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Sat, 30 Sep 2000, 05:48 PM

TOPEKA - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Rick Green

TOPEKA, Kan. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Top Fuel at the 12th 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: Jim Cavalieri Runs 4.917/290.19, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.024/255.97, Was #18

We start with a bump of 4.932 and Romine is holding on to that spot. Cavalieri launched hard and was able to keep the Goodyears stuck all the way through the 1320. That was good enough to get him in the show for now.

Left Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 4.971/290.19, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.934/289.69, Was #18
Right Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 4.818/302.62, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.458/178.21, Was #19

Cavalieri will be watching this pair closely as these two are not in the show. Hartman-Smith gets in and Hartley does not. A couple good clean passes with Hartley laying down his best pass of the weekend. Hartman-Smith was a little loose on the top end, but holds on to get in the show.

Left Lane: Luigi Novelli No Time, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.835/298.60, Was #15
Right Lane: Paul Romine Runs 4.816/299.86, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.932/285.35, Was #18

Luigi pulled out of line, not sure if he was thinking he could not get bumped out or if they found some mechanical troubles. Romine with a great looking pass and that bumped out Cowin.

Left Lane: Tim Gibson Runs 4.724/298.93, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.752/307.23, Was #12
Right Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 4.854/284.27, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.907/273.55, Was #17

Gibson jumps up one spot on the ladder while Novelli had a big sigh of relief here as Cowin got close, but not close enough. Cowin had a wisp of tire smoke on the top end and that could of made the difference.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.723/287.23, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.735/287.72, Was #12
Right Lane: Joe Amato Runs 4.749/296.44, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.818/285.17, Was #15

Herbert with a good looking pass, but not the big top end speed. Amato with his best pass of the weekend.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.906/223.17, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.703/315.05, Was #10
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.713/306.95, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.693/309.06, Was #9

Looked like Grubnic pushed out a head gasket around 900 feet while Vandergriff with another clean pass to give three god runs out of four for the weekend.

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.772/249.12, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.643/306.95, Was #6
Right Lane: Don Lampus Runs 4.704/306.19, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.677/299.66, Was #8

Do not know why but Dixon's machine went silence just past the 1000-foot mark. Dixon just informed us it got a little loose, so he clicked it off. Lampus with another good pass after chasing some fuel delivery problems.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 7.094/111.13, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.639/309.98, Was #5
Right Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.683/313.94, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.645/308.07, Was #7

Cory shook the tires right off the starting line and clicked it off. Melanie made it three out of four pass in the 4.60 zone with another good looking pass.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 5.048/212.09, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.616/313.15, Was #3
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.612/313.73, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.633/314.02, Was #4

Bernstein started to haze the tires around half track and attempted to drive through it, but no luck. Schumacher with a great looking pass and jumps into the number two spot because of his faster speed.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.650/306.12, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.604/309.98, Was #1
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.669/307.93, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.612/311.34, Was #3

A great drag race and Scelzi took the win and held on to the number one spot. Scelzi said that it nosed over on the top end. Kalitta was right there with him.

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