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Sun, 21 Sep 2008, 01:26 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, 23rd annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals:

  507 Melanie Troxel                        782 Gary Densham                 
E1                   0.106  4.465 236.59     ****WINNER****  0.122  4.327 280.31
 Qualified:             #4  4.096 304.67                       #13  4.175 292.14
11:45 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 83 degrees, relative humidity 57 percent, barometer 29.58 inches, adjusted altitude 2,783 feet, track temperature 111 degrees.

These two have met twice, Densham winning both of them. Densham has failed to qualify for this race the last three years.

Troxel gets the advantage of the line and starts to pull away. She continues to pull away, then starts hazing the tires about 500 feet out. Densham goes right down the groove and drives around her for the win.

  750 Del Worsham                          1777 Bob Tasca III                
E1                   0.087  4.274 267.53     ****WINNER****  0.104  4.230 291.89
 Qualified:             #3  4.092 303.03                       #14  4.186 292.84
A carbon copy of the last race, Worsham gets the hole-shot and starts to pull away. he hazes the tires about 500 feet out and thats all Tasca needed to drive around and take the win.

Bob Tasca III's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.032), 330 ft(-0.056), 660ft(-0.044). MOV: 0.0275 seconds (approximately 11 feet).

   10 Ashley Force                            3 Gary Scelzi                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.091  4.190 297.29                     0.095  4.226 293.28
 Qualified:             #2  4.092 304.46                       #15  4.195 291.95
Force and Scelzi have met twice, Force winning both of them. She is a couple of round wins behind the top contenders in the countdown.

They leave together and Force starts to pull away. They both make great passes, the two quickest of the round so far, and Force pulls away for the win.

    2 Robert Hight                          388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.115  4.164 297.35                     0.139  4.200 289.76
 Qualified:             #1  4.063 301.81                       #16  4.198 290.13
Hight and Head have met 8 times, Head holds a 5-3 advantage. Hight is one point behind Beckman and Cruz Pedregon in the countdown.

Hight gets a little advantage off the line and starts to pull away. Head runs the third quickest of the session so far but can't make up any ground on Hight.

    5 Jack Beckman                          729 Jerry Toliver                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.126  4.128 291.82                     0.085  5.403 145.78
 Qualified:             #5  4.099 300.00                       #12  4.126 300.13
Beckman is tied with Cruz Pedregon for the points lead. He has a 2-0 advantage over Toliver in career match-ups.

Beckman makes a great pass for the conditions, easily the quickest of the round so far. Toliver gets the hole-shot but then strikes the tires and goes up in smoke early in the run.

Beckman moves on and will have lane choice over Densham in the next round.

  347 Tim Wilkerson                          28 Ron Capps                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.132  4.120 298.34                     0.003  4.289 295.14
 Qualified:             #6  4.099 299.66                       #11  4.123 299.73
These two have met 25 times, Capps has won 18 times. This is Wilkerson's 10th race at this event and this is only the third time he has started from the top half of the field.

both drivers complete their burn-outs, begin to stage, and the staging beams malfunction. The starter has them shut down as officials scramble to repair the beams. They find the problem quickly and both teams make the decision to re-fire and go ahead with the race.

Capps gets a great start off the line but Wilkerson starts reeling him in quickly. Wilkerson drives around him just past the sixty-foot mark, then goes right down the groove with the quickest run of the round to take the win.

    7 John Force                             71 Cruz Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.061  4.163 302.48                     0.022  4.233 295.46
 Qualified:             #7  4.109 301.33                       #10  4.120 299.00
These two have met an amazing 73 times. Force holds a 50-23 advantage. Force has been in this race all 22 years it has existed. This is the 20th time he has started from the top half of the field.

Pedregon is tied for Beckman for the points lead and Beckman has already won his race earlier in the round.

A bit of a staging battle, Pedregon finally goes in first, deep stages, then Force goes in and deep stages. Pedregon gets off the line first, then Force starts to make up ground. Force drives around about 600 feet out then pulls away for the win.

The loss for Pedregon drops him from a tie for first all the way to fifth in the countdown.

    1 Tony Pedregon                         170 Jeff Arend                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.086  4.147 296.57                     0.105  4.204 284.03
 Qualified:             #8  4.110 300.20                        #9  4.113 303.71
This is Pedregon's 14th start at this event, his 12th from the top half of the field. he and Arend are 3-3 in career match-ups.

Pedregon is first off the line and that's all he needs. he starts to pull away, Arend starts to make up ground late, but runs out of room.

In the next round it will be Tony Pedregon with lane choice over Hight, Beckman vs. Densham, John Force with lane choice over Ashley Force, and Wilkerson vs. Tasca.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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