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Mon, 11 Feb 2019, 13:08 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green





POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   10 Scott Palmer                            8 Doug Kalitta                 
E1                   0.072  8.545  93.47     ****WINNER****  0.053  3.707 323.97
 Qualified:             #8  3.720 328.38                        #7  3.716 326.87
Weather conditions: air temperature 57 degrees, relative humidity 62 percent, barometer 28.89 inches, adjusted altitude 1,587 feet, track temperature 80 degrees.

This is the 490th race for Doug Kalitta and that is the eighth most among all pro drivers. He is the defending event champion and has been to the final round here in four of the last five years. The last Top Fuel driver to win in back-to-back years at the Winternationals was Larry Dixon in 2002 and 2003. Doug's 31 round wins at this race are the most for any active TF driver. Scott Palmer is 2 and 14 against Doug Kalitta. Only Tony Schumacher (15) has beaten Scott more times than Doug has.

Kalitta is 14 - 2 against Palmer in prior events.

Kalitta with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He runs his quickest pass of the weekend for the win.

Palmer is up in smoke right at the hit and clicked it off.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   21 Terry McMillen                         58 Richie Crampton              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.060  3.710 329.10                     0.053  3.737 325.22
 Qualified:             #9  3.748 326.79                        #6  3.712 327.43
Crampton is 3 - 2 against McMillen in prior events.

Crampton with the starting line advantage, but McMillen has the lead by 100 feet and never trails from there on for the win. McMillen runs his career best in the winning pass.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  777 Leah Pritchett                          6 Antron Brown                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.050  3.707 325.61                     0.047  3.733 329.26
 Qualified:            #12  3.963 214.59                        #3  3.696 333.08
This is Antron Brown's 1,041st round and that is eighth most among all pro drivers. He has been runner-up at this race three times. Leah Pritchett won this race in 2017.

Brown is 15 - 9 against Pritchett in prior events.

Brown with a few ticks on the tree, but Pritchett has the lead by the time they go by the Christmas tree and never trails from there on for the win. She makes her quickest pass of the weekend for the win. Leah Pritchett's MOV: 0.0235 seconds (approximately 11 feet). She will have lane choice over McMillen in the next round.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  748 Cameron Ferre                         474 Billy Torrence               
E1                   0.073  7.368  86.02     ****WINNER****  0.039  4.103 266.42
 Qualified:            #13  4.247 196.85                        #2  3.662 326.79
This is the second time that Billy and Steve Torrence have qualified No. 1 and 2. They did it at Brainerd last when Steve was No. 1 and Billy No. 2. This is just third Top Fuel start for Cameron Ferre. He was runner-up at Indy in TAD in 2015 and runner-up at the NHRA Finals in TAD in 2014.

This is the first time Ferre and Torrence have faced each other in eliminations.

Torrence with a great light and he shook right at the hit and pedaled it. He got it to hook up enough to get the win. He will give up lane choice to Kalitta in the next round.

Ferre started to lose traction and he pedaled it and then chute came out.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  735 Steve Faria                             1 Steve Torrence               
E1                   0.071  4.626 163.18     ****WINNER****  0.088  3.688 330.96
 Qualified:            #14  5.574 118.60                        #1  3.657 331.61
Steve Torrence won the Winternationals in 2016. He is coming off that brilliant finish in 2018 when he won the last six races of the year. In 2018 Steve was 21 and 3 in round one. The winner of this round gets a bye into the semi-finals. Steve Faria is making his 16th start in Top Fuel and is looking for his first round win. He was runner-up here in TAD in 1990.

Torrence is 3 - 0 against Faria in prior events.

Faria with the starting line advantage, but Torrence has the lead by the time they go by the Christmas tree and ne never trails from there on for the win. He runs low E.T. of race day for the win.

Faria was on a good pass and then the car went silent.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  374 Austin Prock                            5 Brittany Force               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.074  4.029 312.21                     0.082  5.851 112.72
 Qualified:            #11  3.767 324.75                        #4  3.696 325.37
Brittany Force has competed in Top Fuel at the Winternationals six times and has only gotten out the first round once. Austin Prock is the 563rd different driver to qualify for an NHRA Top Fuel field. The No. #11 Top Fuel qualifier has pulled a first round upset three times in the last four years at this event.

Prock with the starting line advantage and started to lose traction, he pedaled it and got it to hook up and take the win. Then the chutes don't deploy and he does a great job getting the car stopped.

Force started to lose traction and pedaled it and couldn't get it to hook up and clicked it off.

11:37 a.m. It has started to sprinkle, so we are on hold.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   25 Clay Millican                        7211 Mike Salinas                 
E1                   0.075  3.840 327.82     ****WINNER****  0.116  3.682 333.74
 Qualified:            #10  3.759 320.43                        #5  3.710 331.45
Weather conditions: air temperature 53 degrees, relative humidity 50 percent, barometer 29.04 inches, adjusted altitude 1,053 feet, track temperature 62 degrees.

Here we go 22 1/2 hours later to finish round one with this last pair.

Millican and Salinas have each won 3 times against the other in prior events.

Millican with the starting line advantage and then had a quick pedal job, he got it to hook up, but couldn't chase Salinas down.

Salinas launched hard and kept it hooked up with his career quickest and fastest pass for the win. He runs low E.T of round one eliminations and will have lane choice over Prock in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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