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Fri, Nov 13, 02:49 PM

POMONA - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session # 1
By Rick Green

Up in Smoke

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the 34th annual NHRA Winston Finals, listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, position in order following run:
Left Lane: Dale Pulde Runs 9.497/ 99.51 Psn # 1
Right Lane: Wyatt Radke No Time Psn # 2

Wyatt Radke breaks right on the launch. Pulde makes a quick move toward the wall and has to click it off.

Left Lane: Al Segrini Runs 18.642/ 61.11 Psn # 2
Right Lane: Norman Wilding No Time Psn # 4

Segrini overpowers the track as soon as he hits the throttle. Wilding bangs the blower with a loud pop and it blows the body up and off the car. The body stands straight up and then gently falls to the track on its roof. Wilding's car stops on the track before the finish line.

Right Lane: Ray Higley Runs 5.624/195.05 Psn # 1

Higley is on a single. He is on a real good pass, but shuts off real early. Must have just been a check out pass.

Left Lane: Mitch McDowell Runs 15.212/ 74.95 Psn # 4
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 9.941/ 80.71 Psn # 3

McDowell does not move two feet off the starting line, before he is blistering the big Goodyears. He is completely sideways. Skuza does the exact same thing just 150 feet down track.

Left Lane: Bob Weickgenannt Runs 15.007/ 76.79 Psn # 5
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 4.976/307.58 Psn # 1

Weickgenannt is up in smoke right off the starting line. Hofmann makes a great pass here.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 11.483/ 80.63 Psn # 6
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 10.683/ 81.84 Psn # 5

Both cars overpower the track at the 200-foot mark.

Left Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 10.436/ 75.88 Psn # 6
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 9.152/ 92.71 Psn # 3

Worsham smokes the tires while Pedregon bangs the blower, the hood panel sailing through the air.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 10.138/ 83.66 Psn # 6
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 10.860/ 79.20 Psn # 9

Again, they both overpower the track around the 200-foot mark.

Left Lane: Tom Hoover Runs 16.647/ 57.37 Psn #14
Right Lane: John Force Runs 5.058/284.00 Psn # 2

Hoover is in the last race of his career here. He follows the rest of the field and is up in smoke almost immediately. Force is on a run until 1000 feet and then he loses an engine.

Left Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 6.368/157.04 Psn # 4
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 9.695/ 88.25 Psn # 7

Etchells starts to lose traction and gets completely off the throttle, the header flames completely disappear, and then he gets back on it. Densham loses traction and aborts the run. The Densham team is really excited about signing NEC through the year 2000 and switching to a Pontiac for next year. The renderings of the new paint scheme are really neat.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy, Jr. Runs 5.808/177.40 Psn # 4
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 9.953/ 90.33 Psn #10

Eppler is up in smoke. At least Creasy gets it down the track, but that is about all you can say for this run, the header flames out very early.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 16.870/ 66.79 Psn #19

Up in smoke as soon as he hits the throttle.

Left Lane: Randy Anderson Runs 10.949/ 77.31 Psn #15

Anderson starts to shake the tires about 150 feet off the starting line and he clicks it off.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 14.128/ 68.75 Psn #17

Thankfully an end to a pretty uneventful round of qualifying. Pedregon loses traction, gets completely off the throttle, and then he is back on it, but the results are the same. Up in smoke.

Hofmann is the only one to make all the way down the track, Force almost did, and that was about it.

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