Drag Race Central - NHRA
Mon, 02 Sep 2013, 12:08 PM

Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals:

  474 Billy Torrence                          3 Spencer Massey               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.071  3.820 322.50                     0.057  3.970 236.30
 Qualified:             #6  3.823 324.36                       #11  3.837 316.38
11:00 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 73 degrees, relative humidity 79 percent, barometer 28.94 inches, adjusted altitude 2,957 feet, track temperature 84 degrees.

Billy Torrence qualified in his first attempt in TF. Along with Curt Steinbach in Pro Stock, they are the first two to make their first start at the U.S. Nationals since 2007.

Spencer Massey has a career first-round record of 67-19 and he is 6-3 in first rounds at this event.

In his first race and first start, Torrence got his first round win in a close race that was decided when Massey's engine grenaded with a big fireball at the 660-foot marker, knocking the supercharger askew. The engine damage left oil on the track and Massey will lose ten points for the oildown.

Massey was off the line first and led to the 660-foot mark, slowly stretching his lead until the engine let go. Torrence made his quickest run of the event and had no apparent problems during the run.

Billy Torrence's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.015), 330 ft(-0.019), 660ft(-0.031). MOV: 0.1367 seconds (approximately 47 feet).

    4 Shawn Langdon                         303 Pat Dakin                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.065  3.785 324.44                     0.072  3.806 317.34
 Qualified:             #5  3.821 322.34                       #12  3.842 313.37
Pat Dakin's first start at the U.S. Nationals was 1972, when he qualified 12th. Overall this is his 24th race at Indy. Langdon is 2-0 against Dakin, both wins coming in round 1 eliminations. Langdon has a 5-4 round win record at prior U.S. Nationals.

Dakin made the second-quickest run of the event and it wasn't enough because Langdon had a small edge at the green and made the quickest run of the event. It was a very close drag race until Langdon opened the gap in the final 340 feet. The win clinches the #1 spot in the countdown for Langdon.

Shawn Langdon's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.009), 330 ft(-0.005), 660ft(0.010). MOV: 0.0282 seconds (approximately 13 feet).

  745 Brittany Force                         21 Terry McMillen               
E1                   0.071  3.906 274.11     ****WINNER****  0.083  3.847 319.52
 Qualified:             #4  3.820 313.44                       #13  3.843 320.28
This is the third time this year that Brittany Force has started from the top half of the field. This is Terry McMillen's fourth trip to Indy and his third start. This is the first time they have faced each other in eliminations.

Force left first and led past the 660-foot marker, but her engine let go at that point and McMillen was close enough to take advantage of the situation. The engine damage left oil on the track and that will cost Force 20 points (she lost 5 yesterday for an oildown during qualifying), leaving her with a net gain of just 15 points for the event.

Terry McMillen's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.015), 330 ft(-0.033), 660ft(-0.008). MOV: 0.0474 seconds (approximately 19 feet).

McMillen faces Langdon in round two, Langdon has lane choice.

    1 Antron Brown                           34 Morgan Lucas                 
E1                   0.052  3.825 321.27     ****WINNER****  0.053  3.784 320.28
 Qualified:             #1  3.811 320.58                       #16  3.878 313.80
From Antron Brown's 3.811 to Morgan Lucas's 3.878 this is the closest TF field in NHRA history.

Brown is 17-3 against Lucas, 6-1 in round one. Antron Brown qualified #1 in Top Fuel for the third time at Indy. The other two times he lost in round one in 2009 and won the race in 2011. Brown has 29 round wins and 13 losses at the U.S. Nationals, including Pro Stock Motorcycle, and he won this event twice on the two-wheeler, in 2000 and 2004. He was never the #1 qualifier here on the motorcycle. The #1 qualifier has only won seven times in the 49 years of Top Fuel at Indy.

They left together. Lucas' car was mixing up cylinders, his header flames very orange, and he still ran low ET of the event for the win.

Morgan Lucas' incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.011), 330 ft(0.032), 660ft(0.035). MOV: 0.0406 seconds (approximately 19 feet).

Antron Brown's incremental times: 60ft-0.858 sec., 330ft-2.174, 660ft-3.072/281.89 mph.
Morgan Lucas' incremental times: 60ft-0.846 sec., 330ft-2.141, 660ft-3.036/286.44 mph.

    2 Tony Schumacher                       255 Clay Millican                
E1                   0.059  3.835 314.31     ****WINNER****  0.068  3.800 321.88
 Qualified:             #2  3.814 319.82                       #15  3.852 319.07
This is Tony Schumacher's 17th Indy race in TF and he is looking for his tenth win at this event. He is 14-2 in round one matches here and is 21-2 against Clay Millican overall, 8-1 in round one. Tony and Antron Brown are the only former Indy TF winners in the field. Spencer Massey has a career first-round record of 67-19 and he is 6-3 in first rounds at this event.

There won't be a repeat winner this year. The bottom two in the field upset the top two qualifiers! Schumacher led briefly, but Millican led by the time they went 330 feet and won going away.

  475 Steve Torrence                         33 Tommy Johnson Jr.            
E1   ****WINNER****  0.057  3.775 328.38                     0.089  3.939 283.13
 Qualified:             #3  3.815 325.61                       #14  3.845 319.22
Steve Torrence and his father, Billy, became the first father-son since 1997 (Connie and Scott Kalitta) to qualify for the same TF field. Tommy Johnson is making his 19th Indy race and his 14th start. His last TF start here was in 1996. His overall U.S. Nationals round win record is 8-13.

This was all Torrence, running low ET of the event while Johnson was dropping cylinders and falling back. Johnson's engine let go just past the 660-foot marker, with a big fireball on the right side of the engine. The win clinches a spot fot Torrence for the countdown.

Steve Torrence's incremental times: 60ft-0.834 sec., 330ft-2.133, 660ft-3.034/282.95 mph.

Steve Torrence will have lane choice when he faces his father, Billy, in round two.

   44 David Grubnic                          99 Khalid alBalooshi            
E1                   0.097  3.787 320.97     ****WINNER****  0.040  3.794 320.05
 Qualified:             #7  3.824 321.04                       #10  3.832 319.60
David Grubnic is making his 16th appearance at Indy. He has only won four rounds total here and would need to win that many today to have any chance at making the Countdown. At previous U.S. Nationals, the first round has been his downfall, with a first round record of 3-10 at this event. He and alBalooshi have split in their two prior round one meetings.

alBalooshi pulled of the upset on a holeshot, Grubnic uncharacteristically late at the green. That clinches Bob Vandergriff's position and fills the Top Fuel countdown field.

Khalid alBalooshi's incremental margins: 60ft(0.046), 330 ft(0.051), 660ft(0.049). MOV: 0.0506 seconds (approximately 24 feet). He will have lane choice against Millican in round two.

   22 Doug Kalitta                            8 Bob Vandergriff              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.060  3.798 322.42                     0.068  4.868 146.43
 Qualified:             #8  3.829 320.81                        #9  3.831 320.74
Doug Kalitta is 13-12 against Vandergriff and they are 8-8 in first round matchups. Kalitta has been to two finals here, with no wins.

No joy for Vandergriff, while Kalitta was going smoothly down the track, Vandergriff was smoking the tires. Kalitta made a good run, but it wasn't quick enough to earn lane choice against Lucas in round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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