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Sat, 16 Mar 2013, 18:32 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Michael L. Jex

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals:

    1 Frank Manzo                             7 Kris Hool                    
E1   ****WINNER****  0.078  5.528 264.34                     0.102  5.665 261.17
 Qualified:            #12  5.679 263.05                        #5  5.560 262.54
6:14 p.m. The last time Frank Manzo qualified #12 at a national event was in 1994 in Columbus. He lost via a redlight to Randy Anderson. He also ran low ET of the event on that red light run btw...

This time there was no redlight, no tire smoke, and no parts breakage. Just a smooth and on-a-string blast down the left lane. Frank Manzo's MOV: 0.1611 seconds (approximately 62 feet).

  155 Duane Beers                             5 John Lombardo Jr.            
E1                   0.076  6.116 174.57     ****WINNER****  0.108  5.504 263.62
 Qualified:            #16  8.640 102.98                        #1  5.498 265.17
This is the first time Beers and Lombardo Jr. have faced each other in eliminations. Beers had smoke coming out all eight pipes at the same time from about 1000-foot on, never a good sign. Lombardo has got a very fast, and very consistent racecar this weekend.

    8 Chris Foster                           19 John Headley                 
E1                   0.100  7.526 128.15     ****WINNER****  0.149  5.959 230.33
 Qualified:             #2  5.502 262.64                       #15  7.150 174.21
On paper Headley is a huge underdog for this round of racing - but drag races are not run on paper. Foster was all over the lane, got right near the centerline stripe trying to pedal and catch Headley, then the motor went silent in Foster's Mustang. Our first upset of the day in TAFC is a big one, the number two qualifier is done for the weekend.

Headley's run was just eight thousandths of a second from a new career best ET for the Pennsylvania driver btw...

   11 Todd Veney                             33 Ray Drew                     
E1   ****WINNER****  0.078  5.649 255.73                     0.095  5.655 261.02
 Qualified:            #11  5.634 254.66                        #6  5.567 261.83
After a mini staging duel complete with a couple of throttle blips, Drew and Veney treat the crowd to a great drag race - Todd Veney's incremental margins: 60ft(0.016), 330 ft(0.030), 660ft(0.041), 1,000ft(0.037). MOV: 0.0236 seconds (approximately 9 feet).

    3 Mickey Ferro                          377 Paul Noakes                  
E1                   0.040 11.137  87.59     ****WINNER****  0.024  5.688 259.76
 Qualified:            #10  5.628 259.56                        #7  5.588 263.51
Ferro smoked the tires right at the hit. He pedaled once, but Noakes was long gone. He'll face Headley in round two, and Headley will have lane choice.

   16 Dan Pomponio                          302 John Bojec                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.040  5.630 257.87                     0.088  5.593 256.06
 Qualified:             #9  5.613 259.21                        #8  5.611 246.80
Just two thousandths of a second separated these two in qualifying - Bojec won the qualifying battles, but Pomponio won the eliminations war, and he did it on a holeshot. Dan Pomponio's MOV: 0.0112 seconds (approximately 4 feet).

Dan will race number one qualifier Lombardo in the next round, and Lombardo will have lane choice.

  500 Dale Brand                             35 Cassie Simonton              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.067  5.585 260.06                     0.094  5.679 256.75
 Qualified:             #4  5.522 259.81                       #13  5.811 255.39
Good side-by-side drag racing - at the stripe it's Brand by more than two car lengths. His team will have all evening to decide their strategy to take out Frank Manzo in the next round, and Manzo will have lane choice.

 2063 Mark Rogers                            37 Andy Bohl                    
E1                  -0.053  5.886 237.55     ****WINNER****  0.120  5.565 261.12
 Qualified:            #14  6.406 236.42                        #3  5.503 263.26
The last two cars of the day end racing with a redlight. Bohl will face Veney, and Bohl will also have lane choice tomorrow. That's it for Day three here in Gainesville - tomorrow it's all eliminations, and new champions for the 2013 NHRA Gatornationals. Goodnight from Gainesville! 6:40 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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