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Sun, 01 Sep 2013, 13:51 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Larry Sullivan

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Top Fuel 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:
Left Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 4.392/198.58, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.837/316.38, Was #3
Right Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 3.815/325.61, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.878/316.82, Was #9

1:00 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 64 percent, barometer 28.88 inches, adjusted altitude 3,610 feet, track temperature 110 degrees.

Massey's car lost traction in the middle of the run, but Torrence went right down the groove and went right to the #1 spot on the qualifying list.

Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.843 sec., 330ft-2.151, 660ft-3.065/278.92 mph.

Left Lane: Shawn Langdon Runs 3.821/322.34, Now #3; Best prior run: 3.874/316.60, Was #8
Right Lane: Antron Brown Runs 3.880/316.08, Now #10; No Prior Run

Brown needed a good run to get into the field, and he managed to do that, with his best run of the event, but he's not in the top half of the field. Langdon also made his best run of the event and moved way up on the ladder

Right Lane: Bruce Litton Runs 4.165/239.53, Now #14; No Prior Run

The first two pairs of cars were running in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Now we'll see several cars that were not in the 12-car provisional field.

Litton dropped a cylinder immediately, then there was a big flash of flame as he passed the 660-foot timing markers. The engine continued to trail flames as he brought it to a stop, but the Safety Safari was there quickly to handle the situation.

Left Lane: Pat Dakin Runs 3.876/307.44, Now #10; Best prior run: 3.889/273.94, Was #11
Right Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 3.976/305.91, Now #14; No Prior Run

Again, both drivers made their quickest run of the event and both are in the field. Karamesines lost the blower belt in the lights.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 3.852/319.07, Now #9; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Khalid alBalooshi Runs 3.832/319.60, Now #5; No Prior Run

These two have been consistent top-half qualifiers at recent events, but both ended up on the "not-yet-qualified" list for the 12-car provisional field here.

Both drivers turned in their best run of the event here. alBalooshi's car was wandering around a bit on the top end, but he was still the quicker of the two, Millican a few thousandths too slow to make the top half.

Left Lane: Sidnei Frigo Runs 3.897/307.51, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.027/288.83, Now #18; No Prior Run

Chris Karamesines is on the bump spot at 3.976.

Frigo made his best run of the event to get into the field. Cory Mac also made his best run so far, but came up short of the field.

Now Billy Torrence is on the bump spot at 3.924.

Left Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 3.945/305.01, Now #17; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 4.950/150.55, Now #21; No Prior Run

Todd made his best run of the event, with a cylinder out most of the way, came up short. Lucas lost traction in the middle of the run, but he still was quicker than his previous best this weekend. He's down to one more chance to qualify.

Left Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.791/152.26, Now #8; Best prior run: 3.848/304.39, Was #8
Right Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 3.909/315.27, Now #16; No Prior Run

Vandergriff smoked the tires in the middle of the run, but he was already safely in the field. Bernstein made his first full pass of the weekend and made it into the field, but he replaced Billy Torrence on the bump spot and there are still some very quick cars waiting to run.

Left Lane: Leah Pruett Runs 5.007/139.21, Now #23; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 4.248/210.47, Now #10; Best prior run: 3.863/319.22, Was #10

Both drivers lost traction, Pruett around half track, McMillen a little closer to the finish line.

Left Lane: Damien Harris Runs 4.510/177.63, Now #22; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 3.933/303.09, Now #7; Best prior run: 3.845/319.22, Was #7

All Rapisarda, all the time. The two Rapisarda cars ended up side-by-side for this session.

Harris kept it close for about 400 feet, then he lost the blower belt and started coasting. After missing the provisional field by a couple hundredths of a second, he's now down to one more chance to qualify. TJ made a full pass, did not improve.

Left Lane: Billy Torrence Runs 3.823/324.36, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.924/309.84, Was #17
Right Lane: T.J. Zizzo Runs 4.958/144.18, Now #24; No Prior Run

Nice pass for the "rookie." Torrence stepped up a tenth of a second and moved way up the ladder. Zizzo lost traction in the middle of the run and he joins the growing list of those down to one more chance to qualify after missing the provisional field by a couple hundredths.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 3.868/270.48, Now #12; Best prior run: 3.876/318.47, Was #12
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.619/166.31, Now #16; Best prior run: 3.904/316.90, Was #16

Schumacher failed to get off the bump spot when he lost traction in the middle of the run and he will go into the final qualifying session in a vulnerable position. Grubnic improved slightly, stayed 12th.

Left Lane: Brittany Force Runs 7.569/79.23, Now #2; Best prior run: 3.820/313.44, Was #2
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 3.843/324.28, Now #5; Best prior run: 3.829/320.81, Was #5

Last pair, both safely in and near the top of the ladder.

Force lost a lot of time in the first 330 feet with a dead cylinder and lifted shortly after that. Kalitta ran it all the way through, failed to improve.

With one qualifying session to go, it's Steve Torrence #1 at 3.815 and Tony Schumacher is on the bump spot at 3.904.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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