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The latest update as of November 3, 2018

Saturday qualifying highlights from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Day three of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series at Las Vegas got underway with mostly sunny skies, warm temperatures (80 F at noon) and mediocre air conditions (reading just over 4000 ft corrected altitude). Following Thursday's two time trial sessions, and Friday's single qualifier, the Top Alcohol cars were primed to deliver their best performances in the final two rounds of qualifying, scheduled at 12:30 and 4:30.

Kim Parker - A/FD --- Mike Burns - A/FD

First out of the lanes (LEFT) was the Northwest A/Fuel hitter, Kim Parker, who chugged down track with at least a couple of cylinders out early in the run, resulting in a non-qualifying 5.520 - 258.56 clocking. On the (RIGHT) it's Arizona's Mike Burns in the ex-Cliff Bakx "The Bull" car. He came into the session on the bump spot after Friday's 5.413 - 272.56 pass, but this time around he lit the tires at the green, and coasted down the track, stopping before the finish line for an NTR timeslip

Fred Hanssen - B/AD --- Dan Mercier - A/FD

Another busted effort (LEFT) was put up by Norway's Fred Hanssen who followed up his first session 11-second pass without even making it to the starting line as he was shut off with problems after the burnout. Running in the other lane (RIGHT), Quebec's Dan Mercier followed up Friday's 5.388 effort with an almost identical 5.390 - 272.76 to stay in the #7 position

Matt Sackman - A/FD --- Duane Shields - A/FD

We finally had a good side-by-side showing with the next pair, as (LEFT) Matt Sackman in a Randy Meyer-owned car put down a good 5.381 - 269.83 (a little slower than yesterday's 5.35) as he fell back to the #6 spot, as (RIGHT) Duane Shields passed him into #5 on the ladder with a slightly better 5.342 - 265.90 time

Jackie Fricke - A/FD --- Joey Severance - B/AD

(LEFT) Slowing slightly from Friday's 5.265, Jackie Fricke carded a consistent 5.297 - 260.61 (slightly early shut off?) to remain in the #3 slot. On the (RIGHT) newly re-crowned World Champion Joey Severance tried a bit too hard as the tires rattled hard at the green and he shut off. In the other lane on that pass was Shawn Cowie who backed up his earlier top qualifying 5.226 pass with another great 5.234 - 274.66 run that solidified his hold on the #1 qualifying session going into the final round later in the day

Bret Williamson - TA/FC --- Sean Bellemeur - TA/FC

Moving over to the Funny (Car) side of things, (LEFT) Bret Williamson improved on Friday's desultory 11-second pass, with a pedaling 6.254 - 243.37 that only elevated him one spot to #12 (in the 8-car field). (RIGHT) Newly annointed World Champion Sean Bellemeur in the Bartone brothers car, went backwards from Friday's 9-second clocking, dropping into the 10's with a 10.14 number that left him at the bottom of the field and down to one shot to get in the show

Jay Payne - TA/FC --- Doug Gordon - TA/FC

Another racer with a long string of successes, Jay Payne (LEFT) stayed just above Bellemeur with an "improving" 9-second pass to move up one spot to lucky #13. And the pain continued with (RIGHT) Doug Gordon stuck outside the top eight as his 6-flat clocking was considerably slower than his first session 5.64 (and that was good only for the #10 spot)

Ulf Leanders - TA/FC --- Jirka Kaplan - TA/FC

(LEFT) It was a wasted run for Ulf Leanders as he banged the blower on the launch (note the burst panel in the hood departing the body) and coasted to an 11-second time. Not faring much better was Jirka Kaplan (RIGHT) who lit up the tires early and strolled down track at a 10-second pace as he fell back one spot on the ladder to #6

Annie Whiteley - TA/FC --- John Lombardo Jr. - TA/FC

The final two pairs of the round saw Annie Whiteley (LEFT) give up early with traction problems, and (RIGHT) John Lombardo Jr. consolidate his hold on the top spot with the second best run of the session 5.511 - 265.33 to solidly back up his earlier 5.484 pass. Not shown is Chris Marshall who nearly surpassed Lombardo, falling just .001 short with a stellar 5.485 time that set low e.t. for the session