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Mon, 4 Sep 2000, 02:56 PM

INDY - Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 46th annual U.S. Nationals:

   8 Kenny Bernstein     4.697 314.46  Q    1 Doug Kalitta        4.622 310.84
   (G Scelzi    ) 0.479  4.711 309.91  E1   (S Muldowney )       No Time
 *****WINNER***** 0.475  4.651 305.42  E2                  0.485  4.774 297.61
1:38 PM Kalitta's crew had to some extra work between rounds, the wheel from Muldowney's car flattening his right front tire and putting a dent in the nose of his car, damaging the front wing. They will have more work to do after this round, the engine on Kalitta's letting go on the top half of the run. The flames from the left rear of the engine were blown back on the left rear tire and apparently they baked the tire until it exploded, in the shutdown area. It was spectacular, the car on three tires and a wheel, leaving a bright trail of sparks as it slowed to a stop. But Kalitta was uninjured and the cleanup was quick. Meanwhile, Bernstein also used up a "bullet" with a flash of flame from the right side of his engine as he crossed the finish line. But he clocked his best ET of the weekend and goes to the semifinals

  15 Gary Clapshaw       4.779 307.44  Q    7 Joe Amato           4.689 312.57
   (C McClenatha) 0.544  4.706 310.41  E1   (T Gibson    ) 0.499  4.788 303.37
 *****WINNER***** 0.495  4.733 272.12  E2                  0.511  4.741 311.99
The Spirit of Las Vegas is on a hot streak, taking out two of the top cars on the tour and going to the semifinals. But he needed gambler's luck to win this one, far enough ahead at 1,000 feet to coast home the winner when his engine went away, the header flames out well before the finish line.

   3 Bob Vandergriff     4.658 305.22  Q    6 Melanie Troxel      4.689 313.37
   (B Litton    ) 0.532  4.701 310.41  E1   (D Lampus    ) 0.517  4.735 267.59
                  0.520  4.693 309.34  E2 *****WINNER***** 0.502  4.659 320.13
The winner here faces Clapshaw in the semifinals - and there will be a new face in the final round, Troxel with an excellent lap, leaving first and outrunning the fleet Vandergriff on the other end to win by a margin of victory = 0.052 seconds (approximately 24 feet).

   4 Tony Schumacher     4.662 314.75  Q    5 Larry Dixon         4.668 309.20
   (D Herbert   ) 0.511  4.673 309.27  E1   (R Hartman-Sm) 0.495  4.852 273.27
 *****WINNER***** 0.502  4.607 316.45  E2                  0.482  4.683 311.92
Troxel's teammate, Schumacher, leads the points coming into this match with #3 in the points, Dixon. It was a good drag race, but Schumacher appears destined to win this race, making his seventh good run in a row and the quickest of the event - his worst run this weekend was a 4.747. He has lane choice against Bernstein in the semifinals.

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