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Sat, 30 Sep 2000, 03:10 PM

TOPEKA - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #3
By Bob Orme

Little improvement

TOPEKA, Kan. - Notes from round 3 qualifying in Funny Car at the 12th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:

Left Lane: Norman Wilding No Time, Now #24; Best prior run: 12.338/71.28, Was #24
Right Lane: Vicky Fanning Runs 11.631/45.35, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.790/264.03, Was #20

1:16 PM We begin round three of Funny Car qualifying with a pair of cars that are not yet in the show. ...and they still aren't. Wilding popped the burst panel on the hit and only moved about five feet. Fanning hazed the tires at two hundred feet and clicked it off.

Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 4.983/297.94, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.761/113.35, Was #23

Epler has a trouble-free pass, putting the WWF Stone Cold Camaro solidly into the field.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 11.638/72.57, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.233/276.35, Was #18
Right Lane: Cory Lee Runs 5.233/294.11, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.376/162.25, Was #23

Creasy shook the tires hard and aborted the run at 200'. Lee smoked the tires at 300', pedaled it once and hooked it up again, but still isn't quick enough to make the field.

Left Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 14.955/75.07, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.076/288.27, Was #15
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 11.364/80.29, Now #23; Best prior run: 5.891/158.69, Was #23

Hofmann was up in smoke immediately. Because of his smoke, I couldn't see what happened to Skuza, but he was off the throttle very early.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.043/288.83, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.057/289.57, Was #14
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 6.939/124.02, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.229/277.66, Was #17

Johnson lost traction at the 330' mark, and pedaled it a couple times without much success.

Left Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 4.985/286.98, Now #9; Best prior run: 5.035/278.52, Was #11
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 5.101/293.22, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.093/301.60, Was #16

Burkart shook on the launch but was able to drive through it. Powell's car was moving around quite a bit on the top half of the track, but she still managed to move up a couple positions.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.007/289.01, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.973/289.38, Was #7
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.096/276.41, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.056/299.00, Was #14

Neither driver is able to improve on this pass, with Gilbertson experiencing an engine explosion at the finish line, flames shooting out from under the body. The on-board fire control system extinguished the fire quickly, avoiding damage to the body of the car.

Left Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.218/276.92, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.267/259.41, Was #20
Right Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.060/294.63, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.987/301.47, Was #10

Lawson was to the left of the groove for most of this pass, and he is still on the outside looking in. Bazemore didn't have any apparent problems on this run.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.028/290.76, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.042/288.52, Was #12
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 12.647/81.04, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.958/292.96, Was #5

Wilkerson was up in smoke at 60', stayed on the throttle for another two hundred feet, then he shut it off.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.025/280.37, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.018/297.48, Was #11
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.115/278.23, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.905/300.73, Was #3

Capps was all over his lane on the top half of the track. Toliver had orange flames shooting from the right bank of header pipes as he crossed the finish line.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 5.019/289.14, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.973/293.35, Was #6
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.006/251.16, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.903/301.20, Was #2

Pedregon pitched the blower belt at about 1000', slowing him down in the traps.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.011/296.24, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.927/303.64, Was #4
Right Lane: John Force Runs 5.011/288.33, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.903/307.23, Was #1

Force and Pedregon close out the round glued together all the way down the track. Force retains the pole position while Phil Burkart is on the bump with a 5.093 elapsed time. 2:00 PM

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