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Sun, 3 Sep 2000, 06:12 PM

INDY - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Darryl Jackman

It's Final



CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 5 qualifying in Funny Car at the 46th annual U.S. Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:


Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.191/296.70, Now #20; Best prior run: 7.905/115.84, Was #23

4:14 PM-Here we go. The final fuel qualifying session of the 46th US Nationals. Lawson will make a single. He makes a nice pass, but it's to little and way to late. That would have made a great opener.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.347/279.96, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.296/288.21, Was #22
Right Lane: Bob Weickgenannt Runs 9.645/88.73, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.311/288.70, Was #23

Here comes the next pair looking for a way into the program. Tony Pedregon is still clinging to the bump spot and the news for him is he gets to pick his lane due to his not getting choice in the Shootout. This pair just wants to make good runs. Creasy makes a clean pass but it is far to slow to make the field. Weickgenannt was smoking the tires and almost crossed the center line before he gives up the run.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.996/307.72, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.967/306.53, Was #2
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 8.075/105.05, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.046/298.47, Was #9

This counts for qualifying, but it is also the final round of the Big Bud Shootout for the year 2000. Again, I'm treating this as a qualifier so read about the winner in Larry Sullivan's post. Force makes a nice pass in the left lane but still remains in the #2 spot. Epler was on a good pass until the smoke began about 400 feet out and he couldn't save the run. If the field stays the same Force will see Bob Gilbertson in round one on Monday.

Left Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 14.391/75.12, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.205/230.21, Was #21
Right Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.048/302.35, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.148/299.46, Was #19

Another pair of drivers that hope they've saved the best for last. Neither of them is qualified. Sarver gets what he was looking and is now well into the starting field. Hofmann will have to watch on Monday as the Mooneyes car was smoking the Goodyears before 50 feet. That bumps Tony Pedregon and moves Bob Gilbertson onto the bubble.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.063/300.80, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.114/296.96, Was #16
Right Lane: Scott Weis Runs 8.709/98.10, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.098/297.55, Was #13

Gilbertson manages to get himself off the bubble with a nice pass. Weis was smoking the tires and can't muster a thing. That puts Gary Densham on the bump.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 9.239/88.68, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.113/292.01, Was #16
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 10.543/94.91, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.017/296.76, Was #8

Densham was moved to the bump spot by Gilbertson in the last pair. Wilkerson would like to stay in the top half. What we get is the tire smoke ballet. Both drivers struck the tires hard abut 400 feet off the line. Densham can only hope for the best. This has become a very, very, close field.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 10.101/82.00, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.963/301.27, Was #1
Right Lane: Cory Lee Runs 5.600/209.33, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.013/310.91, Was #7

Tommy Johnson Jr elects to make this final session, even though he is qualified #1. This is really expensive. Lee is in almost the same position as he is in the top half. Both drivers fall to the spinning tire problem.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.084/299.86, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.145/296.76, Was #19
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 9.580/93.52, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.002/297.61, Was #6

Ok. It's fourth and goal. Our backs are against the wall. Think of any more cliches? Bazemore has been in and out of the field several times since Friday. Right now, he's out. Cannon is looking to repeat. It's all right now, is a real popular song in the Etchells camp at the moment. Bazemore is in and Densham is out. Skuza is now on the bump spot. Cannon was smoking the tires.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.051/300.33, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.124/289.57, Was #19

Toliver makes the field at the expense of Dean Skuza. That puts Weis on the bubble and Tony Pedregon coming into the staging area.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.977/303.98, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.114/285.71, Was #19

Tony has all the attention right now. Even Force cut his interview short to be out on the line. Ok, he's in. He's all the way into this field. Right down the middle of the lane and into the #4 spot.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 7.879/111.88, Now #18; Best prior run: 5.105/302.69, Was #18

Skuza is out of the field, again. This has been a really wild final session of Fuel Funny cars as it seems that people were in and out of the field as quick as a blink. Skuza will be a spectator on Monday as he also falls to tire smoke.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.106/270.32, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.968/300.53, Was #3

Capps can only be going for the #1 qualifying spot on this attempt as these is nothing else on the table at this time. Nope, no help at all. the car appeared to go soft after half track and Capps clicked it off. That concludes the final qualifying session for this catagory.




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