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Sun, 28 Sep 2003, 01:15 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Jonathan Adams

JOLIET, Ill. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Third annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals:

  156 Phil Burkart                           21 Scotty Cannon
E1   ****WINNER****  0.125  4.817 320.05                     0.125  9.103  85.52
 Qualified:             #8  4.802 318.02                        #9  4.810 325.22
This is Burkart's 20th career start, but just his sixth in the top half of the field. For Cannon, it's his 101st career start. These two have never raced each other until now.

Identical lights, and then Cannon has to lift as the car had the wheels up and was moving around. Burkart with another great run.

    3 Del Worsham                           347 Tim Wilkerson
E1   ****WINNER****  0.080  4.786 320.66                     0.070  4.862 305.56
 Qualified:             #5  4.776 323.50                       #12  4.845 299.20
Worsham is the defending event champ, and is 3-2 against Wilkerson. Wilkerson, of course, won Indy.

Worsham joins his teammate Burkart in round two with a nice run. Wilkerson was right there the whole way down.

    5 Whit Bazemore                          13 Cory Lee
E1                   0.092  5.172 235.97     ****WINNER****  0.093  4.960 304.12
 Qualified:             #1  4.725 324.05                       #16  4.893 285.17
So the Bazemore team chooses to run in front of Tony Pedregon. Bazemore is 5-0 against Lee. This is the 24th time that Bazemore has qualified number one.

What an upset! Down goes the points leader, and Team CSK goes 3-0 in round one. Bazemore was way out in front at half track, but he started hazing the tires and Lee drove around him. Lee will face his teammate Burkart in round two, Burkart with lane choice.

Cory Lee's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.004), 330 ft(-0.067), 660ft(-0.081), 1,000ft(0.045). MOV: 0.2113 seconds (approximately 73 feet).

    1 John Force                           3460 John Lawson
E1   ****WINNER****  0.070  4.883 305.42                     0.101 No Time
 Qualified:             #2  4.725 323.81                       #15  4.892 309.34
This will be the sixth time these two have raced. Lawson has one win against Force, and it was at this track in June. This is Lawson's 18th career start. By the way, 17 of Force's 108 wins have come from the number two spot.

Force gets the win, but everyone was watching Lawson. The car shook, he pedaled it, and when he got back in it, the car went airborne and when it came back down he crossed into Force's lane and took out the 1/8 mile mph cone.

   20 Gary Scelzi                            71 Cruz Pedregon
E1   ****WINNER****  0.083  4.768 328.70                     0.081  4.800 321.73
 Qualified:             #4  4.750 320.74                       #13  4.852 316.08
The winner here will be the only non-Team CSK car on the top half of the ladder in the next round. This is Scelzi's 350th round of competition in the fuel classes. Cruz has qualified 13th six times now, and has just one round win from that spot.

Great race here, as Scelzi runs the fastest mph in Funny Car history. Cruz with a career best pass, but it's not enough. Scelzi will have lane choice over Worsham in round two.

Gary Scelzi's MOV: 0.0303 seconds (approximately 14 feet).

    2 Tony Pedregon                         340 Bob Bode
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  4.845 312.28                     0.099  9.406  87.89
 Qualified:             #6  4.787 320.66                       #11  4.825 310.05
First race against each other for these two. Pedregon can take back the points lead with a win here. This is Bode's 18th career start, and 5th of 2003.

Say hello to your new Funny Car points leader. Bode smoked the tires about 300 feet out, and Pedregon was long gone.

  503 Tommy Johnson Jr.                      28 Ron Capps
E1                   0.042  7.903 106.35     ****WINNER****  0.057  4.875 322.04
 Qualified:             #7  4.796 320.66                       #10  4.816 319.60
Capps is 5-4 against TJ, and has 200 round wins in his professional career. The winner here gets Force in the next round.

TJ up in smoke pretty early, and Capps will have lane choice against Force.

    4 Gary Densham                          206 Bob Gilbertson
E1   ****WINNER****  0.133  4.723 324.90                     0.067  4.910 303.09
 Qualified:             #3  4.728 299.13                       #14  4.880 317.05
Densham is 8-2 against Gilbertson. This Gilbertson's 81st career start, 76 of which have been in the bottom half of the field.

Gilbertson with the big holeshot, but check out Densham's e.t. That's the second quickest run ever. That sets up a very interesting race between Densham and Tony Pedregon, Densham with lane choice.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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