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Sat, 23 Oct 1999, 04:24 PM

DALLAS - Federal-Mogul Dragster Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan





ENNIS, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Federal-Mogul Dragster at the 14th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec:
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   9 Bill Reichert       5.645 243.96  Q    8 Troy Buff           5.615 250.48
 *****WINNER***** 0.427  5.697 245.90  E1                  0.485  5.650 248.55
2:38 PM We open eliminations with the closest matchup in the top sixteen, Buff with lane choice by 0.030 seconds - so close that a small holeshot could make the difference at the other end of the track.

I wrote that before the cars staged and Reichert made it come true, using the holeshot to give him time to drive through huge tire shake and still nip Buff on the top end by a margin of victory = 0.011 seconds (approximately 4 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Darryl Hitchman     5.577 245.90  Q   17 Brian Ratliff       5.810 238.91
                        No Time        E1 *****WINNER*****       No Time      
Hitchman had a fuel line come loose when he fired the engine and the crew was unable to fix the problem. Ratliff, in as an alternate for Greg Roberts, shakes hard, puts the chute out, clips the right-hand wall (DQ'ing the run but not making him the loser) and continues. Strange, but true. He wins, but his time doesn't count for lane choice.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  15 Jay Meyer           5.688 246.03  Q    2 Rick Santos         5.463 257.21
                  0.669  7.155 144.23  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.451  5.729 247.45
Both cars got the front end well up, two or three feet, but Santos carried it to about 150 feet while Meyer shook and bounced the front end down hard, then gave it up. Santos steamed trough, the chute out a tad early.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  14 Keith Stark         5.688 249.58  Q    3 Mark Hentges        5.559 254.45
 *****WINNER***** 0.503  5.481 259.51  E1                  0.473  5.564 253.66
Stark was late and then shook hard, but made up the difference on the top end, storming by for the win by a margin of victory = 0.053 seconds (approximately 20 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   5 Billy Bybee         5.586 251.81  Q   12 Lee Callaway        5.677 238.34
                  0.620  5.750 244.43  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.495  5.814 231.71
The winner here will have lane choice against Ratliff in round two. Callaway gets a huge holeshot when Bybee is late and that's enough to give Callaway the win by a margin of victory = 0.061 seconds (approximately 22 feet).
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  10 Rob Wendland        5.655 253.44  Q    7 Michael Gunderson   5.597 244.36
 *****WINNER***** 0.450  5.620 253.66  E1                  0.392  5.584 241.61
The winner here gets to race Santos in round two. Gunderson wastes a nice run on a red light. Then Wendland had his hands full as he crossed the finish line, a lot of smoke and apparently some oil from the headers when he lifted. The car got very sideways, giving Wendland a good look at the left wall over the nose of the car. He did a good job of driving (or was very lucky) to avoid a major accident, getting the chute out just in time to pull the front end around and away from the wall. He also gets lane choice against Santos.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
  11 Calvin Friesen      5.656 237.46  Q    6 Melanie Troxel      5.591 218.18
                  0.086  5.455 242.91  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.561  5.445 257.95
Two A-Fuel cars square off here, the winner to face Keith Stark in yet another A-Fuel car next round. Friesen left way early - the numbers probably come from a rear-wheel start - and Melanie moves on with lane choice against Stark.
  
 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   1 Dave Hirata         5.393 265.17  Q   16 James Thompson      5.700 250.20
                  0.511 16.641  40.38  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.519  5.659 249.79
Final pair, the winner to face Reichert in round two. And the result is a huge upset, Hirata launching into tire shake and then the fire going out, raw fuel spraying from all eight header pipes. Thompson went on for a clean run, an easy win, and lane choice in round two.




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