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Sat, 1 Sep 2001, 03:34 PM

INDY - Federal-Mogul Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Michael L. Jex

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Federal-Mogul Dragster at the 47th annual Mac Tools U.S. 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: Jared Dreher Runs 6.593/150.90, Now #24; Best prior run: 6.202/222.36, Was #24
Right Lane: Russ Lindert No Time, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.598/248.93, Was #7

3:41 PM The Federal-Mogul Pits are full of fans, racers, spectators...... and a few other drivers and crew chiefs who are not racing this weekend. Rick Santo's crew chief Norm Grimes is here this weekend, as is Mark Hentges.

This is the final round of qualifying for the category, they lost a round on Friday due to thundershowers. The bump is currently Jeff Bohr with a 5.711.

Lindert's run was DQ'ed, he crossed the centerline and took out the 660-foot cone. Dreher lifted the front end of his dragster a bit higher than one would like, then had to pedal to calm things down.

Left Lane: Shelly Howard Runs 5.471/255.00, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.495/256.02, Was #3
Right Lane: Jeff Bohr Runs 5.801/243.81, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.711/246.62, Was #16

Howard's motor ran a lof of rpm before the burnout, but the motor sounded about right as she backed up. With names like Bacca and Hirata outside the program, Bohr really needs to get off the bubble. Nope! he shook at the start, ending his bid.

Nice run for Howard, she jumps ahead of Keith Stark, just behind Duane Shields in the program.

Left Lane: Keith Stark Runs 5.818/255.39, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.478/258.02, Was #3
Right Lane: J. Marshall Topping Runs 8.924/94.19, Now #27; Best prior run: 12.892/78.67, Was #27

Keith Stark recently had the 17th operation on his hand since suffering a devastating accident a few years ago. Keith's race-day setup was a little soft with a 1.012 short time, but it was clean. Topping was expending more nitro out the pipes than he was burning - he had at least two or three dropped cylinders on this run.

Left Lane: Ben Marshall Runs 5.749/228.50, Now #17; Best prior run: 18.364/62.58, Was #28
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.801/244.47, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.598/248.48, Was #8

Homer Simpson's "Doe!" fit's here - Marshall's team missed bumping out Bohr by just .03. Reichert's team is still struggling with consistency with their nitro burning machine.

Left Lane: Shawn Bowen Runs 5.659/254.09, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.710/244.38, Was #15
Right Lane: David Baca Runs 5.682/259.46, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.832/240.12, Was #20

Baca's brightly painted A fueler left a large cloud of clutch dust, then thundered into the program. He bumped out Jeff Bohr who had a front row seat - he was right near the starting line coming down the return road when Baca ran.

Ken Perry is now on the bubble with a 5.700.

Left Lane: Arthur Gallant Runs 5.709/252.99, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.503/251.58, Was #4
Right Lane: Mick Snyder Runs 6.060/217.39, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.774/240.47, Was #19

Both drivers struck the tires at the launch and pedaled quickly. Great driving by both drivers, but the action ended their bids to move up the ladder.

Left Lane: Duane Shields Runs 8.055/117.43, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.445/256.02, Was #1
Right Lane: Brian Badgett Runs 6.049/221.78, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.422/192.58, Was #26

Big, high RPM burnout for Shields. Duane has started to come into his own this year, driving in Division Six has helped. He's raced a some of the best in the country, and beaten them. If the team can maintain consistency, they will be tough this weekend.

Shields either lost a burst panel or belt on this run, the motor went silent just past the 330-foot marker.

Left Lane: Ken Perry Runs 5.700/248.11, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.700/244.47, Was #16
Right Lane: Robin Samsel Runs 6.312/235.76, Now #23; Best prior run: 6.056/219.97, Was #23

Perry run's exactly the same ET as before, and will stay on the bump spot. Samsel's nitro machine left a yellow cloud of unburnt nitro, he had quite a few dropped cylinders on this run.

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 5.707/249.26, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.655/245.90, Was #12
Right Lane: David Wells Runs 9.822/80.46, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.605/253.18, Was #9

Well's wing failed just off the starting line, it bent over almost immediately. Good thing David felt the change and lifted, that could have been bad at the top end of the track. Bernstein went .983 to 60-feet, and 205 mph to half track, the run looked faster than it was.

Left Lane: Randy Bayne Runs 5.682/246.53, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.837/242.67, Was #21
Right Lane: Phil Mass Runs 9.031/85.42, Now #27; Best prior run: 7.081/141.95, Was #27

Bayne stepped up a ton! Great pass, one of the best of the year for Bayne. Mass had the chute come out after suffering a lot of tire shake, the chute made a loud POP when it opened up just past the 330-foot timers.

Left Lane: Jason Cannon Runs 5.608/256.60, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.609/254.04, Was #10
Right Lane: Paul Jones Runs 5.573/255.68, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.178/244.83, Was #24

The bump is now Randy Bayne's 5.682, and he's in danger here. Paul Jones and the Edgecombe team are from Division Seven and have lots of power.

Randy Bayne is gone - Jones went .963 to 60-feet, 207.53 mph at half track, then marched the rest of the way into the top half of the program. David Baca is now on the bump spot with a 5.682.

Left Lane: Brandon Henkelman Runs 10.106/80.83, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.575/260.26, Was #6
Right Lane: Bill McCornack Runs 5.623/251.44, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.668/240.21, Was #15

Get the advil - Henkelman had a lot of tire shake, he lifted early. McCornack used a nice .944 short time to move up three spots.

Left Lane: Jay Meyer Runs 5.500/254.33, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.592/252.90, Was #7
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.620/254.81, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.784/248.25, Was #22

David Bacca may be holding his breath - Hirata has a 50-50 chance of bumping him out of the program. Yesterday Jay Meyer backed into the back of Hirata's tow vehicle - today the team was prepared with a special Stop-Go sign for them....

Hirata bumps out Baca, Meyer shook just a little then went like a missle downtrack, moving up three spots. Meyer's 60-foot time was one of the best of the session - .913.

Left Lane: Tim Rudy Runs 15.670/63.41, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.636/227.92, Was #14
Right Lane: Dave Hedges Runs 6.139/221.31, Now #25; Best prior run: 6.197/222.47, Was #25

Tim Rudy's machine is the former Top Fueler Ron Capps drove to victory in Seattle a few years ago. This time it blazed the tires just past the 60-foot mark. Hedges gave it a shot, but couldn't make the time needed to bump Shaun Bowen.

So qualifying ends with Duane Shields on top, he'll face Shaun Bowen in round one tomorrow. 4:22 PM

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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