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Sun, 14 Sep 2008, 01:08 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Jason Murray

CONCORD, N.C. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals:

  222 Frank Hawley                            1 Tony Pedregon                
E1                   0.098  5.007 156.19     ****WINNER****  0.034  4.173 301.07
 Qualified:             #1  4.072 307.16                       #16  4.134 299.40
Weather conditions: air temperature 87 degrees, relative humidity 56 percent, barometer 29.27 inches, adjusted altitude 3,541 feet, track temperature 112 degrees.

12:26 p.m. There is slight breeze blowing just across the track from right to left. Hawley is 1 - 0 against Pedregon in prior events. These guys have never raced in first round. Hawley has qualified #1 for the 9th time in his career. Tony comes into this weekend #2 in the points.

Tony got out on Hawley from the get go and never looked back. Hawley was trying to catch Pedregon but got to about 600ft and the engine went away,that spelled the end for his weekend. We get the word that we have oil at the top end and it came from Hawley.

  750 Del Worsham                             3 Gary Scelzi                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.084  4.154 302.41                     0.067  4.637 224.28
 Qualified:             #3  4.074 304.12                       #14  4.123 301.67
Scelzi is 9 - 6 against Worsham in prior events, but Worsham has a 4 - 2 advantage in first round meetings. This is are only pair of Funny Car that doesn't involve a Countdown driver, but that doesn't mean they down want to win. Scelzi leaves the line first but Worsham is able to run him down by the time they get 60ft. Scelzi's car starts hazing the tires and he lifts as Worsham was already out in front.

Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.917 sec., 330ft-2.353, 660ft-3.345/259.01mph.

   10 Ashley Force                          347 Tim Wilkerson                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.072  4.164 304.19                     0.081  4.187 291.82
 Qualified:             #4  4.075 307.02                       #13  4.121 300.60
Wilkerson is 4 - 1 against Force in prior events, this is probably our biggest match-up in first round. Ashley is our Full Throttle Award winner this weekend. Great side-by-side race, Ashley leaves on Wilkerson, but Wilkerson was trucking down the track. Ashley though has more power and she will go to 2nd round, and #1 in points Tim Wilkerson goes down in first round.

    2 Robert Hight                          170 Jeff Arend                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.077  4.142 301.81                     0.071  4.196 305.22
 Qualified:             #2  4.072 300.33                       #15  4.131 304.19
This will be the first time the DHL car has qualified since the passing of Scott Kalitta back in June. Robert Hight and his team decided to idle down the track during their first round match-up, which Scott was to be his opponent, Robert did this in memory of his fallen comrade.

Great run by Hight and he makes a great run right down the center of the lane. Arend was right behind him the whole way making Hight really earn this round win.

   71 Cruz Pedregon                        1777 Bob Tasca III                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.087  4.116 305.70                    -0.027  5.194 151.99
 Qualified:             #5  4.087 303.43                       #12  4.119 299.66
Pedregon is 3 - 0 against Tasca III in prior events. Cruz is looking to add points here at the first race in the Countdown to the Championship. Tasca does leave first but the red light comes on ,that is the second race in a row Tasca goes out with a red light. Cruz though makes the run of the round so far as he makes a huge run to move in to the 2nd round where he will meet Ashley Force, Cruz will have lane choice over Force.

Cruz Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.916 sec., 330ft-2.336, 660ft-3.316/262.54mph.

  388 Jim Head                                5 Jack Beckman                 
E1                   0.085  4.293 291.32     ****WINNER****  0.116  4.110 304.67
 Qualified:             #6  4.089 303.57                       #11  4.118 300.86
Beckman comes into this race having won 7 out of 8 rounds in the past 2 events. Beckman is 2 - 1 against Head in prior events. Head has been very good this season when ever he comes to the race track and he is trying to play spoiler in this round. Head beats Beckman off the line, Beckman though had already caught Head by 60ft, and Beckman drives away from Head. Beckman lays down the quickest run of the round, by .006, and Beckman will have lane choice over Worsham in round 2.

Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.912 sec., 330ft-2.332, 660ft-3.309/262.39mph.

  507 Melanie Troxel                         28 Ron Capps                    
E1                   0.075  4.856 168.49     ****WINNER****  0.069  4.153 301.74
 Qualified:             #7  4.100 304.53                       #10  4.117 299.73
This a repeat of first round in Indy just a couple weeks ago. Troxel beat Capps in their last match-up, Capps really needs the points to add to his total in Countdown. They leave together, the side-by-side as they travel down the track, Troxel starts smoking the tires about 500ft, she sees Capps out in front, and Capps drives away from her. Capps will take on Hight in the next round but Hight will have lane choice.

Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.927 sec., 330ft-2.358, 660ft-3.343/259.76mph.

 7701 Mike Neff                             782 Gary Densham                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.068  4.207 303.71                     0.089  4.219 292.77
 Qualified:             #8  4.104 304.46                        #9  4.108 296.18
Densham and Neff are both in the Countdown to the Championship, they have never raced each other on Sunday. Another great side-by-side race here. Neff was out front from the get go and he never looked back, Densham though has giving it all he had trying to run him down, but couldn't do it. Neff will give up lane choice to Tony Pedregon in the next round. Mike Neff's MOV: 0.0331 seconds (approximately 14 feet).

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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