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Sun, 23 Sep 2007, 01:22 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe

ENNIS, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec:

  347 Tim Wilkerson                         729 Jerry Toliver                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.103  4.831 324.51                     0.110  5.214 216.27
 Qualified:             #1  4.787 318.17                       #16  4.911 311.41
11:23 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 79 degrees, relative humidity 60 percent, barometer 29.42 inches, adjusted altitude 2,249 feet, track temperature 99 degrees.

Wilkerson has started from the number one spot 9 times in his career, twice this year. He holds a 5-3 advantage in head-to-head match-ups with Toliver.

Toliver leaves first and starts to pull away. He stays out in front until half-track, then hazes the tires. Wilkerson drives around him and pulls away for the win.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.014), 330 ft(-0.023), 660ft(0.002), 1,000ft(0.120). MOV: 0.3908 seconds (more than 100 feet).

 7321 Ashley Force                           28 Ron Capps                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.102  4.786 319.52                     0.080  4.880 318.54
 Qualified:             #5  4.818 314.53                       #12  4.884 316.82
This is Force's 16th start, Capps 253rd start. They have met twice and have one win each.

Capps gets the hole-shot but Force reeled him in quickly and drove around at the 60 foot mark. She started pulling away and extended her lead at every marker.

  750 Del Worsham                           388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.088  4.830 312.64                     0.105  4.873 321.65
 Qualified:             #4  4.808 294.37                       #13  4.884 291.63
A good side-by-side, both right down the groove. Worsham gets the hole-shot and slowly pulls away all the way through the run.

Worsham will give up lane choice to Ashley Force in round two.

  170 Jeff Arend                             33 Tommy Johnson Jr.            
E1                   0.153  4.813 321.35     ****WINNER****  0.065  4.867 319.22
 Qualified:             #2  4.788 320.36                       #15  4.907 305.15
Johnson gets a big hole-shot here, Arend starts to make up ground, but Johnson's car never misses a beat and he hangs on for the win.

    1 John Force                            427 Tony Bartone                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.112  4.836 320.28                     0.157  5.105 225.56
 Qualified:             #3  4.801 321.35                       #14  4.888 308.85
Force has been in ten finals at this race. Bartone won in Top Alcohol Funny Car in '96. Force holds a 10-2 career advantage in match-ups with Bartone.

A bit of a staging battle, Force finally rolls in first. He also leaves first, then Bartone starts to make up ground. Bartone gets to half-track, starts to haze the tires, then makes a move toward the center-line. He backs off the throttle and Force pulls away for a much needed win.

  404 Kenny Bernstein                       180 Mike Ashley                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.062  4.888 312.35                     0.108  6.002 161.48
 Qualified:             #6  4.840 314.31                       #11  4.868 322.11
Bernstein gets a big hole-shot and starts to pull away. Ashley never gets close, falling behind early, then hazing the tires and getting out of shape around half-track. Bernstein will give up lane choice to John Force in round two.

  711 Jack Beckman                            5 Tony Pedregon                
E1                   0.076  5.652 184.37     ****WINNER****  0.009  5.040 277.03
 Qualified:             #7  4.851 317.79                       #10  4.866 295.72
11:58 a.m. and we're back after a short rain delay. A few sprinkles came down just after the last pair but went away quickly.

Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 59 percent, barometer 29.40 inches, adjusted altitude 2,389 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

This is an important one, Beckman is second and Pedregon is fifth in the points. Pedregon gets a big hole-shot, then strange looking flames start coming from the left side header. Beckman starts to make up ground, then starts to haze the tires. Pedregon stays on the throttle and hangs on to take the win.

Pedregon will give up lane choice to Johnson in round two.

   10 Cruz Pedregon                           7 Gary Scelzi                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.046  4.819 318.32                     0.078  8.436  93.23
 Qualified:             #8  4.860 317.34                        #9  4.863 307.72
Pedregon gets away first and starts to pull away. Scelzi gets about 300 feet out, strikes the tires, then has to give up on the run.

Pedregon will have lane choice over Wilkerson in round two.

This is getting interesting now. Tony Pedregon and John Force are the only countdown players left in the race. Pedregon has moved up to the third spot, Force is just 17 points out of the fourth spot and just needs one more round win to move into fourth.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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