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Sat, 1 Jun 2002, 03:47 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

DINWIDDIE, Va. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series, 2nd annual ACDelco Nationals presented by Chevrolet:

  13 Rob Atchison        6.019 227.61  Q    4 Bunny Burkett       5.961 239.02
                  0.000 No Time        E1 *****WINNER***** 0.702  6.091  23.46

2:16 PM Atchison was a no-show here after leaving before the tree was activated in the earlier time trial today. Burkett, who has a helicopter waiting to fly her to Budd's Creek for her second race in the same day, made a nice run, hoping for lane choice.

  12 Philip Hooper       6.012 230.92  Q    5 Mike Comella        5.965 233.52
                  0.644  6.104 229.04  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.465  6.042 232.55

Good run by Comella, almost as quick as his earlier time trial today. Hooper sat out the time trials and was late here, the outcome never in doubt. Comella faces Burkett in round two and will have lane choice.

  14 Paul Lee            6.035 232.63  Q    3 Mark Thomas         5.923 235.35
                  0.370  9.025 105.50  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.498  5.960 235.80

Lee forced Thomas to stage first, then took a shot at the tree, then shook hard, the car dancing on the big rear slicks. Meanwhile, Thomas went right down the groove on a good-looking run, almost matching his run during the earlier time trial session today.

  15 Ronnie Midyette     6.075 230.88  Q    2 Jimmy Rector        5.889 237.42
                  0.499  6.109 225.15  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.479  5.936 235.56

Midyette did his job, but the 2002 Rector reaper continues to mow down opponents, Rector right on time and quickest of the round so far. The track temperature is around 130 degrees, with some puffy cumulus clouds giving the crew chiefs a bit of a break right now.

  11 Fred Tigges         6.006 234.04  Q    6 John Vouros         5.965 229.70
 *****WINNER***** 0.455  5.915 237.17  E1                  0.603  5.949 231.08

Vouros' car sports a very nice looking new paint job this weekend, but "good looking" doesn't win drag races, Tigges nailing Vouros to the tree and then running away from him with low ET of the round. But the win may have cost him, lots of white smoke in the lights signaling possible engine damage. Tigges faces Thomas next round and will have lane choice.

  10 Terry McMillen      5.991 227.84  Q    7 Laurie Cannister    5.983 235.72
                  0.466  6.108 232.11  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.477  5.932 238.72

McMillen had a small reaction time advantage, but Cannister made that up in the first 60 feet and then ran away from McMillen. Cannister meets Rector in round two and will have lane choice in what promises to be a very good drag race.

   9 Larry Dobbs         5.990 231.48  Q    8 Monty Todd          5.988 233.72
                  0.333  6.143 214.76  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.492  6.460 225.71

Dobbs was way early and he gave it away, Todd shaking hard on the launch, forcing him to backpedal to get out of the gyrations.

   1 Dale Brand          5.828 237.71  Q   16 Bobby Martindale    6.348 186.25
 *****WINNER***** 0.481  5.965 234.74  E1                  0.496 12.007  66.05

Last pair, Martindale, originally the third alternate, coming back to take on the top qualifier. But there was no Cinderella ending here, Martindale shaking hard on the launch while Brand launched smoothly with a soft setup, cleanly down the middle of the groove to advance, earning lane choice against Todd in round two.

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