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Sun, 3 Sep 2000, 05:34 PM

BUD SHOOTOUT - Funny Car Final, Round 3 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of final, round 3 eliminations in Funny Car at the 2000 Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis:

   1 John Force          1.000  35.80  Q    3 Jim Epler           3.000  31.80
   (D Worsham   ) 0.508  5.103 298.80  E1   (R Capps     ) 0.513  5.053 295.21
   (T Pedregon  ) 0.510  5.014 303.64  E2   (D Skuza     ) 0.497  5.084 296.44
 *****WINNER***** 0.485  4.996 307.72  E3                  0.542  8.075 105.05
4:28 PM This is it, the winner gets $100,000 and a chance at a $50,000 double-up bonus if he can win again tomorrow. Force is 17-3 against Epler, which either means it's a slam-dunk for Force or that Epler is way overdue - take your pick. Looks like it was the first choice. Force was ready for this one, leaving with a big starting line advantage and then driving away from a tire-smoking Epler. But he fails to improve his U.S. Nationals qualifying position and will have to settle for being seeded number two, behind Tommy Johnson Jr. Oh well, he's got $100,000 to salve the wound.

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