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Sat, 29 Sep 2001, 07:28 PM

CHICAGO-2 - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Dave Rowe

JOLIET, Ill. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the Inaugural NHRA 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:

Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.147/295.21, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.786/169.66, Was #14

1:44 PM Lawson makes a big improvement and moves up two spots to 12th.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.836/313.73, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.827/307.23, Was #4
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 5.042/280.37, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.186/273.72, Was #13

Wilkerson went right down the groove and made another good consistent run. Bode makes a decent run and moves up one spot.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.817/308.78, Now #4; Best prior run: 12.141/87.40, Was #21
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.430/196.76, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.026/273.44, Was #11

Johnson had two busted runs yesterday and needs to make a full pass here to get in.....and he does it easily. A 4.817 is a career best and it puts him in the fourth spot for now. Epler starts breaking the tires loose about 200 feet out and had to pedal.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 10.104/89.75, Now #20; Best prior run: 11.153/75.49, Was #21
Right Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 4.925/306.95, Now #12; Best prior run: 7.859/122.89, Was #18

Etchells makes a good pass and gets in at the 12th spot. Creasy broke the tires loose about 300 feet out and had to give up on the run.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 4.822/312.71, Now #5; Best prior run: 8.468/108.68, Was #19
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.912/164.43, Now #19; Best prior run: 10.126/80.89, Was #21

Worsham hasn't made a full pass this weekend and isn't in the show. He gets to the 300 foot mark, strikes the tires and pedals. The tires stick but he had already lost too much time. Gray runs a career best ET and speed and gets in the fifth spot.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.856/307.23, Now #10; Best prior run: 7.054/117.71, Was #20
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 4.957/305.08, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.897/153.26, Was #18

Neither of these two are in yet.....but that changes on this pass. Both cars went right down the groove, Capps driving around Hofmann as they passed the 1000 foot mark. Epler is now on the bump with a 5.026.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 4.837/314.09, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.266/294.43, Was #19
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 8.450/90.22, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.856/312.86, Was #9

Gilbertson breaks the tires loose about 300 feet out and gives up on the run. Sarver gets in the field at the eighth spot. Hofmann is now on the bump with a 4.957.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 4.874/310.70, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.906/305.77, Was #14
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 6.633/128.18, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.844/280.19, Was #9

Skuza makes a great run, right down Broadway and moves up two spots to 12th. Densham was ahead at the 330 foot mark, then the tires broke loose and he had to shut down.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.828/309.27, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.904/311.05, Was #14
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.805/315.05, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.828/310.70, Was #7

Two more good runs, Pedregon makes it past the 330 mark where everyone else has been going up in smoke and jumps up to the third spot. Cannon jumps into the top half of the field with a flawless run.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 10.694/76.56, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.879/309.98, Was #14
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 4.847/316.82, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.817/313.00, Was #4

Toliver gets about 300 feet out, starts shaking the tires and shuts down. Pedregon makes another good, consistent run and stays in the fourth spot.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.774/320.05, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.750/323.27, Was #1
Right Lane: John Force Runs 12.334/75.16, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.800/316.90, Was #2

Bazemore needs a 4.79 to back up his run from last night....and he does it!!!! He had a .890 sixty foot time, not the fastest this round, but he really came on strong on the top end and sets the national record at 4.750. Force gets to the 300 foot mark, starts smoking the tires and shuts down.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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