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Sun, 10 Oct 1999, 03:26 PM

MEMPHIS - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe





MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 12th annual AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil:
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Dean Skuza          5.003 280.25  Q   13 Gary Densham        5.461 191.35
                  0.484  7.593 110.52  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.440  5.094 288.58
1:51 PM This will be the first meeting between these two this year. Skuza leaves the line, fishtails and gets close to the centerline before shutting it down. Densham makes his best run of the weekend.The margin of victory = 2.543 seconds (more than 100 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   3 Jim Epler           5.001 302.55  Q   14 Bob Gilbertson      5.478 217.28
                  0.550  8.897  88.85  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.522  5.128 257.24
This will be the second meeting between these two this year, Epler winning that battle. Epler has problems as his car skates all over the track, getting close to the left wall before he shuts down.The margin of victory = 3.797 seconds (more than 100 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   2 Tommy Johnson Jr.   4.972 305.29  Q   15 Cruz Pedregon       5.502 231.56
 *****WINNER***** 0.804  5.005 295.72  E1                  0.514  5.410 252.14
These two have not met this year. Johnson has the big advantage on paper, but he almost gives it away off the line. Cruz had a big advantage until about the 1000' mark when Johnson streaked by The margin of victory = 0.115 seconds (approximately 43 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   1 Tony Pedregon       4.939 308.43  Q   16 Cory Lee            5.534 289.01
 *****WINNER***** 0.510  5.010 301.00  E1                  0.528  5.037 298.21
Great drag race! Tony gets a slight advantage off the line and it looked like they were stuck together all the way down the track. The margin of victory = 0.045 seconds (approximately 20 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  12 Al Hofmann          5.404 247.47  Q    5 Scotty Cannon       5.012 302.35
 *****WINNER***** 0.513  5.211 275.22  E1                  0.613  5.147 295.14
Hoffman gets the big holeshot on Cannon and hangs on for the win. Cannon was charging hard on the top end but couldn't overcome what he gave away on the starting line. the margin of victory = 0.036 seconds (approximately 16 feet). Hoffman will run Densham in round two, Densham with the lane choice.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   6 John Force          5.019 303.37  Q   11 Scott Weis          5.271 232.91
 *****WINNER***** 0.537  4.943 300.73  E1                  0.460  5.343 229.12
Weis nails Force on the tree and was ahead for the first 300', then he shakes the tires and has to pedal. Force drives on by with a nearly flawless run and wins by a margin of victory = 0.323 seconds (more than 100 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   7 Cristen Powell      5.026 280.95  Q   10 Whit Bazemore       5.269 298.80
 *****WINNER***** 0.553  4.947 290.26  E1                  0.494  5.149 292.39
Bazemore gets the holeshot, his car starts moving left toward the centerline and he steers it back to the middle of the track. Powell made her best run of the weekend to win by a margin of victory = 0.143 seconds (approximately 61 feet ). Powell will have lane choice over Johnson in the next round.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   8 Del Worsham         5.117 292.84  Q    9 Ron Capps           5.140 247.52
                  0.502  9.538  87.48  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.503  4.958 295.92
Worsham starts to smoke the tires about 300' out and has to abort the run. Capps makes the best run he has made in a long time. He gets lane choice over Tony Pedregon in round two.




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