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Sun, 10 Nov 2013, 15:01 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

    1 Jack Beckman                            4 Cruz Pedregon                
E1                   0.094  4.495 233.40     ****WINNER****  0.055  4.101 309.56
 Qualified:            #11  4.077 309.20                        #6  4.059 310.05
11:31 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 29.01 inches, adjusted altitude 2,396 feet, track temperature 92 degrees.

Cruz Pedregon and Jack Beckman are pretty evenly matched, Pedregon with a 12-11 record in all prior meetings, Beckman 4-3 in round one.

Beckman puffed the tires about 300 feet out, he pedaled, it hazed the tires again. Pedregon made a full pass, sacrificed a few pistons in the lights.

  782 Gary Densham                          750 Del Worsham                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.110  4.100 305.91                     0.086  4.131 303.91
 Qualified:            #13  4.118 301.81                        #4  4.019 314.83
Worsham is 21-11 against Densham in prior events, 12-3 in round one. The Worsham family shop and Densham's shop are about 10 miles apart.

Both cars went right down the track here, but Worsham had a "dead hole" early in the run and Densham ran him down.

Gary Densham's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.033), 330 ft(-0.012), 660ft(0.002). MOV: 0.0072 seconds (approximately 3 feet).

   77 Bob Tasca III                           5 Courtney Force               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.106  4.108 309.56                     0.098  4.260 256.50
 Qualified:            #14  4.132 309.27                        #3  4.016 319.07
Courtney Force is 7-1 against Tasca in prior events, 4-0 in round one.

This one was almost over before it started, Force's chute popping out before the teams fired the engines. Crewmembers from all three Force teams calmly repacked the chute, with the clock running, and got it done in very short time.

This was a good race, Force ahead early in the run, but her car started hazing the tires on the top end and Tasca ran her down.

Bob Tasca III's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.037), 330 ft(-0.056), 660ft(-0.005). MOV: 0.1442 seconds (approximately 54 feet).

Tasca will have lane choice against Cruz Pedregon in round two, by three thousandths of a second.

  340 Bob Bode                                9 John Force                   
E1                   0.069  5.316 132.09     ****WINNER****  0.090  4.036 317.12
 Qualified:            #16  4.166 298.34                        #1  3.995 319.37
John Force holds a 9-0 record against Bode in prior races, 8-0 in round one. This was Force's sixth #1 qualifier this season and the 146th of his career.

Bode's car sashayed as it came off the starting line, then lost traction. Meanwhile, Force went right down the track, with low ET of the round so far.

  771 Alexis DeJoria                       2814 Matt Hagan                   
E1                   0.097  4.056 314.24     ****WINNER****  0.069  4.059 315.27
 Qualified:            #15  4.137 311.13                        #2  4.014 320.20
DeJoria is 2-1 against Hagan at prior events, all in round one matchups.

On a holeshot, Hagan gets the win light in a close race. He led all the way.

Matt Hagan's incremental margins: 60ft(0.019), 330 ft(0.034), 660ft(0.029). MOV: 0.0253 seconds (approximately 12 feet).

   28 Ron Capps                               7 Robert Hight                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.059  4.089 315.19                     0.056  4.657 183.97
 Qualified:            #12  4.103 312.71                        #5  4.028 317.49
This looks more like a final round matchup than a round-one pairing. Hight holds a 22-14 record against Capps in prior events, but that tightens up to 5-3 in eight prior round one meetings.

Hight had a big edge early in the race, his car very aggressive on the launch with a 0.888 60-foot time, but it overpowered the track before the 660-foot marker and Capps sailed by for the win.

Robert Hight's incremental margins: 60ft(0.019), 330 ft(0.034), 660ft(0.029). MOV: 0.0253 seconds (approximately 12 feet).

Capps will have lane choice against densham in round two.

    6 Johnny Gray                          3111 Chad Head                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.077  4.092 313.07                     0.084  4.212 257.43
 Qualified:            #10  4.077 311.20                        #7  4.065 314.17
Gray is 2-0 against Head, 1-0 in round one. Gray won't be chasing the points next year - not retired, however.

Head led for about 500 feet, then started hazing the tires and Gray took the lead and the win as Head slowed.

Johnny Gray's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.019), 330 ft(-0.030), 660ft(0.008). MOV: 0.1271 seconds (approximately 48 feet).

Gray faces hagan in round two, Hagan has lane choice.

    8 Tim Wilkerson                          10 Jeff Arend                   
E1                   0.097  5.138 161.00     ****WINNER****  0.072  4.452 207.46
 Qualified:             #9  4.071 314.31                        #8  4.067 311.85
Wilkerson holds a 12-6 record against Arend at prior events, 10-2 in round one.

Wilkerson shook, skated, got sideways and smoked the tires. Arend got farther down the track, then started doing a skating routine as well, but he held on for the win. However, he won't have lane choice when he races John Force in round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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