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Fri, 26 Oct 2001, 07:22 PM

LAS VEGAS 2 - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Darryl Jackman

LAS VEGAS - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the Inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:

Left Lane: David Benjamin Runs 10.200/91.08, Now #2
Right Lane: Louis Sweet Runs 8.346/96.40, Now #1

3:32 PM Johnny Gray fans will be disappointed to know that due to a personal emergency he has withdrawn from the event and returned to his home in Carlsbad New Mexico. The Toys for Tots, Matco Tool Funny Car, will make no runs this weekend. Uniformed Marines are still on site to collect toys for the weekend promotion.

In this pair Benjamin launched hard but the car turned right on him just after the tree. He gathered it up but the run was wasted. Sweet got about a hundred feet further and clicked it off.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.390/278.86, Now #2
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 5.240/226.39, Now #1

Haddock tells me he supports this car by working as a front end and brake mechanic. He really needs some support. Burkart makes an easy pass and shuts off a bit early. Haddock got a full pass but the header flames showed his ride was more than a bit fat.

Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 9.234/93.35, Now #5
Right Lane: Bob Bode Runs 9.191/90.24, Now #4

Creasy made his first show of the season last week at Dallas and hopes it will carry over to this week. This time it's the tire smoke ballet as both cars are up in smoke at the same instant. This was about two hundred feet off the line.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 7.915/112.36, Now #4
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.156/297.09, Now #1

Wilkerson was up in smoke around the three thirty marker and clicks it off. Lawson puts out a couple of holes about half track but runs the car all the way to the finish.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 9.360/81.80, Now #9
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 6.341/139.26, Now #4

Toliver has tried to wall off the rest of the season and start over in the last few races. Up until now its worked with some pretty good outings in the last few weeks. Here he WWF car gets to about 400 feet and falls silent. Hofmann got a bit further and smoked the tires in the Mooneyes racer.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.873/136.66, Now #5
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 8.028/105.27, Now #7

We have yet to get a car all the way to the finish under power in this session. This pair lost traction before half track and both drivers clicked it.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 6.563/139.60, Now #6
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 4.859/313.66, Now #1

Finally we get a full pull. TJ makes the run of the round to this point and has the top spot by three tenths of a second. Skuza hazed the tires hard about 400 feet and he clicked it.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 9.166/100.40, Now #11
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 11.025/76.73, Now #16

TJ's pass may stay the best of the session. That was the first pass on a brand new car for that team. In this pair, again, it was tire smoke. Lots of it as well.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 8.194/99.12, Now #11
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.849/320.13, Now #1

Pedregon moves the top of the field and just misses the track record at both ends. The ET record is held by Sarver and the 4.822 ET record is in Forces hands. Sarver falls to the dreaded tire smoke demon.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.891/308.85, Now #3
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.659/182.08, Now #7

Well, there's no in between runs in the session. Either really good or really bad. Capps was really good and goes into the three spot in the order. Worsham just misses as the tires start hazing hard about half track. Worsham is running another new body this weekend. This one features Autolite Pro Tech Alternators.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.868/315.49, Now #4
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.826/322.42, Now #1

Force sets a new mph track record here at 'The Strip'. He just misses the ET record by .004 seconds. Bazemore made a great run in the other lane but again he's in Force's shadow. That could change in the next session as Lee Beard has that heap running just as hard as the Force heap. Boy, the last part of this season has been a fun thing to watch. I can hardly wait to see where we go next.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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