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Sat, 16 Feb 2013, 12:41 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Southeast Division, Prelude to the Gators at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville:

  596 Randy Meyer                            12 Dan Mercier                  
E1                   0.057  5.423 261.72     ****WINNER****  0.057  5.417 265.90
 Qualified:             #4  5.383 260.01                        #5  5.392 263.72
12:16 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 59 degrees, relative humidity 53 percent, barometer 29.76 inches, adjusted altitude 650 feet, track temperature 65 degrees.

Both these drivers got down the track just once on three qualifying attempts, Meyer getting the front wheels way up in the air on a giant wheelstand on his final attempt.

This was a great drag race, both drivers making strong runs after a dead-even start. Meyer led past the 1,000-foot marker, but drove around Meyer in the lights.

Dan Mercier's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.007), 330 ft(-0.047), 660ft(-0.013), 1,000ft(-0.005). MOV: 0.0062 seconds (approximately 2 feet).

    4 Rich McPhillips                      1320 Wayne Morris                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.257  5.448 256.84                     0.122  6.686 147.75
 Qualified:             #3  5.351 262.90                        #6  5.418 263.20
McPhilips also got a lot of air time with his front wheels yesterday. It wasn't as high as Meyer's, but he carried the wheels a long way down the track before pulling the plug. Morris was not quite as quick as McPhillips yesterday, but he was more consistent, making three full passes, while McPhillips only made two.

Morris had a huge holeshot and it looked like he was going to win handily, but as he passed the 330-foot marker, his car started dancing and darting left, then right. He regained control, but it looked like his engine shut off well before the stripe and McPhillips won going away.

Rich McPhillips' incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.139), 330 ft(-0.102), 660ft(0.128), 1,000ft(0.555). MOV: 1.1035 seconds (more than 100 feet).

 1900 Dan Page                              211 Artie Allen                  
E1                   0.077  5.706 250.32     ****WINNER****  0.108  5.339 266.95
 Qualified:             #2  5.333 265.69                        #7  5.460 246.30
Page made two good runs and skipped the third. Allen made three full passes, but was about a tenth of a second slower than Page.

Page was first off the line, but his car appeared to drop a cylinder immediately and Allen led as they passed the tree, pulling away for a surprisingly easy win, running a career-best speed and his best ET of the weekend, by a tenth, to earn lane choice against McPhillips in the semifinals.

 1482 Richard Bourke                        206 Bill Evans                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.075  5.385 265.38                     0.059 11.066  76.02
 Qualified:             #1  5.324 267.53                        #8  5.542 261.88
On paper, Evans needed to find almost two tenths of a second to have a chance against #1-qualifier Bourke.

It didn't happen. Bourke made another solid run, while Evans shook, then lost traction. Bourke made the second-quickest run of the round and will have lane choice against Mercier in the semifinals.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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