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Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 19:43 PM

Top Alcohol Dragster Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Gerard





POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 53rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Left Lane: Fred Hanssen Runs 5.495/262.33, Now #1
Right Lane: Casey Grisel Runs 5.502/264.49, Now #2

4:07 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 28.96 inches, adjusted altitude 2,533 feet, track temperature 85 degrees.

Hanssen is here all the way from Norway to challenge the field.

Grisel is way out in front at the green, but Hanssen has all of the better incrementals to take the top spot for now. Two clean passes.

Fred Hanssen's incremental times: 60ft-0.981 sec., 330ft-2.450, 660ft-3.634/209.62 mph, 1,000ft-4.640.
Casey Grisel's incremental times: 60ft-0.969 sec., 330ft-2.515, 660ft-3.679/216.20 mph, 1,000ft-4.659.


Left Lane: Brooks Brown No Time, Now #4
Right Lane: William Litton Runs 5.814/247.97, Now #3

Brown does his burnout and stops on the track. The crew runs out and pushes the car over to the wall and back behind the line.

Litton's engine isn't happy and starts to drop cylinders going down the track.

Left Lane: Edwin Schmeeckle No Time, Now #6
Right Lane: Johnny Ahten Runs 5.457/255.82, Now #1

Schmeeckle leaves before the green and then has the chute come out before the 330 lights.

Ahten makes a clean and straight pass to move to the current top of the field.

Johnny Ahten's incremental times: 60ft-0.944 sec., 330ft-2.493, 660ft-3.626/220.69 mph, 1,000ft-4.599.

Left Lane: Larry Miersch Runs 5.560/254.86, Now #5
Right Lane: Don St. Arnaud Runs 5.400/272.45, Now #1

St. Arnaud gets a big lead at the green and pulls steadily ahead going down the track. Big speed, even with raw fuel from some of the pipes near the lights.

Don St. Arnaud's incremental times: 60ft-0.941 sec., 330ft-2.462, 660ft-3.615/218.34 mph, 1,000ft-4.579.

Left Lane: Greg Hunter Runs 5.497/267.32, Now #4
Right Lane: Garrett Bateman Runs 12.614/59.67, Now #8

Hunter's blown car is a little lazy at sixty feet and then pulls well to the finish line for the current #4 spot Looks like there was a fuel leak from the back of the engine going down the track.

Bateman had a strong sixty foot time and then kicked the tires.

Greg Hunter's incremental times: 60ft-0.983 sec., 330ft-2.491, 660ft-3.665/211.86 mph, 1,000ft-4.657.

Left Lane: Megan McKernan Runs 5.351/252.38, Now #1
Right Lane: Ray Martin Runs 5.411/241.84, Now #3

Two strong passes. McKernan was away first and pulled slowly ahead down the track. That gives her the new top spot on the ladder.

Martin was right behind her, but couldn't match the pace.

Megan McKernan's incremental times: 60ft-0.932 sec., 330ft-2.418, 660ft-3.547/221.52 mph, 1,000ft-4.506.
Ray Martin's incremental times: 60ft-0.942 sec., 330ft-2.403, 660ft-3.552/214.86 mph, 1,000ft-4.537.

Left Lane: Joey Severance Runs 5.465/262.33, Now #5
Right Lane: Duane Shields Runs 6.343/243.28, Now #11

Shields is second off the line by a bunch and has traction issues right away. He is on and off the throttle several time before giving up.

Good baseline pass for Severance and he moves into the top half of the field.

Joey Severance's incremental times: 60ft-0.945 sec., 330ft-2.432, 660ft-3.602/211.23 mph, 1,000ft-4.609.

Left Lane: Chris Demke Runs 5.360/267.91, Now #3
Right Lane: Jim Whiteley Runs 5.251/273.27, Now #1

Might be a new car for Demke, as the dragster body has a nice paint scheme, but no lettering or decals. The combination works well, with a strong leave and finish into the final #3 spot of the session.

We save the best for last, as our 2012 Champion, Whiteley, starts the season right with a big set of numbers to nail the top spot for today. Great looking pass with low ET and fastest speed.

Chris Demke's incremental times: 60ft-0.935 sec., 330ft-2.381, 660ft-3.529/214.18 mph, 1,000ft-4.521.
Jim Whiteley's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.335, 660ft-3.463/219.29 mph, 1,000ft-4.430.

4:37 p.m. No bump spot yet.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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