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Sat, 2 Oct 1999, 07:47 PM

TOPEKA - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Bob Orme

A late pole shuffle

TOPEKA, Kan. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts 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: Dean Skuza Runs 5.489/140.02, Now #17; Best prior run: 8.864/92.85, Was #20
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 5.227/239.40, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.285/142.51, Was #18

6:03 PM and we begin the final round of Funny Car qualifying with two drivers that aren't in the show thus far. Cannon will be racing tomorrow, the engine mixing parts up at the finish. Skuza shook kard on the launch, was off the throttle at about 150', then back on it at 300' but it wasn't enough for him.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.461/279.44, Now #18; Best prior run: 7.348/112.54, Was #20
Right Lane: Jack Wyatt Runs 5.452/289.51, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.586/274.05, Was #19

Both drivers tried to pedal through tire smoke at the end of the concrete pad, but they fell short of making tomorrow's program, Creasy .017 seconds off the bump time and Wyatt only .008 seconds short.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 7.013/129.62, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.568/224.58, Was #20
Right Lane: Larry Huff Runs 17.305/60.37, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.444/237.55, Was #16

Wilkerson is the only driver not in the program that still has a chance to move in, and he doesn't do it. He lost traction at about 200' and pedaled the car several times before giving up on this one. Huff was up in smoke immediately, but he will be racing tomorrow.

Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 10.826/80.56, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.391/282.54, Was #14

Capps lost traction at about 150', and after a quick pedal he got sideways pointing at the wall so he had to lift.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 11.127/72.53, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.156/299.66, Was #10
Right Lane: Cory Lee Runs 5.768/198.93, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.165/299.80, Was #11

Toliver had severe tire shake and was off the throttle before 300'. Lee's engine was showing signs of eating itself at 1000' and he wisely clicked it.

Left Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.037/305.01, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.117/275.96, Was #7
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.154/250.74, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.127/285.29, Was #8

Epler has a strong and straight pass here. Densham started hazing the tires at about 900' and his foot was off the pedal at 1200'.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.885/298.40, Now #1; Best prior run: 5.099/287.11, Was #7
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 15.100/69.82, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.021/306.40, Was #5

Bazemore takes over the pole for now, with a picture perfect pass. Worsham was all smoke immediately.

Left Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 9.947/78.40, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.971/263.56, Was #4
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 14.408/76.09, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.999/305.70, Was #5

Both cars bow to the smoke gods, Johnson before he got past the tree, Powell at about 200'.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.967/251.44, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.905/311.70, Was #3
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 17.161/62.80, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.894/305.01, Was #2

You know that Team Castrol wants the pole back and here is their only chance to get it. Force had the best shot here but the engine was mixing up the cylinders from 1000' on down. Pedregon was yet another victum of tire smoke before he moved beyond the tree. Tomorrow's field is set with Whit Bazemore on the pole with a 4.885 second ET and Larry Huff in the sixteenth position with a 5.444 second ET.

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