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Sun, 29 Oct 2006, 03:11 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe

LAS VEGAS - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Sixth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals:

  503 Tommy Johnson Jr.                     156 Phil Burkart                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.083  4.813 323.66                     0.067  4.837 318.62
 Qualified:             #7  4.739 323.97                       #10  4.750 326.00
11:27 a.m. This is Johnson's 246th career start. He holds a 4-2 edge in match-ups with Burkart. Burkart won the first race here in '04.

Burkart gets off the line first and starts to pull away. He starts mixing up cylinders just before half-track, then Johnson starts to reel him in. They are even at the 1000 foot mark, then Johnson is able to power by and take the win.

Tommy Johnson Jr.'s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.015), 330 ft(-0.028), 660ft(-0.015), 1,000ft(0.000). MOV: 0.0082 seconds (approximately 4 feet).

  319 Scott Kalitta                          28 Ron Capps                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.088  4.810 316.30                     0.059  4.866 317.87
 Qualified:             #6  4.726 325.69                       #11  4.761 325.30
Capps struggled a little in qualifying and really needs this one to stay in the points chase. He holds a 5-4 advantage in match-ups with Kalitta. Capps won here in '01 and '05.

Capps does his job on the line, leaving first, but Kalitta starts to reel him in immediately. Capps hangs on to the lead through the 330-foot mark, then Kalitta drives around and pulls away for the upset win.

    3 John Force                            388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.047  4.832 322.81                     0.044  7.165 118.18
 Qualified:             #2  4.711 329.34                       #15  4.816 325.30
Force is 962-342 in his career. He won this race in '02. These two raced each other in the first round in Indy, Head winning that race. Capps just lost and Force could really help his championship aspirations with a win here.

They leave the line together, then Force starts to pull away. Head gets about 300 feet out, then loses traction and goes up in smoke. Force picks up another 20 points but will give up lane choice to Johnson in the next round.

    5 Robert Hight                          427 Tony Bartone                 
E1                         No Time           ****WINNER****  0.173  5.406 198.82
 Qualified:             #1  4.677 333.08                       #16  4.848 315.71
This is Hight's 15th career start from the number one position, his ninth this year. He holds a 4-2 edge over Bartone in career match-ups.

This is Bartone's 10th start from the 16th position. His only round win this year came against Hight in the spring race here in Vegas. Kenji Okazaki is an honorary crew member on the Dunn owned team for this race.

Hight complets his burnout, then for some reason pulls off to the side and climbs out of his car. We have been told that the blower pulley broke.

Bartone was on a decent run, then he has problems about 900 feet out and the car noses over.

Bartone must have had a leak early in the run, the Safety Safari performs a short cleanup from the starting line to about 60 feet out.

Bartone is charged with an oil down and will lose 15 points and incur a fine of $5500.

    4 Eric Medlen                           206 Bob Gilbertson               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.101  4.763 321.27                     0.076 12.779  91.59
 Qualified:             #3  4.712 320.81                       #14  4.809 321.04
Medlen has qualified for 68 straight races. This is Gilbertson's 131st career start, his 20th from the 14th position.

Gilbertson gets about 200 feet out and goes up in smoke. Medlen goes right down the groove and pulls away for the win. Medlen will have lane choice over Kalitta in round two.

  711 Jack Beckman                          782 Gary Densham                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.088  4.793 324.90                     0.097  7.295 118.28
 Qualified:             #4  4.720 330.39                       #13  4.806 323.04
Beckman is 5-15 as a pro. The fourth position is the best start in his young career. Densham is facing his 66th different driver.

Beckman gets a slight advantage off the line and starts to pull away. Densham gets about 400 feet out, strikes the tires, then aborts the run. Beckman goes right down the groove with the second quickest run of the round so far to take the win.

  180 Mike Ashley                             8 Del Worsham                  
E1                   0.080  5.312 217.95     ****WINNER****  0.092  4.828 320.97
 Qualified:             #5  4.725 331.36                       #12  4.794 301.33
Ashley is 9-20 in his career. This is his first start from the fifth position.

Ashley leaves the line first and starts to pull away. He gets out of the groove a little before half-track, then drifts toward the wall, getting very close about 1200 feet out.

Del Worsham's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.014), 330 ft(-0.027), 660ft(0.024), 1,000ft(0.213). MOV: 0.4729 seconds (more than 100 feet).

    7 Tony Pedregon                           1 Gary Scelzi                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.074  5.143 225.90                     0.102  5.179 319.82
 Qualified:             #8  4.742 303.71                        #9  4.746 320.05
This is Pedregon's 600th round of competition. He has a 372-227 record. He won this race in '03. Scelzi won this race in '04.

Pedregon leaves the line first and starts to pull away. Scelzi strikes the tires about 300 feet out and has to pedal once, then gets the slicks to bite. Pedregon was pulling awy, then the car nosed over about 1000 feet out. Scelzi was making up ground fast but ran out of race-track.

Pedregon will have lane choice over Bartone in round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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