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Sun, 2 Sep 2001, 05:01 PM

INDY - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan





CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 5 qualifying in Funny Car at the 47th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:


Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 6.290/222.99, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.756/325.69, Was #1
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.072/282.48, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.832/318.47, Was #5

4:56 PM This first pair is also the final round of the Budweiser Shootout. Both cars were clean to 330 feet, then Bazemore started smoking the tires, hard! Pedregon was clean to half track, then started smoking the tires, but successfully controlled the tire spin to save the run. Bazemore pedaled several times before reaching the finish line, never getting the tires fully hooked up again.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.080/261.52, Now #22; No Prior Run
Right Lane: Chuck Beal Runs 14.985/50.08, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.190/272.17, Was #22

Another bloody optimist! Haddock has been here all weekend and this is the first time he's come to the lanes. The bump spot is Al Hofmann's 4.905, by the way...Haddock has been assembling his car in the pits and makes an amazing first (and last) run, right down the groove with a career-best elapsed time by over a tenth of a second. Nice job! Beal smoked the tires instantly.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 10.141/86.31, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.056/297.68, Was #20
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.527/216.76, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.074/255.53, Was #21

Tire smoke, Creasy at 100 feet, Lawson at 400.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.685/109.12, Now #17; Best prior run: 4.907/305.77, Was #17
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 5.123/297.09, Now #19; Best prior run: 4.995/304.12, Was #19

Gilbertson launched cleanly, but lost traction about 200 feet out. Bode was off the pace from the start.

Left Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 6.058/155.20, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.904/312.86, Was #15
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 10.219/82.45, Now #18; Best prior run: 4.960/287.72, Was #18

Tire smoke, 200 feet out for Toliver, half-track for Etchells.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 4.944/302.75, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.892/306.33, Was #13
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 7.075/119.95, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.905/305.70, Was #16

Hofmann is safe, all the non-qualified cars already making their final runs. Meanwhile, Frank Pedregon is riding back from the top end on the Budweiser beer wagon, 6,000 horsepower got him to the other end and eight got him back - and the Dalmation didn't even stick his tongue out at Frank!

Hofmann's car made a hard move toward the wall on the launch and then got very sideways when Hofmann lifted and the front wheels came down. He fought it briefly, then gave it up. Sarver made a clean pass, the team taking a bit out of the car to get it down the sunny racetrack.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.954/309.06, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.891/309.63, Was #12
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 6.317/142.73, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.893/300.93, Was #14

Nice run by Wilkerson, the car backed down enough in the middle of the run to get through the tire smoke zone. Epler was right beside Wilkerson to 330 feet, then smoked the tires.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.872/311.34, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.852/311.70, Was #9
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 4.917/305.91, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.880/311.34, Was #11

Nice side-by-side runs here, both cars smooth and smoke-free all the way through the lights.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.845/318.77, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.842/313.58, Was #7

Tony returns to the lane that bit him in the Shootout semifinals, his crew obviously confident they have the solution to his instant tire smoke. The car was a bit soft off the starting line with a 0.907 60-foot time, then came on strong to run low ET of the round so far.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.797/322.96, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.836/319.52, Was #6
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 13.572/80.04, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.852/309.20, Was #10

Wow! Personal best ET and speed for Densham to move him into the second spot on the ladder. The car was hot and clean to 1,000 feet, then started mixing the cylinders up a bit on the top end, the header flames dancing., Cannon was up in smoke almost instantly.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 13.575/81.97, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.822/312.35, Was #4
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.852/317.49, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.843/316.08, Was #8

Same story, reverse the lanes. Capps was up in smoke instantly. Worsham went right down the groove on a nice-looking pass.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.942/306.40, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.810/315.56, Was #3
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.818/314.46, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.823/315.12, Was #5

Force's car launched hard, 0.889 to 60 feet, but then was relatively sluggish to half track, coming on strong again on the top end. TJ also left hard, 0.894 to 60 feet, but was quicker than Force at both ends of the track. He was seven hundredths of a second quicker and 10 mph faster than Force at half track, then picked up another three hundredths on the top end. Johnson posted his best elapsed time of the weekend to move around teammate Capps on the ladder.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink




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