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Sun, 31 Oct 1999, 01:29 PM

HOUSTON - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Bob Orme

A surprise or two

BAYTOWN, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 3rd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions:
   5 Jerry Toliver       4.982 295.92  Q   12 Dean Skuza          5.148 279.27
 *****WINNER***** 0.527  5.057 298.73  E1                  0.507  5.078 259.81
11:33 PM Toliver is the driver running for the Winston No Bull Challenge bonus money this weekend. Winning this event would mean an extra $100,000 for the WWF racing team. This is the first meeting between these drivers in eliminations this season.

Skuza had this one won until the 1000' mark when he shook the tires hard and went up in smoke. The bonus money is still available.
   2 Whit Bazemore       4.934 304.32  Q   15 Kenny Sayers        5.175 291.95
                  0.529  7.846 128.05  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.617  6.098 187.03
Bazemore would have been considered a prohibitive favorite here, but we see why they don't run these races on paper. Bazemore lost traction at 60', pedaled it a couple times, but the rearend wasn't in the groove and he slid very close to the centerline at half track, having to abort the run.
   1 John Force          4.811 321.12  Q   16 Scott Weis          5.178 280.60
 *****WINNER***** 0.516  4.847 319.07  E1                  0.558 13.715  81.58
Weis got nothing but tire smoke from his clutch set up, and was out of the picture early. Force was strong and straight all the way down the track.
   3 Tommy Johnson Jr.   4.935 314.46  Q   14 Del Worsham         5.153 275.73
 *****WINNER***** 0.570  6.022 293.92  E1                        No Time      
Both drivers lost traction at 60'. Johnson was able to pedal it and get the car hooked back up, while Worsham had an engine explosion that dumped oil on the track. Worsham rolled to a stop at about 400', no post explosion fire, but the Safety Safari has quite a bit of clean up to do.
   4 Scotty Cannon       4.969 296.44  Q   13 Dale Creasy Jr.     5.153 293.60
 *****WINNER***** 0.557  5.415 256.06  E1                  0.510 12.249  89.20
The clean up from the previous pair only took 10 minutes, so the Funny Cars are running again. Cannon and Creasy have met once in eliminations this season, with Cannon winning that match. Creasy was up in smoke immediately. Cannon did a quick pedal job at 100' to straighten the car out and take the win.
   6 Cory Lee            5.076 297.35  Q   11 Al Hofmann          5.136 287.72
 *****WINNER***** 0.608  5.959 212.93  E1                  0.576  8.049 102.85
Both cars lost traction at 300'. Lee pedaled it several times, trailing tire smoke through the lights, but Hofmann wasn't as fortunate, the car almost sideways at half track. Lee will have lane choice over TJ in round two.
   7 Frank Pedregon      5.083 288.03  Q   10 Jim Epler           5.120 293.79
                  0.574 13.062  86.36  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.445  5.373 245.63
Pedregon didn't turn the tires twice before he lost traction. Epler was spinning the tires at 1000', slowing him at the finish. Epler will have lane choice over Sayers in the second round.
   8 Tony Pedregon       5.089 234.25  Q    9 Gary Densham        5.106 286.62
 *****WINNER***** 0.498  4.964 312.06  E1                  0.489  8.284 101.21
Bazemore's earlier first round loss clinches second place for the season for Tony Pedregon. Densham pedaled several times before he reached half track, the car bounching around pretty hard. Pedregon dropped a cylinder or two going through the traps but still has an excellent run. He will give up lane choice to his boss, John Force, in round two.

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