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The “Coldwater Kid”, Matthew Ludlow (with his brother Dwight) in their Arizona-based TF car with veteran wrench John Aleman calling the tuning shots, qualified with a stout 2.434 ET but due to some issues with the MPH light they did not get a speed.
After a year and a half lay off to take care of business ventures, California’s Jeff Janoe in his JWJ car qualified third in Top Fuel with a 2.447 at a very impressive 155.24 mph that held up as Top Speed of the meet! Jeff was racing with a new bullet purchased from none other than John Force himself.
Budget nitro racers Marcus Norris and his father, Pat, put their single mag Hemi-powered (ala Steve Plueger) rail into the show with a strong 2.489/144,96 lap.
Because it was to be an eight-car Top Fuel field and just five cars showed there were three bye runs in the first round but all of the drivers put on a show for the fans. The Darth Vader black “Nitro Mouse” of Dennis Rieck laid down a strong wheelstanding pass of 2.464, 123, 84 mph with no “death smoke” coming from the engine in the “eyes” for a nice clean pass.
Next up was Janoe, whose red, white and blue dragster cranked out a solid 2.472, 126.94 mph. Matthew Ludlow in the “Coldwater Kid” digger was the only one to lift a bit early recording a 2.837 at just 81.78 mph.
The only real race of the first round was a fantastic side by side affair with Terri Blair behind the butterflies in the famed “Fugowie” (the only four-rear tired TF) getting a 2.494/133.64 win over Marcus Norris’s game 2.521/134.92 effort