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Sun, 17 Sep 2000, 01:12 PM

READING - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By David Rowe

MOHNTON, Pa. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 16th annual Keystone Nationals:

   3 Dean Skuza          4.898 306.67  Q   14 Scott Weis          5.067 291.38
                  0.509  5.047 250.23  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.409  5.037 286.25
12:01 PM This is the first time these two have faced off in eliminations this year. Weis makes a good guess on the lights and gets a tenth of a second advantage off the line. Skuza gets way out of shape on the top end and almost hits the wall. Margin of victory = 0.110 seconds (approximately 40 feet).

   2 Frank Pedregon      4.879 308.71  Q   15 Gary Densham        5.144 240.59
 *****WINNER***** 0.511  5.151 264.49  E1                  0.512  5.210 227.69
They come off the line evenly but then Densham's car loses a cylinder and he slows. Pedregon veers towards the wall on the left side but holds on for the win .

   1 John Force          4.836 306.33  Q   16 Tommy Johnson Jr.   5.167 245.49
                  0.527  5.133 271.57  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.499  5.036 289.69
These two have met twice this year, Force winning both of them. This loss is only the third time Force has lost in the first round after qualifying number one since 1990 and the second time this year.

   4 Del Worsham         4.925 303.30  Q   13 Bob Gilbertson      5.053 265.17
                  0.494  5.211 235.43  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.514  5.090 285.11
Worsham is 1-0 against Gilbertson this year. Worsham's engine gave up on him around the 1000 foot mark and leaves a trail of oil through the shutdown area.

   5 Scotty Cannon       4.954 299.20  Q   12 Al Hofmann          5.050 283.07
 *****WINNER***** 0.575  5.044 246.71  E1                  0.515  6.035 154.33
12:21 PM Cannon has the same problem as those who have gone before him in the left lane. He hits the bump around the 1000 foot mark and veers towards the wall,pedals it and gets it back towards the center of the lane. Hoffman was on a decent pass but the engine shuts down a little past half-track.

   6 Jerry Toliver       4.958 287.35  Q   11 Tony Pedregon       5.021 268.71
                  0.545  6.039 171.01  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.494  5.010 291.70
Pedregon is 4-2 against Toliver this year. He gets a holeshot and is on a pretty good pass until the engine starts mixing up cylinders about 1000 feet out. Toliver comes off the line and goes up in smoke. He pedals it a couple of times trying to save it but crosses the centerline, taking out the 1000 foot cone and speed cone in the process.

   7 Jim Epler           4.973 283.25  Q   10 Ron Capps           5.002 282.36
                  0.541  6.870 116.42  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.504  5.715 230.45
Capps and Epler have met six times this year, Capps leading the series 4-2. Capps comes off the line, breaks the tires loose, pedals and gets back on it. As the car goes through the lights, the engine lets go and blows the panel off the car. Epler was on a good pass until about half-track. The clutch explodes and the car erupts into a ball of flame. He finally comes to a stop and climbs out of the burning car. The Safety Safari rushes over to put out the flames but the car looks like it's a total loss. This is the fifth time today we have had to shut down for track cleanup in the first round of qualifying.

   9 Bruce Sarver        5.001 281.66  Q    8 Cristen Powell      4.977 296.57
 *****WINNER***** 0.512  5.051 287.35  E1                  0.541  5.026 277.26
1:00 PM We finally get a good clean run on this one. Sarver gets a slight advantage off the line and holds off Powell for the win by a margin of victory of 20 inches. In round two it will be Johnson vs. Sarver, Cannon vs. Gilbertson, Pedregon vs. Capps and Pedregon vs Weis.

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