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Fri, 12 Sep 2003, 11:21 PM

Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #1
By Jim Samuel

MOHNTON, Pa. - Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and position in order following run:
Right Lane: Cory Lee Runs 5.078/308.71, Now #1

10:15 PM - The first session of Funny Car qualifying started after a five and a half hour delay because of a slow, steady rain. At the start of this session, the air temperature was 63 degrees, humidity was 69 percent and the barometric pressure was 30.20 inches and steady.

This was Cory Lee's first appearance in this car. Lee had some trouble getting the rear tires to grip the track but he pedaled it a bit and stayed with this run to make sure he got on the board.

Left Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 4.902/309.34, Now #1
Right Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.790/169.98, Now #3

This was Burkart's first race in the car that was vacated on Monday by Johnny Gray. Burkart had a good run with just a little bit of skating out of the groove at mid track. Haddock had a good run going and was just about even with Burkart but he shut it down before 1,000 feet.

Left Lane: Jack Wyatt Runs 5.673/180.50, Now #4
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 4.942/304.94, Now #2

Wyatt got close to the center line and lifted just past the 880 foot marker. Creasy drifted close to the wall but did not have to lift.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 7.149/136.25, Now #6
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 11.423/88.92, Now #7

Gilbertson was running the gold "Jungle Jim" tribute body. He shook the tires and backed off the throttle at 330 feet. He pedaled once, tried to get back into the run but got back off the throttle and coasted the rest of the way down the track. Cannon launched, shook the tires hard and shut it down by the time he got 100 feet down the track. As soon as this pair finished the run, it began to rain lightly again.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 4.945/295.79, Now #4
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 4.903/300.53, Now #2

Qualifying resumed after a 20-minute rain delay. The temperature is still at 63 degrees but the humidity has risen to 72 percent.

This was a pair of pretty good runs, with both drivers going right down the middle of the lane. Pedregon's car had a small fire in the shutdown area, so we're in another delay for cleanup.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.828/311.56, Now #2
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.819/313.73, Now #1

This was a great pair of runs. Both cars ran strong from start to finish and when it was over, they were in the top two positions in the order for now. Wilkerson had a 0.873 second 60-foot time and Pedregon was just behind him with a 0.887 second time. Pedregon was quicker in the second half of the track and ended up with the quickest ET so far this evening.

Left Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 9.642/90.70, Now #12
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 7.317/116.97, Now #11

Both drivers shook the tires at the 330 foot mark. Scelzi baked off the throttle and coasted down the track. Johnson, knowing this could be the only qualifying session of the weekend, pedaled and tried to get back into this run to make the field.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 11.329/63.42, Now #14
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.218/293.28, Now #8

Capps shook the tires so hard at 100 feet that his chute popped out. Worsham shook the tries at about the same spot but drove right through it to finish the run.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 4.848/316.75, Now #4
Right Lane: John Force Runs 4.826/318.99, Now #2

This was another nice looking pair of runs, with both cars running strong from start to finish.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 7.126/114.10, Now #14
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.803/316.67, Now #1

Bazemore had a good looking run going until he got to mid track, when he shook the tires and had to shut down. Pedregon ran right down the middle of the lane with the quickest ET of the night to take over the number one spot in the order. The first qualifying session ended with three drivers not in the field -- Scelzi, Capps and Cannon -- and a bump time of 7.317 seconds.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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