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Sun, 3 Sep 2000, 01:30 PM

BUD SHOOTOUT - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan





CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 2000 Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis:

 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Tony Pedregon       4.000  30.10  Q    5 Jerry Toliver       5.000  30.05
 *****WINNER***** 0.508  5.114 285.71  E1                  0.515  5.124 289.57
12:01 PM Eight cars. $100,000 to the winner. Sounds like a great race format! The first and final round Shootout runs also count as qualifying runs for the U.S. Nationals, by the way, and both Pedregon and Toliver have been struggling there, qualified 14th and 15th so far. This was a good drag race, Tony the victor by a margin of victory = 0.017 seconds (approximately 7 feet), Toliver with better performance to alf track and then losing his lead with tire spin on the top half of the run. Tony's car lost an engine at the finish line, a flash of flame that lasted a few seconds before the onboard systems put it out. We'll be down a few minutes while the Safety Safari cleans up the mess in Tony's lane.

 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   3 Jim Epler           3.000  31.80  Q    6 Ron Capps           6.000  29.35
 *****WINNER***** 0.513  5.053 295.21  E1                  0.494  5.732 170.54
Capps stepped up in qualifying yesterday in a great side-by-side run with John Force. He'd have liked to get a chance to do that again today, only with the win light in his lane, but Epler ruined those plans. Capps left first and the two cars were side-by-side to half track, but then the engine on Capps' car died, lots of raw fuel from the headers, the blower belt broken. Epler motored on to take the win by a huge margin.

 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   1 John Force          1.000  35.80  Q    8 Del Worsham         8.000  25.95
 *****WINNER***** 0.508  5.103 298.80  E1                  0.485  5.506 221.78
Worsham is running the plain black Firebird body used for testing by the WWF team after losing his red car body with a blown tire in the lights yesterday. Worsham beat Force off the line by a couple hundredths and was well ahead at 330 feet, but then his car got out of the groove and the rear tires started spinning. The car fishtailed and trailed tire smoke, allowing Force to go by for an easy win despite an off-pace run - but it was quick enough to give him lane choice against teammate Tony Pedregon in the semifinals.

 Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   2 Whit Bazemore       2.000  32.90  Q    7 Dean Skuza          7.000  28.90
                  0.507  5.145 296.76  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.500  5.105 302.69
Final pair, Bazemore not yet qualified for the U.S. Nationals and Skuza barely in, fifteenth. Another good drag race, Skuza with a good enough run to win by a margin of victory = 0.047 seconds (approximately 20 feet), also moving to 12th in the order for the "big race." Bazemore lost, but managed his first smoke-free run of the weekend, putting him on the bubble for the U.S. Nationals. Skuza will face Epler in the semifinals. Epler had low ET of the round with the only 5.0 ETin an elite bunch, so will have lane choice over Skuza next round.




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