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Sun, 28 Sep 2003, 11:47 AM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Bob Orme





JOLIET, Ill. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Third annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   10 Chuck Cheeseman                        53 Vern Moats
E1                   0.031  8.819 102.91     ****WINNER****  0.109  6.753 230.76
 Qualified:             #7  5.654 252.76                       #10  5.693 245.76
10:12 AM Current weather conditions: 50 degrees, 81 percent relative humidity, the barometer 29.93 inches. Both drivers were out of shape early. Moats nearly crossed the centerline at 200 feet and Cheeseman almost hit the retaining wall at about 500 feet.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  381 Mick Snyder                           136 Jim Sickles
E1   ****WINNER**** -0.006 10.207  82.98                    -0.019  5.910 245.23
 Qualified:             #9  5.668 251.11                        #8  5.663 255.68
Both drivers were loose on the launch. Sickles stayed on the throttle while Snyder lifted at about 300 feet. It is rare to see both cars red-light in the alcohol classes...

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    8 Bob Newberry                            6 Tate Branch
E1   ****WINNER****  0.084  5.599 255.48                     0.058  6.506 156.34
 Qualified:             #6  5.638 256.89                       #11  5.699 249.86
Both cars were running straight and strong. Branch was right with Newberry until Branch blew the burst panel at half track.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 3371 Fred Hagen                             52 Cy Chesterman
E1                   0.111  5.995 245.85     ****WINNER****  0.028  5.531 259.66
 Qualified:            #12  5.743 258.76                        #5  5.613 256.70
Chesterman drifted toward the centerline at half track, stayed on the throttle, and ran the quickest ever elapsed time for a Top Alcohol Funny Car.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
   76 Doug Gordon                            51 Kirk Williams
E1   ****WINNER****  0.028  5.588 255.19                     0.043  5.904 246.48
 Qualified:             #4  5.598 255.97                       #13  5.745 254.33
Williams was skating around his lane to half track. Gordon has a stellar pass, and still loses lane choice to Chesterman in round two.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    5 Bucky Austin                           33 Jeff Craig
E1                   0.080  5.778 228.23     ****WINNER****  0.028  5.742 252.43
 Qualified:             #3  5.592 258.42                       #14  5.786 251.30
These two were side-by-side for most of the pass. Austin's speed at the finish would suggest something was going away in his engine on the top end. Craig will give lane choice to Newberry in the second round.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    3 Jay Payne                              14 Paul Lee
E1   ****WINNER****  0.052  5.694 256.21                     0.032  5.770 252.66
 Qualified:             #2  5.583 259.86                       #15  5.870 250.64
This was a pretty good looking drag race. Lee had the advantage at the tree but Payne caught him at 330 feet. Jay Payne's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.042), 330 ft(0.007), 660ft(0.030), 1,000ft(0.044). MOV: 0.0567 seconds (approximately 21 feet). Payne will have lane choice over Moats in round two.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    1 Frank Manzo                             2 Steve Gasparrelli
E1   ****WINNER****  0.046  5.558 261.67                     0.025  5.628 257.83
 Qualified:             #1  5.578 260.46                       #16  5.913 202.09
Another very good looking drag race! Frank Manzo's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.042), 330 ft(-0.018), 660ft(0.013), 1,000ft(0.035). MOV: 0.0494 seconds (approximately 19 feet). Manzo will have lane choice over Snyder in the second round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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