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Sat, 30 Oct 1999, 10:37 PM

Dunn, Force, Allen, and Record-Setting Hines
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

Number One Qualifiers Heading into Eliminations

BAYTOWN, Texas - Matt Hines set a Pro Stock Motorcycle national record to earn his tenth straight number one qualifying spot Saturday at the Matco Tools Supernationals.

Mike Dunn, John Force, and Bruce Allen also were the leaders in their respective categories at the $1.7 million race at Houston Raceway Park. The event is the 21st of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., made his record-setting run on Friday when he covered the track on his Eagle One Suzuki in 7.179 seconds at 186.10 mph which set the pace for the two-wheel category.

"We want the 20 extra points for setting the record," said Hines. "We want to go out and win the next two races and win out third straight NHRA Winston championship."

Dunn, from Exeter, Pa, earned his first number one qualifying spot since the NHRA's event in Columbus Ohio and his third of the year with his pass of 4.561 at 319.60 in his Top Fuel dragster.

"Coming into this year I had only been number one three times in my career," said Dunn. "This is my fourth this year and I'm not complaining. The biggest problem is that it has been a while since we have won a race."

Dunn, who was the points leader for most of the season in his Team Mopar dragster, will face Doug Herbert in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.

"There you go," said Dunn. "He's tough. He has a low 4.60 car and you know what he's going to do. We know we have to run in the 4.50's and we can't take him lightly. But we can't take anyone lightly."

Yorba Linda, California's, Force made a pass of 4.811 at 321.12 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang which put him on top of the Funny Car class for the tenth time this year.

If Force and teammate Tony Pedregon both win their first round matches they would face off in the quarterfinals.

"We are really going for the record tomorrow," said Force. "I don't have anything to lose. If I was chasing the points right now I would go after winning the round. I don't need to win the round. If I go up against Tony, if we both make it to the second round, I am going after the national record on that run."

Force clinched his ninth NHRA Winston Funny Car championship last week in Dallas.

Bruce Allen, from Arlington, Texas, earned his first top qualifying position since 1989 when he sped down the quarter-mile in his Outlaw Pontiac Firebird in a track record 6.839 at 199.64.

"That's the low elapsed time of our career," said Allen. "Our Firebird left real well, it went down the middle of the track, and was awesome. You can only do the best you can do and that's what we were able to accomplish tonight."

Professional eliminations will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m.

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