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Sun, 1 Oct 2006, 11:53 AM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Jim Samuel

MOHNTON, Pa. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals:

  711 Jack Beckman                            3 John Force                   
E1                   0.109  4.783 315.05     ****WINNER****  0.075  4.795 313.44
 Qualified:             #8  4.756 325.45                        #9  4.761 320.43
11:26 a.m. - Weather conditions: air temperature 61 degrees, relative humidity 66 percent, barometer 29.65 inches, adjusted altitude 656 feet, track temperature 84 degrees.

Force has been in the finals here 12 times, winning six and losing six. Beckman is the 117th different driver he's faced in eliminations.

Force got the win here but it took him a holeshot to do it. Both drivers took their cars straight down the groove. Beckman was quicker on the track but not quick enough to overcome Force's advantage at the light. John Force's incremental margins: 60ft(0.019), 330 ft(0.046), 660ft(0.043), 1,000ft(0.029). MOV: 0.0222 seconds (approximately 10 feet).

    7 Tony Pedregon                          10 Cruz Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.051  4.781 323.89                    -0.061  4.903 262.59
 Qualified:             #6  4.723 313.07                       #11  4.792 308.99
Tony Pedregon won here in 2002 and 2005, Cruz won at Maple Grove in 1992 and was runner up in 1994 and 2003. Tony has 17 wins and nine losses against Cruz.

Cruz was early at the tree so Tony got the win and will move on to the next round.

    1 Gary Scelzi                           782 Gary Densham                 
E1                   0.085 No Time           ****WINNER****  0.115  9.682  99.99
 Qualified:             #4  4.709 328.62                       #13  4.829 321.50
Scelzi won here in 1998 and 2001 in Top Fuel. He was runner up in Funny Car in 2003. This is the 26th time that Densham has started from the number 13 spot in the qualifying order. Scelzi has six wins and five losses against Densham.

This was an odd one. Scelzi launched as soon as he he did, his car broke and was not able to make it all the way down the track. But that was all he needed to get the win because Densham shook the tires hard when he launched, then went sideways. Densham's car slid across the centerline and knocked out the 330-foot cone before he got it straightened out. Scelzi's car came to a stop at mid track and had to be towed off the track.

  503 Tommy Johnson Jr.                     388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.097  4.787 318.39                     0.125  4.767 320.36
 Qualified:             #1  4.693 327.27                       #16  4.854 308.00
Johnson won here in 1999. This is the sixth time he's started from the number one spot. Head qualified for his first race here in 1985 and was runner up in 2003.

Head had his career best ET on this pass but lost the race on a holeshot by Johnson. Both cars went straight down the groove with Johnson getting to the finish line first. Johnson will face Force in the second round and will have lane choice.

  180 Mike Ashley                             8 Del Worsham                  
E1                   0.090  5.671 187.57     ****WINNER****  0.113  4.834 309.56
 Qualified:             #2  4.694 330.96                       #15  4.843 321.19
Ashley started from the number two position, his best Funny car start ever. Worsham had a clean run down the groove to take the win from Ashley, who smoked and shook the rear tires for the first 200 feet.

    4 Eric Medlen                           319 Scott Kalitta                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.078  4.792 323.04                     0.073  7.552 112.62
 Qualified:             #3  4.705 325.69                       #14  4.840 320.97
Kalitta was in the Top Fuel finals here in 1994 and 1995.

This time, he shook the tires hard for the first 330 feet and had to shut down early. Medlen got the win and will meet Tony Pedregon in the next round, with Pedregon having lane choice.

   28 Ron Capps                             156 Phil Burkart                 
E1                   0.071  4.909 258.27     ****WINNER****  0.055  4.783 322.81
 Qualified:             #5  4.717 317.42                       #12  4.794 321.88
Capps has seven wins and four losses against Burkart. he was runner-up here in 1999 and 2000.

Burkart took out the points leader with his quickest run of the weekend. Both cars went right down the groove but Capps' car started losing cylinders at about 1,000 feet. Burkart will have lane choice over Scelzi in the next round.

    5 Robert Hight                          347 Tim Wilkerson                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.110  4.748 319.22                     0.147  4.874 319.90
 Qualified:             #7  4.739 325.69                       #10  4.777 319.98
This is Wilkerson's 182nd start. He won here in 2003.

Hight had this one from start to finish. Both runs looked clean but Hight got out of the gates first and was quicker on the track. He'll have lane choice over Worsham in the second round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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