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Sun, 01 Sep 2013, 11:11 AM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. 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:
Right Lane: William Litton Runs 5.446/267.06, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.622/262.28, Was #22

10:30 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 72 percent, barometer 28.89 inches, adjusted altitude 3,197 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

Terrific TAFC session bodes well for the long cars! Jim Whiteley is number one at 5.342 and Aaron Olivarez is on the bump spot at 5.510.

Litton likes the conditions and runs a career best ET and speed to move from near the bottom of the ladder into the top eight. Nice!

William Litton's incremental times: 60ft-0.969 sec., 330ft-2.494, 660ft-3.642/217.60 mph, 1,000ft-4.613.

Left Lane: Forrest Fair Runs 5.516/247.29, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.794/237.25, Was #23
Right Lane: Don Nolan Runs 5.562/261.88, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.567/261.47, Was #22

Jackie Fricke is on the bump spot at 5.500. These two are anchoring the bottom of the ladder right now and need some big improvements.

Fair makes a valiant effort and powers on down the track to just miss the current bump spot. Nolan picks up just a little ET and speed and gets pushed down a spot.

Forrest Fair's incremental times: 60ft-0.962 sec., 330ft-2.473, 660ft-3.627/215.89 mph, 1,000ft-4.625.
Don Nolan's incremental times: 60ft-1.012 sec., 330ft-2.498, 660ft-3.687/208.07 mph, 1,000ft-4.703.

Left Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 5.404/259.51, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.544/258.86, Was #21
Right Lane: Paul Fishburn Runs 5.449/260.31, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.550/255.10, Was #22

Both drivers are finally able to show the performance they are capable of and easily bump into the stout field on their last attempt.Meyer is away first and stays there to the finish line. It's a great pass and he gets the new #3 position.

Fishburn was quicker to the 660 foot light, but his MPH shows that the car was starting to slow a little. He's #11 for now.

Randy Meyer's incremental times: 60ft-0.961 sec., 330ft-2.464, 660ft-3.593/221.05 mph, 1,000ft-4.557.
Paul Fishburn's incremental times: 60ft-0.925 sec., 330ft-2.403, 660ft-3.577/209.88 mph, 1,000ft-4.588.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.411/254.47, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.534/254.57, Was #22
Right Lane: Jackie Fricke Runs 8.971/131.65, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.500/245.90, Was #18

Fricke fires and falls back right off the lone and coasts on down the field.

Shields has been struggling all weekend and pulls it all together this time with a strong pass right up into the top half of the field.

Duane Shields' incremental times: 60ft-0.944 sec., 330ft-2.449, 660ft-3.580/221.42 mph, 1,000ft-4.549.
Jackie Fricke's incremental times: 60ft-1.267 sec., 330ft-3.605, 660ft-5.622/121.76 mph, 1,000ft-7.377.

Left Lane: John Finke Runs 5.418/260.71, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.529/237.34, Was #22
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.457/259.16, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.487/260.91, Was #17

Jared Dreher is on the bump spot at 5.482.

Two more strong passes and both cars move into the field for now.

Finke is off the line first and pulls steadily ahead to the finish line. He takes the new #8 spot.

Hirata improves his ET a little and it's good enough to get two spots on the ladder and the #15 spot.

John Finke's incremental times: 60ft-0.948 sec., 330ft-2.459, 660ft-3.595/220.08 mph, 1,000ft-4.565.
Dave Hirata's incremental times: 60ft-0.973 sec., 330ft-2.487, 660ft-3.633/219.51 mph, 1,000ft-4.604.

Left Lane: Aaron Olivarez Runs 5.398/265.80, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.510/254.38, Was #21
Right Lane: Marty Thacker Runs 5.444/261.37, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.460/261.88, Was #16

Olivarez goes from near the bottom to near the top of the field on his best pass of the weekend by far. He's now number two!

Thacker is just a little quicker, but that moves him off the bump and into the new #12 spot.

Aaron Olivarez's incremental times: 60ft-0.973 sec., 330ft-2.472, 660ft-3.597/222.51 mph, 1,000ft-4.562.
Marty Thacker's incremental times: 60ft-0.941 sec., 330ft-2.413, 660ft-3.580/211.16 mph, 1,000ft-4.586.

Left Lane: Matthew Cummings Runs 6.770/111.84, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.496/259.41, Was #20
Right Lane: Dave Heitzman No Time, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.453/252.76, Was #15

Ken Perry is on the bump spot at 5.457. Clouds have drifted in and the track conditions are likely the best of the weekend.

Cummings has a strong leave and runs well initially, but the car starts to drift towards the wall and he lifts.

Heitzman rolls the beams before the tree was activated and won't get a time.

Matthew Cummings' incremental times: 60ft-0.973 sec., 330ft-2.474, 660ft-3.722/185.46 mph, 1,000ft-5.088.

Left Lane: Jared Dreher Runs 5.456/255.29, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.482/252.47, Was #19
Right Lane: Robin Samsel Runs 5.395/259.26, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.442/259.16, Was #11

Samsel's car is clean from start to finish and moves nine spots up the ladder to the latest number two spot.

Dreher finds a little more power and moves up to the new bump spot on a nice pass.

Jared Dreher's incremental times: 60ft-0.958 sec., 330ft-2.467, 660ft-3.605/218.34 mph, 1,000ft-4.589.
Robin Samsel's incremental times: 60ft-0.963 sec., 330ft-2.452, 660ft-3.577/221.49 mph, 1,000ft-4.545.

Left Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 15.212/58.42, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.470/264.18, Was #19
Right Lane: Dan Page Runs 12.271/83.51, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.429/267.00, Was #11

Reichert and Page's day ends early, as both have broken runs.

Reichert may have broken a throttle cable, as the engine goes silent right off the line and the car is coasting.

Page kicks the tires hard at the green and coasts too.

Left Lane: Ken Perry Runs 5.434/263.41, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.457/262.54, Was #17
Right Lane: Rich McPhillips Runs 24.575/23.14, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.411/259.76, Was #8

McPhillips does a instant replay of Page's smoker and slows.

Perry flies off the line and powers into the new number twelve position on a clean pass.

Ken Perry's incremental times: 60ft-0.938 sec., 330ft-2.414, 660ft-3.585/211.46 mph, 1,000ft-4.584.

Left Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.330/269.62, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.410/266.11, Was #7
Right Lane: Shawn Cowie Runs 5.393/267.48, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.402/267.06, Was #4

Dave Heitzman is on the bump spot at 5.453. Both of these cars are already in the field.

The two Western Region dragster leave together and run side by side to the finish line. Demke has the power and tuneup and takes over the new top spot on the ladder.

Cowie is right behind him to take the latest #3 spot.

Chris Demke's incremental times: 60ft-0.921 sec., 330ft-2.371, 660ft-3.518/215.79 mph, 1,000ft-4.497.
Shawn Cowie's incremental times: 60ft-0.960 sec., 330ft-2.408, 660ft-3.563/214.35 mph, 1,000ft-4.553.

Left Lane: Brandon Booher Runs 5.364/269.13, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.406/265.64, Was #7
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 9.573/110.43, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.342/269.94, Was #2

Whiteley was loaded for bear and has too much for the track. The car doesn't get much past the tree before slowing.

Booher ends the session on a high note and he pushes into the final #3 spot on a clean and straight pass.

Brandon Booher's incremental times: 60ft-0.914 sec., 330ft-2.386, 660ft-3.544/213.91 mph, 1,000ft-4.529.

11:06 a.m. Chris Demke is number one at 5.330 and Dave Heitzman is on the bump spot at 5.453.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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