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Sat, 20 Sep 2008, 07:02 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe

ENNIS, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 23rd annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals:

   63 Clint Thompson                       7384 Sean O'Bannon                
E1                   0.223  5.616 255.97     ****WINNER****  0.064  5.684 254.81
 Qualified:             #8  5.640 253.33                        #9  5.655 256.65
5:24 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 91 degrees, relative humidity 38 percent, barometer 29.45 inches, adjusted altitude 3,378 feet, track temperature 121 degrees.

This is only the second time in O'Bannon's career he has qualified in the bottom half of the field.

o'Bannon gets a huge hole-shot on Thompson then goes right down the groove and takes the win.

 7735 Steve Gasparrelli                     365 Bobby Martin                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.036  5.662 255.68                     0.048  5.737 216.76
 Qualified:            #10  5.672 255.92                        #7  5.632 257.24
Gasparrelli has been good at this race, winning here in '03 and '05.

Martin gives up a little off the line but drives around Gasparrelli at the sixty foot mark. He extends his lead through half-track, then blows the engine just before they reach the 1000 foot mark. Gasparrelli drives around Martin just past that point then pulls away for the win.

Steve Gasparrelli's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.003), 330 ft(-0.006), 660ft(-0.013), 1,000ft(-0.009). MOV: 0.0877 seconds (approximately 28 feet).

   45 Steve Burck                            34 Andy Bohl                    
E1                   0.101  5.655 254.14     ****WINNER****  0.037  5.678 254.28
 Qualified:             #6  5.631 253.66                       #11  5.678 254.47
Burck is coming off back-to-back career best runs. He was the runner up at the Houston divisional race. Bohr has a win and a runner-up at the divisional level this year.

another hole-shot win, Burck is late off the line and can't run down Bohl.

   47 Burl Brown                           2777 Nick Bastiao                 
E1                   0.080  5.758 237.30     ****WINNER****  0.027  5.629 256.84
 Qualified:            #15  5.709 245.45                        #2  5.606 257.48
This is Bastiao's sixth start and the two spot is also his best start.

Brown has been racing a long time. his first win came at a divisional race in Houston in the Super Comp class in 1982.

Bastiao gets the hole-shot and extends his lead at every incremental to take the win, the first from the top of the ladder so far this round.

    7 Brian Hough                            42 Jimmy Jones                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.054  5.719 249.49                           No Time      
 Qualified:             #5  5.628 255.39                       #12  5.686 255.39
Hough is facing his 56th different driver. This is the fifth time he has qualified fifth in his career.

This is Jones first week in this race car. His first run Friday was the first he has made in that car.

jone stages, brings up the engine, then rolls out of the beams.

   74 Dennis Taylor                           8 Von Smith                    
E1                   0.103  7.276 119.46     ****WINNER****  0.067  5.638 254.52
 Qualified:            #13  5.696 253.47                        #4  5.612 256.06
taylor gets about 500 feet out and the car noses over, not sure why. Smith drifts to the right all the way through the run but holds it off the line and takes the win.

    2 Jay Payne                             551 Vern Moats                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.127  5.629 256.16                     0.122 No Time      
 Qualified:             #3  5.612 258.17                       #14  5.709 252.99
Payne is 6-3 in career match-ups against Moats. He has a career 412-235 round win record.

Moats starts drifting to the left right off the line, then crosses the center-line and takes out both half-track cones.

    5 Steve Harker                          502 John Foster                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.151  5.568 257.92                     0.073  5.730 252.00
 Qualified:             #1  5.586 258.02                       #16  5.720 251.91
Harker has been in eight final rounds on the national and divisional level this year and is second in the points chase behind Manzo.

Foster is coming off a career best in qualifying.

Harker is late off the line but makes the quickest pass of the weekend to take the win.

In the next round it will be Harker with lane choice over O'Bannon, Smith vs. Hough, Bastiao vs. Gasparrelli, and Payne vs. Bohl.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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