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Fri, 21 Feb 2020, 16:49 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Gerard

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Jeff Diehl Runs 6.987/94.65, Now #2
Right Lane: Blake Alexander Runs 3.974/319.75, Now #1

2:13 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 29 percent, barometer 28.84 inches, adjusted altitude 3,025 feet, track temperature 99 degrees.

This is the first race of the year for these two!

Alexander gets away first and makes his first three second pass of the year to set a mark for the field.

Diehl is late at the green and coasting before the 330 lights.

Blake Alexander's incremental times: 60ft-0.892 sec., 330ft-2.283, 660ft-3.217/276.63 mph.

Left Lane: Jim Campbell Runs 6.707/98.77, Now #3
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.612/125.56, Now #2

Campbell struggled at Pomona and is looking to make the field this weekend. With only 16 FC entered, that shouldn't be a problem. The engine drops a cylinder right off the line and is coasting right after that.

Haddock only gets a little further before he is off the throttle and coasting too.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 3.962/323.74, Now #2
Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 3.958/323.50, Now #1

Nice! Two side by side passes right on down to the finish line. They leave just 0.006 part at the green and 0.004 in ET's!

Pedregon makes his first three second run of the year and is just a tad faster than Tasca.

Tasca runs close to his Pomona best to capture the current top spot by just 0.002 seconds!

Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.876 sec., 330ft-2.271, 660ft-3.210/277.20 mph.
Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.877 sec., 330ft-2.279, 660ft-3.210/278.23 mph.

Left Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 3.943/327.11, Now #1
Right Lane: Paul Lee Runs 4.257/210.37, Now #5

Todd is long gone at the green and runs clean to the finish line for the next leader position.

Lee is stronger to right at the 660 lights. The Charger starts to drift towards the wall and he had to lift early!

J.R. Todd's incremental times: 60ft-0.878 sec., 330ft-2.268, 660ft-3.196/279.50 mph.
Paul Lee's incremental times: 60ft-0.857 sec., 330ft-2.221, 660ft-3.202/233.84 mph.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 3.934/307.72, Now #1
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.473/127.20, Now #7

Capps' Charger is sporting a striking new blue and yellow "chrome" NAPA/PENNZOIL wrap. Very nice.

He gets a nice lead at the green and stays in front until just before the 660 lights, where the engine drops a cylinder on the right bank. He lifts and coasts on down.

Wilkerson keep all the candles lit to near the 1000 foot lights, where he is off the throttle a little early. Still good enough for the new top stop.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.865 sec., 330ft-2.237, 660ft-3.166/277.77 mph.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 3.915/324.12, Now #2
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 3.867/330.55, Now #1

And hits hits keep coming!

Hight is away first, but TJ has the better numbers until near the 660 lights. Hight powers to the finish line with the first 330 plus speed of the weekend!

Straight and strong for Johnson to the number two spot.

Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental times: 60ft-0.865 sec., 330ft-2.244, 660ft-3.166/279.50 mph.
Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.869 sec., 330ft-2.234, 660ft-3.133/286.38 mph.

Left Lane: Alexis DeJoria Runs 3.972/325.30, Now #8
Right Lane: Matt Hagan Runs 3.882/324.75, Now #2

Big starting line advantage for Hagan running the second best ET of the session. There way a lot of "color" in the headers near the lights and his motor may have been letting him down.

Strong pass for DeJoria in the RoKit Camry to stay in the top eight.

Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.289, 660ft-3.221/277.54 mph.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.861 sec., 330ft-2.228, 660ft-3.141/282.78 mph.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.120/144.80, Now #11
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 6.511/107.15, Now #14

Looks like both crew chief got a little greedy, as they are both up in smoke before the 330 lights.

Only 0.008 difference in RT's, but the Pomona Champion, Beckman, is loose first. Force's Camaro strike the tires after that and does a big "tail wag" before he clicks it off.

2:39 p.m. Robert Hight is number one at 3.867 and Jeff Diehl is on the bump spot at 6.987.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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