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Sun, 30 Sep 2012, 13:04 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Dave Rowe

MADISON, Ill. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Inaugural AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals:

    7 Bob Tasca III                          72 Tony Pedregon                
E1                   0.069 10.515  77.92     ****WINNER****  0.058  4.111 308.14
 Qualified:             #5  4.077 309.63                       #12  4.136 301.20
11:28 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 72 degrees, relative humidity 50 percent, barometer 29.49 inches, adjusted altitude 1,934 feet, track temperature 87 degrees.

Tasca III is 11 - 3 against Pedregon in prior events. Neither of these drivers are in the top ten.

This one is over quickly. Tasca hits the throttle, goes up in smoke and gives up on the run. Pedregon goes right down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend.

  746 Courtney Force                          5 Mike Neff                    
E1                   0.096 No Time           ****WINNER****  0.102  4.397 239.65
 Qualified:             #4  4.073 309.70                       #13  4.152 305.84
Neff is 1 - 0 against Force in prior events.

Neff is third in the points chase, Force is in fifth.

This was a wild one. Force strikes the tires at the hit and starts to pedal. She gets about 300 feet out, makes a hard turn to the left and strikes the wall. Neff was on a good pass, then loses traction late in the run and crosses the centerline just past the finish line.

Pedregon will have lane choice over Neff in the next round.

    2 Jack Beckman                          771 Alexis DeJoria               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  4.127 306.12                     0.105  4.233 294.37
 Qualified:             #1  4.049 308.85                       #16  4.187 291.13
Beckman is 5 - 1 against DeJoria in prior events.

Beckman is in second place in the points right now, 90 points behind the leader Capps and needs to start making up ground if he is to have a chance to take the lead. DeJoria isn't in the top ten.

Beckman gets off the line first, starts to pull away and never trailed. DeJoria made a clean, straight pass but was losing ground all the way through the run.

    9 John Force                            302 Dale Creasy Jr.              
E1                   0.096  6.921 103.19     ****WINNER****  0.100  4.606 189.34
 Qualified:             #2  4.060 308.35                       #15  4.183 289.07
Force is 12 - 3 against Creasy Jr. in prior events.

Force is ninth in the points and is almost ten rounds behind the leader Capps.

Force and Creasy leave the line together then Force starts to pull away. Force gets about 100 feet out, loses traction and has to back off the throttle. Creasy loses some cylinders on the left side late in the run, the car is pushed toward the centerline, but Creasy is able to avoid crossing it by a slim margin and hangs on for the upset. This is the fourth time Creasy has beat Force in the first round.

Dale Creasy Jr.'s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.028), 330 ft(0.288), 660ft(1.242). MOV: 2.3114 seconds (more than 100 feet).

    1 Matt Hagan                            388 Jim Head                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.053  4.086 304.32                    -0.045  4.199 277.77
 Qualified:             #3  4.061 305.42                       #14  4.182 293.86
Hagan is 3 - 1 against Head in prior events.

Neither Hagan nor Head are in the top ten in points.

Head leaves a little too soon, gets about 700 feet out and starts mixing up cylinders. Hagan is able to keep the slicks stuck in the left lane and goes right down the groove with the quickest pass of the round so far to take the win.

   28 Ron Capps                              31 Johnny Gray                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.086  4.072 309.20                     0.064  4.162 307.09
 Qualified:             #6  4.083 309.34                       #11  4.126 305.15
Capps is 12 - 6 against Gray in prior events.

Capps is the current points leader. Gray is almost ten rounds behind in the eighth spot and really needs this win to get back in the battle.

Gray does all he can do. He gets off the line first but Capps quickly powers by and pulls away to take the win with the quickest pass of the round so far.

Ron Capps' incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(0.019), 330 ft(0.049), 660ft(0.063). MOV: 0.0687 seconds (approximately 31 feet).

Capps will have lane choice over Hagan in the next round.

    4 Robert Hight                           10 Tim Wilkerson                
E1                   0.081  4.272 258.96     ****WINNER****  0.100  4.125 305.63
 Qualified:             #7  4.090 312.06                       #10  4.115 293.03
Hight is 12 - 10 against Wilkerson in prior events.

Hight is sixth in the points, Wilkerson is in seventh.

Hight gets out of the gate first and starts to pull away. Wilkerson starts to make up ground at the 330 foot mark, then Hight starts hazing the tires and moving around. Wilkerson goes around Hight at the 660 foot mark and pulls away for the win.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.034), 330 ft(-0.019), 660ft(0.013). MOV: 0.1281 seconds (approximately 49 feet).

Wilkerson will have lane choice over Creasy in the next round.

    8 Jeff Arend                              3 Cruz Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.077  4.142 309.13                     0.077  4.657 204.73
 Qualified:             #8  4.095 312.93                        #9  4.100 305.29
Pedregon is 10 - 7 against Arend in prior events.

Pedregon is fourth in the points and really needs this win if he wants to stay in contention for the championship. Arend is in tenth.

They come off the line together, then Pedregon starts pulling away for the early lead. Pedregon loses traction, the car starts moving around and he has to pedal. Arend was hazing the tires a little but was able to drive around Pedregon before they reach half track and pulls away for the win.

Jeff Arend's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.034), 330 ft(0.073), 660ft(0.232). MOV: 0.5152 seconds (more than 100 feet).

Arend will give up lane choice to Beckman in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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