Drag Race Central - NHRA
Sat, 24 Feb 2007, 07:14 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Darryl Jackman



CHANDLER, Ariz. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals presented by Castrol 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: Kenny Bernstein Runs 5.215/287.72, Now #16; Best prior run: 9.677/92.31, Was #22
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 10.561/78.15, Now #21; Best prior run: 7.866/112.73, Was #20

4:16 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 72 degrees, relative humidity 12 percent, barometer 29.03 inches, adjusted altitude 2,041 feet, track temperature 94 degrees.

Not great conditions for the folks that aren't in the field. Speaking of which, here comes Kenny Bernstein and Bob Bode. Bernstein and Bode both strike the tires at the same point but Bernstein uses all his experience and eases back on the pedal. The engine blew up at about 900 feet but he never lifted. He makes the show on the bubble with lots of folks left that can put him out. He may not make the field but he put on a heck of a show for the fans.


Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 7.566/123.11, Now #21; Best prior run: 9.026/99.10, Was #22
Right Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.847/323.43, Now #12; Best prior run: 7.852/106.44, Was #20

Bernstein only lasts until the next pair and it's Kalitta that bumps 'King' Kenny. Haddock struck the tires early but Kalitta stayed hooked up from beginning to end. By the way, I believe that today is Connie Kalitta's birthday!

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.818/297.88, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.507/232.99, Was #19
Right Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 4.897/322.88, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.804/165.13, Was #20

It wasn't real pretty but 'The Streak' is ALIVE! Force's Mustang disappeared behind a wall of smoke and for the second time in two races 'The Champ' will be racing on Sunday. It was close though as the headerflames on the Mustang started dancing and winking in and out after half track. The engine expired but John's in for the moment. Bartone gets a full pass with a great speed but is really close to that bump with several folks to come.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.932/307.51, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.296/222.58, Was #20
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 6.682/132.15, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.110/218.87, Was #18

Not real pretty for either driver. Cruz smokes the tires by 330 and he pedals it. Shortly after that there was a flash as another engine expired on Pedregon. Worsham had an even bigger explosion right at the stripe and he also fails to make the show. Gilbertson is still on the bubble and it appears that only Arend is left to put him out.

Left Lane: Jeff Arend Runs 4.864/307.16, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.954/295.08, Was #18
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 4.797/300.20, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.926/294.18, Was #16

Arend is the last hope for CSK to have a car to represent them at their own title event. This is their tenth year as sponsor of this event and I know that have high hopes. If Arend gets in on this pass it could be Gilbertson that gets pushed out. Or, both could make the show! Both improve and both race on Sunday. It's Bartone that will be loading the trailer and heading for Gainesville. From here on out were are jockeying for position in the field.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.699/330.07, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.750/321.12, Was #9
Right Lane: Jim Head Runs 4.762/325.61, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.878/257.58, Was #16

4.6s seem to be cheap this weekend. Capps throws one up on the board along with that mandatory DSR 330 mph speed. Head moves well off the bump and just misses the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.812/287.11, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.748/323.04, Was #9
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 7.515/114.01, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.841/316.08, Was #14

Beckman was away first and after half track the front end of the car came up and then drove him over towards the wall. he had to lift and in the time it took for all this to happen he still makes another solid run. Densham didn't get what he wanted as his engine expired with symptoms of a short fuse.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.789/328.22, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.733/330.88, Was #7
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 12.251/80.17, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.810/314.09, Was #12

Wilkerson strikes the tires in the right lane and has a ringside seat to wath TJ streak away in his Impala. Lots of smoke from TJ's ride but the numbers still look pretty darn good.

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.744/323.43, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.730/319.82, Was #6
Right Lane: Eric Medlen Runs 11.945/89.01, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.740/321.81, Was #8

Now we have a pair of JFR cars matched up. A big boomer for A. Force in the left lane. Good looking run right up to the point the engine went boom and threw the burst panel high into the desert air. Medlen got to watch as he struck the tires before 100ft and was coasting to the finish.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.734/330.15, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.697/330.07, Was #3
Right Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 9.594/86.23, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.727/326.48, Was #5

The 'Fresno Flash' goes 330mph in a DSR Dodge. Imagine that! He remains #3 but three out of four passes for his team have been competitive. Ashley was 'door handle to door handle' with Scelzi before he kicked the tires loose.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.719/323.50, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.659/324.44, Was #2
Right Lane: Robert Hight Runs 9.306/85.01, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.636/327.74, Was #1

Pedregon misses the ET record for Nitro Funny Car by .01 seconds. but still has rounds to go on Sunday. He finishes qualifying in the #2 spot in the field and the top qualifier was in the other lane. Hight over centered the car early in the run and fell to Goodyear smoke. Hight has to have a few question marks right now as he had that one earth moving shot in the second round of qualifying, followed by two tire smokers. That closes out the final Pro qualifying session. Lots of sportsman cars left to race tonight though.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink


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