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Sat, Nov 14, 03:56 PM

POMONA - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session # 3
By Larry Sullivan

Field Gets Quicker and Quicker

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 34th annual NHRA Winston Finals, 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: Eddie Hill Runs 4.600/315.12 Now # 3, (Best prior run: 4.633/304.15 Was # 4)
Right Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 9.710/ 92.59 Now # 5, (Best prior run: 4.637/310.77 Was # 5)

12:03 PM The first four pairs are also competing in the Big Bud Shootout at Pomona, which will be reported separately.

Nice pass by Hill, instant tire smoke for Dunn.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 7.306/105.75 Now # 6, (Best prior run: 4.650/313.58 Was # 6)
Right Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.714/303.03 Now #10, (Best prior run: 4.982/223.04 Was #15)

KB lost traction after 100 feet. Cory Mac started to spin the tires at half track, the cylinders firing erratically and the engine letting go in a big fireball at the finish line.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.615/315.78 Now # 2, (Best prior run: 4.580/313.69 Was # 2)
Right Lane: Joe Amato Runs 4.734/296.24 Now # 7, (Best prior run: 4.655/303.74 Was # 7)

Nice pass by Kalitta, Amato eating the engine on the top end.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.682/295.85 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 4.548/323.85 Was # 1)
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.725/305.49 Now #11, (Best prior run: 9.506/ 69.15 Was #19)

Dixon gets into the field on a solid run. Scelzi proves vulnerable, the engine going away at 1,000 feet.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 8.798/ 86.99 Now # 9, (Best prior run: 4.693/302.62 Was # 9)
Right Lane: Connie Kalitta Runs 4.791/286.44 Now #15, (Best prior run: 9.792/ 88.48 Was #20)

Kalitta bumps Bobby Baldwin, Bruce Sarver bumped during the Big Bud Shootout. That puts Jim Head on the bubble at 4.817.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.758/302.01 Now #13, (Best prior run: 4.817/292.87 Was #16)
Right Lane: Spike Gorr Runs 5.625/175.02 Now #19, (Best prior run: 5.202/247.45 Was #19)

Gorr lost power before half-track, probably a burst panel letting go, raw fuel from the headers. Nice pass by Head to get off the bubble.

Left Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.706/296.44 Now #10, (Best prior run: 4.758/271.82 Was #14)
Right Lane: Don Lampus Runs 9.543/ 83.18 Now #15, (Best prior run: 4.770/304.67 Was #15)

There were loud cheers from the JerZees suite next door when Vandergriff streaked away, but the car started spinning the tires at half track - still a nice run, but not as good as it started out to be. Lampus lost traction almost immediately.

Left Lane: Ray Stutz Runs 9.819/ 88.08 Now #21, (Best prior run: 10.648/ 86.32 Was #22)
Right Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 4.621/301.50 Now # 4, (Best prior run: 4.615/305.70 Was # 4)

Stutz had problems early in the run and shut it off - couldn't see what it was from here. Roy Hill's new driver made a nice pass, dropping a cylinder around the 1,000-foot mark but with no sign of tire spin.

Left Lane: Bobby Baldwin Runs 4.891/291.54 Now #18, (Best prior run: 4.877/286.25 Was #17)
Right Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 4.616/317.46 Now # 5, (Best prior run: 5.035/280.54 Was #18)

Nice pass by Sarver to get back into the field, a career-best speed to go along with a great elapsed time. Baldwin struggled a bit on the top end, the car leaving some "stuff" in the shutdown area.

Left Lane: Terry Mullins Runs 5.925/150.62 Now # 9, (Best prior run: 4.674/314.90 Was # 9)
Right Lane: Shelly Anderson Runs 4.884/278.98 Now #19, (Best prior run: 5.729/157.15 Was #20)

Mullins appeared to lose a blower belt just past half track, the headers spewing raw fuel, while Shelly spun the tires hard on the top end.

Left Lane: Allen Hartley Runs 11.796/ 82.37 Now #22, (Best prior run: 10.181/ 85.77 Was #22)
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.656/302.52 Now # 9, (Best prior run: 4.748/294.31 Was #14)

Hartley lost traction almost immediately. Herbert lost a cylinder early-on and still stepped up a tenth on a nice effort.

That's it, they will return for the final round in a couple hours.

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