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Sat, 5 Nov 2005, 05:55 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 41st annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

 1224 David Ray                              56 Bernie Harrington            
E1   ****WINNER****  0.075  5.683 255.43                     0.184  5.812 247.52
 Qualified:             #7  5.667 257.09                       #10  5.701 251.02
2:20 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 25 percent, barometer 29.34 inches, adjusted altitude 1,903 feet, track temperature 92 degrees.

We just saw a very good round of eliminations in Top Alcohol Dragster, can the floppers follow suit?

The first pair features drivers from as far apart as possible without crossing lots of water, Ray from New Hampshire and Harrington from California. Harrington bumped into stage and flickered the top bulb - maybe that distracted him because he was uncharacteristically late. Ray was very consistent i qualifying and continued that with another nice run, quick and straight.

  757 Larry Miner                           756 Don Hudson                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.048  5.605 253.42                     0.069  6.046 187.34
 Qualified:             #2  5.634 255.43                       #15  5.756 231.68
Hudson hung in there for half the track, then he lost the engine or supercharger in a huge cloud of smoke, the hood hatch sailing way up in the air. The fire was out by the time he stopped in the shutdown area, but the Safety Safari has a mess to clean up. Miner made his best run of the weekend on top of a very good reaction time, so he would have been hard to beat anyway. Miner will have lane choice against Ray in the second round.

    8 Bucky Austin                          799 Sean Bellemeur               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.100  5.710 255.39                     0.055  7.479 140.52
 Qualified:             #1  5.631 257.53                       #16  5.767 249.90
Austin fell far behind at the start, spinning the tires very hard, but Bellemeur's lead was short-lived, his car shaking and smoking the tires about 100 feet out.

   63 Clint Thompson                          2 Jay Payne                    
E1                   0.070  6.244 163.69     ****WINNER****  0.041  5.690 253.75
 Qualified:            #14  5.749 246.35                        #3  5.638 256.11
payne's car shook and moved toward the centerline, but he has seen that act before and never lifted, then pulled away on the top end of the run.

 6515 Brian Hough                            43 Steve Gasparrelli            
E1                   0.020  5.652 256.02     ****WINNER****  0.025  5.638 259.01
 Qualified:             #4  5.645 255.39                       #13  5.708 257.24
These two had to sit and watch for a bit, the Safety Safari doing some clean up work in Thompson's lane.

Both drivers sawed the tree down and the two were welded together all the way down the track, Gasparrelli moving ahead to take the strip in the last few feet. Steve Gasparrelli's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.028), 330 ft(-0.021), 660ft(-0.010), 1,000ft(-0.001). MOV: 0.0098 seconds (approximately 4 feet). Great drag race, too bad one of them had to lose.

   74 John Patton                            53 Vern Moats                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  5.750 249.03                     0.105 No Time      
 Qualified:            #11  5.704 254.14                        #6  5.660 256.50
This was a close race until Moats' car made a big move and slipped out of the groove, letting Patton pull ahead to stay. Moats took out the finish line timing reflectors, but by then the race was over. Patton will not have lane choice against Payne next round.

    4 Dennis Taylor                          64 Hank Coolidge                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.050 10.587  80.35                    -0.305  5.713 250.55
 Qualified:             #5  5.650 256.06                       #12  5.707 252.99
Coolidge let one get away here, going red and Taylor then smoking the tires and coasting through. Taylor races Gasparrelli next round and Gasparrelli will pick the lanes.

  727 Ron August Jr                          62 John Weaver                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.001  5.723 253.18                     0.080  6.051 248.39
 Qualified:             #8  5.668 256.45                        #9  5.668 253.80
Weaver's car shook and got up on the right-side tires on the launch, but it probably didn't matter, August was just a thousandths away from perfect on the tree and went right down the track for a surprisingly easy win. August advances and will face "Uncle Bucky" Austin next round, Austin will have lane choice.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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