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Fri, 15 Sep 2000, 05:20 PM

READING - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By David Rowe

MOHNTON, Pa. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the 16th annual Keystone Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 5.627/191.87, Now #1
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 9.441/100.41, Now #2

4:14 PM Haddock comes off the line, pulls the wheels way up and has to abort the run.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 13.786/77.80, Now #4
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 5.167/245.49, Now #1

Johnson makes a decent pass but the engine starts eating parts near the end of the track.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.612/204.63, Now #3
Right Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 5.437/194.49, Now #2

Creasy starts out on a good pass but blows the engine in a ball of flame about 1000 feet out. The burst panel flies off and the Safety Safari rolls out to clean up the track.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.164/286.25, Now #1
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.446/192.22, Now #4

Gilbertson was on a great pass, over a tenth quicker at half-track than Densham, but then he loses a blower belt. This could have easily been a 4-second run.

Left Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 4.934/303.23, Now #1
Right Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.063/263.10, Now #2

Pedregon makes a great pass and gets in the top spot for now. Sarver was staying with him until about the 1000 foot mark where his engine started putting out smoke.

Left Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.323/194.80, Now #5
Right Lane: Dean Skuza No Time, Now #12

Skuza does a burnout, has problems and drives on through the finish line. Hofmann loses power about 1000 feet out and pulls the chutes early.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 5.109/278.86, Now #4
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.000/304.19, Now #2

A good drag race here. Both cars keep it in the groove and make good passes.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 8.190/97.91, Now #13
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 4.990/259.06, Now #2

Bazemore breaks the tires loose about 300 feet out and has to shut it down. Epler makes a good pass but deposit some oil on the track near the end of the track.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.032/278.35, Now #4
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.065/269.89, Now #6

Both cars were on a good pass until about the 1000 foot mark. Pedregon's engine starts smoking and the car slows. Capps car puts a cylinder out and he shuts it off a little early. Oil starts coming out of the engine he leaves some on the track. A small fire starts but is quickly extinguished by the fire bottles.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 4.976/289.57, Now #2
Right Lane: John Force Runs 5.003/281.60, Now #5

5:10 PM and were back after another cleanup. Neither driver wanted to stage first and they sit for a few seconds before Toliver finally rolls in first. Both cars keep the candles lit all the way through the lights and make good runs. We finish this round with Frank Pedregon on the pole and Burkart on the bump with a 5.627.

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