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Sun, 10 Nov 2002, 04:25 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Gerard





POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 38th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   2 Tate Branch         5.663 252.90  Q   13 Bret Williamson     6.474 150.65
 *****WINNER***** 0.440  5.673 252.05  E1                  0.541  5.973 246.30

12:53 PM We only had 14 TAFC's attempt to qualify on Thursday.

Williamson had problems in qualifying and can run significantly better than his position would indicate. Brach isn't impressed and takes the race at the starting line. He runs close to his qualifying numbers and it never headed.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   4 Vern Moats          5.753 250.23  Q   11 Bernie Harrington   5.948 243.72
                  0.531  9.312 104.66  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.442  5.815 245.32

Looks like the fast cars are favoring the left lane. Moats has big problems off the line with a bunch of tire shake and he has to pedal. then gets out of it completely. Harrington is on his game and picks up a tenth on his qualifying time to take the win.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   1 Bucky Austin        5.621 254.09  Q   14 Marc White          9.679  89.19
 *****WINNER***** 0.502  5.630 256.36  E1                  0.490  5.709 249.58

White gets Austin off the line and leads him until after the 330 foot mark. It all over after then and Austin runs a big MPH to take the win.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   5 Doug Gordon         5.774 240.59  Q   10 Jay Payne           5.910 223.43
 *****WINNER***** 0.465  5.754 249.03  E1                  0.502  5.782 247.16

Payne is late and Gordon is quick! After a bunch of tire chatter off the line, there is lots of smoke from Payne's engine in the lights.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   3 Steve Gasparrelli   5.717 251.30  Q   12 Jason Rupert        6.081 241.93
 *****WINNER***** 0.468  5.702 251.02  E1                  0.472  5.791 245.94

They leave the line together and Rupert stays ahead until after the 330 foot lights. Gasparrelli horsepower takes over and he run pass him for the win.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   6 John Weaver         5.834 244.96  Q    9 Mert Littlefield    5.907 242.98
                  0.484  6.669 145.25  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.502  6.186 171.01

Both cars have a blower bang and coast contest with Littlefield taking the win. Weaver was away first, but Littlefield quickly passed him and had a significant lead. Weaver had the first bang just before mid-track with Littlefield having the same fate shortly after.

Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed-Rd-Qua-Driver(Opp'nt)-RT-----ET---Speed
   7 Mike Andreotti      5.855 223.76  Q    8 Dennis Taylor       5.887 243.41
 *****WINNER***** 0.445  5.771 247.84  E1                  0.479  5.832 245.49

We are down for a few minutes to do a little dusting and cleaning in the right lane. The last pair for this round had the closest qualifying times. Andreotti did his home work during the last two days and picks up a bunch. He has a snaky run to take the win. Taylor improves too, but can't match Andreotti times.

Next Round parings: Austin gets the Bye; Gordon over Harrington; Branch over Andreotti; and Gasparrelli over Littlefield.





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