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Sun, 10 Nov 2002, 06:21 PM

Funny Car Round 3 Eliminations
By Dave Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 3 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 38th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

   6 Tim Wilkerson       4.873 310.55  Q   15 Tommy Johnson Jr.   9.078   NS
   (F Pedregon  ) 0.513  4.949 307.30  E1   (D Skuza     ) 0.467  4.949 314.53
   (J Gray      ) 0.513  4.943 310.70  E2   (C Pedregon  ) 0.524  4.948 314.39
                  0.555  4.921 308.64  E3 *****WINNER***** 0.467  4.983 312.50

3:07 PM The weather for this round hasn't changed much from the start of Top Fuel this morning with a temperature of 66 degrees, 62% humidity, and 30.05 inches and falling on the barometer.

It sounded like a "double pump" on the throttle off the line, but it's more likely the difference in their reaction times. Johnson was away first and streaks to a upset win.

T Joh Margin 60ft(0.005), 330ft(0.003), 660ft(0.014), 1,000ft(0.019). MOV: 0.0267 seconds (approximately 12 feet).

   1 John Force          4.762 324.05  Q   13 Tony Pedregon       7.328 285.59
   (S Cannon    ) 0.453  4.862 315.93  E1   (B Sarver    ) 0.446  4.917 314.90
   (C Lee       ) 0.458  4.944 303.98  E2   (R Capps     ) 0.494  4.974 287.11
 *****WINNER***** 0.447  4.954 315.12  E3                  0.471  4.935 310.84

This may be it for the 2002 Championship. If Force can win, it's over. If Pedregon win's, he has to also win the race. The word from the pits on Tony Pedregon's last pass was the old Bad News, Good News. The Bad News: The engine went BANG. The Good News: The blower belt finally stayed on (and he won!).

And it is over.... Force and Tony both deep stage and John is right there with a better reaction time. They are back and forth down the track with Force mathematically behind at 660 feet and 1000 feet, but comes back to take a five foot win. Classic drag race!!!

Force will have lane choice over T.J. in the finals.

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