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Sat, 09 Nov 2013, 17:23 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Top Fuel 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:
Left Lane: Todd Paton Runs 4.017/290.63, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Billy Torrence Runs 3.903/305.42, Now #13; No Prior Run

1:28 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 80 degrees, relative humidity 20 percent, barometer 28.91 inches, adjusted altitude 2,892 feet, track temperature 104 degrees.

Paton's dragster uses all the left lane getting to the finish line. The car is dropping cylinder right off the line and pushes out of the groove. We get to see both sides of the car going down the track, as Paton tries to say ahead of the front end of the car. Things get expensive right at the finish line, as the engine lights up and oils the track.

Torrence picks up a little ET from his prior best and moves into the number thirteenth position for now.

Todd Paton's incremental times: 60ft-0.874 sec., 330ft-2.242, 660ft-3.200/263.26 mph.
Billy Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.853 sec., 330ft-2.175, 660ft-3.109/267.96 mph.

Left Lane: Troy Buff Runs 3.825/310.70, Now #13; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 8.794/91.70, Now #16; No Prior Run

1:51 p.m. That was a big clean up!

Chrisman strikes the tires hard at the green and won't qualify this session. He'll get a final chance later.

Buff makes his best run of the weekend and runs clean to the new #13 spot.

Troy Buff's incremental times: 60ft-0.837 sec., 330ft-2.139, 660ft-3.049/275.90 mph.

Left Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 3.835/321.65, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.804/148.69, Now #6; Best prior run: 3.792/321.88, Was #6

Steven Chrisman is on the bump spot at 8.794.

Grubnic is already in the top half of the field and looking to improve. He is quicker to the 330 foot lights and then shakes the tires loose.

Torrance can't match his prior 3.829, but scores a #14 spot for now.

Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.841 sec., 330ft-2.175, 660ft-3.083/281.07 mph.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.324/191.48, Now #17; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.869/147.75, Now #12; Best prior run: 3.815/322.42, Was #12

Todd Paton is on the bump spot at 4.017 and Schumacher is the last car to try to bump in.

He hazes the tires early and slows.

Vandergriff doesn't get as far as the Army car, but is already in the field.

Left Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 4.568/170.82, Now #11; Best prior run: 3.814/324.28, Was #11
Right Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.487/171.71, Now #8; Best prior run: 3.800/323.19, Was #8

Neither car can get past the 330 lights under power.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 7.555/86.31, Now #10; Best prior run: 3.812/319.60, Was #10
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.653/163.71, Now #5; Best prior run: 3.790/324.28, Was #5

Bernstein is up in smoke early. Kalitta gets just a little further before striking the tires.

Left Lane: Khalid alBalooshi Runs 6.207/96.73, Now #9; Best prior run: 3.806/323.43, Was #9
Right Lane: Brittany Force Runs 3.852/318.62, Now #4; Best prior run: 3.787/323.19, Was #4

Force shows the boys how to do it, with a straight and clean pass right on down the track. Not her best, but good for the session.

alBalooshi is quicker to sixty feet and then kicks the tires.

Brittany Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.852 sec., 330ft-2.177, 660ft-3.092/278.17 mph.

Left Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 3.816/323.04, Now #7; Best prior run: 3.799/317.64, Was #7
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 6.456/106.45, Now #3; Best prior run: 3.782/320.20, Was #3

Looks like both lanes will hold the power, as Massey makes the best run of the session. He's not as quick as his earlier best, but runs a strong 323 MPH.

Lucas' tires are smoking right off the line.

Spencer Massey's incremental times: 60ft-0.864 sec., 330ft-2.174, 660ft-3.068/284.09 mph.

Left Lane: Antron Brown Runs 3.798/320.58, Now #2; Best prior run: 3.775/322.42, Was #2
Right Lane: Shawn Langdon Runs 4.041/223.99, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.750/327.03, Was #1

Brown will take the Little Points for this session with a strong pass to wrap up the session. He doesn't improve his position.

Langdon was just 0.001 behind at sixty feet, but started to slow significantly near the 660 lights.

Antron Brown's incremental times: 60ft-0.844 sec., 330ft-2.147, 660ft-3.045/281.42 mph.
Shawn Langdon's incremental times: 60ft-0.845 sec., 330ft-2.153, 660ft-3.073/262.95 mph.

2:18 p.m. Todd Paton is on the bump spot at 4.017.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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