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Mon, 22 Sep 2003, 03:31 PM

Funny Car Round 3 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Results of round 3 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 16th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil:

    5 Whit Bazemore                          28 Ron Capps
E3   ****WINNER****  0.035  4.991 291.82                     0.055  5.014 299.66
 Prior rounds:
E2    (C Lee       ) 0.079  4.967 295.66      (G Densham   ) 0.059  5.020 285.11
E1    (B Gilbertson) 0.044  4.875 318.99      (C Pedregon  ) 0.125  4.862 311.63
 Qualified:             #1  4.826 316.67                        #5  4.857 313.15
2:14 PM Current weather conditions: 79 degrees, 66 percent relative humidity, the barometer 29.97 inches, with a track temperature of 104 degrees.

Bazemore needs to win this race to pass Pedregon for the points lead, he is only 33 behind at this point. He takes another step in that direction, getting the hole shot and hanging on for the win. He starts pulling away, then the engine starts going away near the top end, but holds off Capps. Whit Bazemore's incremental margins: 60ft(0.030), 330 ft(0.049), 660ft(0.068), 1,000ft(0.060). MOV: 0.0437 seconds (approximately 19 feet).

    9 Dean Skuza                              1 John Force
E3   ****WINNER****  0.051  4.921 299.60                     0.042  4.993 307.79
 Prior rounds:
E2    (T Pedregon  ) 0.043  4.929 306.19      (P Burkart Jr) 0.061  4.962 300.00
E1    (G Scelzi    ) 0.054  4.877 312.06      (J Wyatt     ) 0.091  4.875 316.08
 Qualified:            #14  5.074 279.79                        #2  4.826 313.37
Force needs to win this one to further his chance in the points race and to try to keep Bazemore from taking the points lead from Tony Pedregon. He gets a slight hole-shot but that was all. Skuza drives around before they get to the sixty-foot mark and pulls away. He runs quick enough to get lane choice over Bazemore in the finals and will probably choose the left lane. Just one problem.....Skuza goes through the lights and a fire erupts. The flames continue to get bigger as he comes to a stop and then engulfs the body. The Safety Safari attempts to put the fire out but can't hold the body up because of the flames and the melting fiberglass. The car seems to be a total loss and Skuza doesn't have a spare body. The rules allow for him to borrow a body, but it will be a major feat if they can get it ready before the final round begins.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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