"Holy Toledo!"

July 25, 2009

Friday Night NHRA Qualifying in Sonoma

Filed under: NHRA — Bill @ 12:04 am

Just got home from a chilly evening at Infineon, but it was well worth it. Side by side 300 m.p.h. fiery beasts that generate enough power to rotate the earth. The ground shakes under your feet, it truly tantalizes all of your senses.

Perhaps the best part was that I finally got my Dad to go with me to the drags for the first time since 1996.  You know that old saying that racers make the worst spectators, well my old man is a true racer and it’s been hard for him to go back as just a fan instead of wrenching on a Funny Car.

Plenty of highlights…

(I’m a bit tired so I will keep it brief)

At the start of the first qualifying session the adjusted altitude was 1412 ft. (which is outstanding) but by the time the final round of Top Fuel qualifying came up it had dropped to perhaps the lowest we may see all year 714 feet!

I thought we might see a few runs into the 3.7 range but perhaps the track temp was just a bit too cold (81 degrees).

J.R. Todd surprised everyone by going to the top of the ladder with a stellar 3.81 at 312 mph.  Most consistent was Spencer Massey who was near the top of both sessions.

Top speed was set when Dixon faced off with Schumacher.  Dixon blasted a 313 mph run at 3.818 making him #2.  The Army car ran a respectable 3.88 which for the moment put him at #6 (he would end up #8).

The best side by side pass was saved for last when Morgan Lucas faced off with Cory Mac.  It was a flaming power sensation as Cory ran a 3.83 (now #3) & Lucas ran a 3.86 (now #7).

T/F Top 5

1. J.R. Todd   3.811  312.06

2. Larry Dixon   3.816  313.44

3. Cory McClenathan   3.831  314.68

4. Antron Brown   3.844  311.05

5. Spencer Massey   3.850  303.57

Funny Car Notes:

The first session was mildly disappointing given the rich conditions.  Perhaps the boys were a bit conservative trying to gain a base line tune-up.  Hight was #1 with a solid 4.18 but #2 thru #10 were all in the 4.2 range.

By the time the fuel coupes came up for round 2 of qualifying it was almost 8 p.m.,, just about dark, the temperature was about 60 degrees and the adjusted altitude was an incredibly low 708 feet.

The second pair out was Tolliver & Neff.  “Zippy” stunned the verbose track announcer Bob Frye into speechlessness with a 4.069 monster pass.  John Medlin had just put his driver well over a tenth ahead of the field.

The next eight cars all ran in the teens, including Tasca & Beckman who ran side by side identical 4.133’s.

Then up stepped Matt Hagan who blasted a 4.068 moving to #1.  With the top 4 cars left one could only wonder what was in store for us.  Capps couldn’t get his engine to fire so Ashley Force ran a solid 4.09 to move into the #3 spot.

The last pair lost traction in the now very cold temperatures and we finished the evening with some outstanding qualifying numbers.  Take a look at these Top 10:

1. Matt Hagan   4.068  307.51

2. Mike Neff   4.069  305.42

3. Ashley Force Hood   4.099  304.67

4. Tim Wilkerson   4.129  300.00

5. Bob Tasca III   4.133  300.13

6. Jack Beckman   4.133  292.33

7. Del Worsham   4.136  302.48

8. John Force   4.138  298.40

9. Gary Densham   4.164  293.41

10. Robert Hight   4.184  290.38

Pro Stock Review:

All I really have to say is. Final pair Jason Line vs. Mike Edwards side by side 6.574’s each.  Edwards gets the nod because his 209.82 is faster than Line’s 209.52.

They both finish second to Ron Krishers’s 6.573

One could say it was just another day in drag racing but it wasn’t, it was faster & quicker than most.

(please forgive any spelling or punctuation errors my eyes are tired)

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1 Comment »

  1. IT IS HARD FOR OLD RACERS TO WATCH BUT I STILL GO.

    Comment by UNCLE buck — July 27, 2009 @ 3:36 pm


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