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Fri, 12 Nov 2004, 08:03 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 40th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA 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: Morgan Lucas Runs 4.566/320.66, Now #7; No Prior Run

4:03 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 66 degrees, relative humidity 58 percent, barometer 28.88 inches, adjusted altitude 2,020 feet, track temperature 95 degrees.

Lucas' engine keeps running today and he is able to thunder down the track and into the current top half of the field. That will put Cowin on the bump with a 6.232 ET.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 5.432/201.13, Now #17; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Gary Ormsby Jr Runs 4.714/278.06, Now #12; Best prior run: 11.366/72.04, Was #22

Contrary to reports on the Internet, it wasn't a clutch pedal problem yesterday, but rather a broken Throttle cable that caused his cruise down the track after the burnout. The throttle worked today, but he has traction issues and has to give up on the run. Ormsby has a good three quarter plus pass and slows on the top end. It's good enough for now and he makes the current field. Chrisman takes over the bump with his 5.009 ET.

Left Lane: Rhonda Hartman-Smith Runs 4.664/298.47, Now #12; Best prior run: 10.090/84.93, Was #23
Right Lane: Joe Hartley Runs 7.220/114.32, Now #21; Best prior run: 7.665/105.28, Was #21

Hartman-Smith makes a big move up the ladder and is in the field for now. Hartley leaves hard and has the inside of the engine try to get outside. There is a lot of smoke from the engine and the Safety Safari parade is out on the track laying down the oil dry.

4:11 p.m.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.529/330.31, Now #6; Best prior run: 8.059/91.76, Was #23
Right Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.856/225.41, Now #18; Best prior run: 7.263/135.10, Was #22

4:23 p.m. ... and we are back. Herbert's engine needs a little longer fuze. He has almost the same numbers as Grubnic until about the 1000 foot light, where there is a lot of smoke from the engine. Grubnic makes a clean pass down the track and into the top half of the field for now.

Left Lane: Mike Strasburg Runs 4.867/290.07, Now #19; Best prior run: 6.287/141.15, Was #22
Right Lane: Mitch King Runs 4.794/297.02, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.840/259.66, Was #17

Strasburg picks up a bunch with a clean and straight side by side pass with King. Both cars improve from yesterday's times, but only King will get into the field for now.

Left Lane: Andrew Cowin Runs 6.341/134.67, Now #22; Best prior run: 6.232/135.25, Was #22
Right Lane: Scott Palmer Runs 5.071/217.91, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.801/305.29, Was #16

Exciting pair! Cowin has a bunch of shake, pedals it, and the front wheels come up in the air. With Cowin looking at the sky, the car drives hard toward the center line and he has to lift. Palmer was on a good pass until near the 1000 foot, where it looked like he lost both head gaskets with a big flash from the engine.

Left Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 6.776/121.81, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.009/262.08, Was #20
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 11.422/64.27, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.600/321.12, Was #11

Weis is up in smoke at the hit and Chrisman gets a little further down the track before his troubles start. Weis will stay in the show for now. Palmer is on the bump with a 4.801 ET.

Left Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 6.501/129.49, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.809/301.74, Was #17
Right Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 9.713/87.95, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.598/320.43, Was #10

Dixon is away first and lights up the slicks before the 330 lights. Karamesines was soft off the line and started to drift toward the left guardrail. He almost takes the shiny off the side of the dragster as he gets waaaay too close for comfort.

Left Lane: John Smith Runs 9.287/100.33, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.615/308.99, Was #12
Right Lane: Brady Kalivoda Runs 4.614/319.45, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.594/316.30, Was #9

Smith shakes the tires and clicks it early. Kalivoda doesn't improve, but shows consistency. When he dumps the chutes in the lights, both pilot chutes fly off and into Smith's lane. Smith has to drive around to miss them!

Left Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.526/322.81, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.533/330.31, Was #7
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.525/328.54, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.509/322.34, Was #4

It doesn't get much better than this great side by side pass for the two red cars. Only .001 second difference in ET! Bernstein is able to move up one spot on the ladder and Kalitta will say in the number 4 spot for now.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 4.541/326.16, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.521/322.04, Was #5
Right Lane: David Baca Runs 4.576/321.65, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.487/327.43, Was #2

The sun is below the West grandstand and we are really starting to see the header flames. Once again, a good looking side by side pass. Both cars slow slightly from yesterday, but have very respectable times.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.485/327.11, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.503/318.99, Was #3
Right Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 9.939/83.80, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.472/328.62, Was #1

Last pair of Pros for today. Schumacher is running the WWII US Army colors this weekend. Kalitta smokes the tires early, while Schumacher makes a run right down Broadway and into the #2 qualifying position. Nice run to end the session!

4:48 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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