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Fri, 09 Nov 2012, 17:52 PM

Top Fuel Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Mike Salinas Runs 3.947/303.50, Now #1
Right Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 4.220/228.34, Now #2

1:59 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 64 degrees, relative humidity 43 percent, barometer 28.75 inches, adjusted altitude 2,094 feet, track temperature 84 degrees.

These folks lost their qualifying session yesterday, so they are starting from scratch today.

Two of the local teams open the session, Salinas with a solid, career-best ET. Chrisman lost a lot of ground to the 660-foot marker and coasted across the stripe.

Left Lane: Troy Buff Runs 7.016/79.58, Now #4
Right Lane: Chris Karamesines Runs 4.937/136.43, Now #3

Buff rattled the tires, pedaled a couple times, then the engine went silent. Karamesines started spinning the tires, dropped a couple cylinders, then there was a flash of flame and the blower belt went sailing through the air. The equipment is rolling, but it's for "lots of aluminum pieces" and not oil.

Left Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 8.466/71.80, Now #5
Right Lane: T.J. Zizzo No Time, Now #6

Both cars spun the tires hard, Zizzo popping the burst panel. The chutes deployed and he stopped short of the finish line.

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 3.892/312.50, Now #1
Right Lane: Terry McMillen Runs 3.997/271.35, Now #3

McMillen's car may have run out of steam short of the stripe and he trailed a lot of smoke in the shutdown area, but the track was clean. Cory Mac made a full pass with no visible problems.

Left Lane: Clay Millican Runs 3.804/320.66, Now #2
Right Lane: Khalid alBalooshi Runs 3.781/324.20, Now #1

alBalooshi has been on a hot streak in the past few races, running at or near the top of the field.

Both drivers made solid runs here, Millican with a career-best ET and speed, alBalooshi going to the head of the list.

Clay Millican's incremental times: 60ft-0.849 sec., 330ft-2.147, 660ft-3.048/280.89 mph.
Khalid alBalooshi's incremental times: 60ft-0.837 sec., 330ft-2.141, 660ft-3.037/284.81 mph.

Left Lane: David Grubnic Runs 3.787/322.27, Now #2
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 3.802/323.50, Now #3

Two more nice runs, alBalooshi still #1.

David Grubnic's incremental times: 60ft-0.845 sec., 330ft-2.148, 660ft-3.037/283.97 mph.
Bob Vandergriff's incremental times: 60ft-0.848 sec., 330ft-2.159, 660ft-3.054/284.09 mph.

Left Lane: Steve Torrence Runs 3.902/252.19, Now #7
Right Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 3.761/324.98, Now #1

T.J. Zizzo is on the bump spot at "no time," so any completed run will bump into the field.

Torrence's engine puffed and went silent about 800 feet down the track. Lucas made an excellent run to take over the top spot. That bumps Zizzo and Todd, putting Troy Buff on the bump spot at 7.016.

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 3.805/326.08, Now #6
Right Lane: Brandon Bernstein Runs 4.177/219.29, Now #11

Bernstein dropped a cylinder immediately and another part way through the run, then his car trailed a lot of smoke in the shutdown area when he lifted. It appears he lost some oil as well because the equipment rolled to clean up his lane. That will cost him five points.

Kalitta made a nice run, then went way past the finish line before the chutes finally came out. He slowed nicely and did not have to make a "sprint cart turn" to get off the track.

These two bumped into the field, putting Buff and Karamesines on the outside. Now Steven Chrisman is on the bump spot at 4.220.

Left Lane: Shawn Langdon Runs 4.063/289.45, Now #12
Right Lane: Spencer Massey Runs 3.791/325.69, Now #4

Langdon's car was quicker to 330 feet, then it appeared that he pedaled it. The car dropped a cylinder and trailed some raw fuel on the top end. Massey's run appeared to be incident-free.

Shawn Langdon's incremental times: 60ft-0.836 sec., 330ft-2.145, 660ft-3.202/224.21 mph.
Spencer Massey's incremental times: 60ft-0.839 sec., 330ft-2.154, 660ft-3.048/284.87 mph.

Left Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 3.807/307.44, Now #9
Right Lane: Antron Brown Runs 3.804/321.27, Now #6

Last pair. Brown needs to qualify and go a round or two to clinch, Schumacher just about needs to sweep the event to have a chance.

Schumacher's car was spitting fire from the right side of the engine on the top end and there's "stuff" on the track in his lane, so he loses 5 points. Brown didn't have any obvious problems, but he also did not pick up any bonus points. Those will go to Lucas, alBalooshi and Grubnic for this session.

Tony Schumacher's incremental times: 60ft-0.834 sec., 330ft-2.141, 660ft-3.038/280.95 mph.
Antron Brown's incremental times: 60ft-0.841 sec., 330ft-2.144, 660ft-3.049/279.73 mph.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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