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Mon, 4 Oct 1999, 12:22 PM

Monday Racing Resumes

Frigid Temperatures Postponed Advance AutoParts Eliminations

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Due to cold weather conditions, NHRA officials were forced to halt eliminations yesterday at the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The race is the 18th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Number one qualifier Eddie Hill, from Wichita Falls, Texas, pedaled his Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster past David Grubnic to advance to the quarterfinals. Doug Herbert, Doug Kalitta, Tony Schumacher, Gary Scelzi, Mike Dunn, Joe Amato, and Kenny Bernstein all advanced past the first round as well.

Funny Car driver Whit Bazemore, from Indianapolis, defended his number one qualifying position in his Kendall Chevrolet Camaro by defeating Larry Huff in the first round. "Today will be yet another set of circumstances." Bazemore said. "It's supposed to warm up, and both Tim (crew chief Richards) and I feel better about racing tomorrow. The pressure is on us, because we not only have to be concerned about catching Tony (Pedregon) for second, but we have to worry about our opponent today, Frank Pedregon, who is behind us in fourth." Frank Pedregon, Cristen Powell, Tommy Johnson Jr., Tony Pedregon, Jim Epler, Del Worsham and John Force all moved into the quarterfinals with first round wins.

In a major upset, Mike Edwards, from Broken Arrow, Okla., used a hole shot in his Dewco Chevrolet Camaro to defeat number one qualifier Richie Stevens. Ron Krisher, Mike Trumble, Jeg Coughlin, Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson, Troy Coughlin, and Steve Schmidt will all race in the second round.

Bob Panella, from Stockton, Calif., took over the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck points lead defeating Chip Ippolito and Kim Smith in his Panella trucking Chevrolet S-10 during the first two rounds of eliminations Saturday. Pro Stock Truck drivers Scott Perin, Mike Coughlin, and Larry Kopp will join Panella in the semi-finals.

Professional eliminations are scheduled to continue today, starting at 11 a.m.

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