--- Home Page
--- What's New
--- Features
--- Features
--- E-mail

NOTE: Refresh this page each time you visit to ensure you see the latest updates

The latest update as of February 13, 2016

CircelK Winternationals

Top Alcohol Qualifying closes with some great performances and tight fields

The final qualifying session for the alcohol cars took place at 10:00 am with a much cooler track than the racers faced during yesterday afternoon's second session. The air temp was down a few degrees and the adjusted altitude was nearly 600 feet lower and it showed up quickly as quite a few much-improved runs were in evidence. By the time the smoke had cleared, the bump spots (academic in the clase of the dragsters) had dropped by several seconds and the top half of the respective fields tightened substantially. And in the Funny Car class, Jonnie Lindberg's awesome 5.42 pass at just 262 mph was quick enough to leapfrog over John Lombardo Jr. into the top spot.

There was no change on the top rung for the dragsters as Don St. Arnaud held onto his position with an earlier career best 5.181 e.t. There were a few serious challenges to that number as Garrett Bateman picked up nearly two tenths and rocketed to a 5.22 at 273.72 to jump into the #2 spot for most of the session. It didn't last though as Gord Gingles upped his personal best once again with a 5.214 - 277.15 to push Bateman down a notch to #3. Nearly matching that best e.t. of the session was St. Arnaud who showed his consistency with a great 5.22 at "just" 283.25 mph.

Another car that lives on consistent performances is world champion Joey Severance and he ran another mid-5.20 to show he was primed for some good runs in eliminations. Two other noteworthy numbers were those of the "Golden Greek's" (Chris Karamesines granddaughter, Krista Baldwin, who rewrote her career bests with a 5.26 at nearly 275 mph, and a best (so far) of the weekend 5.30 - 271.19 from Shawn Cowie. Despite that great pass, Cowie ended up in the #10 position, as the first nine cars were on the board at 5.28 or quicker. An interesting sidenote is that the top 11 qualifiers all clocked a 270-mph - or better - speed on their qualifying passes. Anchoring the barely full 16-car field was Derek Milanesio at 5.70, but the #15 qualifier (Bill Litton) was a quarter second quicker at 5.44 seconds.

The alcohol funny cars were down a man as heavy hitter Tony Bartone took a heavy hit himself yesterday, tagging the wall and putting the car out of commission for the balance of the weekend. As the final session started, Bret Williamson occupied a very weak bubble spot at 6.093, and as expected, it didn't last long. Clint Thompson finally got a full pass, at 5.57, alongside Steve Gasparelli's so-so 5.88, to move the bump down to 6-flat. And that only lasted until Williamson jumped back into the field with a solid 5.68 and that finished the bumping with Gasparelli holding down the #16 spot with his 5.88 pass.

The first big number of the session came courtesy of Mike Doushgounian in the Miner Bros entry, with the third 5.40 of the event, at 5.498. Joining him in the "40" zone was Mike Gordon as he pounded out a great 5.46 at 268.81 to move up to the #2 spot - temporarily - until Jonnie Lindberg closed alcohol funny car qualifying with a 5.421 to take over the top of the ladder. Despite another great pass at 5.47 - 271.73, John Lombardo Jr. dropped down to the #2 position. The field as a whole tightened up considerably, with four cars in the 5.40's and the next seven in the 5.50 range. There will obviously be some very tight matches after the first round of eliminations.