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Sat, 27 Jul 2013, 20:04 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

SONOMA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals 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: Josh Crawford Runs 4.457/264.55, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.526/106.22, Was #19

4:08 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 53 percent, barometer 29.88 inches, adjusted altitude 1,858 feet, track temperature 114 degrees.

Jon Capps is on the bump spot at 4.251.

Crawford makes a good start on his best pass of the weekend. He drops a cylinder after the 330 lights and then has the car start to move around the lane and towards the center line near the 660 lights. The engine gets real unhappy at that point and the is a major wall of smoke after the 1000 foot lights and up the hill.

Yes, there is oil on the track...[again] It's rumored that he will leave the event with minus points for the year and a big hole in his wallet.

Josh Crawford's incremental times: 60ft-0.960 sec., 330ft-2.475, 660ft-3.547/235.60 mph.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.112/306.46, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.087/174.17, Was #19
Right Lane: Jeff Diehl Runs 9.813/83.60, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.448/274.61, Was #17

4:22 p.m. Clean up is completed and back to final qualifying.

This not where Gray expected to be in the field on a late Saturday afternoon, with just one chance left to get in the field. The tune up is safe, but strong and he moves seven spots up the ladder into the field in the new number twelve position.

Diehl's chances go up in smoke at the hit and he slows.

Johnny Gray's incremental times: 60ft-0.900 sec., 330ft-2.332, 660ft-3.316/262.64 mph.

Left Lane: Jon Capps No Time, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.251/283.49, Was #17
Right Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.188/303.71, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.241/287.29, Was #16

Alexis DeJoria is on the bump spot at 4.241, with Capps in the other lane, trying to bump back into the field.

It's not to be, as the engine goes silent after the burnout and the car sits on the starting line.

Nice clean and straight pass for DeJoria to move off the bump spot. That sets the field with just shuffling around for positions left to go.

Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.371, 660ft-3.381/256.70 mph.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.157/306.26, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.226/299.93, Was #16
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.451/212.90, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.145/298.27, Was #13

Del Worsham is on now the bump spot at 4.226 and quickly moves away with a nice pass right up the ladder to the new #14 spot.

Pedregon had a better sixty foot time and was close at the 330 lights. The engine got unhappy and the car slowed from there on down the track. He will stay #13 for now.

Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.929 sec., 330ft-2.366, 660ft-3.357/260.11 mph.
Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.914 sec., 330ft-2.371, 660ft-3.414/239.91 mph.

Left Lane: Todd Lesenko Runs 4.374/238.76, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.165/304.87, Was #15
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.177/289.14, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.102/302.89, Was #10

Alexis DeJoria is on the bump spot at 4.188.

Lesenko gets away first, but Pedregon drives on by. Both cars shut off early, with Pedregon getting near a full pass.

Lesenko car has a big flash and bang from the engine, right after the 660 lights , and leaves some "stuff" on the track.

4:35 p.m. Time for some dusting and cleaning on the top end.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.076/308.35, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.058/311.41, Was #8
Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.078/298.67, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.080/307.23, Was #9

4:43 p.m. Back to final qualifying again. If this stay the same, these two will face each other in round one tomorrow.

If it was a race, it would have been a good one. Hight gets off the line first, but Tasca has better numbers down low. At the 660 foot lights, they were just 0.003 apart in ET and about one half mile an hour. Hight gets to the finish line first, as Tasca's engine goes BANG before the finish line and slows the Mustang quickly.

Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.895 sec., 330ft-2.314, 660ft-3.287/265.33 mph.
Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.889 sec., 330ft-2.303, 660ft-3.284/264.75 mph.

4:37 p.m. Clean up in Tasca's lane.

Left Lane: Courtney Force No Time, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.057/314.46, Was #7
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.697/177.23, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.026/314.09, Was #5

4:51 p.m. Lots of oil dry used up today.

Surprise! The parachutes on Force's car pop out and the engine dies, just as she is pulling in to stage.

Wilkerson's car is a little soft off the line and then kicks the tires after the 330 lights.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.062/309.98, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.025/316.60, Was #4
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.077/306.95, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.012/312.50, Was #3

A great ol' drag race, as they leave close together and run together down the track. Capps gets there first by 0.016, but Force has the top end performance to run the better times. They will both stay in their current positions, but that the best runs of the session so far.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.885 sec., 330ft-2.301, 660ft-3.273/265.06 mph.
Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.883 sec., 330ft-2.296, 660ft-3.279/261.98 mph.

Left Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.070/311.13, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.986/320.51, Was #1
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 5.163/143.78, Now #2; Best prior run: 3.994/319.67, Was #2

Hagen runs the best time of the session and ensures his third number one qualifying position of the year and the thirteenth of his career.

Beckman was giving him a run for his money until right before the 660 light, where the slicks are up in smoke.

Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.309, 660ft-3.284/265.85 mph.
Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.903 sec., 330ft-2.314, 660ft-3.633/163.41 mph.

5:01 p.m. Alexis DeJoria is on the bump spot at 4.188.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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