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Sat, 6 Oct 2001, 09:58 PM

READING - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Jim Samuel

MOHNTON, Pa. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the 17th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals presented by Greased Lightning 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: Terry Haddock Runs 5.393/208.88, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.427/208.88, Was #20
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 12.488/86.39, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.055/294.56, Was #19

5:14 PM For the final round of qualifying, the temperature was 62 degrees, humidity was 50 percent and the barometric pressure was 29.88 inches. Jerry Toliver was sitting on the bubble with a 5.036 second bump time. Creasy smoked the tires big time off the starting line and shut down early. Haddock missed the field by 33 hundredths of a second.

Left Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.126/293.79, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.044/302.01, Was #17
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 4.918/309.34, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.049/245.81, Was #18

It's been a bad weekend for Frank Pedregon so far and he came into the final round of qualifying sitting 18th in a field of 16. He needed to improve his best time by 14 thousandths of a second to avoid going home early. Lawson started this round sitting just above Pedregon but still outside the field. With this run, Pedregon had enough to make it into the field in 13th position. Lawson did not have enough so he got an early trip home.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.803/307.30, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.972/304.25, Was #16
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 10.868/75.70, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.036/275.90, Was #17

Toliver started this round on the bubble but got bumped out when Frank Pedregon made his run. Toliver needed to beat a 4.972 to get back into the field and bump Capps. Toliver lost traction just past 100 feet and shut it down. Capps ran his best time of the weekend and jumped from 16th to 5th.

Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.036/305.08, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.920/297.94, Was #15

After round three, Hofmann was in 13th place. He moved down to 15th place as other drivers moved ahead of him and was unable to regain any spots in the order with this run.

Left Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 8.790/108.92, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.915/302.48, Was #13
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 16.553/40.74, Now #11; Best prior run: 4.891/306.46, Was #11

Etchells smoked the tires off the line and shut it down. Epler popped the blower before 100 feet and shut it down too.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 5.023/233.16, Now #12; Best prior run: 4.906/303.91, Was #12
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 13.714/68.23, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.887/303.84, Was #9

Cannon smoked the tires off the line and shut it down.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 4.851/313.95, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.889/314.02, Was #10
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.790/319.37, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.833/301.60, Was #7

Densham made a good run to move up in the qualifying order.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 5.819/159.08, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.843/311.05, Was #8
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.731/325.14, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.812/314.02, Was #7

In the first three rounds of qualifying, Force had been having only fair results and was in fifth place. He saved his best for last and ran a career best ET and career best top speed to take over the number one spot. Johnson shut down at 1,000 feet.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 7.091/112.51, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.801/317.19, Was #6
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.827/293.28, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.783/294.43, Was #4

Sarver smoked the tires so he did not improve his starting position. Pedregon smoked his engine a bit at the finish and did not improve his time.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.768/317.87, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.762/324.67, Was #2
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 11.147/78.04, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.778/310.34, Was #3

Bazemore had the fastest time all weekend until Force took over first place two pairs earlier. He tried to regain first place and made a very good run but it was just not enough so he stayed in second place. Worsham smoked the tires and shut down early so he'll start eliminations in the number three spot.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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