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Fri, 08 Nov 2013, 20:47 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals 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: Nick Januik Runs 8.831/99.87, Now #22; Best prior run: 11.732/69.73, Was #23

5:07 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 23 percent, barometer 28.84 inches, adjusted altitude 3,043 feet, track temperature 95 degrees.

Doug Gordon is on the bump spot at 5.669.

Januik shook and slowed early in the run.

Left Lane: Ulf Leanders Runs 5.563/265.06, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.814/258.17, Was #20
Right Lane: Bret Williamson Runs 5.643/255.73, Now #14; Best prior run: 9.358/110.54, Was #23

Both drivers made full passes for the first time in this event and both got into the field, Leander way up in fourth spot with a (USA) career-best ET and speed, Williamson dangerously close to the new bump spot.

That bumped Gordon and Chris Hool from the field and Jirka Kaplan is on the bump spot at 5.658.

Left Lane: Steve Harker Runs 5.751/254.57, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.766/243.33, Was #20
Right Lane: Jonnie Lindberg Runs 7.630/121.68, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.351/259.26, Was #22

Lindberg's car got to the 330-foot marker with Harker, then fell off the pace (can't see much out that far because it's dark and the windows are tinted). Harker made a full pass, but missed the field.

Left Lane: Brian Hough Runs 5.627/257.73, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.694/256.89, Was #19
Right Lane: Bernie Harrington Runs 5.790/240.25, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.781/245.27, Was #21

Harrington made a full pass, but Hough steadily pulled away from him and bumped into the field.

That put Kaplan out of the field, leaving Jason Rupert on the bump spot at 5.645.

Left Lane: Kris Hool Runs 5.600/260.76, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.659/259.06, Was #18
Right Lane: Doug Gordon Runs 5.809/246.89, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.669/254.23, Was #19

These two were at the bottom of the field when the round started, were quickly bumped from the field.

Gordon's car moved a lot on this run and he came up short of the bump time. Hool went straight down the groove, bumping Rupert from the field.

Now Bret Williamson is on the bump spot at 5.643.

Right Lane: Jirka Kaplan No Time, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.658/253.14, Was #18

Kaplan was bumped from the field a few minutes ago. He staged, the tree came down, and the engine died when he tried to launch the car.

Left Lane: Cody Perkins Runs 5.543/260.91, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.599/258.76, Was #10
Right Lane: Jason Rupert Runs 5.589/259.36, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.645/257.33, Was #17

Rupert was the last car in line with a chance to bump Williamson from the field. One of the two won't be on the ladder for tomorrow's eliminations.

Both drivers made nice runs and Rupert bumped his way into this very tough field, while Perkins, only 0.043 seconds quicker, went all the way up to the third spot.

Cody Perkins' incremental times: 60ft-0.944 sec., 330ft-2.467, 660ft-3.660/206.99 mph, 1,000ft-4.680.
Jason Rupert's incremental times: 60ft-0.945 sec., 330ft-2.486, 660ft-3.693/205.16 mph, 1,000ft-4.722.

Left Lane: Sean Bellemeur Runs 8.804/102.11, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.572/258.37, Was #9
Right Lane: Steve Gasparrelli Runs 5.597/260.11, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.626/259.96, Was #14

Bellemeur launched, shook, pedaled, and used up a lot of the left lane before lifting. Gasparrelli made his best run of the event, moved up a couple spots, and now the top twelve are all in the fifties.

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 11.490/103.04, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.568/263.00, Was #7
Right Lane: Shane Westerfield Runs 5.596/260.16, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.614/243.28, Was #14

Bartone launched, shook and lifted. Westerfield made a nice run, imnproved slightly, and now we have 13 cars in the fifties.

Left Lane: Clint Thompson Runs 6.291/152.24, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.563/259.91, Was #6
Right Lane: Von Smith Runs 5.561/260.36, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.591/260.06, Was #11

This was a close race to ust before the 660-foot marker, then there was a POP from Thimpson's car and he slowed. Smith made a full pass, improved slightly, and moved all the way up to fifth.

Left Lane: John Lombardo Jr. Runs 5.524/261.57, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.557/260.66, Was #4
Right Lane: Jay Payne Runs 5.544/260.71, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.570/258.81, Was #9

"Say hello to your new #1 qualifier..." Two nice runs, Lombardo with a leisurely reaction time, followed by the quickest run of the event. Payne also posted his best run of the event, moved all the way up to fourth.

John Lombardo Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.943 sec., 330ft-2.464, 660ft-3.651/208.65 mph, 1,000ft-4.664.
Jay Payne's incremental times: 60ft-0.951 sec., 330ft-2.471, 660ft-3.664/207.72 mph, 1,000ft-4.682.

Left Lane: Annie Whiteley Runs 5.538/258.32, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.530/260.01, Was #2
Right Lane: Frank Manzo Runs 10.260/110.25, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.534/264.86, Was #3

Last pair, and a pair of forties wouldn't be a surprise from these two.

Manzo slowed before going 300 feet, the reason not evident in the darkness. Whiteley made her third strong run of the event, but failed to improve and will start in second place tomorrow.

That's it, Lombardo leads the parade at 5.524 and Mark Woznichak is on the bump spot at 5.632, just 0.110 seconds separating first and last on the ladder.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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