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Mon, Nov 2, 06:30 PM

BAYTOWN - Top Fuel Round 3 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

The Missile Launches Again

BAYTOWN, Texas - Results of round 3 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 2nd annual Matco Tools Supernationals:
   3 Cory McClenathan    4.574 319.26  Q  15 Tony Schumacher     4.761 285.53
   (S Anderson  ) 0.542  4.617 316.78 E1   (J Amato     ) 0.459  4.707 321.54
   (J Head      ) 0.510  4.602 296.34 E2   (K Bernstein ) 0.420  5.619 291.35
                  0.527  8.919  80.94 E3 *****WINNER***** 0.453  5.627 284.90

11:12 AM Schumacher is turning out to be a pretty fair country driver. After outdriving Kenny Bernstein in round one, he got another holeshot here and then pedaled his way into another round win against another veteran driver. Schumacher lost traction violently at about 200 feet and it appeared his race was over, but then the engine in Cory Mac's exploded in a huge fireball and Schumacher backpedaled and regained traction (as you can see by his speed) while Cory Mac helplessly wathced him go by to take the win and pretty much sink Cory's championship hopes. Gary Scelzi leads by 75 points right now, before he makes his run. He cannot clinch the title here, but the door is almost closed.

  13 Bob Vandergriff     4.672 318.02  Q   1 Gary Scelzi         4.549 322.23
   (E Hill      ) 0.503  4.652 317.68 E1   (A Hartley   ) 0.544  4.544 324.32
   (L Dixon     ) 0.484  4.613 320.28 E2   (D Herbert   ) 0.470  4.530 326.44
                  0.517  4.634 299.80 E3 *****WINNER***** 0.509  4.564 320.28

12:00 noon The cleanup was a long one, in both lanes, with oil from both cars. The major damage, however, was to Cory Mac's engine, which was split down the middle of the block, with the internal parts "just laying around in there."

Talk about consistency, Scelzi's qualifying and three eliminations runs have been within 0.034 seconds of each other, averaging 4.542. Nice pass by Vandergriff, but Scelzi is in a different class this weekend, increasing his lead over Cory Mac to 95 points. He'll have lane choice against Schumacher in the finals.


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