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Sat, 09 Nov 2013, 19:21 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in 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:
Left Lane: Grant Downing Runs 4.904/169.89, Now #20; Best prior run: 8.229/72.35, Was #23
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 10.685/80.29, Now #21; Best prior run: 4.932/156.03, Was #20

3:25 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 28.90 inches, adjusted altitude 2,922 feet, track temperature 97 degrees.

Jeff Diehl is on the bump spot at 4.243.

Pedregon just missed the provisional field yesterday, by 0.004 seconds, and now finds himself down to his last shot to make the 16-car ladder. Downing's best run yesterday was better than the current bump time

Neither driver will be introduced tomorrow. Pedregon's car never came up to full power and Downing hazed the tires.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.166/298.34, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.979/93.67, Was #23
Right Lane: Josh Crawford Runs 4.364/267.80, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.243/251.91, Was #17

Crawford dropped a cylinder immediately and never picked it back up. It appeared from here that he "blew it up" as he neared the stripe. Bode bumped his way in with a full pass, but there was a big flash of flame from his car in the lights.

Now Phil Burkart is on the bump spot at 4.171.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.132/309.27, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.480/213.40, Was #20
Right Lane: Jeff Diehl Runs 4.168/297.09, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.243/287.72, Was #17

Tasca's best run yesterday, a 4.163 at 294.56, was not good enough to make the 12-car cutoff, but would put him 14th in the current field. Diehl's best yesterday was slower than his run earlier today, which put him in the field, on the bump spot for Round 3. However, he was just bumped from the field.

Mixed results for these two. Tasca made a strong final run and bumped his way into the field. Diehl also made a strong run, but his car kept getting closer to the centerline and he finally had to lift and steer away - losing precious thousandths. He beat Phil Burkart's bump time, but Tasca's run moved the line and Diehl came up two thousandths short of Bob Bode's new 4.166 second bump mark.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 4.323/278.23, Now #20; Best prior run: 4.257/289.88, Was #20
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 18.943/57.60, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.171/287.47, Was #18

Burkart's car backfired on the burnout, scattering the track crew, but the engine kept running. Then, at the green, the engine hiccuped and quit. Meanwhile, Haddock repeatedly flirted with the wall and there was a dense cloud of smoke at the stripe. But no oil.

Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.016/319.07, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.109/312.35, Was #12
Right Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.137/311.13, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.138/307.16, Was #15

No more bumping. Bob Bode will race the #1 qualifier tomorrow.

Nice run by Force, her best of the event and second only to her father. DeJoria made a good run, improved by a whole thousandth over her first run today.

Courtney Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.877 sec., 330ft-2.288, 660ft-3.249/270.10 mph.
Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.915 sec., 330ft-2.370, 660ft-3.352/263.82 mph.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.067/311.85, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.080/308.43, Was #11
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.119/298.87, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.118/301.81, Was #13

Arend (and car-owner Jim Dunn) skipped the first session today, the car already solidly in the field.

Both cars went right down the track and Arend moved into the top half of the field. Densham's header flames went out before the stripe, but not by much.

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.901 sec., 330ft-2.320, 660ft-3.285/267.06 mph.
Gary Densham's incremental times: 60ft-0.909 sec., 330ft-2.331, 660ft-3.306/259.76 mph.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 9.311/75.05, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.077/309.20, Was #11
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.480/200.17, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.103/312.71, Was #12

These two usually start in the top half of the field, but have struggled a bit here this weekend.

Beckman smoked the tires early in the run, Capps a little farther down the track, before the 660-foot marker.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 7.839/74.72, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.077/311.20, Was #10
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.105/311.92, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.071/314.31, Was #9

This is Gray's last full-time Funny Car outing, but he's not retiring, just no longer chasing points.

Gray inadvertently "double-bulbed" Wilkerson, but "Wilk" wasn't rattled and staged when he was ready. Gray lost traction almost immediately, Wilkerson made a "full pull."

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.059/310.05, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.065/309.84, Was #7
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.014/320.20, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.043/319.52, Was #5

Two strong runs, Hagan going to the #1 spot and resetting the track speed record.

Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.903 sec., 330ft-2.319, 660ft-3.276/268.22 mph.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.898 sec., 330ft-2.309, 660ft-3.253/274.16 mph.

Left Lane: Chad Head Runs 5.130/144.53, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.065/314.17, Was #7
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.317/215.31, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.028/317.49, Was #5

Both drivers lost traction in the middle of the run, Head first, then Hight.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 3.995/319.37, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.015/318.62, Was #2
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.414/207.40, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.019/314.83, Was #4

Last pair. Worsham was up in smoke in the middle of the run, but the "Prock Rocket" reset the track speed record with the first-ever three-second run at Pomona to take back the #1 spot. The prior record was 4.007.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.880 sec., 330ft-2.280, 660ft-3.230/270.70 mph. This is his sixth #1 qualifier this season and the 146th of his career.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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