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Sat, 27 Sep 2003, 06:47 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Jonathan Adams

JOLIET, Ill. - Notes from final, round 2 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Third annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:
Left Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.085/294.95, Now #15; Best prior run: 12.837/54.07, Was #21

5:05 p.m. Jack Wyatt is on the bump at 5.582. Not exactly stellar. Creasy gets in, but he's not safe. It's nail-biting time for the Creasy team.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 8.550/102.77, Now #21; Best prior run: 11.033/79.64, Was #21
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 4.750/320.74, Now #3; Best prior run: 7.173/180.81, Was #20

Haddock is driving Creasy's other Craftsman entry. Last chance for these two.

Scelzi with the best e.t. of his career, and he zooms to the number three spot, bumping Wilkerson and putting Creasy on the bump.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.825/310.05, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.066/177.98, Was #19
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 10.896/80.58, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.290/148.90, Was #20

Another pair on the outside looking in. It takes a 5.085 to get in. We're two cars from an all 4-second field, and four cars from an all 4.80 field.

Stop me if you've heard this one before...Bode with a career best e.t. to get in. Pedregon will be a DNQ.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.845/299.20, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.501/199.29, Was #18
Right Lane: Jack Wyatt Runs 8.449/105.43, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.582/255.00, Was #19

Skuza is on the bump at 5.036. Both drivers are not in. Wyatt up in smoke early. Wilkerson with a nice run to qualify.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 5.677/170.08, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.036/231.71, Was #17
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.816/319.60, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.927/289.69, Was #16

Capps is on the bump now, and Skuza is not in. Before it's all said and done, it will probably take a 4.80-something to make this field.

Skuza was on his way to qualifying until the car went left and he had to lift. Capps goes straight and lands in the top half.

Left Lane: John Lawson Runs 4.892/309.34, Now #15; Best prior run: 4.901/316.08, Was #16
Right Lane: Cory Lee Runs 10.632/79.62, Now #16; Best prior run: 4.893/285.17, Was #15

The quickest field in history is 4.873, so we're three cars away from a record field. Lee clicks it early, and Lawson improves and picks up a spot, putting Lee on the bump.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.725/324.05, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.820/324.20, Was #10
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.911/119.51, Now #14; Best prior run: 4.880/317.05, Was #14

The rest of the cars are in, so the top 16 is set. Bazemore makes the second quickest run in Funny Car history and goes to the top spot. By the way, Bazemore was not using the Animal House body on that pass.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.810/325.22, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.817/321.19, Was #10
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 16.109/57.84, Now #13; Best prior run: 4.852/316.08, Was #13

Cruz was up in smoke at the hit. Season best e.t. for Cannon, and career best mph. That Oakley Firebird is running like a bracket car--two 4.81's today.

Left Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 8.964/90.36, Now #7; Best prior run: 4.796/320.66, Was #7
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.821/321.81, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.802/318.02, Was #8

TJ smokes 'em at 330, and Burkart turns in another fine run. Career best speed, too.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.636/175.02, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.776/323.50, Was #5
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 6.077/151.02, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.787/320.66, Was #6

Unless Pedregon can take the pole from Bazemore, he'll lose at least one point in the championship chase.

They both get out of the groove, and have to lift at about half track.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 4.725/323.81, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.746/326.00, Was #3
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 10.240/79.44, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.728/299.13, Was #2

Last pair on a historic day of nitro qualifying. Can Team Force take back the top spot from Team Schumacher? They've got two chances here.

Force ties Bazemore, but Whit will take the top spot by .24 mph.

5:42 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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