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Sun, 2 Sep 2001, 08:34 AM

Force Leads Budweiser Shootout Field from the No. 1 Position
Courtesy of NHRA Communications





CLERMONT, Ind. - For the 10th consecutive year, John Force enters the Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis as the top seed. On Sept. 2, Force will try to win a record sixth title in the special event for Funny Cars held during the 47th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The winner of the 20th annual Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis will earn $100,000. Any driver who can win the Budweiser Shootout and the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals will earn a $50,000 'double-up' bonus from the NHRA. A purse of $147,000 is available for the eight drivers competing in the Budweiser Shootout. The Shootout runner-up will earn $15,000, while the two semi-finalsts will earn $6,000 each. The four first round finishers will earn $5,000 apiece.

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., qualified No. 1 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang at nine of 24 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series events that comprise the 2001 Budweiser Shootout.

The Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis showcases the eight best Funny Car qualifiers since last year's Shootout. Drivers accumulated points at the 24 NHRA national events between last year's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and the 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals, held recently at Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minn. A $4,000 bonus was awarded to the No. 1 qualifier at each of those events by Budweiser.

Force became $100,000 richer last year by earning his fifth victory in the Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis, defeating Jim Epler in the final round. Ron Capps, a winner of the bonus event in 1998 and '99, is the only other past winner who is qualified for this year's Shootout.

Budweiser Shootout rounds are scheduled for 12:30 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2. The Budwieiser Shootout will be televised on ESPN2 on Sept. 2 at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

2001 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT AT INDIANAPOLIS FINAL STANDINGS
1. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
3,840
2. Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills, Calif., Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang
3,180
3. Bruce Sarver, Bakersfield, Calif., e-moola.com Pontiac Firebird
3,175
4. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., Skoal Chevrolet Camaro
3,110
5. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird
3,070
6. Frank Pedregon, Phillips Ranch, Calif., Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird
2,850
7. Dean Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Mopar Parts Dodge R/T
2,845
8. Del Worsham, Chino Hills, Calif., Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird
2,845

2001 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT AT INDIANAPOLIS ROUND PAIRINGS

FIRST ROUND (12:30 p.m.)
Force vs. Worsham
T. Pedregon vs. Skuza
Sarver vs. F. Pedregon
Capps vs. Bazemore

SEMI-FINALS (2:20 p.m.)
Force-Worsham winner vs. Capps-Bazemore winner
T. Pedregon-Skuza winner vs. Sarver-F. Pedregon winner

FINAL (4:30 p.m.)







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