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Sun, 15 Oct 2006, 03:47 PM

Funny Car Round 3 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

DINWIDDIE, Va. - Results of round 3 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals:

    3 John Force                             10 Cruz Pedregon
E3                   0.069  5.680 167.22     ****WINNER****  0.077  4.870 304.39
 Prior rounds:
E2    (M Ashley    ) 0.074  4.834 302.28      (R Hight     ) 0.103  5.016 278.58
E1    (G Densham   ) 0.104  4.828 303.43      (T Johnson Jr) 0.080  4.841 301.67
 Qualified:             #3  4.765 315.78                       #10  4.833 307.16
3:26 p.m. Force came into this round looking to imcrease his lead over Ron Capps (46 points and counting), Pedregon came in looking for a chance to advance to the final round. Force's car started eating parts and nosed over at half track, with flames visible under the car. Force got the car stopped, still with flames around the headers, and rolled off the car. He then started rolling around on the ground, grabbing his legs. The safety crew cut the legs of his driving suit and Force eventually stood up and walked away, still hobbling a bit. We'll let you know what the problem was when we find out, but he appears to be okay, smiling and talking to the TV announcers.

Meanwhile, Pedregon got the win light.

Finally Force was interviewed on the PA system - despite the latest in fire suits, Force's legs got very hot by the time he got the car stopped and he was in pain, but the burns appear to be superficial and won't require medical treatment other than ice packs to reduce the pain. But he will need a new driving suit.

    4 Eric Medlen                           319 Scott Kalitta
E3   ****WINNER****  0.095  4.796 303.09                     0.100  4.856 297.29
 Prior rounds:
E2    (J Beckman   ) 0.093  4.795 301.13      (J Head      ) 0.114  4.808 293.86
E1    (T Wilkerson ) 0.042  4.831 286.68      (R Capps     ) 0.097  4.808 301.67
 Qualified:             #1  4.728 311.49                        #4  4.770 310.77
3:40 p.m. Medlen led this one all the way to win by a car length, once agin dipping into the seventies. He will have lane choice against Cruz Pedregon in the final round - and Kalitta's team goes on to Vegas knowing they have a competitive race car.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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