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Sun, 28 Oct 2001, 03:58 PM

LAS VEGAS 2 - Top Fuel Round 2 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

LAS VEGAS - Results of round 2 eliminations in Top Fuel at the Inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals:

   6 Doug Kalitta        4.594 317.87  Q    3 Gary Scelzi         4.549 319.67
   (R Hartman-Sm) 0.529  4.728 311.85  E1   (G Clapshaw  ) 0.556  4.599 315.64
 *****WINNER***** 0.493  4.674 307.86  E2                  0.470  5.451 188.49
12:38 PM Kalitta was 2-1 against Scelzi so far this year and held lane choice here because of Scelzi's first-round oildown. Scelzi left first and led to 330 feet, then started losing traction. he pedaled, lost it again, pedaled again, and by then Kalitta was long gone on a clean pass.

  12 Clay Millican       4.667 318.02  Q    4 Darrell Russell     4.576 322.11
   (M Dunn      ) 0.512  4.699 313.29  E1   (S Weis      ) 0.489  5.457 265.01
                  0.515  7.277 108.23  E2 *****WINNER***** 0.507  5.899 254.33
This is the first race between Millican and Russell this season, Millican in just his second NHRA race of the season. Millican looked like a sure winner when Russell went up in smoke about 200 feet out, but then Millican's car lost power, possibly a blower belt or burst panel because all eight pipes suddenly spewed raw fuel. Russell was able to pedal his way past the powerless Millican for the win. The Safety Safari made a few laps in the left lane to clean up something and from the top end we got a video shot of a missing body panel on Russell's car, the chassis flex from his pedaling popping the fasteners loose.

   2 Kenny Bernstein     4.543 326.08  Q   10 Tony Schumacher     4.653 320.74
   (D Herbert   ) 0.482  4.555 324.67  E1   (A Cowin     ) 0.477  4.659 322.27
 *****WINNER***** 0.506  4.567 321.12  E2                  0.475  4.986 235.80
Bernstein needed to keep running laps to stay ahead of Dixon. Bernstein was 3-1 against Schumacher so far this year, so his chances looked pretty good. Schumacher may have deep-staged because his reaction time was great, but his 60-foot time was only 0.931 while Bernstein's was 0.872. The race went according to form, Bernstein making up the starting line before going 60 feet and then extending his lead, Schumacher's car nosing over on the top end. Bernstein has lane choice against Kalitta in the semifinals.

   1 Larry Dixon         4.509 323.19  Q    9 Don Lampus          4.643 316.75
   (B Kalivoda  ) 0.477  4.536 323.97  E1   (J Hartley   ) 0.465  4.709 316.30
                  0.481  5.039 265.74  E2 *****WINNER***** 0.513  4.677 315.71
Dixon needed to win here just to stay 14 points behind Bernstein. This is the first meeting between Dixon and Lampus this year, Lampus in eliminations for just the second time this year. But he became a player in the championship race by making a solid run while Dixon was smoking the tires before the 330-foot marker. That extends Bernstein's lead to 34 points and he is in a position to take a commanding lead if he can win this event. "IF" is the operative word, of course. Lampus has lane choice against Russell in the semifinals.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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