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Sat, 08 Feb 2014, 17:41 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals 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: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.233/296.05, Now #11; No Prior Run

1:44 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.09 inches, adjusted altitude 2,041 feet, track temperature 89 degrees.

John Force is the number one qualifier at 3.966. No bump spot, reset to sixteen cars.

Wilkerson's Mustang sounded flat all the way down the track, but it puts a number on the board and numbers to tune to.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.940 sec., 330ft-2.399, 660ft-3.409/253.47 mph.

Left Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 3.997/318.32, Now #3; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 4.162/271.41, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.306/244.43, Was #13

Strong leave for DeJoria and the car runs hard down the track. The car starts to drive towards the wall, but she stays with it to score her first three second pass and a new career best ET. It's good enough for #3 for now.

Lee left the line right after her and ran his best run of the weekend too. It's expensive though, as there is oil on the track on the top end. That will cost him five Championship points and $1500 too.

Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.884 sec., 330ft-2.274, 660ft-3.228/271.73 mph.
Paul Lee's incremental times: 60ft-0.902 sec., 330ft-2.319, 660ft-3.312/255.05 mph.

1:47 p.m. Time for some clean up.

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 5.523/139.76, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 6.686/99.78, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.040/317.27, Was #5

1:58 p.m. Back to qualifying.

During the delay, the DHL team quickly changed the rear spoiler to compensate for the great conditions. Worsham didn't get a chance to test it, as the Camry is shaking and spinning right off the line.

Burkart Impala was in trouble too and then blew up the motor. The burst panel was flopping around and there was a trail of oil out from underneath the car. Ouch!

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 7.629/78.19, Now #16; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.097/308.00, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.104/309.06, Was #10

2:11 p.m. Time to go racing!

Beckman is still looking for a clean pass to get into the field. Not this time either, as the tires are smoking right off the line. That puts him in the field, but likely not for long.

Arend makes another strong pass and slows just a little on the top end to stay #10.

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.892 sec., 330ft-2.308, 660ft-3.301/260.36 mph.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.258/245.58, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.303/236.46, Was #14
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 7.473/64.71, Now #16; No Prior Run

Jack Beckman is on the bump spot at 7.629.

Bode has a good leave and then has the car drop some cylinders on the left bank. That snaps the car hard and he has to quickly lift.

Pedregon has some more engine problems before the lights and lifts. No fire this time and he stays #14 for now.

Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.908 sec., 330ft-2.341, 660ft-3.353/250.27 mph.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.069/316.82, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.082/314.75, Was #9
Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.529/194.27, Now #15; No Prior Run

Tasca is still looking for his first pass and was well on his way this time until right at the 660 lights. The engine starts to drop cylinders and the Mustang just snaps dead right towards the wall. He earns his keep, as a driver, by quick reactions to save the car.

Johnson finds some more tune up and makes a clean and straight pass two spots up the ladder to #7.

Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.904 sec., 330ft-2.329, 660ft-3.292/267.59 mph.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 9.209/63.97, Now #19; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.094/315.78, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.077/316.01, Was #8

Weird. Haddock has a strong 0.915 sixty foot ET and then has the chutes deploy. He doesn't get far before shutting it off.

Hagan makes a strong pass right on down the track to stay #8.

Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.915 sec., 330ft-2.349, 660ft-3.315/267.91 mph.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.179/301.67, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.199/289.20, Was #12
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.010/150.82, Now #16; No Prior Run

Phil Burkart is on the bump spot at 5.523.

Another clean pass for Densham. He picks up some speed and ET to stay #12 for now.

Pedregon leaves hard with a 0.893 sixty foot time, but it's too much for the track and the slicks are smoking before the 330 lights. He still gets into the field for now.

Gary Densham's incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.377, 660ft-3.371/259.11 mph.
Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.893 sec., 330ft-2.304, 660ft-3.549/171.55 mph.

Left Lane: Courtney Force Runs 4.484/196.79, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.046/320.13, Was #6
Right Lane: Jeff Diehl Runs 6.602/104.61, Now #18; No Prior Run

Cruz Pedregon is on the bump spot at 5.010.

No joy for either team. Diehl is up in smoke first, right after the 60 foot lights and then Force, about the 330 mark.

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 5.630/124.51, Now #2; Best prior run: 3.996/317.94, Was #2
Right Lane: Chad Head Runs 6.379/101.88, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.079/303.23, Was #9

The rest of the cars yet to run are already in the field and looking to improve.

Dueling smokers. They run within 0.001 of each other at 60 feet and then are smoking the tires after that.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 6.881/96.42, Now #1; Best prior run: 3.966/324.12, Was #1
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.163/144.67, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.014/304.67, Was #4

Two hard leaves and two more smokers. Force is first, quickly followed by Capps.

2:37 p.m. Cruz Pedregon is on the bump spot at 5.010.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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