TOPEKA, Kan. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Pro Stock at the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts 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: Warren Johnson Runs 6.987/198.96, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.891/200.08, Was #2
Right Lane: Kurt Johnson Runs 6.936/197.97, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.925/198.23, Was #8
6:54 PM, the sun has set, the clouds have returned, and the Safety Safari just spent about fifteen minutes grooming the racing surface, so I'd say conditions are about as good as during any other session this weekend. The air temp is 47 degrees, the track surface just 51 degrees. Here, both cars record 1.01 60' times, but WJ does a little fishtail deal at 100' and that was all the difference in their elapsed times.
Left Lane: Brad Klein Runs 8.424/114.73, Now #27; Best prior run: 7.010/195.76, Was #27
Right Lane: Allen Johnson Runs 8.700/101.12, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.922/197.39, Was #7
After losing a car in Gainesville, Johnson has learned how far is 'too far' and this time was too far, the Amoco Avenger getting out of the groove and over against the right wall. Ditto for Klein, too.
Left Lane: Mike Edwards Runs 6.966/197.74, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.935/197.05, Was #14
Right Lane: Troy Coughlin Runs 6.892/198.38, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.893/200.02, Was #3
Whatever Coughlin's doing, he's done it again here, the yellow and black car putting yet another 'eighty up on the scoreboard this round.
Left Lane: George Marnell Runs 8.927/106.59, Now #11; Best prior run: 6.930/198.09, Was #11
Right Lane: Tom Martino Runs 6.972/197.13, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.935/199.46, Was #12
The experts upstairs on the PA are saying that the reason the cars have slowed since this morning is that the humidity is much higher tonight... sheesh, it was almost raining this morning.
Left Lane: Jim Yates Runs 6.913/197.74, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.926/198.67, Was #9
Right Lane: Mike Thomas Runs 6.946/196.30, Now #16; Best prior run: 6.946/196.24, Was #16
Yates moves ahead of the Johnsons, Kurt and Allen, to move into the top half of the ladder. That's important, if for no other reason than the top eight get lane choice in round one.
Left Lane: Mark Pawuk Runs 6.903/198.90, Now #4; Best prior run: 6.894/199.14, Was #4
Right Lane: Randy Jones Runs 9.853/93.97, Now #29; Best prior run: 7.049/195.25, Was #29
Pawuk only had a 1.02 in the first 60', but he made up for it downtrack.
Left Lane: Richie Stevens Runs 9.704/94.56, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.888/198.44, Was #1
Right Lane: Jamie Yates Runs 8.987/105.43, Now #28; Best prior run: 7.033/195.70, Was #28
Stevens drifts left while Yates drifts right... maybe there's these huge magnets in the walls, and some guys in a tunnel with the switches, and they gets their signals from the guys overhead in the helicopters. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Left Lane: Arturo Delgado Runs 17.282/46.74, Now #24; Best prior run: 6.995/197.05, Was #24
Right Lane: Michael Holton Runs 7.119/191.46, Now #31; Best prior run: 7.236/192.11, Was #33
Delgado's engine goes quiet after second gear, while Holton was under power for the full 1320' but just not enough power.
Left Lane: Larry Nance Runs 9.111/103.91, Now #26; Best prior run: 7.006/196.59, Was #26
Right Lane: Tony Gillig Runs 6.950/197.08, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.955/198.15, Was #17
Gillig has a chance, here, as he's only a few thousandths away from making the show. And he improves 0.005 seconds but needed 0.004 more... oh, so close.
Left Lane: Gary Wiggins Runs 11.797/62.37, Now #32; Best prior run: 7.133/191.89, Was #32
Right Lane: Bruce Allen Runs 9.975/91.28, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.912/199.02, Was #6
Wiggin's car drove hard left and if he didn't skim the wall he didn't miss it but inches. Man, that was close.
Left Lane: Jeg Coughlin Runs 8.882/107.35, Now #5; Best prior run: 6.911/198.52, Was #5
Right Lane: Mike Trumble Runs 6.933/197.22, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.977/198.03, Was #19
Coughlin was drifting toward the centerline thru first, second, and third gear when he finally lifted, meanwhile Trumble cards one of those 1.000 60' times to move into the show and bump Mike Thomas out.
Left Lane: Greg Anderson Runs 6.964/197.65, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.980/197.91, Was #20
Right Lane: Darrell Alderman Runs 6.989/196.16, Now #23; Best prior run: 6.993/196.79, Was #23
Anderson's run was straight and smooth, but his 1.025 60' time told us that his chances of making the field were slim. The Dodge ran quicker every lap, just not enough.
Left Lane: Larry Morgan Runs 7.003/196.73, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.985/196.22, Was #22
Right Lane: V. Gaines Runs 7.004/197.16, Now #25; Best prior run: 6.999/198.15, Was #25
Morgan slows from his best run last night, while Gaines fails to improve on his lap this morning.
Left Lane: John Nobile Runs 6.949/97.65, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.935/198.17, Was #14
Right Lane: Ray Franks Runs 7.006/194.83, Now #27; Best prior run: 7.057/194.44, Was #30
Franks makes his best effort of the weekend, but it's not enough.
John 'Gonna be a Dodge guy' Nobile fails to improve on his round three lap,
so he'll face Troy Coughlin if nothing else changes.
Left Lane: Lewis Worden Runs 10.227/88.22, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.972/197.05, Was #20
Right Lane: Ed Heck Runs 7.541/152.09, Now #33; Best prior run: 7.168/191.89, Was #33
Left Lane: Ron Krisher Runs 6.923/197.51, Now #9; Best prior run: 6.944/198.17, Was #16
Right Lane: Steve Schmidt Runs 6.929/197.29, Now #11; Best prior run: 6.926/198.47, Was #10
Krisher moves all the way from the bump spot up to ninth, where he'll face Johnson's Dodge in round one.
Right Lane: Hurley Blakeney Runs 6.968/195.45, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.984/196.42, Was #21
Blakney's Ford falls short, and that's the last car so the field is set, with Richie 'the Kid' Stevens on top of the pack, the first time in 22 races that someone named Johnson hasn't led the Pro Stock contingent -- either Warren or Kurt have paced the field at every event since this race last year, when Mark Osborne qualified #1.
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