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Sat, 9 Sep 2000, 03:02 PM

ENGLISHTOWN - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By David Rowe

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 31st Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions:

  16 Ron Capps           7.236 264.96  Q    1 Jim Epler           4.947 278.06
 *****WINNER***** 0.503  5.020 304.12  E1                  0.574  8.338 105.10
2:23 PM It's 84 degrees and the humidity is at 40 as we start this round of Funny Car eliminations. Epler ran better in time trials yesterday......but that didn't count. Epler goes up in smoke about 200 feet out giving Capps the win.

   3 Dean Skuza          4.992 301.20  Q   14 Todd Paton          6.370 290.69
                  0.508  8.077 108.22  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.607  5.764 174.93
Paton ran a 5.018 yesterday during time trials, Skuza had a best of 5.942. Skuza was in the right lane but switched when he saw Epler go up in smoke. The move doesn't pay off....he breaks the tires loose at about the 330 foot mark and hands the win to Paton.

   2 Jerry Toliver       4.974 298.47  Q   15 Dale Creasy Jr.     6.924 256.80
 *****WINNER***** 0.562  5.268 257.28  E1                  0.513  5.526 238.22
Toliver has been struggling lately but ran well yesterday. Creasy didn't participate in the time trials here. Creasy comes off the line, loses traction, pedals and makes a decent run. Toliver was on a good pass until the 1000 foot mark where he hazes the tires and loses speed.

   4 Whit Bazemore       5.045 295.27  Q   13 Cristen Powell      6.227 162.37
                  0.495  5.555 242.50  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.542  5.088 282.13
If you can go by the times from yesterday, Bazemore has a big advantage here. He ran a 4.847 and the best Powell could do was a 5.477.....but as I said earlier, yesterday didn't mean anything. Bazemore had a big lead, but then breaks the tires loose a little past half-track. He pedals three or four times but can't hold off Cristen.

   5 Cruz Pedregon       5.053 295.27  Q   12 Terry Haddock       6.018 206.92
 *****WINNER***** 0.541  5.018 297.22  E1                  0.556  5.805 200.86
Pedregon chose not to make a pass yesterday, but it didn't seem to hurt. He makes a clean pass to take out Haddock and ran well enough to get lane choice over Powell in round two.

   6 Del Worsham         5.098 274.83  Q   11 Al Hofmann          5.278 284.39
 *****WINNER***** 0.510  5.012 296.63  E1                  0.526  7.251 112.69
Hoffman was staying with Worsham until half-track. The tires broke loose and the car starting heading toward the wall, forcing him to abort the run. Worsham will get lane choice over Paton in round two.

   7 John Force          5.107 299.80  Q   10 Gary Densham        5.238 291.13
 *****WINNER***** 0.496  5.191 282.84  E1                  0.507  8.206 103.36
The winner of this race will run Toliver in the next round....and it's Force. Densham loses traction around half-track and has to lift off the throttle. Force runs just good enough to get lane choice over Toliver in round two.

   8 Scotty Cannon       5.133 294.18  Q    9 Frank Pedregon      5.193 294.82
 *****WINNER***** 0.558  5.331 233.16  E1                  0.574  8.156 101.16
Pedregon gets about 300 feet out and starts smoking the tires. He pedals once, pulls the wheels when he gets back on the throttle and gives up on the run. Cannon makes a clean pass but gives lane choice to Epler in round two.

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