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Mon, 5 Sep 2005, 01:25 PM

Pro Stock Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Pro Stock at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals:

   55 V. Gaines                               3 Dave Connolly                
E1                   0.040  6.743 204.42     ****WINNER****  0.008  6.748 204.35
 Qualified:             #8  6.737 203.92                        #9  6.743 204.17
11:57 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 36 percent, barometer 28.95 inches, adjusted altitude 2,438 feet, track temperature 112 degrees.

This is Gaines' 9th Indy and he was runner-up here in '97. Gaines had lane choice, but Connolly held a 4-1 round-win edge against Gaines.

Connolly sawed the tree down to win on a holeshot and even Grumpy Jenkins smiled. Dave Connolly's incremental margins: 60ft(0.025), 330 ft(0.026), 660ft(0.026), 1,000ft(0.026). MOV: 0.0270 seconds (approximately 8 feet).

    4 Larry Morgan                           19 Richie Stevens               
E1                   0.093  6.756 204.42     ****WINNER****  0.047  6.772 203.34
 Qualified:             #6  6.736 204.20                       #11  6.748 203.83
Morgan is in his 19th Indy and has been to the finals four times, winning in '89. This is Stevens' sixth Indy, with just two round wins. Factory Dodge against privateer Dodge.

Another holeshot win, two in a row so far today. Richie Stevens' incremental margins: 60ft(0.046), 330 ft(0.047), 660ft(0.041), 1,000ft(0.035). MOV: 0.0302 seconds (approximately 9 feet). Ironically, Stevens' holeshot came on a slower reaction time than V. Gaines' losing effort - it's called "the luck of the ladder."

  445 Greg Stanfield                         93 Allen Johnson                
E1                   0.058  7.039 163.02     ****WINNER****  0.034  6.777 203.19
 Qualified:             #5  6.735 204.51                       #12  6.748 203.46
This is Stanfield's 7th Indy, AJ's 10th, with six starts. Johnson holds a 2-1 edge against Stanfield.

Neither driver wanted to stage first, sitting in pre-stage for about 30 seconds. AJ got the better light and Stanfield had problems past half track, slowing beyond that point. Three pairs, three upsets.

    5 Kurt Johnson                            6 Jeg Coughlin                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.008  6.780 204.94                     0.015  6.796 203.98
 Qualified:             #3  6.728 205.35                       #14  6.752 203.71
This is KJ's 13th Indy, with wins in '96 and '97. Jeg has three wins here - Pro Stock in '00 and '02, Super Gas in '92.

KJ was on his game for this one, an awesome light against a great light, and the awesome light wins. It was close all the way. Kurt Johnson's incremental margins: 60ft(0.004), 330 ft(0.005), 660ft(0.012), 1,000ft(0.018). MOV: 0.0231 seconds (approximately 7 feet). Kurt faces Coughlin's teammate Stevens next round and Stevens will choose the lanes.

    2 Jason Line                           3351 Dave Howard                  
E1                         No Time           ****WINNER****  0.065 16.445  49.83
 Qualified:             #4  6.730 204.94                       #13  6.751 203.86
This is Line's 3rd Indy, Howard's first.

Line was unable to get the car in reverse after the burnout and drove off the top end. After waiting for Line to clear the top end, Howard's car shook hard on the launch and he coasted through. He faces Allen Johnson next round and Johnson has lane choice.

  208 Warren Johnson                        387 Mark Pawuk                   
E1                   0.099 11.161  79.98     ****WINNER****  0.033  6.772 203.71
 Qualified:             #2  6.727 205.66                       #15  6.755 204.32
Both drivers have been here many times - this is WJ's 30th Indy, Pawuk's 20th. WJ has six wins here, the first in '71. Pawuk's best was a runner-up in '94.

This is turning into "upset city," WJ's car making a hard move to the left on the launch and fishtailing while Pawuk was going right down the groove for the win, his first of the year.

    1 Greg Anderson                           7 Bruce Allen                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.052  6.705 205.16                     0.013  6.766 203.61
 Qualified:             #1  6.689 205.51                       #16  6.757 203.74
Greg has three wins here and he was runner-up in '99, but this is his first #1 qualifier here. THis is Allen's 20th Indy and his best finishes were runner-up in '85 and '86.

This was almost another upset in a round of upsets, Allen with another awesome light and the early lead, but Anderson's average light and great run made the difference. Greg Anderson's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.027), 330 ft(-0.012), 660ft(0.001), 1,000ft(0.012). MOV: 0.0222 seconds (approximately 7 feet). He will have lane choice against Connolly in round two.

   43 Rickie Smith                          430 Erica Enders                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.047  6.763 203.95                     0.072  6.756 204.26
 Qualified:             #7  6.737 204.70                       #10  6.746 204.01
Erica is the 63rd different driver "Tricky" Rickie has faced. He was runner-up here in '96 and the #1 qualifier in '82. Erica is the first female to qualify here in Pro Stock since Shirley Shahan qualified 31st in a 32-car field in '71.

"Tricky" is known for his starting line prowess and he added another holeshot victory to his resume here. It was close, but Smith led all the way and will have lane choice against Pawuk in the quarterfinals. Rickie Smith's incremental margins: 60ft(0.024), 330 ft(0.025), 660ft(0.024), 1,000ft(0.021). MOV: 0.0185 seconds (approximately 6 feet).

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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