2005 NHRA Ameriquest Mortgage Company Nationals Qualifying


CAPTIONING PROVIDED
BY ESPN, INC.>>>AT ROUTE 66, IT MEAN THE CREW MEMBER, DRIVERS AND FANS ARE LICKING THEIR LIPS IN ANTICIPATION OF BIG SPEED AND QUICK ELAPSED TIMES. FRIDAY NIGHT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. IT WAS A WILD NIGHT OF QUALIFY. VINNIE ARCADI TRIED TO FLY. IT WAS CAPPED BY TOP FUEL STANDOUT AND POINTS LEADER TONY SCHUMACHER. IT’S THE FINAL RUN OF THE EVENING. 4.43 SECONDS. A THAT POTENTIAL NATIONAL RECORD. 20 POTENTIAL BONUS POINTS, IF HE CAN BACK IT UP.>>>TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP TO US DR RACERS IS KIND OF LIKE THE HOLY GRAIL. IT MEANS IT ALL.>>THE PRESSURE THIS YEAR, WHAT’S GOING TO HELP US TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.>>THE PRESSURE’S REALLY BUILDING. BUT RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE TO GET IT DONE.>>IT’S TIME TO START THAT MOVE. IF WE DON’T MAKE THAT MOVE IN THE NEXT COUPLE RACES, IT MIGHT NOT HAPPEN.>>AS THE SUN SETS ON THE ’05 NHRS SEASON, THE TIME IS TO STEP UP OR STEP OUT. WHO HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO CAPTURE THE CROWN? THE QUEST BEGINS NOW IN QUALIFYING FROM ROUTE 66. I’M MARTY REID, ALONGSIDE MIKE DUNN. YOU KNOW THE STORY ABOUT SCHUMACHER, POTENTIAL 20 EXTRA BONUS POINTS IF HE CAN BACK UP THAT NEW NATIONAL RECORD. WE CAN ALSO TELL YOU WE’VE GOT THE QUICKEST FUNNY CAR FIELD AND QUICKEST PRO STOCK FIELD EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT. IT HAS BEEN GREAT. LET’S TALK ABOUT FUNNY CAR. TWO GUYS YOU WANT TO SINGLE OUT >>FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP, I WANT TO LOOK AT SELZI AND JOHN FORCE. SCELZI LAST YEAR RAN THAT 4.66 ELAPSED TIME NATIONAL RECORD. AT THE TIME, JUST TREMENDOUS RUN. ABOUT 1500ths OF WHAT THE BEST FUEL CARS WERE RUNNING. AND OFF THE NEXT BEST FUNNY CAR DRIVER AT THE TIME. OBVIOUSLY THEY KNOW HOW TO RUN AT THIS RACETRACK. THISSER YOU THEY GOT TO TRY TO SLOW ‘EM DOWN A LITTLE BIT. RIGHT NOW, SCELZI WITH A 4.69. JOHN FORCE WITH A 4.71 LAST NIGHT. BOTH LOOKING TOUGH. >>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE OTHER THREE IN THE CHASE. LET’S BRIEF IN DAVE RIEFF. >>THE GUYS ARE ALL COMING OFF LESS THAN STELLAR RESULTS IN REDDING. NOBODY GOT OUT OF THE SECOND ROUND IT WOULD SEEM LIKE THE TREND CONTINUED IN JOLIET. RON CAPPS IS TENTH. REMEMBER, IT IS THE QUICKEST FUNNY CAR FIELD OF ALL TIME. TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN HE RAN THAT IN THE FIRST QUALIFYING SESSION YESTERDAY. THE CAR WAS RUNNING VERY LEAN. IT KICKED THE ROD OUT. THE ONLY PIECE THIS TEAM ABLE TO SAVE WAS THE BLOWER. THOSE TROUBLES CONTINUED IN THE SECOND QUALIFYING SESSION WHEN ROBERT HEIGHT HIT THE GAS PEDAL AND IT WENT UP QUICKLY. AN ELECTRONICS PROBLEM. TO BE CAREFUL, SAFE TODAY, THEY’VE REPLACED EVERYTHING IGNITION-RELATED ON THIS CAR TODAY BECAUSE IT IS CRUNCH TIME IN FUNNY CAR AND AS EVERYBODY KNOWS, THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE BIT BY A GREMLIN. >>WITH THIS RED HOT CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE GOING ON, I WANT TO POINT OUT A COUPLE GUYS DETERMINED TO STEAL THE SPOTLIGHT. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE BROTHERS TONY AND CRUISE PET ROGAN. THE SECOND AND THE THIRD QUICKEST RUNS IN THE HISTORY OF FUNNY CAR IN THE NHRA. ONLY JOHN FORCE HAD GONE QUICKER, A YEAR AGO, ON THIS SAME RACETRACK. FOR TONY PEDREGON, HE THINKS THEY COULD HAVE GONE EVEN QUICKER. HE’S TRYING TO BUILD ON THE MOMENTUM FROM THE VICTORY TWO WEEKS AGO. HIS BROTHER CRUZ HAS BROKEN A DREADFUL DROUGHT. THEY FAILED TO QUALIFY TWO WEEKS AGO IN PENNSYLVANIA. BUT HERE ARE THE BROTHERS PEDREGON NOW IN POSITION TO PLAY A MAJORS SPOILER’S ROLE THIS WEEKEND IN JOLIET. TJQ @[email protected]@C0q3>>>AS YOU LOOK DOWN FROM HIGH ABOVE, AT THE AMERI QUEST AIR SHIP FREEDOM. WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PICTURE PERFECT DAY. THERE’S NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY. YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN BROUGHT UP TO DATE ONi HOW MUCH PERFORMANC WE’VE SEEN.÷ WILL WE GET EVEN MORE TODAY? LET’S GET YOU CAUGHT UP ON EVERYTHING THAT’S GOING ON. SHOW YOU THIS RUN ONE MORE TIME IN TOP FUEL. TONY SHAW MACHER IN THE LEFT LANE. DIXON IN THE RIGHT LANE. THE LAST TWO TO GO DOWN THE TRACK. TONY GOES 4.237. LARRY, A 4.52.>>ON THIS RUN FROM A STANDING START TO THE EIGHTH MILE IN THREE SECONDS, HE WAS RUNNING OVER 281 MILES PER HOUR AND CARRIED IT TO THE OTHER END FOR THAT 4.43 AT 331.77 MILES PER HOUR.>>AND AS WE COME DOWN TRACKSIDE FOR THIRD SESSION OF TOP FUEL. HERE COMES DAVID RUDNICK. IT’S THE TOP THREE MACHINE. HE’LL BE IN THE LEFT LANE. THE LEADERBOARD NOW IN TOP FUEL. A LOT OF GUYS IN THE 4.40s.>>GREAT RACETRACK HERE, VERY TIGHT WHERE YOU CAN GET AGGRESSIVE ESPECIALLY IN THE NIGHTTIME SESSION WE SAW LAST EVENING. >>THERE’S THE BUMP SPOT WITH BOBBY LA GOTTEN THAT WITH THE CAREER BEST 4.68. THIS IS THE HOME TRACK FOR BOTH OF THESE GUYS. AS WE GET READY FOR THIS RUN. LET’S TAKE A QUICK LOOK AT THE WEATHER. BEAUTIFUL DAY HERE, 78 DEGREE, BLUE SKIES. 57, RELATIVE HUMIDITY, THAT MEANS IT’S PRETTY DRY. TRACK TEMPERATURE, 101. STILL MANAGEABLE. DENSITY ALTITUDE, WHEN YOU FACTOR IN THINGS LIKE ALTITUDE AND TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY, IT’S ABOUT 2200 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL.>>AS YOU GO ON BOARD WITH DAVID GRUBNIC. HE SET THE TRACK RECORD HERE A YEAR AGO. TO BACK UP WHAT YOU TALKED ABOUT, HOW IMPRESSIVE THAT RUN WAS LAST YEAR. THAT’S EXACTLY THE SPEED JOHN FORCE RAN, WHEN HE SET THE FUNNY CAR RECORD LAST YEAR. WELL, TIRE SMOKE. ALMOST INSTANTANEOUSLY FOR DAVID GRUBNIC. ROBERT FULLER MADE IT TO ABOUT HALF TRACK. SO NO IMPROVEMENT FOR EITHER MAN. ROD WILL STAY IN THE NUMBER FIVE SPOT AND GRUBNIC WILL BE NUMBER 13. LET’S LISTEN ON BOARD WITH DAVID GRUBNIC. ONE THING YOU CAN HEAR WAS ROD FULLER IN THE RIGHT-HAND LANE. THE CAR DROVE OVER TO THE CENTER OF THE LANE. HE WAS ON A VERY GOOD RUN EARLY. YOU HEARD THE MOTOR GO UP WHEN IT GOT LOSS, WHEN IT DROVE THE THING OUTSIDE THE GROOVE. >>AS THEY COAST OUT, THERE’S THE CHIEF STARTER, RICK STEWART. WE’VE GOT HIM WIRED THIS WEEKEND. WEAR ABLE TO LISTEN IN ON SOME OF HIS CONVERSATIONS.>>WAIT AROUND, GET BEHIND.>>I HATE IT WHEN WE WAIT AROUND BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPEN, THEN WE GET BEHIND. THESE GUYS ALWAYS WANNA RUN AS EARLY AS THEY CAN SO THE TRACK TEMPERATURES DOWN NEAR TO IT. FIRE IN THE HOLE. RAGS, GET RAGS ON IT NOW! RAGS! WE NEED RAGS BAD! GOT A BIG OIL DOWN HERE IN THE LEFT LANE, IT WILL TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO CLEAN UP. OKAY, EMERGENCY ONE, BRING OUT THE WIDE POWDER, PLEASE. LET’S PUT IT DOWN, AND WE’LL VACUUM IT UP. WE MIGHT RUN A MACHINE ON IT. WE’LL SEE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.>>AND WE’LL HAVE HIM WIRED THROUGHOUT THE DAY. AND WE’LL BE ABLE TO LISTEN IN TO SOME OF THE COMMANDS AND CONVERSATIONS OF RICK STEWART AS WE GET READY NOW FOR DOG COLLETTE IN THE RIGHT LANE AND BERNSTEIN IN THE LEFT LANE. A LOT OF SUCCESS AT THIS TRACK. HIS DAD WON OVER LARRY DICTIONEN IN ’01. THAT ’03 WIN PUT HIM SECOND ON THE ALL-FUEL TOP WIN LIST. THOSE ARE FOND MEMORIES FOR THE BERNSTEIN FAMILY HERE. BRANDON HAS ONE TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER HERE IN 2001, WHEN THE FAMILY DOUBLED UP.>>THE CREW CHIEF HAD SOME PROBLEMS WITH THE LAST RACE, WHEN THEY WERE UP AGAINST DOG KALITTA IN THE LAST MATCH-UP. IT WAS MAKING A DECENT RUN IN THE FIRST ROUND, BUT THEN THAT REVERSAL BROKE. THEY’RE TRYING TO GET BACK ON TRACK NOW.>>THE AIR SHIP FREEDOM WITH US. YOU’RE LOOKING DOWN. BOY, YOU CAN SEE WHAT THE ADVANTAGE OF GETTING OFF THE STARTING LINE FIRST AS THEY RUN IDENTICAL 4.52 LAPSE TIME. FROM ABOVE YOU CAN SEE DOG KALITTA RUNNING FIRST. SO DOUG IS IN THE NUMBER FOUR SPOT, AS WE GET READY TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK. STAY WITH US. WHEN WE COME>>>ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FACILITIES ON TOUR, ROUTE 66 RACE WAY IN JOLIET, JUST SOUTHWEST OF CHICAGO. AS YOU LOOK DOWN FROM THE AIRSHIP FREEDOM. GLAD THE GUYS ARE WITH US. COME DOWN TRACK SIDE FOR LARRY DIXON, DOUG HERBERT. WE TALKED ABOUT THIS LAST SUNDAY. COMES OFF A RUNNER-UP WIN AT MAPLEGROVE AND BIG WIN AT U.S. NATIONALS. AS YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL ROUND WIN. HE’S ACTUALLY LEAD. BUT LOST GROUND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE. HE’S 100 BACK.>>THAT’S THE SITUATION THAT SHOE MACHER IS JUST SO STRONG RIGHT NOW, AND THEY’VE GOT A GREAT TEAM, COMING INTO THE KIND OF RACETRACKS THEY LIKE, MORRISON THAN DIXON. DIXON TOUGH ON A MARGINAL RACETRACK. I THINK CAN RUN HEAD TO HEAD WITH TONY, MAYBE BETTER. WHEN THE TRACK GETS BIG, IT SEEMS THAT ARMY TEAM HAS A MORE BIGGER HOUSE PORTION. RIGHT NOW, TRYING TO FIND THE EXTRA THEY NEED TO WIN THESE RACES.>>THE CREW CHIEF FOR HERBERT. HERBERT WON THIS EVENT LAST YEAR IN A VERY CLOSE RACE OVER TONY SCHUMACHER. HE’S BEEN TO FOUR OUT OF FIVE LAST RACES TO THE SEMIFINALS AT LEAST. YOU CAN SEE THE CYLINDERS OUT ON DIXON’S TOP FUEL MACHINE. THE RESULT, 4.71. HERBERT GOES 4.45 SECOND. A SOLID RUN WILL NOT IMPROVE HIS NUMBER 3 QUALIFYING EFFORT.>>YEAH, THAT CYLINDER WAS OUT. NORMALLY, DIXON’S CAR JUST LIFT THE FRONT END RIGHT UP. YOU SAW THE FRONT END STAY DOWN. CYLINDER WAS OUT. AS SOON AS HE HITS A THROTTLE THAT CYLINDER WILL GO OUT RIGHT THERE. TAKES A BIT OF HORSEPOWER. THAT’S ABOUT ALL YOU’RE GOING TO DO ON SEVEN CYLINDERS. AND AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN SEE THAT TONY SCHUMACHER HAS 100 POINTS, 5 ROUNDS OVER DIXON, 105 OVER DOUG CALL LET THAT AND THEN IT DROPS OFF TO DAVID DRUB NICK ON DOWN TO SCOTT WEIS. AS WE GET BACKTRACKSIDE. WE GET READY NOW FOR THE NUMBER TWO QUALIFIER AND TONY SCHUMACHER. THERE IS THE ARMY OF ONE. WE GET READY FOR THESE. WE SHOULD EXPLAIN, THIS 4.43 IS ACTUALLY NOT THE QUICKEST PASS OF ALL TIME. THERE’S THE NUMBER HE NEED TO RUN TO BACK IT UP, 4.481, CERTAINLY CAPABLE OF IT. DOUG KALITTA HAD THE TWO QUICKEST PASSES IN HISTORY, BOTH HERE AT JOEL YET. RAN A 4.42 BACK IN SPRING OF ’04 AND 4.428 IN ’03 BUT COULD NOT BACK THEM UP AT THE NATIONAL MARK. SO HE DID NOT COLLECT THE BONUS POINTS. THAT’S WHY RIGHT NOW THE NATIONAL RECORD CURRENTLY STAND AT 4.44 SECOND. LET’S GET MORE ON THE MAN WHO HOLDS THAT RECORD AND HIS TUNER, DAVE REIFF. >>IF YOU’RE NEW TO DRAG RACING AND DON’T KNOW THE NAME, PAY ATTENTION. ONE MAN WHO IS NOT SHY ABOUT HIS TUNE-UP. I REMEMBER A RACE BACK IN INDIANAPOLIS, WHERE HE WENT 4.49 TO WIN THE RACE. DIDN’T NEED ANYTHING NEAR THAT. THAT’S THE KIND OF MAN THIS MAN IS. HE’S VERY AGGRESSIVE WITH TUNE-UPS. SO FAR, HAS TWO SOLID NUMBERS ON THE BOARD, GOOD ENOUGH, HE JUST TOLD ME A MOMENT AGO, ARE SAFE. IN OTHER WORD, DOESN’T THINK THE CAR WILL GO OUT AND SMOKE THE TIRES. DOESN’T THINK IT WILL BE TOO SOFT AND SHAKEN, POSSIBLY SPIN THE TIRES. COMFORTABLE WITH HIS SETUP INTO THIS ROUND. POINT BLANK TOLD ME, THEY WANT THE RECORD, WANT TO GET IT SETTLED RIGHT HERE AND THEY WANT THAT 20 EXTRA POINTS THAT WILL PUT THEM MORE THAN ONE RACE AHEAD OF LARRY DIXON. NOW, JUST THREE TO GO. YOU TOUCHED ON THE MAGIC NUMBER, MARTY, 4.481.>>EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH POINT TO CLINCH IT IF THEY WIN THIS RACE AND GET THE RECORD, THEY PRETTY MUCH PUT A STRANGLE-HOLD ON EVERYBODY ELSE.>>VERY HARD TO GET AROUND. INTERESTING STRATEGY. RIGHT NOW HEAT’S OUT. BUT AL JOHNSON IS VERY AGGRESSIVE, GOING FOR THAT NATIONAL RECORD. I THINK I WOULD SET UP FOR TOMORROW’S ELIMINATIONS AND GO FOR THE BACKUP IN THE NEXT ROUND. BUT JOHNSON’S NOT THAT WAY, HE’S NOT SHY.>>TAKE A LOOK, 4.473! 326 MILES AN HOUR. AND IF NO ONE ELSE TAKES AWAY THE RECORD, GUESS WHAT? 20 EXTRA BONUS POINTS FOR TONY SCHUMACHER. >>DOES ALAN JOHNSON KNOW THIS CAR AND TRACK? WHAT A TREMENDOUS JOB. WENT OUT THERE AND GAVE IT A TUNE-UP. THE CAR RAN PRETTY MUCH REAL CLOSE TO THE NUMBERS IT DID LAST NIGHT, THE FIRST 300 FEET. WHAT HE DID, TAKE HORSEPOWER TO THE MIDOF THE TRACKS SO IT WOULDN’T SPIN THE TIRES. ABOUT 600 MILE AN HOUR SLOWER, BUT STILL ENOUGH TO GET THE BACKUP FOR THE RECORD. >>LET’S CHECK IN WITH DAVE AND SEE IF JOHNSON HAD HIS HANDS AROUND THE THROAT OF EVERYBODY ELSE IN TOP FUEL. >>DOES HAVE HIS HANDS AROUND THE THROAT, HANDS AROUND HIPS AND BIG SMILE. YOU RAN THAT NUMBER TO GET THE RECORD NOW. WITH A RACE CAR, YOU TOLD ME A LITTLE BIT, TOO, MAYBE COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER LAST NIGHT, RIGHT?>>CERTAINLY COULD HAVE. IN ORDER TO GET THOSE REALLY LOW NUMBER, THE THING’S GOT TO BE PERFECT GOING DOWN THERE. WE GAVE UP A LITTLE BIT EARLY, GAINED A LITTLE BIT DOWN TRACK. BUT, YOU KNOW IF WE CAN GET THEM BOTH TOGETHER, IT’S GOING TO RUN BETTER. >>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE REV LIMITER. YOU SCOFF AT IT. >>IT REALLY DOESN’T MAKE THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE. IT’S ONLY THE LAST 100 FEET. THE CAR’S SO HOOKED UP DOWN THERE THAT IT’Sv LOW ENOUGH, IT>CONGRATS SO FAR ON THE WEEKEND.>>THANK YOU. >>WILL SEE WHAT THOSE NUMBERS ARE, IF THAT ISN’T A FACTOR.>>EVERYBODY’S LIKE, WOW, SO COOL FOR US. IS IT COOL FOR YOU? WHAT A SILLY QUESTION. WERE THERE ANY DOUBTS BECAUSE IT’S WARMER TODAY YOU COULDN’T BACK IT UP?>>NO, I WAS HOPING WE COULD BACK IT UP. YOU KNOW, I MEAN, IT’S HARD TO SAY WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING HOW HOT IT WILL GET. ALAN SAID WE’LL RUN IN THE 47, 48 RAKE. WE NEED A 48 RUN. THERE’S NO RUN WE CAN’T RUN 46, 42. HE’S AS SMART AS THEY COME. WITH THE U.S. ARMY TEAM BEHIND HIM, BACKING HIM, HE KNOWS THESE GUYS ARE FLAWLESS, HE CAN DO THOSE KIND OF THINGS. AMAZING, FOR THE UNITED STATES ARMY, WE LOVE YOU GUY, MAN, WORLD RECORD, 20 VALUABLE POINTS.>>END OF THE EVENT, THEY’LL TALLY THEM UP.>>FOR ALAN JOHNSON, HIS FIRST NATIONAL RECORD NINE YEARS WAG BROTHER BRAIN JOHNSON BEHIND THE WHEEL. WE’VE GOT TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK. WHEN WE COME BACK, IT’S TIME FOR FUNNY CAR. YOU KNOW>>>YOU GOT TO EAT, SLEEP, BREATHE, YOU GOT TO HAVE THAT EDGE, GOT TO GO TO THAT START LINE SUNDAY MORNING WITH THAT GUT ACHE AND BUDDY, I GOT THAT GUT ACHE, SO DOES ROBERT, SO DOES ERIC. SO DOES SCELZI. >>RIGHT NOW, WE GOT TO GET IT DONE. >>THE PRESSURE’S PRETTY INTENSE. RIGHT NOW, WE JUST LIKE TO WIN A COUPLE MORE RACES AND MAYBE WE CAN BE ON THE LAST GUY STANDINGú ON THE STAGE.>>AS WE COME BACK HERE TO ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, THE FANS GIVING A WAVE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY HERE AT THE AMERI QUEST MORTGAGE NATIONALS. AND THERE IS ROBERT HEIGHT, AS HE GETS READY TO MAKE HIS THIRD QUALIFYING EFFORT. AND THEY’RE LITERALLY THE SECOND PAIR OUT BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY. AND THE WAY THE RUN ORDER IS ESTABLISHED. LET’S TAKE YOU BACK AND SHOW YOU SESSION NUMBER ONE. HERE IS WHERE HE MADE THE GOOD RUN, BUT BLEW IT UP.>>YEAH, NICE PASS DOWN THERE. JUST BEFORE THE FINISH LINE, YOU GET TO SEE THE THING ERUPT OUT THERE. LAST NIGHT, GETS THE THROTTLE, DOESN’T GET ANYWHERE, JUST QUIT. THEY THINK THEY FOUND THE PROBLEM, THEY’RE HOPING THEY DID, ANYWAY.>>THAT BRINGS US TO THIS MOMENT. AS WE SAID, THEY’RE THE SECOND PAIR OUT. AND RIGHT NOW, ROBERT IN THE NEXT 7 SPOT.■ HOW’D YOU LIKE TO RUN A 4.78 ú■ JUST TO MAKE A TOP HALF OF THE FIELD? YOU ALREADY HEARD ABOUT CRUZ AND TONY. INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE BY THEM. QUICKEST FUNNY CAR FIELD EVER. 4.842. AND HERE ARE THE GUYS OUTSIDE, LOOKING IN. SOME FAMILIAR NAMES ON THAT LIST, INCLUDING BOB GILL BETTER SON, JIM HEAD, AND THERE IS JACK WYATT AS WELL. PAUL LEE GOING TO BE IN THIS MATCH-UP A LONG SIDE OF ROBERT HIGHT. PAUL IN THE NUMBER 17 SPOT. STILL TRYING TO QUALIFY FOR HIS FIRST EVER NHRA NATIONAL EVENT IN FUNNY CAR AS HIS FOURTH ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE FIELD.>>YOU MENTION THE FACT THAT THEY ARE THE SECOND PAIR OUT. BECAUSE IT WAS BASED ON HOW QUICK YOU RAN LAST NIGHT’S SESSION. THE QUICKEST CARS FROM LAST NIGHT’S SESSION WILL RUN TOWARD THE END OF THE SESSION. WE SAW ROBERT HIGHT HAD THE PROBLEM [email protected] HE HIT THE THROTTLE. BASICALLY COASTED DOWN THE OTHER END, 17 SECOND RUN. AS A RESULT, HE’S THE SECOND PAIR OUT. >>YOU GOTTA BELIEVE THE NERVES ARE REALLY CHURNING INSIDE ROBERT. REMEMBER, YOU BLOW IT UP IN THE FIRST @SESSION, EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE QUALIFIED NUMBER SEVEN. THEN THE PROBLEM YESTERDAY. YOU GET THAT FEELING LIKE WHAT WE SAW HAPPEN TO RON KATZ AND ACE McCULLOUGH WITH THE OIL DOWN SITUATION IN MAPLE GROVE, YOU FIND YOURSELF FEELING LIKE YOU’RE ONE SESSION BEHIND PLAYING CATCH UP. >>BUT AS A DRIVER, YOU GOT TO SHAKE THAT OUT, YOU GOT TO FIGURE, YOU GOT A GOOD CAR, GO OUT THERE AND DO THE BEST JOB YOU CAN. FOR A ROOKIE, IN MY INSTANCE, YOU START THINKING ABOUT THAT ú STUFF. ROBERT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT. SEEMS LIKE HE’S PRETTY FOCUSSED ON WHAT — ON THE JOB HE NEEDS TO DO AND HE PAYS ATTENTION PRETTY WELL. I THINK HE’S UP — I THINK HE’S READY FOR THE TASK. NOW THEY ARE GOING TO BE SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS. PAUL LEE DOES NOT MAKE THE FIELD AT 5:38. AND THE CAR GOES UP IN TIRE SMOKE. THEY MAKE IT DOWN THE RACETRACK. ONLY ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE SESSION. AND ROBERT HIGHT WHO HAS MORE POLES THIS YEAR THAN ANYBODY ELSE ALL OF A SUDDEN IS STRUGGLING.>>LOOKS LIKE THEY JUST MISSED ON THE SETUP. CAR LAUNCHES RIGHT HERE, STARTS TO MAKE A LITTLE MOVE. RIGHT THERE, OVER TO THE CENTER A LITTLE BIT, SPINS THE TIRES AND BACK-FIRES THE SUPERCHARGER WHEN THAT ENGINE GOT TOO HIGH. THEY DEFINITELY — THEY MAY EVEN STILL HAVE THE ELECTRICAL GREMLINS THEY WERE LOOKING FOR, TO, YOU NEVER KNOW. >>DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THE TURN. IN FACT, THERE’S MORE SMOKE. SO THERE IS SOME MAJOR ISSUES FOR JIMMY PROBLEM, JIMMY HIGHT AND THAT TEAM. SO THIS WAS A DANDY. TAKE A LOOK AT TOMMY JOHNSON. HAS A CAREER BEST. THE FIFTH FUNNY CAR TO GO OVER 330. HE GOES 4.71 SECONDS, 330. BOTH OF THEM CVs. RON CAP, 475. AND THIS WAS VINNIE ARKADY. SHAKES THE TIRES. HOOKS A BUNCH OF ‘EM AND DRIVES THAT THING SKYWARD, TAKE DOWN A COUPLE TIMING BLOCKS. GETS DQd FOR THAT RUN. THEN THE FIREWORKS REALLY START. PEDREGON, SECOND QUICKEST RUN EVER, 4.68 FLAT, 320 MILES PER HOUR. LAWSON WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. BROTHER CRUZ HAS BEEN STRUGGLING MIGHTILY, GOES 4.68, AT 330 MILES AN HOUR. BOTH OF THOSE CAREER BEST FOR THE CRUZZER AND HE MOVES INTO THE NUMBER ONE SPOT. AND THEN THE QUICKEST SIDE BY SIDE, SCELZI AND T.J., BOTH GO 4.69 AND 331 MILES PER HOUR. IT WAS FIREWORKS. HERE ARE THE LEADERBOARDS NOW IN THE POINTS AND WE’VE GOT SCELZI BY 26 AHEAD OF HIGHT. CAPP, JUST A TOUCH OVER. AND SPEAK OF RON CAPP, HE’S COMING TO THE LINE NOW. HE’LL BE OVER IN THE RIGHT LANE, IN THE NUMBER TEN SPOT. HOW’D YOU LIKE TO RUN A 4.75 SECOND ELAPSED TIME, WHICH CLOSE TO HIS CAREER BEST BUT JUST A FEW THOUSANDTHS OF A SECOND. AND ONLY GOOD ENOUGH FOR NUMBER TEN. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED AT REDDING, WHEN OFFICIALS SAID HIS CAR WAS LEAKING OIL. WAS LIVID. FIRST WORD OUT OF HIS MOUTH THIS WEEK, MIKE DUNN, WAS “HE IS STILL FUMING ABOUT THIS.” HE FEELS IT COST HIM THE RACE, COST HIM THE NIGHT RUN, WHICH ALSO COSTS HIM THE QUALIFYING IN THE TOP HALF OF THE FIELD WHICH LOST HIMALAYAN CHOICE IN THE FIRST ROUND, IN THE FIRST ROUND OF MAPLE GROVE. THERE WAS ADVANTAGE IN HAVING THE LEFT LANE. I GOTTA AGREE, THINK IT COST HIM. NOW THE TRICK IS BOTH HAVE TO PUT THIS AWAY. GOT TO FOCUS ON WHAT IS STILL AHEAD. THAT IS OVER AND DONE. BOY, I’LL TELLE YA, ACE AND RON BOTH. RON DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HE GOT CHARGED WITH OIL UNTIL THEY GOT HERE. AND THEN THAT GOT HIM UP ON THE TIRE. OVER IN THE LEFT LANE, AS YOU LOOK AT STARTER RICK STEWART. HE WAS CENTER POINT IN THAT BATTLE. THERE’S JACK WYATT. HIS CAREER BEST, 4.91. HAS TO HIT A HOME RUN LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT IN THE FIELD. AND YOU SAW WYATT. HE WAS SO NERVOUS. HE LEFT BEFORE THE TREE WAS ACTIVATED. RON GOES 4.75 SECONDS, A CAREER BEST SPEED OF 327 AND CHANGE. YOU LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS, THAT’S NOT A BAD RUN, CONSIDERING ON — BASICALLY, CAPPS GOT THE THING WAY OVER TOWARD THE CENTER LINE, OUT OF THE GROOVE, WHICH IS A GOOD RUBBER, BUT STILL STAYED HOOKED UP. LEFT SIDE, CAPPS, RIGHT THERE, DRIFTS WAY OVER TOWARD THE CENTER LINE. IT’S GETTING A LITTLE MORE TIRE SPIN THAN NORMALLY WOULD BUT YET STILL MANAGE TO RUN 327 MILES PER HOUR. RIGHT SIDE, SOMETHING SPRAYING OUT. OBVIOUSLY, WASN’T — IT COULDN’T HAVE BEEN FLUID OR SOMETHING. LOOK LIKE IT MUST HAVE BEEN SMOKE. IF IT WAS FLUID IT WOULD HAVE SPUN THE TIRES AND PROBABLY TURNED THE THING SIDEWAYS. IT DID DRIFT AT THE END. STILL HUNGED ON, MADE A GOOD RUN.>>AND THERE IS RON AT THE FAR END OF THE RACETRACK CLIMBING OUT. AS HIS THIRD SESSION IS OVER. WE’VE GOT TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK.>>>LOOKING DOWN ON ROUTE 66 RACEWAY. IT IS RACE NUMBER 20 OF 23 ON THE NHRA DRAG RACING SERIES. I’M MARTY REID, ALONG WITH MIKE, DAVE GARY AND OUR ENTIRE ESPN 2 CREW. WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE WITH US. WHILE WE WERE IN BREAK, GARY CAME TO THE LINE, THE NUMBER 16 QUALIFIER. STARTED IN THE RIGHT LANE BUT DIDN’T STAY THERE FOR LONG AS APPARENTLY SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH THE STEERING AND HE SLAM THE WALL BEHIND MIKE ASHLEY. SCARY MOMENT >>YEAH, WE’RE TALK ABOUT GARY, ONE OF THE MOST SEASONED FUNNY CAR DRIVERS OUT THERE. ONLY WAY THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED, LIKE YOU SAID ARE SOMETHING BROKE IN THE STEERING. DID I NOT SEE ANY TIRE SHAKE. SO OBVIOUSLY WAS CONSCIOUS. AT THAT POINT, THE CAR WAS GOING WHEREVER IT WAS GOING TO GO AND GARY COULDN’T DO ANYTHING AT THAT POINT EXCEPT RIDE IT INTO THE WALL. >>HE WAS OKAY. LET’S LISTEN IN AT WHAT STEWART SAW DOWN AT THE STARTING LINE. >>LOOKS LIKE YOU GOTTA OUT OF THE GROOVE WITH THE LEFT REAR TIRE AND THE RIGHT REAR TIRE WAS GETTING A BITE AND THE RIGHT REAR TIRE DROVE HIM INTO THE LEFT LANE. DIDN’T LIFT IN TIME. CAN SEE THE TIRE TRACKS GOING OUT THERE, CAN SEE HOW THE LEFT REAR TIRE WAS OUTSIDE OF THE GROOVE. GOTTA STAY IN THE GROOVE. TO GET OUT OF THE GROOVE, THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO IS LIFT. OTHERWISE, ONE TIRE WILL DRIVE YOU ONE WAY AND THE LEFT REAR TIRE WILL DRIVE YOU THE OTHER WAY. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM. LET’S HOPE HE’S OKAY. WOW.>>OF COURSE, THAT WAS RECORDED BEFORE WE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK TO GARY. ONE MORE LOOK. >>RICK’S RIGHT IT WILL DRIVE YOU OVER THE CENTER. WE SAW GARY GET OUT OF THE THROTTLE BEFORE IT WENT INTO THE OTHER LANE. IF HE HAD STEERING, HE WOULD HAVE CORRECTED THAT AND COASTED DOWN THE OTHER LANE, NOT DROVE IT INTO THE WALL. >>MEDICAL CREW JUST CHECKED OUT GARY DENSHAM. HE SEEMS TO BE OKAY. ANYTIME YOU SMACK THE WALL, IT’S GOT TO BE PAINFUL. YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED?>>I HIT AWFUL HARD. SOMETHING HAPPENED, THE CAR LEFT GOOD, IT WAS MARCHING OUT THERE LIKE WE WANTED IT TO. IT JUST STARTED LEFT AND WOULDN’T COME BACK. SOMETHING, STEERING, OBVIOUSLY, BROKE. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DRIVE IT ACROSS THE CENTER LINE INTO THE OTHER WALL. THANK GOD THE OTHER CAR WAS OUT OF THE WAY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HORRIBLE IF WE HAD A COLLISION OUT THERE. I DON’T KNOW. SOMETHING JUST — SOMETHING BROKE AND IT WENT AND THERE WAS NO WAY IT COULD BE TURNED BACK. BUT, YOU KNOW, HOPEFULLY WE CAN FIND OUT WHAT IT IS.>>NOW THE NEXT PROBLEM IS TO REPAIR A DAMAGED RACE CAR.>>AND THERE IT IS. THAT’S THE BODY, UP ON THE FLAT BED, HEADING BACK INTO THE PIT AREA. AND WILL THEY BE ABLE TO MAKE THE NECESSARY REPAIRS? REMEMBER, HE IS QUALIFIED, NUMBER 16 ON THE BUMP SPOT. OUR QUICKEST FUNNY CAR FIELD EVER AT 4.84. AS WE COME BACK TRACKSIDE. WE GET READY FOR ERIC MEDELLIN IN THE LEFT LANE. ERIC, IN THE NUMBER 9 SPOT RIGHT NOW. THAT IS NOT GOOD. YOU GO UP AGAINST DELL WORSHAM RIGHT NOW IF EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME, IN ROUND NUMBER ONE, WITHOUT LANE CHOICE. >>NORMALLY HERE, LANE CHOICE DOESN’T MATTER. WE SAW THAT WITH REDDING. CAME UP EVEN IN FIRST ROUND. IT WAS DEFINITE ADVANTAGE TO THAT LEFT LANE. NORMALLY, LIKE I SAID, YOU DON’T THINK LANE CHOICE IS THAT BIG OF A DEAL HERE BECAUSE TRACK’S VERY WELL PREPARED. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. SO YOU DON’T WANT TO NOT HAVE IT. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO QUALIFY IN THE TOP HALF. SO YOU DO HAVE THAT LANE CHOICE IN CASE SOMETHING DOES CHANGE, STARTING IT AND GOING INTO TOMORROW’S ELIMINATIONS.>>REMEMBER, ERIC IS COMING OFF A SECOND ROUND LOSS BACK AT REDDING. THAT MAN RIGHT THERE, WHIT BAZEMORE, VERY CONSISTENT, 4.73, HIS BEST, FOLLOWED WITH A 4.74.>>GETTING THE CAR DOWN THE RACETRACK, NOW RUNNING GOOD NUMBERS. HE IS IN THE TOP HALF OF THE FIELD. ERIC’S RUNNING GOOD, TOO, BUT SAME THING, JUST ABOUT 200ths BEHIND. THEY NEED TO STEP UP THE PERFORMANCE RIGHT NOW.>>THIS IS THE SECOND TEAM FORCE CAR WE’VE SEEN HAVE TROUBLE IN SESSION THREE. SAW ERIC GO UP IN SPORT. WHIT GETS DOWN THE QUARTER MILE IN 4.80 SECONDS AT 325 MILES PER HOUR. LET’S TAKE ANOTHER LOOK. >>THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO IMPROVE ON YOUR PREVIOUS RUN. THE TRACK’S, THE SUN’S OUT AND THE TRACK’S GREASIER. THE TRACK WON’T HOLD IT AND YOU START SPIN THE TIRES. AS A RESULT THAT RUN IS DOWN AND THEY’LL TRY TO FIX IT AND IMPROVE IN THE NEXT SESSION. >>AS YOU CAN SEE, STOPPED OUT ON THE TRACK, AS THE CREW, THE NHRA SAFETY SAFARI WILL HAVE TO PUSH HIM OFF. GIVES A CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH CAPPS. STILL HOT UNDER THE COLLAR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT REDDING. LET’S CHECK IN, SEE IF THEY’VE GOTTEN OVER IT. >>I’M CURIOUS ABOUT THE SITUATION, WE WERE TALKING A FEW MINUTES AGO ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE QUALIFYING SESSION AT REDDING TWO WEEKS AGO. HOW HARD WAS IT TO GET OVER THAT AND REFOCUS AND BE ABLE TO GET RIGHT DOWN THIS RACETRACK, BOTH LAST NIGHT AND JUST NOW?>>WELL, WE WERE TRYING TO FOCUS ON IT GET RID OF IT, GARY. BUT THEN WE SHOW UP HERE AND THEY DOCKED US AN OIL-DOWN PENALTY. WENT ON RECORD, ON TV, OBVIOUSLY SAID THERE WAS NO OIL. THE OIL CAME FROM A CAR THAT WAS A HIGH PRESSURE SPRAY SO IT WAS OBVIOUS. CAME BACK, DOCKED US ONE. WE BUILT UP TWO CREDITS. IT COULD BE IMPORTANT, THAT’S HALF A ROUND IF SOMETHING WEIRD HAPPENS AND WE LOSE IT DOWN THE STRETCH. TO GO ON RECORD AND SAY WE DIDN’T OIL IT DOWN AND THEN TO DOCK US AN OIL DOWN, IS PRETTY UNPROFESSIONAL AND I LOVE NHRA AND I’M ALWAYS POLITICALLY CORRECT BUT BEING IN THE HUNT FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP — WE WERE OVER IT AND THEN FOUND THAT OUT AND IT’S LIKE POURING SALT BACK ON AN OPEN WOUND. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? WE’LL STAY AFTER IT, BUT, MAN, IT’S DISHEARTENING.>>SO YOU CAN SEE, THEY ARE NOT OVER IT BY A LONG SHOT, AS WE GET READY. TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. BECAUSE THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT, GOING DOWN THE STRETCH. HERE ARE THE GUYS IN THE TOP FIVE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE — HIGHT AND FORCE ARE OUT OF FREEBIES. THEY HAVE AN OIL-DOWN IN ELIMINATION IT’S 10 POINTS OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. SO, THAT SETS THAT STAGE, AS WE GET READY FOR JOHN FORCE, DEL WORSHAM HERE IN SESSION NUMBER THREE. AND LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SUNDAY, FROM JOLIET. WE’LL HAVE NHRA 2DAY PRESENTED BY LUCAS OIL AT 11:30 A.M. AND THEN WE’LL HAVE FINAL ELIMINATIONS AT 8:00 EASTERN, 5:00 PACIFIC ON ESPN 2 AND ESPN 2 HD. IN THEING DEL WORSHAM MOVING CLOSER TO THE SENT LINE. >>TRY TO GET CLOSER TO WHERE THE GOOD RUBBER IS. SOMETIMES THEY DON’T GET IN THE RIGHT SPOT AND THEY’LL MOVE YOU OVER OR SOMETIMES THEY’LL LOOK AND SEE SOMETHING WHERE THEY WANT TO MOVE OVER HALF A TIRE. >>DEL, WINNER FROM LAST YEAR, BEAT THE GUY IN THE OTHER LANE FOR THE FINAL, JOHN FORCE. AND HAD THIS BEEN RACE DAY, HE WOULD HAVE DONE IT AGAIN. 4.74, THE ELAPSE TIME. QUICKEST RUN OF THIS THIRD SESSION. IT WILL NOT IMPROVE DEL. HE’LL STAY NUMBER EIGHT, A 4.78 FOR JOHN, HE’LL STAY NUMBER FIVE.>>IT DIDN’T IMPROVE DEL’S POSITION IN QUALIFYING. THAT’S A VERY GOOD RUN FOR THE CONDITIONS RIGHT NOW. THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT WE’LL SEE TOMORROW. FOR RACE DAY. AND THAT’S A NICE PASS. YOU’LL FEEL REAL GOOD ABOUT THAT. >>WE’VE GOT TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK AS FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE IS ON.>>I THINK THE PRESSURE’S ACTUALLY DIFFERENT WHEN IT GETS DOWN TO THE END LIKE THIS BECAUSE I’M START TO ENJOY IT. úú■ú@fññ■■lhú>dú “D>>>THIS IS ROBERT HIGHT. WE ARE IN THIRD SESSION OF QUALIFYING IN FUNNY CAR. AND THEY ARE TRYING TO PUT THIS CAR TOGETHER. THEY HAVE NOT HAD THE KIND OF RACE WEEKEND THEY HAVE DREAMT ABOUT. PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST STRUGGLES THEY’VE HAD ALL SEASON LONG. MEANWHILE, OUT ON THE TRACK, COUPLE OF GUYS LIVING LARGE. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. IN THE RIGHT LANE AND GARY SCELZI. THE NUMBER THREE AND NUMBER FOUR QUALIFIER.>>WE HEARD CAPPS TALKING ABOUT HIS TWO FREE OIL CREDITS HE USED TO HAVE. DIDN’T GET THAT. ROBERT HIGHT, THIS TEAM HAD THE EXACT SAME NUMBER, TWO CREDITS, COMING INTO THIS RACE. WE’RE FIVE RUNS AWAY HEADING INTO THIS WEEKEND BEFORE THEY’VE GOT THEIR THIRD ONE. UNFORTUNATELY, YOU TOUCHED ON THE OIL-DOWN. THEY LOST BOTH THEM. ROBERT HIGHT HAS NO MORE FREE OIL-DOWNS. IF IT HAPPENS TOMORROW, ELIMINATION, IT WILL START COSTING HIM POINT. IT TOOK HIM ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO GET [email protected] COMPUTER DATA OUT OF THIS CAR TO FIND OUT WHAT WENT WRONG IN THE THIRD QUALIFYING SESSION. WHEN THEY FINALLY DID, JIMMY JUST SAID THE CAR WAS TOO AGGRESSIVE, SPUN THE CAR, DROPPED ABOUT FOUR CYLINDERS. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, THERE’S A LOT OF UNUSED FUEL SITTING INSIDE OF CYLINDERS. BOOM, HYDRAULIC.p THEY’RE ON THE SECOND NOTER THIS WEEKEND. MORE IMPORTANTLY, LIKE [email protected]■ TOUCHED ON AT THE TOP OF THIS THE STORY, MARTY, NO MORE FREE OIL-DOWNS. THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE HAS EXTRA DRAMA FOR HIGHT.>>JOHN’S THE ONLY ONE WHO MADE IT DOWN THE TRACKn IN A 4.80. HE WASN’T BLAZING LIKE THE BEST IN THE SESSION. AND HERE COMES SCELZI. LET’S SEE WHAT HE CAN DO. SCELZI GOES UP IN SMOKE. T.J. QUICKLY FOLLOWS. GARY WILL STAY NUMBER THREE, TUM TOMMY WILL STAY IN THE NUMBER FOUR SPOT.>>GARY SCELZI LOOKED GOOD COMING INTO THIS SESSION. TRACK’S MUCH HOTTER THAN IT WAS IN BOTH PREVIOUS SESSIONS. TRYING TO GET THIS THING DOWN THE RACETRACK. PRETTY AGGRESSIVE BUT WHEN THAT CLUTCH CAME IN IT SMOKED THE TIRE. T.J., HE DID A LITTLE BIT FURTHER DOWN THE RACETRACK.>>SO, WHILE GARY COASTS ON OUT, LET’S TALK TO GARY WITH THIS WEEK EDITION OF “GARY SCELZI SAYS” AND IT DEALS WITH PRESSURE.>>I’M SORRY IF I HAVEN’T BEEN ACTING RIGHT LATELY. THIS CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP’S REALLY BEEN STRESSING ME OUT >>DAD, COME WITH ME AND GIO, WE’LL TEACH YOU HOW TO RELAX. >>COOL. ♪♪>>WAY TO GO, SCELZI!>>I THINK I’M STARTING TO LIGHTEN UP.>>WHOO! ♪♪>>BOY, YOU GUYS ARE RIGHT THIS REALLY RELAXED ME. HOW’D YOU GUYS GET TO BE SO SMART, YET YOU’RE SO YOUNG?>>DAD, STICK WITH US, WE’LL TAKE YOU TO THE TOP. >>YOU’RE RIGHT.>>THAT’S GREAT, THAT’S GREAT. I DON’T THINK GIOVANNI SAID TOO MUCH IN THAT PIECE, LOOK A LITTLE CAMERA-SHY. >>”STICK WITH ME, DAD, WE’LL TAKE YOU TO THE TOP.”>>ALL RIGHT, LET’S GET READY FOR THE PEDREGON. THEY BLISTERED THE PLACE LAST NIGHT. MATCHING PAIR OF 4.68 SECONDS ELAPSED TIMES. TONY WENT 320. WHAT A POOCH.>>TONY’S COMING OFF THE RUN IN MAPLE GROVE, FEELING GOOD. CRUZ PEDREGON, BASICALLY THIS CAR WANTED TO RUN WHEN IT DIDN’T QUALIFY AT INDY AND BECAUSE THE THING WAS VERY AGGRESSIVE, SPIN THE TIRES IN THE MIDDLE, WAS ALMOST LIKE LAST NIGHT THE TRACK CAME TO THEIR TUNE-UPS. RIGHT NOW, VERY IMPORTANT RUN FOR CRUZ PEDREGON BECAUSE THEY NEED TO GET THIS CAR DOWN THE TRACK IN THOSE CONDITIONS. THAT 4.68 DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING OTHER THAN THEY HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF HORSEPOWER. NOW THEY HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET IT TO THE GROUND SO THEY KNOW THEY HAVE A CAR THEY CAN RACE TOMORROW.>>LOOKING DOWN FROM THE AMERIQUEST AIRSHIP FREEDOM.>>WELL, TONY HAS IT NOSE OVER JUST BEFORE THE FINISH LINE. THERE YOU SEE THE BELT FINALLY FALLING OFF. HE GOES 4.77 SECOND. CRUZ, LIKE YOU MENTIONED, NEEDED A STRONG RUN, DIDN’T QUITE GET IT BECAUSE THE CAR WENT UP IN TIRE SMOKE. >>WILL HAVE TO GET A HANDLE ON THAT IF THEY WANT A WIN TOMORROW. TONY PEDREGON MADE A NICE RUN BEFORE BELT CAME OFF. LEFT SIDE OF YOUR SCREEN, BASICALLY STUCK DOWN THE MIDDLE, JUST ABOUT 1,000 FOOT MARK, THINK, QUITS. JUST OVER 300 MILE PERCENT HOUR.>>WE GOT READY FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK. WANT TO SEE HOW CYLINDERS DROP OUT OF A RACE CAR, THAT’S A COMPUTER GRAPH. >>THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOING UP LIKE THIS NOT DOWN LIKE THIS. SO THAT’S NOT A GOOD SIGN THERE MARTY. >>NO THAT MEANS YOU’RE IN TROUBLE AND YOU’RE BACK IN THE PITS TRYING TO SCRATCH YOUR HEAD AND FIGURE IT OUT. WHEN WE COME BACK, IT WILL BE TIME FOR FORD SESSION OF QUALIFYING.>>>WELCOME BACK TO RACE NUMBER 20 OF 23 ON THE NHRA POWERADE DRAG RACING SERIES. AERIAL FOOT ONLY PROVIDED BY AMERIQUEST. OUR PILOTS TODAY ARE MIKE AND RUSSELL. OUR CAMERA MAN JOEL. THANKS, GUYS, SOME GREAT VIEWS, FROM HIGH ABOVE. NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT PRO STOCK. GET YOU CAUGHT UP ON WHAT HAPPENS IN THE HIGHLIGHTS. LIGHTNING QUICK SESSION LAST NIGHT. IT WAS GREG ANDERSON, LEFT LINE, JASON LINE IN THE RIGHT LANE. GREG GOES LOW. 6.64 SECONDS, 207. JASON RIGHT BEHIND HIM, 6.66, 208 AND CHANGE. SECOND FASTEST SPEED EVER AND NEW TRACK RECORD. AND THEN EARLIER TODAY, SESSION NUMBER THREE, THEY DID IT AGAIN. QUICKEST FOR THE SESSION. GREG THIS TIME IN THE RIGHT LANE, GOES 6.67 SECOND AND JASON AT A 6.68. SO, TAKE A LOOK AT THE LEADERBOARD. YOU CAN SEE BEHIND THEM, IT IS LARRY MORGAN, RICHIE STEVEN, AND A LOT MORE NEWS ON RICHIE AND WHAT’S HAPPENED TO HIM DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS AS A RESULT OF THE HURRICANE. NOT VERY GOOD. DAVE HOWARD ON THE BUCK SPOT. ONE CAR, THE ONLY CAR LEFT THAT HASN’T RUN A 6.60. OUR QUICKEST FIELD EVER IN PRO STOCK. THOSE ARE THE GUYS WHO HAVE TRIED. MANY OF THEM ARE HEADING HOME. AND DOWN ON THE STARTING LINE WE GET READY FOR GREG STANFIELD AND DAVE CONLEY. OF COURSE, CONNOLLY WON HERE LAST YEAR WHEN ANDERSON FOULED OUT. IT WAS GOOD FOR DAVE BECAUSE HE BROKE ON THAT RUN. >>DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THE FINISH LINE BUT STILL GOT THE RUN. IF YOUR RED LIGHT, LEAVE BEFORE THE GREEN LITE COMES ON, IT’S AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFICATION. >>STANFIELD MADE IT TO JOLIET A FEW YEARS AGO. HE LOST IN 2001 TO TAYLOR LASTER. RIGHT NOW, BOTH THESE GUY, IN THE FIELD. TRYING TO GET INTO THE TOP HALF THE FIELD. YOU GOT TO RUN BETTER THAN 6.68. AND THE TEMPERATURE MAY NOT LET2 ANYBODY DO IT. WHOA, CONNOLLY STARTS SKATING. AND BOTH CARS GO 6.76 SECONDS. YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE TEMPERATURE. IT’S, WHAT, 20 DEGREES HIGHER?>>YEAH ABOUT 20 DEGREES HIGHER THAN LAST NIGHT’S QUALIFYING SESSION WHEN EVERYBODY RAN THOSE GREAT NUMBERS SO IT’S GOING TO BE VERY TOUGH FOR THESE CAR TO IMPROVE ON WHAT THEY DID THERE. DAVE CONNOLLY THAT THING MADE A MOVE TO RIGHT, TOWARD THE CENTER OF THE LINE. HE DRILLED IT BACK IN. RAN HER DOWN THE RACETRACK. TRACK CONDITIONS ARE SIMILAR TO WHAT THEY’LL RACE ON TOMORROW. >>AS YOU LOOK AT THE TEMPERATURE ON THE TRACK, RIGHT NOW, 97 DEGREES. DAVE IS WITH THE POINTS LEADER.>>SUCCESS CAN BE MEASURED VARIETY OF DIFFERENT WAY. ULTIMATELY, IT SEEM TO BE DICK DATED BY HOW MANY POINTS YOU HAVE. YOU TOUCHED ON LAST YEAR, WHEN YOU RED LIGHT HERE. YOU FOUND A VARIETY OF WAY TO NOT WIN THIS RACE. YOU’VE ENJOYED SUCCESS, JUST NOT THE ULTIMATE. >>A LOT OF FREAK THINGS HAPPEN, FROM PLUGS FALLING OUT OF THE BLOCK, RED LIGHT, STARTER FALL UR. FOUND OUT EVERY WAY YOU CAN TO LOSE HERE. I PROBABLY GOT THE BEST PONTIAC, SUM MET PONTIAC I’VE EVER HAD RIGHT NOW. I NEED TO FORGET ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST AND GET THE JOB DONE LIKE IT’S ANY OTHER ZBLAK REMEMBER, MARTY, ALSO HADN’T WON AT REDDING AND WENT TO REDDING THIS YEAR. >>NICE TO KEEP REMIND HIM ABOUT THE FACT — >>HE THANKED US. >>I’M SURE. AND WE HAVE JOHNSON AND CURT JOHNSON ON THE TRACK NOW. KURT IN THE NUMBER 10 POSITION. OH, PAIR OF 6.7s. SO EVERYBODY’S AT LEAST BEING CONSISTENT. THE LAST PAIR EACH GOES 6.76. THESE TWO GO 5-100ths QUICKER. SO THEY WILL STAY EIGHTH AND TENTH AS OF RIGHT NOW. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE POINTS. MOST OF US IN THE MEDIA HAVE ALMOST CHRISTENED GREG ANDERSON. MATHEMATICALLY, IT’S NOT OVER. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT 20 POINTS PER ROUND AND YOU CAN DO THE MATH, CURT JOHNSON IS 176 BEHIND. THERE’S JUST NOT A LOT OF TIME LEFT. ESPECIALLY WITH THE WAY GREG’S RUNNING. HE’S NOT SHOWING ANY WEAKNESS. WE’VE GOT TO TAKE COMMERCIAL BREAK.>>>BACK AT THE NHRA NATIONALS, IN FINAL QUALIFYING OF PRO STOCK. AS YOU LOOK TOWARDS THE BEAUTIFUL GRANDSTAND AREA, ONE OF THE FINEST FACILITIES ON TOUR. AS WE GET READY FOR JOHNSON AND YATE. THERE’S JIM. SOMEBODY WAS SUGGESTING IN THE PRESS BOX HE OUGHT TO HAVE A PROPELLER AT THE BACK. SOMEBODY SAID NO, HE CAN’T DO THAT, SOMEBODY WOULD FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PUT SOME POWER ON TO THAT THING AND ACTUALLY BLOW HIM DOWN THE TRACK.>>YOU CAN SEE THE NUMBERS. THE SUN HAS BEGUN TO TAKE ITS TOLL. 6.74 FOR JIM AND 6.75 ELAPSE TIME FOR ALAN. THEY WILL STAY SEVENTH AND NINTH RESPECTIVELY. RIGHT NOW, JIM YATES WOULD GET ALAN JOHNSON. AND GET KURT JOHNSON. A LOT OF JOHNSONS RACING>>I CAN’T KEEP TRACK. >>AND LET’S GET READY FOR V GAINES. HE’S HAD A CAREER BEST E.T. IN QUALIFYING AT 6.76 SECONDS. OF COURSE, COMING OFF A COUPLE OF BAD RACES. HE D AND Qd BACK IN MEMPHIS, LOST AT INDIAN, MAPLE GROVE. WOULD LIKE TO TURN THINGS AROUND. NUMBER SIX SPOT NOW. LET’S GIVE KUDOS TO HER TEAM. 2.0648, THE MILE AN HOUR. AND TAKE A HOOK AT HER REACTION LAST NIGHT. BECAUSE WHEN THEY GAVE HER THE NUMBERS, IT WAS JUST AN INCREDIBLE MOMENT, WHEN YOU REALIZE, HEY, NOT ONLY ARE WE SOLIDLY IN THE SHOW, WE’RE PLAYING. BECAUSE THEY’VE RUN 6.67, 6.69, AND 6.70. AND LOOK, SHE GOES WHOA. WE CAN DO THE DANCE.>>THOSE ARE THREE VERY GOOD RUNS. SHE’S BEEN RUNNING AT THE TOP OF EACH SESSION. THAT’S THE KEY. YOU CAN GO OUT AND MAKE ONE GOOD RUN IN GOOD CONDITIONS. IF WOW WANT TO WIN ON SUNDAY, YOU HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT ON N ALL KIND OF CONDITION. THIS CAR LOOKS GOOD, BEING ABLE TO DO THAT. ENDERS IN THE LEFT LANE. V IN THE RIGHT LANE. WE REFER TO IT AS DRIVER’S RIGHT, DRIVER’S LEFT. WELL, ERICA GOES 6.71 SECONDS, 205. 6.76 FOR V. NOT GOING TO BE HELPFUL TO EITHER ONE AS FAR AS MOVING UP THE QUALIFYING ORDER. FOUR SOLID ROUNDS FOR ENDER, THE BEST FOUR SHE’S HAD. >>COMPARE TO THE RACES THAT THE CARS THAT ARE RUNNING IN THIS SESSION AND SHE’S RIGHT THERE WITH ALL OF THEM. >>HER HIGHEST STARTING POSITION IN HER CAREER. RIGHT NOW, SHE IS NUMBER 5. SO MILL WK AN ATTITUDE, THE SLAMMER’S TEAM IS SLAMMING.>>>WE’VE REALLY HAD ADVERSITY THIS YEAR. THE COMPETITION’S BEEN STIFF THIS YEAR. A LOT OF GUYS STEPPED THEIR PROGRAM UP. IF WE CAN WIN THIS YEAR IT WILL PROBABLY BE THE HARDEST-EARNED ONE WE’VE HAD. >>AND AS YOU LOOK ACROSS THE POND HERE AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, WE ARE IN FINAL QUALIFYING FOR THE PRO STO CLASS. THE LAST THING STEVENS WANTS TO SEE IS THAT SHOT OF WATER. HE FINALLY GOT HOME THIS PAST WEEK AND IT WAS AN UGLY SIGHT. THE HOUSE, BODY SHOP, EVERYTHING INUNDATED. GOING TO BE A LONG CLEANUP. HE’S IN THE RIGHT LANE. MORGAN OVER IN THE LEFT LANE. AND A 6.71 FOR LARRY, 6.73, THE ELAPSED TIME FOR RICHIE. SO LARRY AND RICHIE STAYS 3 AND 4 RESPECTIVELY. AND WE TALKED ABOUT HOW BAD THINGS WERE FOR RICHIE. HE BROUGHT US A STILL PHOTO FROM WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE AND THIS IS WHAT HOME LOOKED LIKE. YOU CAN SEE THE WATER LINE ON THE GARAGE AND ALONG FRONT. SEE HOW HIGH IT IS? MIKE, OUGHT TO DRAW IT IN. >>MAN, THAT’S — UNBELIEVABLE, RIGHT — AND THEN THERE IS THE FORD BRONCO. WHICH THAT’S NOT THE WAY YOU NORMALLY PARK. >>THAT’S HIS NEIGHBOR’S FORD BRONCO THAT ACTUALLY WAS TAKEN THERE BY THE WATER. YOU SAW THE WATER LINE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. AFTER TALKING WITH RICHIE, YOU GO INSIDE THAT HOUSE, RIGHT ABOVE THE DOORWAY, THAT’S A BIG OPEN LIVING ROOM AREA. RICHIE SAID AT THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM SURGE THIS, THE WATER WAS 14 FOOT AT THAT AREA AND THE HOUSE THAT YOU SEE DIRECTLY TO THE RIGHT OF HIS, THAT WAS A HOUSE THAT WAS ACTUALLY MOVED OFF ITS FOUNDATION. HE CREDITS THAT HOUSE FOR PROTECTING HIS. BECAUSE THAT’S THE DIRECTION FROM WHICH THE WATER CAME FROM LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. FEELS VERY FORTUNATE. >>THEY WERE TOLD IT MAY BE FIVE MONTHS BEFORE THEY HAVE ELECTRICITY. SO JUST GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF HOW TOUGH IT IS DOWN THERE RIGHT NOW. AS WE COME BACK TO THE STARTING LINE. WE’RE ON BOARD WITH GREG ANDERSON. HE’LL BE IN THE LEFT LANE. LINE OVER IN THE RIGHT LANE. FINAL PAIR OF THE FACTORY HOT RODS HERE IN THE FINAL SESSION OF QUALIFYING.>>SO FAR, THE BEST RUN OF THIS SESSION IS RON WITH A 6.69. HE’S BEEN RUNNING VERY GOOD. SOMETHING THESE GUYS WILL BE SHOOTING FOR RIGHT NOW.>>MAN, THESE GUYS JUST FLU SIDE BY SIDE. LOOK AT THE ELAPSED TIMES. GREG GOES LOW AGAIN FOR THE SESSION. 6.67 SECOND. BEHIND HIM IS SUMMIT RACING TEAMMATE JASON LINE AT 6.68. THESE TWO, LOOK OUT, TOMORROW. YOU GOT TO THROW RON KRISHER INTO THAT. HE WAS QUICK ALSO. >>RON MISSED ON FRIDAY NIGHT SESSION, LAST NIGHT, BUT MADE GOOD RUN IN THE HEAT, AS DID GREG ANDERSON AND JASON LINE. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE, WHAT THESE TWO CARS HAVE BEEN DOING ALL WEEKEND LONG, JUST GOING DOWN THAT RACETRACK AND MAKING VERY, VERY NICE RUNS. WATCH HIM GOING THROUGH THE GEARS RIGHT THERE, NOT HARDLY ANY MOVEMENT ON THAT STEERING WHEEL. MEANS IT WAS MOVING STRAIGHT, NOT WASTING MOTION. >>THE OTHER CAR JUST LITERALLY IN LOCK STEP. TO THE FAR END AND TALK WITH GARY. >>YOU’VE HAD FOUR VERY CONSISTENT RUNS. YOU’VE COME UP WITH YOUR BEST QUALIFYING EFFORT EVER. HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE YOU GOING INTO TOMORROW, NOW BEING IN THE TOP HALF?>>EXCLUDEING JASON AND GUESS IT GIVES US CONFIDENCE TO RUN. AND WE’RE JUST REALLY EXCITED. THE COBALT IS RUNNING OFTEN. THAT’S ANOTHER NEW ENGINE FROM OUR POWER PLANT. HOPEFULLY THESE LAST COUPLE RACES, WE CAN DO US SOME GOOD. >>GETTING BETTER BY EVERY WEEK. GOOD JOB. >>THANK YOU. >>SHE’S GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE OUT RON KRISHER IN THE OPENING ROUND. THERE SHE IS THE BOTTOM OF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE LADDER. SHE’LL HAVE LANE COICE OVER RON. THERE YOU SEE STEVEN, ANDERSON, W.J., THEY’VE GOT THE LANE CHOICE AS WELL. THERE IS LINE. KURT JOHNSON DOES NOT HAVE LANE CHOICE UP AGAINST ALAN JOHNSON. MORGAN, OVER DAVE CONNALLY. WHEN WE COME BACK, TIME FOR TOP FUEL. HOW ABOUT LARRY DIXON? HE’S SECOND IN THE POINTS. DOUG KALITTA, THIRD IN THE POINTS. SCHUMACHER ON THE VERGE OF>>>AND WELCOME BACK TO ROUTE 66 RACEWAY HERE IN JOLIET, ILLINOIS. JUST SOUTHWEST OF CHICAGO. WE’RE IN FINAL QUALIFYING AT THE AMERI QUEST MORTGAGE NHRA NATIONALS. SOME OF THE FANS ENJOYING THE ACTIVITIES. HERE IN OUR BOOTH, WE’RE CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE BECAUSE OUR PICK FOR TOP FUEL LARRY DIXON IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE AND SO IS DOUG KALITTA. RIGHT NOW THE RUN IN THE RECORD, WITH THE NATIONAL BACKUP IF THEY CAN FINISH WITH THE RECORD IN TACT, THEY GET THE BONUS POINTS AT THE END OF E WEEKEND. WE’RE BOTH TOAST. >>BASICALLY, SINCE THIS CAR’S SO GOOD RIGHT NOW, THE TUNE-UP IS THERE, THE CREW’S THERE, THE DRIVER’S THERE. UNLESS THEY HAVE NECK MECHANICAL PROBLEM, OR THE DRIVER HAS A MISSTEP, IN THE EARLY ROUND, IT’S GOING TO BE TOUGH. >>A COUPLE GUYS LIVE IN THE CHICAGO AREA THAT ARE JUST HOPE AND TRYING DESPERATELY TO MAKE IT INTO THE FIELD. ONE THEM IS T.J. LET’S CHECK IN WITH DAVE. >>THE SPOTLIGHT FIRMLY ON T.J. A COLOMBIA COLLEGE DOCUMENTARY GOING ON RIGHT NOW. FOCUSSING ON THE HOMEBOY NOW AT HIS HOME RACE. CHICAGO HAS SO MUCH GREAT NAMES WHEN IT COME TO DRAG RACING. THIS IS THE FAMILY FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH EXTRA PEOPLE AND EXTRA STRESSES? ? AND THE EXTRA NITRO?>>YEAH, THE EXTRA NITRO. THIS IS WHAT DRAG RACING IS ALL ABOUT. IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY, ALL ABOUT HOMETOWN, HAVING A GOOD TIME, ENJOYING THIS DEAL. YEAH THERE IS EXTRA PRESSURE HERE WITH THE TORQUE CHAMPION, ALL BASED IN THE MIDWEST. WE’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME AND THAT’S ALL THAT COUNTS.>>YOU HAVE ONE MORE OPPORTUNITY. YOU CAN RUN BETTER, YOU’VE DONE IT MANY TIMES BEFORE. HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU?>>WE’RE EXTREMELY CONFIDENTP IN CAR, I’LL TELL YOU, IT CAN RUN A 4.65 FALLING OFF THE TRAILER AND THAT .76 WE RAN AT THE LAST PASS WAS THE UGLIEST WE HAVE EVER SEEN. >>WELL, OF COURSE THEY’RE DOCUMENTING IT, TOO, AT COLUMBIA COLLEGE.>>AND OF COURSE THAT INTERVIEW, WE SHOULD TELL YOU, WAS TAPED AN FEW MINUTES AGO. THIS WAS T.J. TRYING TO MAKE IT IN. UNFORTUNATELY, HE DID NOT. T.J. AND JOE HARTLEY BOTH MISSED THE 16 CAR FIELD. LET’S ALSO TALK ABOUT THE OTHER CHICAGO AREA RESIDENT SCOTT WEIS. FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR, OVER IN THE RIGHT LANE, WILL NOT BE AROUND ON RACE DAY. AS HE FAILS TO MAKE THE 16 CAR FIELD HERE AT ROUTE 66. AND THIS IS THE AMERI QUEST AIRSHIP FREEDOM. TO THE STARTING LINE AREA. BRUCE LITTON IN THE RIGHT LANE. IS IN THE FIELD SOLID AT NUMBER 12 WITH 4.57. LITTON, THE INDIANAPOLIS INDIANA RESIDENT, ABOUT 3 1/2 HOURS FROM HOME. IF HE DOESN’T WANT TO MAKE THAT TRIP TONIGHT, HE’S GOT TO RUN QUICKER THAN A 4.68. THE CONDITIONS ARE THERE TO BE ABLE TO DO IT. THE TRACK IS STILL VERY TIGHT AS FAR AS THE RUBBER. THE AIR-CONDITIONS, ATMOSPHERE CONDITIONS, ARE WORSE THAN THEY WERE YESTERDAY. IT’S JUST A MATTER OF GETTING EVERYTHING HOOKED UP, DOWN THAT RACETRACK. HE’S HAD A BUSY SATURDAY. WAS ALSO PART OF THE ALL-STARS. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SEE THAT LATER ON OUR LUCAS OIL SPORTSMAN SERIES COVERAGE. WE WILL NOT SPOIL IT FOR YOU, TELL YOU HOW JACK DID. >>COME ON, MARTY. >>WON’T DO IT.>>CAN’T PAY YOU?>>WELL, YOU CAN, BUT IT AREN’T GOING TO DO YOU ANY GOOD. YOU’RE JUST GOING TO LOSE THE MONEY. >>STORY OF MY LIFE. WELL, BECKMAN GOES 4.59 SECOND AT 315 IN THE HEAT. SAW THE BLOWER BELT FLY OFF. NEVER STOOD A CHANCE ON THIS ONE. JUST DIDN’T MOVE VERY MUCH PAST THE STARTING LINE. BRUCE IS ON WAY BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS. AND BECKMAN WILL NOT IMPROVE, BUT, AGAIN, GOOD SOLID RUN. >>YEAH, BACK UP TO THAT 4.57 WITH A 4.59. RIGHT SIDE, LITTON, AS SOON AS HE HIT THE THROTTLE, SITUATION LIKE WE SAW WITH HIGHT LAST NIGHT IN FUNNY CAR. THEY HAD IGNITION PROBLEM. COULD HAVE BEEN THROTTLE CABLE FELL OFF. THEY’LL HAVE TO LOOK, SEE WHAT HAPPENED. >>WE CAN TELL YOU, THE FIELD IS NOW SET. SO NO ONE ELSE CAN BUM THEN WAY IN. >>START WIPING IT UP WITH YOUR RAG. >>AND OF COURSE WE’VE GOT RICK STEWART MICED. HE IS GIVING INSTRUCTIONS.>>I DON’T THINK WE’LL NEATED TRACKER.>>>FOR FINAL QUALIFYING IN TOP FUEL, WITH JOHN SMITH AND MELANIE COMING TO THE LINE. JOHN IN THE RIGHT LANE, MELANIE IN THE LEFT LANE HERE AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY AS THE SUN BEGINS TO SET INTO THE WEST. ACTUALLY BEHIND THE RACE CARS RIGHT NOW. AND AS YOU GET A LOOK AT MELANIE TROXLE’S WING.>>HAD TO GO TO A DIFFERENT WING AND WAS CAUSING THE FRONT END TO LIFT UP. THEY HAD TO KEEP THAT FRONT END DOWN SO THEY COULD DRIVE IT.>>WELL, SHE DRIVES IT JUST FINE. 4.56 SECONDS, AT 321. HAD AN EARLIER RUN, 4.53. SO SOME GOOD PERFORMANCE FROM MELANIE, AS JOHN SMITH GOES 4.64 AT 304. SO AS THEY COAST ON OUT, YOU’RE ON BOARD WITH DAVID GRUBNIC. AS ENGINES HAVE YET TO COME TO LIFE. WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM A LITTLE BIT EARLIER IN THE RACE SHOP. LET’S TUNE IN FOR THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF “GRUBBY’S GARAGE.”>>WHAT I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HERE, IS THE MOST SENSITIVE AND IMPORTANT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT WE HAVE HERE AT KALITTA MOTORSPORTS. IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THIS LITTLE THING HERE, IT’S A CATASTROPHE. IT’S MAYHEM, IT’S MADNESS. DAY TURNS TO NIGHT, IT’S A DISASTER. BELIEVE ME ON THIS. SO AS YOU CAN SEE, THE JOYS OF A SIMPLE LITTLE REFRIGERATEER. ALL HAIL THE KING, CONNIE KALITTA. >>WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS, HE KEPT POURING AND POURING AND POURING. I MEAN, THAT WAS A BIG GLASS. >>I’LL TELL YOU — >>HE’LL POUR FOR A LONG TIME, TOO, TRUST ME. >>GREAT ONE. DAVID GRUBNIC IN THE RIGHT LANE. HE’S THE NUMBER 13 QUALIFIER RIGHT NOW. MORGAN LUCAS WILL BE OVER IN THE LEFT LANE. AND MORGAN WITH A NEW PAINT SCHEME THIS WEEK. A PINK COLOR. IT’S FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. AND OF COURSE, MORGAN HAS BEEN TAKING SOME TEASING FROM SOME OF THE TEAMS AND THE GUYS ABOUT THE PINK RACE CAR. BUT — ALSO A LOT OF QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THAT TEAM RIGHT NOW, AS FAR AS THEIR FUTURE. THEIR HAS BEEN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT FOREST LUCAS, MORGAN’S FATHER, BUYING OUT JOE AMATO. JOE, THERE’S BEEN SPECULATION HE MAY JUST SAY, WE’RE NOT GOING TO RACE ANYMORE. THEY MAY BE BACK. CAN’T SEEM TO GET THE FULL STORY. BUT AS WE ALWAYS SAY, STAY TUNED. EVENTUALLY IT WILL ALL SHAKE OUT. AND THERE IS JOE.>>THE WINNINGEST TOP FUEL DRIVER OF ALL TIME. WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS DOWN THE ROAD. >>THAT LADY IN THE BACKGROUND WAS CHARLOTTE LUCAS, MORGAN’S MOTHER. SHE RACES SUPERCOMBP IN HER OWN RIGHT. GOT HER LICENSE AFTER WATCHING HER SON. SAID, HE’S HAVING FUN, I THINK I’LL TRY IT, TOO. >>HAS TO GET BETTER THAN A 4.522 TO DO IT. WELL, MORGAN GOES 4.51 SECOND, QUICK ET RUN OF HIS SESSION. THAT IS BACK TO BACK 4.51s. I MEAN, HE’S GOT 4.51, ANOTHER 4.51 AND A 4.52.>>MORGAN LUCAS, IT’S LIKE HE WAS DOING TWO WEEKS AGO IN REDDING, JUST GOING DOWN THE RACETRACK, RUNNING GOOD NUMBER, NOT GREAT NUMBERS WHEN YOU LOOK AT SCHUMACHER. BUT STILL, NICE, NICE PASSES GOING DOWN THAT RACETRACK. AND VERY CONSISTENT RIGHT NOW. AND AS YOU GO ON BOARD WITH DAVID GRUBNIC WITH HIM NOT MOVING UP IN THE FIELD IF NOTHING CHANGES, HE FACES TEAMMATE DOUG KALITTA IN THE OPENING ROUND TOMORROW. WE’VE GOT TO TAKE ANOTHER COMMERCIAL BREAK. THERE IS CLAY MILIKEN.>>>BACK HERE, FINAL QUALIFYING. TOP FUEL. ROUTE 66 RACE WAY. AS WE GET REALLY FOR CLAY IN THE RIGHT LANE, FULLER OVER IN THE LEFT LANE. SUNDAY NIGHT, ESPN AND THE NFL MAKE A LITTLE HISTORY AS 49ERS MEET THE CARDINALS IN THE FIRST REGULAR NFL SEASON GAME PLAYED OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. LIVE FROM MEXICO CITY. AVAILABLE IN HIGH DEFINITION ON ESPN HD. COVERAGE BEGINS WITH “NFL PRIMETIME” AT 7:30 EASTERN. LET’S CHECK IN WITH GARY, FAR END OF THE TRACK.>>LUCAS WITH A NEW FIRE SUIT, FUEL FOR THE FIGHT. GO WITH THE NEW COLOR SCHEME, BATTLE AGAINST BREAST CANCER. THREE GREAT RUNS THUS FAR. 51s 52s. ARE YOU OVERSHADOWED WHEN YOU SEE SCHUMACHER RUNNING 40 NUMBERS? DEMORALIZE YOU AT ALL?>>NOT REALLY. CAN’T REALLY COUNT HIM SOMETIME. THIS IS LIKE DISNEYLAND FOR ALL OF US. YOU CAN’T HARDLY THROW ENOUGH AT IT. THINK THEYJUST PROBABLY MAKE A LITTLE MORE POWER THAN A LOT OF US OUT HERE. MY TEAM’S DOING GOOD. FIRST RUN — WE WERE THE SECOND QUICKEST NEXT TO THEM. I DON’T KNOW HOW WE’LL DO ON THIS ONE. ACTUALLY, ON THE FIRST PASS, LOST THE BELT. AND IT WAS PROBABLY RUNNING ABOUT THE SAME. GOOD CONSISTENT CAR. WE’VE GOT THE SAME CAR AND WE’LL JUST GO OUT TOMORROW AND TRY TO DO OUR BEST AND HOPEFULLY, FUEL FOR FIGHT, EVERYBODY ELSE, APPRECIATE IT AND ANYBODY WHO WANT TO REPRESENT CANCER AND SUPPORT IT JUST LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET AND JUST DO WHAT YOU CAN BECAUSE IT’S A GOOD CAUSE AND GOOD SUPPORTING ISSUE.>>DON’T RUN AWAY, WANT TO ASK, WE KEEP HEARING TALK ABOUT, WILL JOE AMATO SELL THIS TEAM, WILL LUCAS END UP WORKING WITH HIS FAMILY, WITH A TEAM OF HIS OWN? CAN YOU SHED ANY LIGHT ON WHAT’S GOING ON?>>NOT YET, BECAUSE I’M NOT REALLY ALLOWED TO YET. THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME STUFF CHANGING NEXT YEAR. I DON’T KNOW WHAT FOR SURE WILL HAPPEN. MY DAD AND JOE HAVE BEEN IN TALKS. MY DAD’S ALSO THINKING ABOUT ALL KIND OF OPTIONS. HE JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE HE DOES THE RIGHT THING. THERE’S A LOT MONEY OUT HERE TO SPEND BUT IT’S A BUSINESS AND JOE’S BEEN NOTHING BUT GREAT TO ME, I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING HE’S DONE FOR ME, GETTING ME IN THE SPORT, MY TEAM, EVERYBODY. WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FUTURE. I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE RACING.>>THANK YOU, AND WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE. MARTY?>>THANKS, GUYS, AS WE GET READY FOR THE NEXT RUN. 3.29 BY ROD FULLER, CAREER BEST SPEED. AND AS WE WATCH BERNSTEIN. AND DOUG KALITTA. WE SHOULD ALSO SALUTE CLAY, IN THE OTHER LANE, BOTH RUNNING 4.50s. CONGRATULATE CLAY ON FIFTH CHAMPIONSHIP. CHECK IN WITH DAVE. >>FRESH ON THE HEELS OF FULLER’S FASTEST PASS, JOINED NOW BY THE TEAM OWNER. WHAT A GREAT SITUATION YOU’VE GOT. HOOK UP THROUGH 2008 RJS JUST ANNOUNCED FULLER SIGNED NOW THROUGH 2008. WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO THROUGH THIS TEAM AND WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS NOW WITH THE TEAM YOU PUT TOGETHER?>>WELL, IT’S A FANTASTIC FEELING TO HAVE ALL THESE PEOPLE IN PLACE. WITH ROD FULLER AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER GOOD GUYS ON OUR TEAM. IT’S GOING TO MAKE DAVID POWER MOTORSPORT A GREAT TEAM IN ’06. >>THE OBVIOUS GOAL, CHAMPIONSHIP?>>WE’RE RUNNING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. >>ENOUGH SAID. GREAT TO HAVE A NEW CAR OUT, GUYS.>>THEY WILL BE, FULL-TIME NEXT YEAR. SPEAKING OF FULL-TIME, NUMBER THREE IN THE POINT. HUGE WEEKEND FOR BOTH DOUG KALITTA AND LARRY DIXON. AND HOW DEMORAL EYEING, IF YOU’RE SITTING IN THAT COCKPIT AND YOU’RE SITTING IN THAT SEAT, SEEN WHAT SCHUMACHER HAS DONE, WHAT’S GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD?>>WELL, YOU’VE GOT TO GO AS QUICK AS YOU CAN GO. IT’S UP TO THE CREW TO GIVE THE KIND OF CAR THAT CAN RUN THE NUMBER. HE CAN GET THE CAR DOWN THE RACETRACK.>>TWO GOOD RUNS. BRANDON GOES 4.49 SECOND. A 4.54 FOR DOUG. BRANDON GOES LOW FOR THIS SESSION. SO HE MOVES INTO THE NUMBER FIVE SPOT. ONLY THING BRANDON MAY BE CONCERNED ABOUT, THIS IS TWO SESSIONS IN A ROW WHERE HIS LIGHTS OFF THE START LINE HAVE NOT BEEN VERY STELLAR.>>TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE RUN AS WE GET READY TO HEAD FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK. STAY WITH US.>>>BACK HERE, FINAL QUALIFYING IN TOP FUEL, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY. YOU’RE LOOKING AT DOUG HERBERT FROM AMERI “QUEST LIVSHIP FREEDOM. WE CAUGHT UP WITH A MEMBER OF THE CREW. >>TWO TIMES THIS YEAR, MARTY, THE RFC GARAGE, AN ORGANIZATION STARTED BY THE RACER FORCE CHRIST THAT BENEFIT DISADVANTAGE YOUTH HAVE HAD AN AUCTION WHERE THE WINNER GETS TO BECOME AN HONOR RARE CREWMAN FOR A DAY. HERE’S THE MOST RECENT WINNER. WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING AN HONORARY CREWMAN?>>IT’S JUST BEEN FANTASTIC. THE CREW’S BEEN JUST GREAT. ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR ‘EM, SHOWED ME AROUND, TREAT ME LIKE ONE OF THE CREW. >>WHAT MADE YOU GET INVOLVED?>>MONEY WENT TO A GOOD CAUSE AND I WON, TOO, I GOT THE CHANCE TO BE WITH THE CREW. THE MAIN THING IS THE MONEY FOR THE RFC GARAGE. >>NICELY DONE, RANDY. >>THANK YOU, DAVE. OF COURSE, FOR DOUG HERBERT, GOOD NEWS, ALSO. SNAP-ON HAS SIGNED ON FOR 2008 AS HIS PRIMARY SPONSOR. HE’S IN THE LEFT LANE, DIXON IN THE RIGHT LANE. AH, TOO TWO GOOD RUNS. DOUG HERBERT DOES 4.46. LARRY STAYS NUMBER SEVEN. LARRY DIXON’S REAL CONSISTENT, 51, 52 YOU KNOW, RIGHT IN THERE, 53. HE’S JUST — NEEDS THAT EXTRA HORSEPOWER TO BE ABLE TO RUN WITH TONY SCHUMACHER AND THAT’S BEEN THEIR PROBLEM. HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO STEP UP WHEN THEY NEED IT ON THE IF RACETRACKS. HERBERT HAD ANOTHER GOOD RACE. RIGHT NOW, SCHUMACHER LOOKS GOOD.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TOMORROW FROM ROUTE 66 RACEWAY ON ESPN 2 — WE’LL KICK IT OFF AT 1130 A.M. EASTERN TIME. FOLLOW IT UP AT 8:00 P.M. EASTERN WITH THE FINALS. SO THAT BRINGS US DOWN TO NUMBERS ONE AND TWO IN THE QUALIFYING PEGGING ORDER. WILL THAN MAN RIGHT THERE. THE HOG OF COREY McCLENATHAN. WILL HE BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE BONUS POINTS? I DON’T SEE ANYBODY CHALLENGING TONY SCHUMACHER. AND AS THESE GUYS BACK UP, TAKE A LOOK AT THE POINTS RIGHT NOW FOR THE BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT. THIS IS THE SPECIALTY RACE FOR $100,000 WILL BE COMING UP AT LAS VEGAS. SCORE YOUR POINTS THROUGH YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT. THE TOP SEVEN ARE LOCKED IN. NUMBER EIGHT IS DONE AT A DRAW, WHICH WILL BE HELD AT THE HARD ROCK CAFE AND THURSDAY NIGHT OF RACE WEEK. SHOE MACHER IS NUMBER ONE. GRUBNIC WAS SIX INTO THE RACE. McCLENATHAN WAS IN THE NUMBER SEVEN SPOT. WILL GET SOME BIG HELP HERE IF HE FINISHES NUMBER TWO. >>WILL FINISH NUMBER TWO UNLESS HE’S ABLE TO KNOCK OFF THAT LOW NUMBER OF SCHUMACHER, WHICH I DON’T THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN. COREY RAN GOOD, 4.46, THEY MAKE GOOD HORSEPOWER. BUT TONY SHOEMAKER, THAT CAR’S BEEN IN THE 4.40 RANGE IN ALL THREE OF ITS RUN. CORY WENT 4.46, THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME. THE OTHER RUN HE SMOKED THE TIRES. SO HE WANT TO TRY TO STEP I, RUN ANOTHER HIGH 4.40 RUN, WOULD BE HAPPY WITH THAT. WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS MAN WILL DO.>>TONY WILL SET ON A RECORD IF HE HOLDS ON TO THIS. IT WILL BE THE SIXTH IN A ROW BREAKING THE SINGLE SEASON MARK. SET BY DOUG CALLY THEY IN ’03. >>THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLE. 4.49. FLAT, 3.27, QUICKEST RUN OF THE SESSION. UNLESS HE MAKE A MISTAKE OR SOMETHING BREAKS ON THIS RACE CAR, LOOK OUT TOMORROW. BECAUSE NO ONE SO FAR HAS FOUND AN ANSWER TO THIS.>>THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO WEAKNESS IN THE TUNE-UP. ESPECIALLY WITH CONDITIONS LIKE THIS DOWN THAT RACETRACK. EVERY TIME, THE CREW DOES A TREMENDOUS JOB OF MAKING SURE THAT CAR’S PREPARED EXACTLY THE SAME IT GOES THERE. THAT’S THE KEY TO MAKING THE RIGHT CALL, BE ABLE TO GET THAT THING DOWN THE TRACK. I THINK ALAN WILL GO BACK AND LOOK AT IT AND SAY, WE PROBABLY LEFT A LITTLE BIT ON TABLE BUT STILL A VERY NICE RUN. >>HIS TENTH POLE OF THE YEAR COMING INTO THIS SEASON. CAREER TOTAL OF 11. MATCH-UPS, LUCAS AND TROXEL. AND DOUG KALITTA, THAT WILL NOT CHANGE. AND THERE IS LARRY DIXON UP AGAINST SCOTT KALITTA, AS YOU SEE THE TOP CONTENDERS IN THE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE AND WHERE THEY STACK UP.>>>WELCOME BACK. IF YOU’RE JUST TUNING IN, WE ARE NOW LIVE WITH YOU HERE AT THE AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE COMPANY NHRA NATIONALS AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY. THE NHRA DRAG RACING SERIES. I’M MARTY REID, A LONG WITH MIKE, GAVE DAVE, GARY AND OUR ENTIRE ESPN CREW. WE’VE GOT A MOMENT OF DOWNTIME ON THE TRACK. WE’VE JUST HAD AN EXPLOSION. LET’S PUT A PERIOD ON TOP FUEL. GO TO THE FAR END, GARY. >>TONY SHOEMAKER, ANOTHER POLE POSSESSION, SIXTH CONSECUTIVE. NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE IN NHRA HISTORY, SINGLE SEASON. WHAT TO LITTLE MILESTONES LIKE THAT MEAN TO YOU?>>IT’S JOUST STANDING. THESE ARMY GUYS ARE FLAWLESS. IT KEEPS HAPPENING. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU GET ONE AND THEY THROW YOU A BONE. IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. IT’S JUST WEEK IN, WEEK OUT, IT’S THE GREATEST RACE CAR I’VE EVER PROBABLY SEEN. LAST YEAR, WE WON TEN RACE. THIS YEAR, WE’VE HA ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND HAVE ONLY WON FIVE. I KNOW EVERYONE’S WATCHING ALL THE CLASSES. ALL OF ‘EM ARE GREAT COMPETITIVE RACES RIGHT NOW. THE CHAMPIONSHIP, NOT SETTLED, ANY OF THEM. THIS ONE HERE IN TOP FUEL, LOOK AT THE NUMBER. THEY’RE EXTREMELY STYLED. WE’VE RUN FIVE RACES, BOTH END OF THE LADDER. COLUMBUS IS A WORLD RECORD, HERE IN CHICAGO, DOING A 4.43, SO UNBELIEVABLE. LET’S SEE IF WE CAN WIN, IT’S AWFUL TOUGH FOR THE LEVEL WE HAVE. >>WE ENJOY WATCHING.>>AS WE COME BACK, THERE IS GARY DENY CHUM. IF YOU WERE WITH US EARLIER, WE HAD A PROBLEM WITH HIS CAR. WITH THE STEERING. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED. >>CREASY JR. TRYING TO GET QUALIFIED. THE CAR HADN’T BEEN MAKING IT TO THE FINISH LINE UNDER POWER AND THIS WAS NO EXCEPTION HERE AS THAT CAR WENT ABOUT 250 FEET AND THEN JUST EXPLODED.>>LET’S GO BACK TO THIRD SESSION, EARLIER, WITH GARY DENSHAM. WE CONFIRM WITH THE TEAM THAT THE STEERING McSP ACTUALLY HUNG UP ON THE BODY SOMEHOW AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED. TRIED TO GET THE CAR TO GO BACK TO THE RIGHT. THE CAR WENT OUT OF THE GROOVE AND DROVE IT TOWARD THE CENTER. WHEN HE LIFTED, HE WAS UNABLE TO STEER THE CAR. JUST CAREENED OVER TO THE WALL. LUCKILY, GARY WAS UNINJURED. >>BACK HERE FOR CALL FOOG. AS YOU GET ONE MORE LOOK, YOU CAN TELL YOU, HE IS ON THE BUMP SPOT IN THE QUICKEST FUNNY CAR FIELD EVER. 4.62 IS WHAT LAWSON IN THE RIGHT LANE WILL HAVE TO RUN TO BUMP GARY OUT.>>GOES 4.86 SECOND. JOHN, WHO LIVES RIGHT HERE, WILL BE WATCH FROM EITHER THE GRANDSTANDS OR AT HOME ON TELEVISION WITH YOU BECAUSE HE’S NOT IN THE 16 CAR FIELD. THERE YOU SEE THE STANDING RIGHT NOW AS YOU GET THE BROTHERS PEDREGON, WITH IDENTICAL 4.68 SECOND ELAPSE TIMES, ON DOWN THROUGH THE TOP HALF OF THE FIELD. HAVE TO RUN 4.73 JUST TO MAKE THE TOP HALF. THAT’S THE QUICKEST THAT MARK HAS EVER BEEN. AND OF COURSE, AS WE MENTIONED, IT IS THE QUICKEST FUNNY CAR 16-CAR FIELD, COURTESY OF GARY’S 4.84. THERE ARE THE GUYS THAT ARE NOT GOING TO BE AROUND ON RACE DAY. AND AS WE COME BACK TRACKSIDE FOR NEXT PAIR IT WILL BE MIKE ASHLEY IN THERE. THE BODY COMES DOWN. THE MARK OSWALD TUNE MACHINE. MONTE CARLO WILL BE OVER IN THE RIGHT LANE. TONY BARTON WILL BE IN THE LEFT LANE. AND WHILE THESE GUYS COMPLETE THE BURNOUT PROCESS, LET’S CHECK IN AGAIN WITH DAVE REIFF. >>WITH COREY, WANTED TO START TALKING ABOUT THE BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT, THE SPECIALTY RACE FOR TOP FUEL CAR. COMING UP AT OUR RACE IN LAS VEGAS. IT’S TWO-WAY. REMEMBER, DALLAS GOT RAINED OUT. THEY ONLY LOCK IN THE TOP SEVEN. YOU’RE KIND OF PRECARIOUSLY IN THAT SPOT. WITH THE NUMBER TWO QUALIFYING EFFORT, HOW MUCH BETTER ARE YOU GOING TO SLEEP GOING TO DALLAS NOW?>>MUCH BETTER. THAT’S JUST SOMETHING EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE IN THAT SHOOTOUT. BIG THING FOR BUDWEISER. FOR HERE AT OUR RACING. SO THAT’S A BIG DEAL FOR US.>>WE GOT TO TALK ABOUT THIS. I CAN’T LET THIS GUY OFF HOOK. I KNOW HE’S EXCITED ABOUT THAT. THIS MAN’S IN A LOT OF PAIN. THIS A DOUBLE HERNIA THIS MAN IS RACING WITH THIS WEEKEND. OUCH. HOW’D IT HAPPEN?>>ACTUALLY, ONE OF MY SPONSORS, LIFTED UP MY TOOL BOX AND GOT IT PART OF THE WAY OUT AND FELL DOWN AND I STRAINED TO PICK IT UP AND I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. JUST DIDN’T HAVE ANY HELP AT THE TIME, TRYING TO MOVE IT OVER TO MY NEW HOUSE SO JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS.>>YOU CAN RACE WITH IT TOMORROW, YOU’RE GOING TO RACE WITH IT. BUT DOES THIS GET BETTER ON ITS OWN?>>NOT REALLY HAVE TO GET IT OPERATED ON, PROBABLY AFTER DALLAS, SOMEWHERE THERE WE’RE AT THE END OF THE SEASON, ONE OR THE OTHER IS GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN. DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO TO GET THE CAR DOWN THE TRACK. WE NEED THOSE QUALIFYING RUNS.>>THERE’S MOVEMENT TO PUT BERNSTEIN IN THE CAR FOR THE FOURTH SESSION. DIDN’T WORK OUT THOUGH. >>ALL RIGHT, THANKS FOR THE UPDATE. AS YOU FINISD UP, IT WAS TONY BAR TONE RUNNING A CAREER BEST 4.79 AS HE WAS IN THE LEFT LANE AT 317 MILES AN HOUR. MIKE ASHLEY’S EARLIER RUN OF 478, HE DIDN’T IMPROVE ON THIS ONE. RAN 509 HERE. >>THEY’VE BEEN RUNNING LOW 480s EVERY TIME DOWN THE RACETRACK. FINALLY NAILED IT. NICE PASS, 479. MIKE ASHLEY, LEFT SIDE, GETS OUT OF THE GROOVE RIGHT THERE STARTS SPINNING TIRES, GETS CYLINDERS OUT. WAR TONY BARTONE. STILL TAKES HER DOWN THERE, MAKES A NICE RUN. >>WE’VE GOT TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK. STAY WITH US. WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF THE TOP FUNNY CAR TEAMS>>>WELCOME BACK LIVE TO FINAL QUALIFYING HERE AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JOLIET, ILLINOIS. AERIAL FOOTAGE PROVIDED BY AMERIQUEST AIRSHIP FREEDOM. THANKS ONCE AGAIN TO OUR PILOTS. GREAT JOB TODAY, GUYS. SPECTACULAR VIEW. NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY. AS WE GET READY FOR TIM WILKERSON IN THE LEFT LANE WHO WON HIS FIRST EVER NATIONAL EVENT IN THE SPRING OF ’99 RIGHT HERE. HIS HOME TRACK, HE LIVES IN SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS. AND PHIL BURKHARDT WHO WENT TO THE ’03 FINALS, LOSING TO PEDREGON, WHO WAS THEN RACING FOR JOHN FORBES. THESE GUYS LOOKING TO MOVE UP, IF THEY CAN. AND NEITHER ONE IS GOING TO MOVE ANYWHERE. EXCEPT THEY’LL STAY 11th AND 12th. AS THEY COAST ON OUT. AS YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE FULL 16 LEADERBOARD, LET’S BRING IN LARRY DIXON. HE IS BACK IN THE PITS. I GOT TO TELL YOU, IS THIS DEMORALIZING TO YOU IN ANY WAY, WATCHING WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TONY SCHUMACHER AND POTENTIAL OF 20 POINT BONUS WITH HIM SETTING A NATIONAL RECORD?>>WELL, MARTY, YOU ALWAYS HIKE TO BRING THE BRIGHT SIDE TO THINGS, TO THE TABLE. TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I WAS THINKING BACK TO LAST YEAR WHEN I DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT AT THIS HAVEN’T. WE QUALIFIED SEVENTH, TOP HALF THE FIELD. I GET TO RACE TOMORROW. FOR MY EYES, I THINK THINGS ARE PRETTY GOOD. >>WANT ME TO ASK YOU A HAPPY QUESTION OR SAD QUESTION?>>FIRE AWAY, I AIN’T SCARED.>>I KNOW YOU’RE NOT. >>I DRIVE A FUEL CAR. >>YEAH YOU’RE A BAD MAN, LET ME TELL YOU. I KNOW ABOUT THEM FUEL DRIVERS. I WAS ONE A LONG TIME AGO. WE WON’T TALK ABOUT THAT. >>MY DAD USED TO PUT ME UP ON SHOULDERS AND USED TO WATCH.>>THAT WAS GOOD.>>NICE ONE. BY THE WAY, BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MIKE. >>THANK YOU, LARRY, I APPRECIATE THAT. I WANT TO ASK YOU, THOUGH, THE CAR — YOU’VE BEEN HAVING TROUBLE TRYING TO STEP THAT THING UP. OBVIOUSLY, VERY CONSISTENT RUN, LOW 4.60s. HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO STEP UP ON THE RACETRACK. TRYING THOSE THINGS, JUST NOT SHOWING IT, OR WHAT?>>I THINK — I MEAN, IT’S — YOU KNOW, MIKE. THESE CARS, NOW, WITH ALL THE NITRO PERCENTAGE AWAY FROM THEM, THERE’S SO MUCH RELIANCE ON THE CAR, CLUTCH IN THE CAR, AND USING THE TIMING TO MOVE THE CAR. THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS THAT DO IT. AND OBVIOUSLY, TRYING TO PUT THE FUEL TO IT BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MAKES THE POWER. YOU’VE JUST GOT TO TRY TO HIT ALL THOSE THINGS RIGHT. WHAT THOSE GUYS ARE DOING OVER THERE IN THE SCHUMACHER CAMP, THEY’VE BEEN WORKING ON THAT SETUP FOR A LONG TIME AND HAVE A HANDLE ON THAT THING. A LOT OTHER CARS RUN 4.40s. THEY MIGHT BE A COUPLE HUNDREDTHS, YOU KNOW, QUICKER THAN EVERYBODY, BUT AT LEAST THEY’RE NOT A TENTH AHEAD. YOU KNOW, IT’S SOMETHING YOU CAN CERTAINLY — YOU CAN RACE, I MEAN, YOU GET A GOOD LINE, MIGHT BE ABLE TO STEAL ONE. >>ALL RIGHT ARE THANKS, LARRY, WE’LL SEE YOU TOMORROW WHEN YOU GO UP AGAINST SCOTT KALITTA IN FIRST ROUND ACTION.>>RON CAPPS IN THE LEFT LANE.>>AND A 4.73 FOR RON CAPPS IS GONNA HELP HIM. MOVES HIM INTO THE TOP HALF OF THE FIELD. CAREER BEST ELAPSED TIME. AND ERIC IS IN THE NUMBER 10 SPOT. GUESS WHAT, THESE TWO, IF NOTHING CHANGE, WILL RACE AGAIN >>>AS WE COME BACK FOR FINAL QUALIFYING, WANT TO REMIND YOU, THE CODE WORD FOR TONIGHT, CHRISTMAS TREE. ENTER IT AT 100YARDBLITZ.COM FOR YOU CHANCE TO WIN HGTV. GET READY FOR WORSHAM IN THE RIGHT LANE WITH BAZEMORE IN THE LEFT. CAN YOU TELL THE SUN IS STARTING TO SET OFF INTO THE WEST? DEL GOES 4.72 SECOND. IN THE NUMBER TWO SPOT NOW. WIT WITH A 4.75. CAREER BEST E.T. FOR DEL, THAT 4.72 IS. WIT MOVES INTO NUMBER 7 SPOT WITH 4.75. HIS EARLIER, 4.73, IS WHAT GOT HIM THERE.>>BOTH CARS MAKING NICE, CONSISTENT RUN ALL WEEKEND. YOUR DEFENDING CHAMPION RIGHT DOWN THE SCREEN TO RUN THE 4.72. WILL TRY TO DO EXACTLY WHAT HE DID LAST YEAR.■o KIND HAVE THE QUICKEST LAST YEAR, BUT HE STILL GOT THE RUN >>WITH DEL’S RUN, HERE’S THE WAY IT SHAPES OUT. BAZEMORE WITH RUN HIGHT IF NOTHING CHANGES. TO THE FAR END. >>WE’RE JUST SPREADING THE NEWS ABOUT WHO THEY MAY BE FACING TOMORROW. THEY’RE KIND OF LOOKING AT EACH OTHER LIKE, OOH, DON’T KNOW. LET’ TALK CHAMPIONSHIP QUICKLY AMONGST YOU TWO. HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR CHANCES? WE’RE REALLY GETTING DOWN TO CUTTING TIME. >>GETTING DOWN TO CUTTING TIME. WE’RE OUT HERE TRYING TO RUN RACE. RON’S BEEN RIGHT THERE, A LOT OF YEAR. IF YOU CAN WIN A FEW MORE OF THESE RACES IN THE LAST PART, YOU’LL BT LAST NAME CALLED ON THE STAGE. >>YOU JUST CALLED THE QUICKEST AND THE TOP SPEED, THE FASTEST NUMBERS OF YOUR CAREER. WHAT KIND OF CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE YOU?>>LIKE HE SAID, I CAN STILL RACE HIGHT FIRST ROUND. YOU DON’T KNOW. LIKE ERIC SAID, YOU’RE TRYING TO JUST RUN RACES FOR YOUR SPONSOR. HE WAS SIX POINTS AHEAD OF ME COMING IN HERE, MEDLEN WAS. SO THAT’S HOW BRUTAL THIS CHASE IS, WE’RE COUNTING EVERY SINGLE POINT. IT’S LIKE COUNTING AIRLINE POINTS, HUH? BUT IT’S NERVE-RACKING. THIS IS A MESS. I AM SO WORE OUT ON SATURDAY NIGHT, JUST FROM STRESS, BEING IN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP. BUT IT’S FUN. JUST BATTLE OUT, BE IN THE HUNT, IS AWESOME.>>I LOVE IT, IT’S A MESS, BUT IT’S FUN. THAT KIND OF SUMS ITUP. IT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE IN THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS, I DON’T THINK, MARTY. >>UNLESS ROBERT HIGHT STEPS IT UP. THE NUMBER NINE QUALIFIER. IN THE RIGHT LANE. JOHN FORCE IN THE LEFT. REMEMBER, HIGHT’S TEAM HAS BEEN STRUGGLING ALL WEEKEND LONG. REALLY ONLY MADE ONE GOOD RUN. THATS WHAT THE FIRST SESSION. THEY BLEW IT UP AT THE FAR END OF THE TRACK.>>GOES LOW FOR THE SESSION 4.702 SECONDS, 328 MILE PERCENT HOUR. MORE QUESTIONS FOR ROBERT HIGHT’S TEAM. THEY’VE MADE IT DOWN THE TRACK ONLY ONE TIME. FORCE, WITH THE TENTH QUICKEST ELAPSED TIME IN THE CLASS HISTORY. THAT 470. KEEPS HIM IN THE NUMBER FIVE SPOT. HIGHT STAYS IN THE NUMBER NINE POSITION. IN. >>AND WHAT ARE YOU THINKING IF YOU’RE THEM RIGHT NOW?>>JUST SHAKING HIS HEAD. HE HAS MECHANICAL PROBLEMS. HARD TO GET A HANDLE ON THIS THING. RIGHT NOW, CAN’T FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT THEIR SHOT GOING INTO FIRST ROUND TOMORROW. >>WE WAIT TO GET A CHANCE TO ú TALK TO ROBERT, LET’ TALK TO NUMBER THREE IN TOP FUEL POINT, DOUG KALITTA. HANGING OUT WITH HIS SON, MITCHELL. >>THE TEAM STRUGGLING A LITTLE BIT. WATCHING SCHUMACHER DO THE THINGS HE DOES — I KNOW YOU CAN ONLY FOCUS ON DRIVING. HOW MUCH MORE DOES IT MAKE YOU FOCUS?>>YOU KNOW, WITH THE PROGRAM WE’VE GOT GOING ON, YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN OUT THERE WITH DRAG RACING. SO MY CAR’S BEEN RUNNING STRONG. YOU KNOW, I’VE SLIPPED UP A LITTLE BIT. WE’VE HAD SOME BAD LUCK. SO TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, UNTIL WE’RE MATHEMATICALLY OUT OF THIS THING, YOU KNOW, I’M VERY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN PUT A STRING OF RACES TOGETHER AND STAY IN THIS THING. >>HOW TOUGH IS IT TO NOW GO OUT, YOU KNOW WHAT TONY SCHUMACHER’S DOING, AND NOW YOU HAVE TO RACE YOUR TEAMMATE DAVID GRUBNIC? PUTS A LITTLE EXTRA PRESSURE, STRESS ON THE SITUATION, I’M SURE. >>IT’S ALL GOOD, THOUGH. ALL THE CARS OUT THERE ARE TOUGH FIRST ROUND. YOU KNOW, IT’S ALWAYS GETTING THE FIRST ROUND JITTERS. GETTING BY FIRST ROUND, YOU KNOW, WE’VE WON HERE BEFORE. WE’VE GOT GREAT SUPPORT WITH MACK TOOLS AND ALL THE DISTRIBUTORS AND WHATNOT. WE’VE GOT THE COWBOYS OUT HERE, CHECKING — WE’VE GOT GREAT SUPPORT. EVERYBODY’S REAL FOCUSSED AND JUST TRYING TO DO A GOOD JOB. >>THE ONLY WAY IT’S GOING TO BE ALL GOOD FOR THIS GUY IF IT WORKS OUT FOR HIM DURING THAT POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP. >>AS WE COME BACK OUT TRACK SIDE, WE GET READY FOR GARY SCELZI. THE NUMBER THREE QUALIFIER NOW IN THE LEFT LANE. TOMMY JOHNSON JR., OVER IN THE RIGHT LANE. RECORD-SETTING DRAG STRIP IS RIGHT. YESTERDAY, WE TALKED ABOUT THE PEDREGON BROTHERS RUNNING 4.62. THESE TWO CARS WERE THE BEST YESTERDAY BETWEEN BOTH SESSIONS. THEY WENT DOWN THE RACETRACK AND RAN VERY GOOD, CLOSE TO EACH OTHER. 4.72 IN THE FIRST, TOMMY JOHNSON, 4.71, THEY BOTH CAME BACK AND WENT SIDE BY SIDE 4.69s AND OVER 331 MILES PER HOUR, WHICH WAS A GREAT WAY TO END THE SESSION. BUT THEN CAME OUT THE FIRST SESSION TODAY, BOTH SPUN THE TIRES. THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN PRETTY MUCH IDENTICAL TO THIS POINT, AS FAR AS THE SETUP ON THE CARS AND WHAT THEY’VE BEEN DOING ON THE RACETRACK.>>THERE’S MIKE GREENE, CALLS THE SHOTS FOR TOMMY JOHNSON. MIKE NEFF, COUNTERPART, RIGHT THERE, FOR GARY SCELZI. BOTH CREW CHIEFS HAVE BEEN DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB THIS WEEK. THESE CARS REALLY LOOK GOOD.>>4.72 THE ELAPSE TIME FOR GARY SCELZI. TOMMY GOES 4.80. THEY’LL STAY NUMBERS THREE AND FOUR. SO RIGHT NOW, GARY SCELZI WOULD MATCH UP WITH MIKE ASHLEY IN THE FIRST ROUND. TOMMY JOHNSON WOULD GET FRANK PEDREGON. LET’S GO TO THE FAR END AND CHECK IN ONCE AGAIN WITH GARY GERALD.>>TALKING CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS HERE. TWO MORE OF THEM HERE. THEY’RE TEAMMATES. OF COURSE, JOHN FORCE, HOW SOLID IS YOUR MIND ABOUT THAT NUMBER?>>WELL, RUNNING 4.60s HERE BEFORE WITHOUT A PROBLEM. SHE WAS FLYING. WE RAN .71 YESTERDAY, BUT JUST PARKED HER AND THAT WAS THE END OF THAT. >>ONLY ONE GOOD RUN OUT OF THE FOUR QUALIFYING ATTEMPTS.>>I’VE GOT A LOT OF CONFIDENCE IN THIS AUTOMOBILE CLUB TEAM. I THINK WE’LL BE JUST FINE. YOU KNOW, HOPEFULLY WITH THIS MULTICAR TEAM WE HAVE, WE’LL BE ABLE TO USE SOME OF JOHN’S DATA AND WE’LL BE GOOD FOR FIRST ROUND. >>THERE’S A BRAIN TRUST GOING TO BE BRURN BURNING A LOT OF OIL TONIGHT, GETTING READY FOR TOMORROW. >>WE MENTIONED ROBERT WILL MATCH UP AGAINST RON CAPPS AND JOHN WILL — HE’LL HAVE A FIRST-ROUND DATE RIGHT NOW WITH FIRST BUTART AS WE COME DOWN TO THE FINAL TWO OF THE SESSION. THAT MAN RIGHT NOW, HIS BROTHER, CRUZ. CRUZ, LOOKING AT HIS POTENTIAL 32nd CAREER POLE WOULD PUT HIM BEHIND JOHN FORCE’S WITH 125. AND KENNY BERNSTEIN’S 38.>>AS THEY COMPLETE THE BURNOUT PROCESS, ONE MORE BREAK.>>>BACK HERE, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY. TOLD YOU WE WOULDN’T MISS IT. THEY’RE COMING TO THE LINE RIGHT NOW, AS WE’RE LIVE AT THE AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE NHRA NATIONALS. FINAL PAIR DOWN THE MILE, TONY AND CRUZ PEDREGON. REMEMBER, EARLIER TODAY, CRUZ SMOKED THE TIRE IN THE THIRD SESSION. TRACK TEMPERATURE LITTLE COOLER. WE WON’T BE RACING IN THESE CONDITIONS. THEY WEREN’T DEVELOPED TO RUN THIS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON. SO THIS IS A HOME RUN BALL, GO FOR IT ALL. BOY, AND YOU SAW IT. GOES LOW FOR THE SESSION. 4.69 SECONDS AT 328 MILES AN HOUR. SO HE GOES 4.68 LAST NIGHT. HE GOES 4.69 NOW. THE EIGHTH QUICKEST ELAPSE TIME IN FUNNY CAR HISTORY. A 4.74 IS NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT FOR CRUZ. THAT’S HIS WIFE, SHARON. SHE’S GOT A SMILE ON HER FACE FOR GOOD REASON.>>WELL, YEAH, CRUZ PEDREGON ENDS UP BEING THE NUMBER ONE QUALIFIER. RIGHT NOW, TONY PEDREGON HAS THE BETTER CAR GOING INTO TOMORROW’S ALMOST NATIONS BASED ON THIS 4.69, HE BACKED UP THE 4.68 FROM LAST NIGHT AND THIS AFTERNOON RAN A 4.77. YOU GOT TO LIKE HIS CHANCES TO GET THE WIN TOMORROW.>>AS YOU GET A LOOK AT THE RUN, LET’S LOOK AT THE MATCH-UP. THE ARROW INDICATES WHO HAS THE LANE CHOICE. THE BIG ONE, CAPPS AND HIGHT. REMATCH FROM REDDING TWO WEEKS AGO. FORCE HAS BURKART. THEY’RE ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE LADDER OVER THERE. ON THE OTHER SIDE, IT’S TONY PEDREGON WITH TONY BARTONE. BAZEMORE WITH MEDLEN. SCELZI’S GOT ASHLEY. DEL WORSHAM HAS LANE CHOICE OVER TIM WILKERSON. SO THERE IS CRUZ AT THE FAR END OF THE TRACK, CLIMBING OUT FROM THE BODY OF HIS ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MONTE CARLO. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE ONE FINAL COMMERCIAL BREAK.>>>BACK HERE AS THE FANS HEAD FOR THE PARKING LOT AS THE DAY’S COME TO A CONCLUSION WITH THE FAMILY PEDREGON DOING VERY WELL. CRUZ HOLDES ON TO THE POLE POSITION. TONY RUNS VERY STRONGLY. LET’S TALK TO BOTH THEM. THEY’RE AT THE FAR END THE RACETRACK WITH GARY GERALD. >>FRANK’S NOT HERE, BUT WE GOT THE CRUZER AND TONY. THE FACT YOU’RE ABLE TO GET BELOW A 70 WITH A SUN STILL OUT HERE AND SHINING, HOW IMPORTANT IN YOUR MIND IS THE 69?>>ALL THESE RUNS ARE IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE OTHER CARS ARE RUNNING LOW 70s. WE WERE IN THE BACK OF THE PACK. WE WERE A LITTLE DISADVANTAGED LAST NIGHT. WE THREW A LOT AT IT. WE LOST LOW E.T.,UT NOBODY ELSE, I CAN THINK OF, TO LOSE IT TO THAN THEM. THEY DID A GOOD JOB RECOVERING. IT’S A GOOD START FOR THE WEEKEND. RIGHT NOW, WE WON THE RACE A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, NOW OUR FOCUS IS ON ELIMINATIONS TOMORROW. WE’RE HAPPY WITH THE QUALIFYING. WILL GIVE THEM GUYS A LITTLE CROSS-FIRE. AND THE BEST PROTECTION I’VE EVER HAD WITH THE ENGINE OIL SO SO FAR, SO GOOD. >>WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE, WHY UNABLE TO QUALIFY THE LAST TWO EVENTS AND THEN BE ABLE TO PUT UP STRONG NUMBERS TODAY AND LAST NIGHT?>>WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAD TO PAY THE PRICE AND WE CHANGE THE CAR FROM WHEN CERNI RAN IT. WE CHANGED THIS CAR. WE’RE JUST TRY TO RUN WITH THE SCHUMACHER TEAM AND FORCE TEAM AND WE FINALLY GOT IT TOGETHER. THE RACETRACK’S GOOD FOR ADVANCED AUTO PART. THEY HAVE A CAR THEY CAN SAY IT’S A TOP NOTCH CAR, QUICKEST FIELD EVER, “Q” RACING, SIOUX CITY TRUCK. I’M JUST REALLY, REALLY PROUD. GREAT STUFF THAT WE COULD DO THIS. BECAUSE AFTER TWO D AND Qs, I’M PROUD. NOW WE GOTTA WIN THE RACE. >>DON’T GIVE YOU LONG TO SAVOR IT. >>THAT’S THE WAY THIS SPORT IS. LET’S TALK A LITTLE FOOTBALL. Captions by VITAC ALL RIGHT, LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR PREDICTIONS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT. AND RIGHT NOW, MIKE, YOU’RE LOOKING PRETTY GOOD. I THINK DAVE AND I MIGHT BE HURTIN’, BASED ON WHAT WE’RE SEEING IN QUALIFYING RIGHT NOW, FROM HIGHT AND JIMMY.>>ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON RACE DAY. I LIKE JOHN FORCE. IF HE GETS OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND, THINK HE’LL BE AWFULLY TOUGH TO BEAT TOMORROW >>IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT RACE. LET’S GET A CLOSING COMMENT FROM DAVE REIFF. >>AS LITTLE AS THREE, FOUR, RACES AGO, WE HAD A TIGHT POINTS BATTLE. DIXON, CALL LETLY THE THAT, VERY MUCH INVOLVED. TONY SCHUMACHER HAS STARTED TO STRETCH THAT LEAD OUT. THE REASON IS, THE CAR THAT’S ALREADY PUT AWAY UP INSIDE OF THAT U.S. ARMY TRAILER. TUNED BY ALLAN JOHNSON. HE’S GOT THE RECORD NOW. THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW. THOSE 20 POINTS WILL BE HIS. THAT MEANS HIS LEAD IS BIGGER TOMORROW. IF THIS TEAM WANTS TO GO THE DISTANCE TOMORROW, THEY’VE GOT A

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