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Sat, 27 Oct 2001, 12:25 AM

LAS VEGAS 2 - Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Larry Sullivan

LAS VEGAS - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the Inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA 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: Garth Widdison Runs 12.326/96.58, Now #20; No Prior Run

8:12 PM Widdison didn't fire first time out and this time he went up in smoke immediately.

Left Lane: Rob Passey No Time, Now #21; No Prior Run

Passey didn't make an attempt in the first session. He becomes the 21st racer to make a qualifying atatempt, matching the largest Top Fuel fields of the season. Oops, scratch that, he went back to the pits without firing the engine.

Left Lane: Arley Langlo Runs 5.509/205.91, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.509/205.91, Was #14
Right Lane: Don Sosenka Runs 5.402/265.90, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.402/265.90, Was #13

Langlo and Sosenka manage to get fired and make their runs, so this is the largest field of the season, 22 cars and counting. But Langlo's engine started trailing spray on the top end and the Safety Safari conga line heads for the left lane. There are 24 cars here, including Don Lampus

Left Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 5.817/150.77, Now #16; Best prior run: 8.846/77.81, Was #19
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 12.528/86.27, Now #21; Best prior run: 10.387/82.92, Was #21

Schumacher was up in smoke immediately. Hartman-Smith's car had the front wheels up and was headed for the half-track markers, so she shut it down.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.594/317.87, Now #2; Best prior run: 8.144/98.24, Was #19
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 9.063/82.24, Now #19; Best prior run: 7.816/122.79, Was #18

Scelzi lost traction early in the run. Kalitta went right down the middle of the groove on a pretty run.

Left Lane: Tim Gibson Runs 11.644/79.53, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.936/135.73, Was #18

Gibson rattled the tires and shut it down very quickly.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.707/311.05, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.171/197.86, Was #13
Right Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 10.043/84.93, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.629/168.91, Was #16

Hartley lost traction very quickly. Herbert's car went right down the track on a good-looking run, with no apparent problems.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 5.743/156.37, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.864/304.87, Was #12
Right Lane: Darrell Russell Runs 4.972/221.13, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.765/303.09, Was #8

Weis lost the blower belt in the middle of the run. Russell also shut it down early, the engine smoking and something dragging on the track, under the engine.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.667/318.02, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.804/318.62, Was #9

Looks like Mike Kloeber has the new hadman sorted out, though he was a little disappointed in the first part of the run. It posted a stout 0.847 60-foot time, then ran a somewhat crooked route to the finish line.

Left Lane: Mike Dunn Runs 4.795/291.95, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.681/320.05, Was #6
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 5.357/175.78, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.602/315.93, Was #4

Dixon was on a rocket ride, but slowed at half track. Dunn ran it most of the way to the finish line, but the engine starfted trailing smoke and oil as he neared the line, then there was a big cloud of smoke when he lifted.

Left Lane: Kenny Bernstein Runs 4.577/318.39, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.575/322.34, Was #1
Right Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 4.604/319.90, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.596/318.32, Was #3

An amazing number of fans waited out the cleanup to watch this final pair of cars go down the track. It was worth it, Bernstein matching his first run despite what appeared to be a pushed-out head gasket at half track, a flash of green flame and then a steady, bright flame on the right side of the engine the rest of the distance. Nice run also for Cowin, showing nice consistency. On the top end Bernstein admitted disappointment at not running quicker and predicted even better runs tomorrow.

That's it, the end of a long day, the first pair of cars going down the track just after 7:30 a.m. and the final pair almost fourteen hours later.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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