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Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 05:22 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

   44 Steve Burck                             9 Steve Gasparrelli            
E1                  -0.018 14.926  50.42     ****WINNER****  0.058  5.754 257.38
 Qualified:             #9  5.590 256.60                        #8  5.582 258.62
1:49 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 76 degrees, relative humidity 18 percent, barometer 29.01 inches, adjusted altitude 2,478 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

This is the quickest TAFC field ever, Sean Bellemeur on the bump spot at 5.666. There were twelve career-bests (ET or MPH) run during qualifying, by eight different drivers.

This is the first time Burck and Gasparrelli have faced each other in eliminations.

Burck went red, shook, and shut it off. Gasparrelli made a clean run, but was well over a tenth of a second slower than his qualifying run.

 7238 Bret Williamson                      710D Alexis De Joria              
E1                   0.124  6.304 239.40     ****WINNER****  0.124  5.685 245.40
 Qualified:            #10  5.618 254.38                        #7  5.582 261.42
DeJoria is 1-0 against Williamson in prior events.

They left right together, both a bit late, but Williamson's car shook early in the run and he slowed. DeJoria was about a tenth off her qualifying pace, but had no obvious problems.

   75 John Lombardo Jr.                    7976 Keeter Ray                   
E1                   0.094  6.041 244.12     ****WINNER****  0.153  5.711 252.43
 Qualified:             #5  5.544 262.18                       #12  5.627 255.92
This is the first time Lombardo and Ray have faced each other. Lombardo's father won this event in 1983, beating John Force in the final, on a holeshot.

Ray was late, but Lombardo's car got very loose and had to lift.

   73 Doug Gordon                            77 Mark Woznichak               
E1                   0.046  6.533 134.54     ****WINNER****  0.086  6.306 202.18
 Qualified:             #4  5.537 260.76                       #13  5.639 253.85
Gordon is 2 - 0 against Woznichak in prior events.

Gordon was away first and Woznichak's car was very loose, falling way behind, but something happened to Gordon's car on the top end and he slowed abruptly, the chutes out early, allowing Woznichak to go by for the win. Mark Woznichak's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.063), 330 ft(-0.133), 660ft(-0.183), 1,000ft(-0.145). MOV: 0.1871 seconds (approximately 37 feet).

"The Woz" has lane choice against Ray next round.

  799 Sean Bellemeur                          4 Tony Bartone                 
E1                   0.047  8.409 158.71     ****WINNER****  0.096  7.287 216.13
 Qualified:            #16  5.666 253.85                        #1  5.449 266.00
Bartone is 1 - 0 against Bellemeur in prior events. This is the 33rd #1 qualifier for Bartone, 31st in TAFC. He last set the TAFC speed record in '95, at Topeka, and he last set the TAFC ET record in '00, at Maple Grove. His 5.449 at 266.00 mph is the quickest and fastest TAFC run ever, The speed is a national record, he needs to run 4.503 or better to back up the ET as a national record.

After all that, this turned into a pedaling contest, both drivers fighting to regain traction. Bartone led most of the way, pulling away on the top end, but Bellemeur did not give up and got very close to the wall near the finish line. Bartone faces Gasparrelli in round 2, Gasparrelli has lane choice.

   61 Brian Hough                             6 Mickey Ferro                 
E1                   0.058  5.697 231.36     ****WINNER****  0.065  5.614 259.56
 Qualified:            #15  5.649 248.75                        #2  5.477 263.20
Hough and Ferro have each won 1 time against the other in prior events. Mickey Ferro has entered eight prior races this year, went to the final round at seven of them.

This was a good drag race, Hough leading to half track, but Ferro had too much for him today and steadily pulled away on the top end for the win.

Mickey Ferro's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.009), 330 ft(-0.004), 660ft(-0.003), 1,000ft(0.021). MOV: 0.0761 seconds (approximately 26 feet).

Ferro has lane choice against DeJoria in round 2.

    3 Sean O'Bannon                          37 John Bojec                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.073  5.570 255.77                     0.096 12.356  71.46
 Qualified:             #3  5.520 260.31                       #14  5.646 251.81
This is the first time O'Bannon and Bojec have faced each other in eliminations.

Bojec's car shook hard immediately and O'Bannon had no visible problems.

  572 Brent Henry                             8 Jay Payne                    
E1                  -0.034  5.712 251.20     ****WINNER****  0.082  8.078 110.81
 Qualified:            #11  5.624 247.57                        #6  5.575 258.86
This is the first time Henry and Payne have faced each other in eliminations. Jay Payne is facing his 246th different driver, easily the most of any active driver. For example, Frank Manzo has faced just over 200 and Vern Moats has faced 167.

Henry threw this one away at the start, deep-staging, then leaving early. Payne shook, fishtailed, and had to give up on the run. He will not have lane choice when he faces O'Bannon next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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