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Mon, 1 Sep 2008, 11:56 AM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Darryl Jackman





CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  507 Melanie Troxel                         28 Ron Capps                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  4.128 301.00                     0.102 10.240  78.68
 Qualified:             #6  4.117 300.60                       #11  4.144 298.47
Weather conditions: air temperature 81 degrees, relative humidity 42 percent, barometer 29.24 inches, adjusted altitude 2,851 feet, track temperature 105 degrees.

Troxel is qualified in her 5th Indy event, and Capps in his 13th. Capps is 1 - 0 against Troxel in prior events. This was over at the green. Capps was up in smoke instantly and Troxel barely set a wheel offline on her pass.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   71 Cruz Pedregon                        1777 Bob Tasca III                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.062  4.191 298.21                    -0.078 12.390  56.68
 Qualified:             #2  4.107 302.62                       #15  4.202 289.69
This is C. Pedregon's 17th Indy and he won in 1992, 1994 and 1995. He also can double up if he wins today as he was the winner of the Skoal Smokeless Showdown yesterday. Tasca is stepping up as his past history is in Alcohol Funny Car. He was the runner-up here the last two years. Pedregon is 2 - 0 against Tasca III in prior events. Can't say anything went right for Tasca in this pairing, First he redlights and second, blows the tires of at the hit.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    1 Tony Pedregon                        2814 Matt Hagan                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.105  4.176 297.29                    -0.006  4.409 287.90
 Qualified:             #1  4.073 301.94                       #16  4.208 290.19
T. Pedregon is bupkus for his career here at Indy but this is the second time he's qualified #1. This is the second race of Matt Hagan's career with NHRA, his first being Maple Grove. He did win an IHRA National Event last week however. Hagan turns on the red by going -.006 early and T. Ped logs another in his win column.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  782 Gary Densham                          427 Tony Bartone                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.121  4.927 260.97                     0.143 12.847  58.67
 Qualified:             #3  4.109 296.11                       #14  4.183 298.67
Twenty two years Densham has been coming to Indy, his first coming in 1979. He won here in 2004 after also winning the special event that year as a member of the Force Fleet. Bartone has been to six finals in Alcohol Funny Car and won in that class in 1993 and 1999. Densham is 7 - 0 against Bartone in prior events. Most every racer says when you win an event there's one round that you just get lucky. Bartone struck the tires right at the hit and Densham waited until about 200ft. Densham was on and off the pedal for the win and a match up with Troxel next round. Troxel will choose lanes.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 7701 Mike Neff                             388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.091  4.191 300.00                     0.099  5.973 112.98
 Qualified:             #4  4.114 303.03                       #13  4.179 291.82
Of course this is Neff's first Indy as a driver. Head is one of four drivers to have won this event in both of the nitro classes. This is the first time Neff and Head have faced each other in eliminations. Head has traction problems in that right lane and Neff gets his first round win at the U.S. Nationals,.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    2 Robert Hight                          222 Frank Hawley                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.095  4.894 249.07                     0.137  5.211 204.70
 Qualified:             #5  4.114 297.48                       #12  4.172 297.68
Hight was a runner-up here in 2007 and a winner in 2006. This is Hawley's 7th Indy, his last coming in 1991! Hawley got left on and Hight has the car go left at about 200ft. His tires smoked and Hawley started back around him...then Hawley's broke and Hight pulled right on away for the win. Hight will draw his teammate, Neff, without lane choice.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   10 Ashley Force                            5 Jack Beckman                 
E1                   0.089  5.260 171.55     ****WINNER****  0.112  4.160 295.21
 Qualified:             #7  4.122 302.41                       #10  4.139 296.44
A. Force's history here includes a win in 2004 in her A/Fuel Dragster. This is Beckman's third Indy as a Pro driver and he's coming off a win at Maple Grove. A.Force leaves on Beckman but winds up striking the tires hard at 200ft. Beckman goes low for the round in the right lane! Beckman will take lane choice into his pairing with C. Pedregon.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  750 Del Worsham                           347 Tim Wilkerson                
E1                   0.120  4.176 298.60     ****WINNER****  0.080  4.167 296.05
 Qualified:             #8  4.128 300.46                        #9  4.132 300.20
Worsham won this event in 2005 and actually competed one year in both Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car here at Indy. Wilkerson has the points being reset after this event, which he won in 2003. Worsham is 12 - 9 against Wilkerson in prior events. Wilkerson took a visible lead at the hit and held off Worsham to the stripe. That also earns Wilkerson choice against T. Pedregon in the second round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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