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Sat, 26 Jul 2014, 17:41 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By David Gerard

SONOMA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 27th annual NHRA Sonoma 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: Peter Russo Runs 6.248/99.36, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 4.246/283.01, Now #13; No Prior Run

2:03 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 42 percent, barometer 29.88 inches, adjusted altitude 1,554 feet, track temperature 123 degrees.

Courtney Force is number one qualifier at 4.045.

Russo is making his first attempt and they have problems getting the engine started. Lee finished his burnout and was going up to stage before Russo did a very short squirt. His problems continue, as the car drops a cylinder right at the step and then shakes the tires loose near the 330 lights. He stays after it too long and gets the Charger way sideways and close to the wall. He finally lifts and coasts on down.

Things are much more in control in the right lane, as Lee runs much better than yesterday to set a number for today. There are only eighteen cars here, so he should stay in the field.

Paul Lee's incremental times: 60ft-0.907 sec., 330ft-2.383, 660ft-3.409/251.16 mph.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.713/259.66, Now #14; No Prior Run
Right Lane: John Hale Runs 6.459/107.72, Now #16; No Prior Run

Both cars are up in smoke before the 330 lights. Densham strokes the pedal and feathers the car on down the track to ensure a spot in the field. Nice job!

Hale had a 4.409 yesterday, but loses to tire smoke early.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.158/300.93, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.214/270.48, Was #12
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.910/114.97, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.185/298.01, Was #11

John Hale is on the bump spot at 6.459.

Both cars are all ready in the field and looking to improve. Pedregon was away first and had better numbers until near the 330 lights, where the American Racing Wheels car started to smoke the tires.

TJ kept the tires glued and swapped spots with Pedregon to number 11.

Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.903 sec., 330ft-2.351, 660ft-3.350/259.06 mph.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.349/150.72, Now #15; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.151/304.19, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.098/312.57, Was #8

Wilkerson was strong early, but kicked the tires. He pedals and gets to the finish line and into the field in #15.

Clean pass for Worsham to stay in the top half of the field.

Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.358, 660ft-3.350/260.11 mph.

Left Lane: Jeff Diehl Runs 6.416/89.29, Now #17; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.421/131.77, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.093/314.61, Was #7

Peter Russo is on the bump spot at 6.248.

Diehl is the last car to try to bump in for the session. No joy here, as the tires are smoking about 100 feet out. The chutes pop out right after that and he is done. The Charger is locked up on the track right after the finish line.

Capps gets a little further before the NAPA Charger smokes the tires too.

Left Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 4.343/241.84, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.129/307.37, Was #10
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 4.134/304.60, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.088/310.48, Was #6

It's going to be tough to improve in these conditions, but this will be good tune up information for tomorrow's later rounds.

Hight has a strong hot weather tune up and makes the quickest pass of the session.

DeJoria Camry is strong early, but starts to haze the tires down track and slows.

Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.918 sec., 330ft-2.393, 660ft-3.417/247.88 mph.
Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.892 sec., 330ft-2.333, 660ft-3.332/258.81 mph.

Left Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 4.624/190.89, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.125/309.98, Was #9
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 4.169/297.02, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.075/307.30, Was #5

Tasca has a good pass going until just before the 660 lights and then starts to haze the tires.

Hagan's Charger is glued down to the track and runs the second quickest pass of the session to stay number five.

Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.890 sec., 330ft-2.333, 660ft-3.349/253.09 mph.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.161/297.94, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.070/313.73, Was #3
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.353/228.89, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.075/314.83, Was #4

This is Force's 650th NHRA National Event and that passes Warren Johnson's record.

Prock Power takes Force right on down the track to run the new second quickest pass on a clean and straight pass.

Beckman was just 0.001 slower in sixty feet and close at the 330 mark, but starts to spin the tires near the 660 lights.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.900 sec., 330ft-2.334, 660ft-3.341/255.29 mph.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.649/184.14, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.051/311.92, Was #2
Right Lane: Courtney Force Runs 5.755/121.32, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.045/319.22, Was #1

Last pair of the session.

No joy for either team, as both cars are smoking the tires. Pedregon gets the best of it.

2:38 p.m. Peter Russo is on the bump spot at 6.248.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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