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Sun, 17 Mar 2013, 12:08 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Michael L. Jex





GAINESVILLE, Fla. -=20 Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals:

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    1 Jack Beckman                           28 Ron Capps                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.099  4.121 301.13                     0.074  4.276 307.09
 Qualified:            #11  4.122 302.55                        #6  4.115 304.94
Weather conditions: air temperature 70 degrees, relative humidity 48 percent, barometer 29.92 inches, adjusted altitude 1,277 feet, track temperature 94 degrees.

Ron Capps has won this race twice, Jack Beckman has never been to the final round at this event. Jack has won 4 of the 7 first round meetings between the two.

Capps got the advantage off the starting line, and lead till past the 60-foot mark, but after that it was all Beckman and Valvoline - Capps hazed, then blazed the tires at the top end of the track.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    6 Johnny Gray                            10 Jeff Arend                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.070  4.038 311.56                     0.114  4.484 210.67
 Qualified:             #2  4.071 313.22                       #15  4.399 249.81
Arend is 3 - 2 against Gray in prior events...

Gray blasted to low ET of the weekend (so far) - right down broadway and into the next round. He quipped at the top end that "at the top end she really started strutin..." Johnny Gray's MOV: 0.4906 seconds (more than 100 feet). Johnny Gray's incremental times: 60ft-0.911 sec., 330ft-2.307, 660ft-3.258/269.89 mph.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  116 Paul Lee                                4 Cruz Pedregon                
E1                   0.094  4.338 260.41     ****WINNER****  0.092  4.041 311.99
 Qualified:            #16  4.461 258.37                        #1  4.047 296.05
Cruz Pedregon is 39-11 in round one when he is the top qualifier…. Cruz won here in 1998.

Lee danced to the left, then the right - Pedregon simply marched right down the groove, just a tick off what Johnny Gray ran, but this was Cruz's best pass of the weekend as well. Wow.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
 2814 Matt Hagan                             77 Bob Tasca III                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.067  4.091 308.00                     0.064  4.259 269.51
 Qualified:             #3  4.084 308.99                       #14  4.204 302.35
Hagan kept all the candles lit the whole way, Tasca dropped a cylinder on the right side, then lifted when he was not going to make up the lost ground on Matt. Hagan will have lane choice against Jack Beckman in round two. Matt Hagan's MOV: 0.1657 seconds (approximately 65 feet). Tasca left some liquids on the track, so the trucks roll... 11:53 AM

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    9 John Force                              5 Courtney Force               
E1                   0.088  6.917 101.56     ****WINNER****  0.075  4.092 314.83
 Qualified:             #4  4.089 312.06                       #13  4.132 309.98
12:02 p.m. Cleanup of the right lane is complete, the order to fire up this all team Force matchup comes. John Force is 4-3 against his daughters, Ashley and Courtney, in opening round matches….John’s 7 wins here are the most in the Funny Car class.

The gremlins John fought during the first two rounds of qualifying return, he lit the tires up just past the tree. Courtney dips into the 4.0's for the first time this weekend.


 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  750 Del Worsham                             8 Tim Wilkerson                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  4.689 253.04                     0.079  6.307 108.95
 Qualified:             #5  4.105 305.49                       #12  4.131 304.67
Smokefest! Pedalfest! Two of the best at the smokey pedaling style of racing dueled it out al the way to the stripe. As is often the case, Wilkerson lost traction first, and was not able to make up the ground gained by Worsham before Del also lost traction. It wasn't pretty, but it was fun to watch, and Worsham will race Courtney Force in the next round, and Courtney will have lane choice.

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
  256 Blake Alexander                       771 Alexis DeJoria               
E1                   0.097  6.255 108.18     ****WINNER****  0.120  4.085 308.14
 Qualified:             #7  4.115 304.60                       #10  4.121 306.53
This is the first time that Blake Alexander has started form the top half of the field in his brief eleven race career. He is looking for his first round win. Alexander left first and lead this race till about the 100-foot mark, when he lost traction and danced first to the left, then the right in the left lane. DeJoria ran her best pass of the weekend, her first full pass since Friday's first round of qualifying. She'll face Johnny Gray in the next round, and Gray will have lane choice. Happy St. Patrty's day, looks like it's a great day to have a green themed car...

 Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-----Car#-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT----ET---Speed
    7 Robert Hight                           72 Tony Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.088  4.070 313.29                     0.036  4.788 177.18
 Qualified:             #8  4.117 308.21                        #9  4.120 290.57
Robert Hight is the defending event champion and his opponent, Tony Pedregon, has won twice in Florida…..Robert has lost in the first round at nine of his last sixteen races. The 2012 Gators champ went right down the middle of the groove with hardly a wiggle, their best pass of the weekend. Robert will race Cruz Pedregon in the next round, and Pedregon will have lane choice. 12:14 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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