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Sun, 2 Sep 2007, 01:00 PM

Skoal Funny Car Showdown Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Skoal Funny Car Showdown at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 26th annual Skoal Showdown:

   33 Tommy Johnson Jr.                       1 John Force                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.103  4.888 284.93                     0.120  4.898 294.82
 Qualified:             #4 2,885                                #5 2,820        
12:32 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 43 percent, barometer 29.25 inches, adjusted altitude 2,493 feet, track temperature 116 degrees.

Force was in his 24th start in the Showdown, with five wins in twelve final rounds. He is the defending champion. Johnson was the runner-up last year and is making his third start. Both drivers needed good runs here, not only for the Showdown, but also to make the field for the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals because both are currently outside the sixteen-car field.

Good race, TJ with the better of the lights and just enough to hold Force off on the top end when both cars started mixing the cylinders up and lost momentum. Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental margins: 60ft(0.017), 330 ft(0.013), 660ft(0.021), 1,000ft(0.030). MOV: 0.0277 seconds (approximately 12 feet).

    5 Tony Pedregon                         180 Mike Ashley                  
E1                   0.072  5.270 209.65     ****WINNER****  0.072  4.880 317.19
 Qualified:             #3 2,900                                #6 2,790        
This is Ashley's first Showdown, Pedregon's 12th consecutive start, with three final rounds and one win.

A dead-even start and they traded the lead back and forth until past half track. Then Ashley's car slowed, something coming off the car, and Pedregon pulled away for the win.

   28 Ron Capps                               7 Gary Scelzi                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.096  4.880 312.93                     0.068  5.019 303.78
 Qualified:             #2 2,910                                #7 2,775        
Teammates Scelzi and Capps are no strangers to this event. Scelzi has been in both the Showdown and the Top Fuel special event. THis is Capps' eighth start and he has three wins so far.

Scelzi left first, but Capps led by the 60-foot timer and steadily pulled away from Scelzi's faltering mount. Capps matched Ashley's ET, but loses lane choice on speed.

    2 Robert Hight                          711 Jack Beckman                 
E1                   0.105  5.415 194.24     ****WINNER****  0.084  4.930 314.46
 Qualified:             #1 3,280                                #8 2,675        
This is Beckman's first Showdown, Hight's third. Both have been hot during the regular season this year.

Beckman was away first, but Hight had him covered in the first 60 feet and started pulling away. Hight led to half track, but his car started losing power and fishtailing there and then nosed over, giving Beckman a clear path to the win light. Beckman races Johnson in the semifinals, TJ has lane choice.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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