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Sat, 2 Sep 2000, 04:06 PM

INDY - Federal-Mogul Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Federal-Mogul Dragster at the 46th annual 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: Bill McCornack Runs 5.731/245.72, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.782/244.83, Was #10
Right Lane: Shelly Howard No Time, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.641/253.14, Was #6

2:24 PM Howard's car broke on the burnout and had to be pushed back behind the line by hand. Then McCornack made a nice, smooth, easy pass, his best of the weekend.

Left Lane: Robin Samsel Runs 10.098/91.10, Now #19; Best prior run: 28.000/0.00, Was #19
Right Lane: Rick Santos Runs 5.527/256.94, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.540/257.33, Was #1

Samsel was 0-3 in prior qualifying sessions, so this pairing presented just about as big a disparity in performance as possible. This try Samsel actually got the car down the track, with a couple dead cylinders and trailing a spray of fuel out the rear of the car. Meanwhile, Santos made a rare error, deepstaging the car, which cost him a few ticks on the elapsed time clock, but he stepped up a bit anyway.

Left Lane: Russ Lindert Runs 6.000/197.54, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.634/248.11, Was #5
Right Lane: Gary Ward Runs 5.978/237.67, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.882/238.98, Was #12

Ward must have been watching Santos because he also deep-staged. Lindert's car had a couple dead cylinders and trailed a spray of "stuff" most of the way down the track. The Safety Safari went to work to clean it up, starting at half track and continuing into the shutdown area.

Left Lane: Keith Stark Runs 6.291/237.71, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.284/231.75, Was #17
Right Lane: Randy Bayne Runs 15.102/42.73, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.885/233.56, Was #13

Stark's starting line problems continue, the car slow off the mark and then hesitating before picking up the pace. Bayne launched, shook hard, smoked the tires, and gave it up.

Left Lane: Jay Meyer Runs 5.597/251.95, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.553/253.75, Was #2
Right Lane: Dave Hedges Runs 6.535/209.07, Now #18; No Prior Run

Meyer had to put a new bullet in today after breaking a crank yesterday afternoon. This is the first time we've seen Hedges this weekend. And it looks like it will be the last, the car sluggish off the line with a one-second-plus 60-foot time. Nice, clean pass by Meyer. If he doesn't run out of bullets, he should be in good shape in eliminations tomorrow.

Left Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 6.308/199.70, Now #16; Best prior run: 6.113/220.26, Was #16
Right Lane: Jeff Bohr Runs 5.895/236.51, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.004/230.25, Was #15

Reichert is still looking for the combination with his A-Fuel car, while Bohr steps up, into the fives in his blown car.

Left Lane: Darren Nicholson Runs 5.679/249.72, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.726/247.93, Was #8
Right Lane: Shawn Bowen Runs 5.969/246.98, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.786/251.16, Was #11

Nice pass by Nicholson to solidify his hold on the final spot on the top half of the ladder. As with the other A-Fuel cars, Bowen's is sluggish on the launch, then picks the pace up a bit.

Left Lane: Phil Mass Runs 6.000/243.02, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.781/241.20, Was #10
Right Lane: Gary Ormsby Runs 6.854/159.63, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.575/254.38, Was #3

Ormsby went through the clutch, the car trailing clouds of black dust. Mass shook and pedaled to get out of it.

Left Lane: Chad Pilkington Runs 8.333/160.40, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.818/209.75, Was #19
Right Lane: Steve Federlin Runs 5.712/248.80, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.661/250.32, Was #7

Pilkington's car was sluggish off the line, then shook hard. Good pass for Federlin, right in the middle between his best and worst of the weekend.

Left Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 6.094/234.45, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.633/255.00, Was #4
Right Lane: Greg Roberts Runs 6.091/177.49, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.959/192.06, Was #15

Hirata's A-Fuel car was sluggish off the line, a 1.039 60-foot time. Roberts' car was on a fair pass, but then a bunch of "stuff" came out on the top end of the run.

That was the final pair, so Federal-Mogul Dragster qualifying is completed, Santos on the pole at 5.527 and Bill Reichert on the bump at 6.113. They will be back for eliminations tomorrow.

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