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Sun, 14 Nov 2010, 03:16 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

  507 Melanie Troxel                          1 Robert Hight                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.100  4.260 287.66                     0.093  4.752 176.88
 Qualified:            #14  4.239 289.14                        #3  4.080 312.35
11:35 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 26 percent, barometer 28.94 inches, adjusted altitude 2,464 feet, track temperature 102 degrees.

Hight and Troxel are 1-1 against each other, both prior meetings coming in the first round.

Hight led for about 400 feet, then lost traction violently, the car fishtailing a couple times. Troxel also lost traction, but was very close to the stripe, the supercharger letting go when she pedaled it. Melanie Troxel's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.051), 330 ft(-0.061), 660ft(0.086). MOV: 0.4857 seconds (more than 100 feet).

THat brings a miserable countdown to an end for the 2009 champion, who did not win a round during the 2010 Countdown.

   28 Ron Capps                               7 Del Worsham                  
E1                   0.089  4.208 294.88     ****WINNER****  0.093  4.132 302.14
 Qualified:            #11  4.176 290.32                        #6  4.114 307.93
This is the 44th time Capps and Worsham have faced each other, Capps holding a 31-12 edge in prior events, 12-7 in round one.

This was a good drag race, but Worsham had the quicker car today and won by over a car length. He will have lane choice against Troxel in round two.

    6 Tony Pedregon                          71 Cruz Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.043  4.230 289.63                     0.056  4.221 292.52
 Qualified:            #12  4.179 296.57                        #5  4.100 307.37
This is the 32nd time the two Pedregon brothers have faced each other in eliminations, Tony holding a 26-15 edge, 10-2 in first round matchups. However, Cruz qualified Tony this weekend and has been running well in the second half of this season.

Both drivers had good reaction times, Tony with a hundredth in hand at the tree, and then it was a very close race. Tony Pedregon's incremental margins: 60ft(0.019), 330 ft(0.028), 660ft(0.016). MOV: 0.0046 seconds (approximately 24 inches), winning on a holeshot.

  388 Jim Head                                2 Ashley Force Hood            
E1                   0.100  4.248 282.36     ****WINNER****  0.123  4.113 307.02
 Qualified:            #16  4.352 219.08                        #1  4.076 309.98
Force-Hood is 4-2 against Head in prior races, but this is the first time they have ever met in the first round.

Head had a couple hundredths advantage on the tree, but dropped a cylinder early in the run and Force Hood ran low ET of the round so far for the win.

    8 Bob Tasca III                        2814 Matt Hagan                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.065  4.148 303.57                     0.061 No Time      
 Qualified:            #13  4.190 290.38                        #4  4.094 301.67
Hagan needs to win to prevent John Force from gaining one of the two rounds he needs to pass Hagan for the championship, but Ford driver and Force friend Tasca holds a 3-1 record against Hagan in prior events. Tasca won their only prior round one meeting, at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park last year.

This was a great drag race, the two drivers just four thousandths apart at the green. Hagan led well past the 660-foot marker, but Tasca surged to the lead on the top end when Hagan's engine let go to win one for the Ford team. Bob Tasca III's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.036), 330 ft(-0.034), 660ft(-0.019). MOV: 0.0102 seconds (approximately 4 feet). To add insult to injury, Hagan's engine damage left some oil on the track, so his time and speed (4.162 at 290.44) do not count.

Tasca will have lane choice against Tony Pedregon in round two.

  340 Bob Bode                                5 Jack Beckman                 
E1   ****WINNER****  0.013  4.200 299.46                     0.101  4.146 306.60
 Qualified:            #10  4.153 293.66                        #7  4.119 307.30
This is the fourth time Beckman and Bode have raced each other, Beckman holding a 2-1 edge in prior events, 2-0 in round one.

Bode drilled the tree and had a huge holeshot, then made a clean run to win by a car length. Bob Bode's incremental margins: 60ft(0.086), 330 ft(0.069), 660ft(0.051). MOV: 0.0344 seconds (approximately 15 feet).

  170 Jeff Arend                            116 Paul Lee                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.166  4.292 284.45                           No Time      
 Qualified:             #9  4.153 294.88                        #8  4.143 304.67
Lee and Arend have only faced each other once before, in the opening round at Englishtown this year. Arend won that one.

Arend wins this one too, the easy way, Lee's car silent at the end of the burnout. That was a break for Arend, his car trailed a red-brown cloud of partially-burned nitromethane for much of the run. He faces Force Hood in round 2, Force Hood has lane choice.

  782 Gary Densham                            9 John Force                   
E1                   0.121  5.498 135.96     ****WINNER****  0.092  4.116 307.23
 Qualified:            #15  4.243 293.66                        #2  4.077 305.70
This is the 44th time Force and Densham have faced each other, Force holding a 34-9 mark in prior races, 21-3 in round one meetings. Force needs this round win and one more to win the championship.

Densham lost traction before half track, Force ran second-low ET of the round for the win. He will have lane choice against Bode in round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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