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Sun, 01 Sep 2013, 17:33 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Notes from final, round 4 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: Shawn Langdon Runs 3.821/320.05, Now #3; Best prior run: 3.821/322.34, Was #3
Right Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 3.828/323.04, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.815/325.61, Was #1

4:21 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 82 degrees, relative humidity 67 percent, barometer 28.86 inches, adjusted altitude 3,696 feet, track temperature 108 degrees.

This first pair are the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel finalists. These runs also count toward qualifying for the U.S. Nationals.

Two nice runs, Langdon duplicating the ET he ran in the earlier session today. Torrence did not improve, though it was still a very good run, and he will now have to wait all the way through the runs by the rest of the Top Fuel cars to see if he stays #1.

Shawn Langdon's incremental times: 60ft-0.853 sec., 330ft-2.180, 660ft-3.073/284.93 mph.
Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.851 sec., 330ft-2.164, 660ft-3.075/278.86 mph.

Left Lane: T.J. Zizzo Runs 3.908/306.33, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.958/144.18, Was #24
Right Lane: Leah Pruett Runs 4.042/261.47, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.007/139.21, Was #25

4:47 p.m. Now for "the rest of the story."

Tony Schumacher is on the bump spot at 3.904.

Zizzo gave it his best shot, but dropped a cylinder early and appeared to push out a head gasket in the lights. He came up four thousandths short.

Pruett fell behind early in the run and steadily lost ground after that.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 3.878/313.80, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.950/150.55, Was #25
Right Lane: Damien Harris Runs 4.043/276.01, Now #24; Best prior run: 4.510/177.63, Was #24

Lucas got into the field on his last chance, bumping Schumacher. Harris fell back early and never had a chance after that.

Morgan Lucas' incremental times: 60ft-0.853 sec., 330ft-2.182, 660ft-3.113/275.62 mph.

That puts Sidnei Frigo on the bump spot at 3.897.

Harris put some oil down in the shutdown area, but it won't cost him a penalty because it's his first.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.263/207.21, Now #22; Best prior run: 4.027/288.83, Was #22
Right Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 3.922/308.57, Now #20; Best prior run: 3.945/305.01, Was #20

Cory Mac's car trailed a lot of raw fuel (or something) and he shut off well before the finish line. Todd ran it all the way through for his best ET of the event, but it wasn't good enough to join the select-16.

Left Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 4.143/290.82, Now #21; Best prior run: 3.976/305.91, Was #21
Right Lane: Sidnei Frigo Runs 5.262/132.46, Now #16; Best prior run: 3.897/307.51, Was #16

Karamesines legged it through, but was off the pace from the start. Frigo had a better launch, but started losing power before half track and shut it off.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 3.916/310.34, Now #19; Best prior run: 3.909/315.27, Was #19
Right Lane: Pat Dakin Runs 3.842/313.37, Now #8; Best prior run: 3.876/307.44, Was #13

Bernstein failed to improve and he's done for the weekend. Dakin made a nice run, with a career-best ET and season-best speed, to move into the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 3.814/319.82, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.904/316.90, Was #17
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 3.824/321.04, Now #6; Best prior run: 3.868/270.48, Was #13

Schumacher is the last driver in the lanes with a chance to bump Frigo from the field.

Okay, how many style points do you get for going from 7th to first in the final qualifying session? If nothing else, Schumacher will probably earn 3 qualifying bonus points if he stays there. Meanwhile, Grubnic went from 13th to sixth, also a significant move.

Tony Schumacher's incremental times: 60ft-0.848 sec., 330ft-2.163, 660ft-3.063/282.95 mph.
David Grubnic's incremental times: 60ft-0.857 sec., 330ft-2.171, 660ft-3.074/282.24 mph.

Antron Brown is now on the bump spot at 3.880, but he can't be bumped out of the field.

Left Lane: Antron Brown Runs 3.811/320.58, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.880/316.08, Was #16
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.404/182.13, Now #14; Best prior run: 3.852/319.07, Was #13

Okay, maybe it's not quite as many style points as 17th to first, bit 16th to first ain't too bad. Brown got off the bump spot in fine style. Meanwhile, Millican was struggling, once again losing traction in the middle of the run.

Antron Brown's incremental times: 60ft-0.846 sec., 330ft-2.151, 660ft-3.058/279.56 mph.

Morgan Lucas is now on the bump spot at 3.878.

Left Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 3.843/320.28, Now #13; Best prior run: 3.863/319.22, Was #15
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 3.831/320.74, Now #9; Best prior run: 3.848/304.39, Was #13

Both drivers improved, both stayed in the bottom half of the field.

Terry McMillen's incremental times: 60ft-0.855 sec., 330ft-2.186, 660ft-3.092/281.83 mph.
Bob Vandergriff's incremental times: 60ft-0.852 sec., 330ft-2.166, 660ft-3.077/279.09 mph.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 3.866/315.93, Now #14; Best prior run: 3.845/319.22, Was #14
Right Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 4.531/171.08, Now #11; Best prior run: 3.837/316.38, Was #11

TJ made his fourth full pass of the event - nothing spectacular, but he's getting down the track.

Massey paced Johnson halfway, then lost traction and lifted.

Left Lane: Khalid alBalooshi Runs 3.863/317.34, Now #10; Best prior run: 3.832/319.60, Was #10
Right Lane: Billy Torrence Runs 3.843/318.92, Now #6; Best prior run: 3.823/324.36, Was #6

Neither driver improved, but both made solid runs and Torrence got the win light.

Khalid alBalooshi's incremental times: 60ft-0.860 sec., 330ft-2.189, 660ft-3.104/278.35 mph.
Billy Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.859 sec., 330ft-2.171, 660ft-3.086/278.46 mph.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 3.839/319.29, Now #8; Best prior run: 3.829/320.81, Was #8
Right Lane: Brittany Force Runs 3.875/311.92, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.820/313.44, Was #4

Last pair. Either one (or both) could reset the entire ladder by running quicker than 3.811 seconds.

Nice runs in both lanes, but neither driver improved and qualifying is over for the 59th annual U.S. Nationals.

Doug Kalitta's incremental times: 60ft-0.860 sec., 330ft-2.189, 660ft-3.089/282.72 mph.
Brittany Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.866 sec., 330ft-2.190, 660ft-3.108/277.03 mph.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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