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Sun, 3 Oct 1999, 02:36 PM

TOPEKA - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Bob Orme

Cold weather and a couple of hot cars



TOPEKA, Kan. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals:
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  10 Jerry Toliver       5.156 299.66  Q    7 Jim Epler           5.037 305.01
                  0.552 19.542  46.98  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.554  4.882 308.85
12:50 PM and the first pair of Funny Cars ready to go down the track are WWF teammates, Toliver in the Stone Cold car and Epler in the Undertaker car. As was the case with the Top Fuel round, the jet driers have been making laps on the track trying to put some heat into the racing surface. Toliver shook the tires extremely hard off the line and is up in smoke. Epler has a flawless pass, running the low ET of the weekend.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   5 Tommy Johnson Jr.   4.999 305.70  Q   12 Scotty Cannon       5.227 239.40
 *****WINNER***** 0.499  4.953 314.24  E1                  0.566  5.273 296.11
Cannon had to pedal it at 200' and it may have cost him the win light. Johnson was dropping cylinders through the traps, but overall has a very good run.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Cristen Powell      4.971 263.56  Q   13 Al Hofmann          5.339 270.05
 *****WINNER***** 0.552  8.409 111.41  E1                  0.502 13.361  59.45
Hofmann went dead by the 100' mark. Powell hazed the tires at 60', pedaled it a couple times, got a little sideways by half track and coasted the rest of the way down the track. Something must have broken in Hofmann's engine, as the veteran surely would have tried to get back on it if he could have.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   1 Whit Bazemore       4.885 298.40  Q   16 Larry Huff          5.444 237.55
 *****WINNER***** 0.512  5.427 262.95  E1                  0.247 14.968  64.07
Bazemore had some pedaling to do, as he was out of the groove and near the wall at 300'. Huff didn't even try to keep it going after seeing his own light go red.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   2 Tony Pedregon       4.894 305.01  Q   15 Bob Gilbertson      5.398 204.73
 *****WINNER***** 0.511 10.115  83.81  E1                        No Time      
Pedregon couldn't keep the car hooked up and was off the throttle before the car traveled 300'. His opponent couldn't make the call to the line. Epler has lane choice over Tony in round two.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   3 John Force          4.905 311.70  Q   14 Ron Capps           5.391 282.54
 *****WINNER***** 0.508  4.843 287.96  E1                  0.502  5.742 218.51
Capps shook hard and was off the gas at 200'. He see's flashes coming out of Force's car and gets back on the pedal, but to no avail. Force was losing parts the engine from 800' on, and still manages to run the low ET of weekend. This pass was also a new track ET record.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   6 Del Worsham         5.021 306.40  Q   11 Cory Lee            5.165 299.80
 *****WINNER***** 0.523  5.076 304.46  E1                  0.534  6.004 212.13
Both drivers have to pedal their cars at the end of the concrete pad and were running even until the candles go out on Lee's car at about 1000'. Worsham gives Force lane choice in round two.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   8 Gary Densham        5.127 285.29  Q    9 Frank Pedregon      5.148 283.97
                  0.531  5.737 198.64  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.458  5.357 298.80
Both drivers were off, then on the throttle at 300'. Cylinders were dropping on the right side of Densham's car when he finally clicked it at 1000'. Pedregon will have lane choice over Bazemore in the second round. That's it for first round Funny Car eliminations.




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