902 sec., 330ft-2.331, 660ft-3.465/219.22 mph, 1,000ft-4.434.

Left Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.446/260.01, Now #8
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 5.261/273.83, Now #2

Last pair. Whiteley tied his career-best ET, but came in just behind Demke on the ladder. Reichert lost more than a tenth to Whiteley in the first 330 feet.

Bill Reichert's incremental times: 60ft-0.988 sec., 330ft-2.480, 660ft-3.616/219.19 mph, 1,000ft-4.592.
Jim Whiteley's incremental times: 60ft-0.932 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.477/220.19 mph, 1,000ft-4.441.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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