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Fri, 12 Nov 2004, 09:23 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster 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: Larry Miersch Runs 5.577/247.43, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.667/232.03, Was #19
Right Lane: John Haley Runs 5.496/252.99, Now #15; Best prior run: 11.759/57.59, Was #23

5:37 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 59 degrees, relative humidity 76 percent, barometer 28.88 inches, adjusted altitude 2,020 feet, track temperature 90 degrees.

Great TAFC session leading up to the last qualifying for the long cars. Hillary Will starts the session on the bump with a 5.583 ET. Haley steps right up to bump Wills out and take the current #15 spot. Miersch picks up a bunch and would have taken over the bump, except for Haley.

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 5.377/267.22, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.254/272.28, Was #1
Right Lane: Darryl Hitchman Runs 7.440/141.27, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.436/254.57, Was #13

Hudson's 5.558 is the new bump. Hitchman runs well until mid-track and then header flames go out. Lucas makes another good clean pass, but won't improve.

Left Lane: Don Hudson Runs 5.491/247.07, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.558/248.48, Was #16
Right Lane: Randy Meyer Runs 5.304/257.78, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.317/259.91, Was #6

Lots of smoke off of Meyer's engine, as he runs very close to the center line down the track. He runs a better ET and will stay in the current #6 spot. Hudson in the blown car pickup a lot of ET and moves off the bump.

Left Lane: Steve Federlin Runs 5.417/260.86, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.494/258.96, Was #15
Right Lane: David Wells Runs 16.735/54.54, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.414/258.22, Was #10

Wells spins at the hit and clicks it off. Federlin takes advantage of the conditions and makes a clean and straight pass into the current #12 spot for now.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 5.356/269.83, Now #2; Best prior run: 5.260/270.86, Was #2
Right Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.410/250.83, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.417/260.86, Was #11

Haley is on the bump with a 5.496. Two good runs with Demke picking up two spots on the ladder. Force's ET lands in the middle of her prior two passes.

Left Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 13.447/76.71, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.632/245.32, Was #20
Right Lane: Duane Shields Runs 5.323/263.31, Now #3; Best prior run: 5.272/264.34, Was #3

We got to see the side of Ahten's dragster right off the line as the car is up in smoke and gets way sideways. Shields has flames over the top of the wing and makes a good pass to keep the number three position for now.

Left Lane: Hillary Will Runs 5.341/265.80, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.583/252.43, Was #18
Right Lane: Marshall Topping Runs 7.886/109.22, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.212/203.43, Was #21

Will make a major move up the ladder with a great looking pass into the current top half of the field. Topping's engine was lazy off the line and he clicks it off early.

Left Lane: Ben Harper Runs 5.539/224.58, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.406/266.37, Was #9
Right Lane: Bill Reichert Runs 5.286/273.72, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.332/272.17, Was #7

Lots of header flames from the starting line to near the finish line, where Harper clicks it off early. Reichert runs the second fastest time of the weekend and moves up two spots into the current #5 spot.

Left Lane: Dennis Swearingen Runs 5.625/215.65, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.474/146.13, Was #22
Right Lane: Kent Nuckols Runs 14.252/52.52, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.591/251.91, Was #19

No joy for either of these two, as Nuckols has a boomer near the 330 lights. Swearingen picks up a ton over his earlier ET's and will have to settle for the #20 spot.

Left Lane: Gene Snow Runs 5.324/270.21, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.292/263.36, Was #6
Right Lane: Dave Hirata Runs 5.380/269.78, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.423/266.64, Was #14

Both cars run with major header flames over the wings right on down the track. Snow has a big increase in MPH and will stay in the current #6 spot. Hirata has a better tune up and just missed the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Mitch Myers Runs 5.118/271.08, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.279/273.94, Was #4
Right Lane: Randy Eakins Runs 25.738/29.91, Now #24; No Prior Run

The big Yellow race car make the statement of the weekend with a new best ever ET for Top Alcohol Dragster! So much for the A/Fuelers sandbagging this weekend!! Eakins' weekend is over at the hit as the tires go up in smoke. Mitch Myers' incremental times: 60ft-0.900 sec., 330ft-2.323, 660ft-3.390/234.09mph, 1,000ft-4.306

6:12 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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