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Mon, 02 Sep 2013, 12:34 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By David Gerard

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals:

   28 Ron Capps                             771 Alexis DeJoria               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.062  4.062 315.05                     0.089  4.036 312.35
 Qualified:             #5  4.049 315.27                       #12  4.081 309.77
12:02 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 74 degrees, relative humidity 76 percent, barometer 28.97 inches, adjusted altitude 2,987 feet, track temperature 86 degrees.

Ron Capps has 499 round wins coming into the race. Not only has ne never won Indy he has never been to a final round. He is also just 6-11 in first round races here..Alexis is making her second Indy start in the fuel class. She has only one once in their three prior encounters.

Capps gets away first and he needs to, as DeJoria is catching him fast. He just takes the win with a very close margin.

Ron Capps' incremental margins: 60ft(0.018), 330 ft(0.012), 660ft(0.004). MOV: 0.0011 seconds (approximately 6 inches).

Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.914 sec., 330ft-2.322, 660ft-3.285/267.96 mph.
Alexis DeJoria's incremental times: 60ft-0.905 sec., 330ft-2.307, 660ft-3.262/269.73 mph.

    6 Johnny Gray                            72 Tony Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.071  4.060 313.66                     0.057  4.190 275.96
 Qualified:             #2  4.012 312.13                       #15  4.091 306.26
Johnny Gray was runner-up here in 2003. In his eleven races here this is his best starting position..Tony Pedregon is competing in his 20th U.S. Nationals. This is the 14th time Tony has been the #16 qualifier and he has won his opening round just twice from that spot. He was a twelve to two win advantage too.

Pedregon gets a small head start, but Gray is out in front before 60 feet and pulls steadily ahead for a decisive win. Lots of smoke from Pedregon's engine in the lights.

Johnny Gray's incremental times: 60ft-0.914 sec., 330ft-2.323, 660ft-3.282/268.33 mph.
Tony Pedregon's incremental times: 60ft-0.943 sec., 330ft-2.372, 660ft-3.357/258.86 mph.

   10 Jeff Arend                           2814 Matt Hagan                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.112  4.144 307.86                     0.053  4.248 307.79
 Qualified:            #16  4.138 306.12                        #1  4.007 319.22
This is Matt Hagan's second #1 spot at Indy. He was also the top qualifier in 2010 when he went to the semi-finals..Jeff Arend qualified #16 here in 2011 and upset Cruz Pedregon in the first round. He was also #1 here in 2007 and lost in round one so he knows that anything can happen. He has a fourteen to six win advantage over Arend.

Just like in Top Fuel, the number one qualifier goes out in round one.

Hagan has a strong head start at the green and was pulling ahead, when the tires started to chatter. he does a quick pedal slap, but Arend drives on by right after the 330 lights and pulls ahead for the upset win.

Jeff Arend's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.096), 330 ft(-0.006), 660ft(0.039). MOV: 0.0459 seconds (approximately 21 feet).

Jeff Arend's incremental times: 60ft-0.941 sec., 330ft-2.358, 660ft-3.347/259.81 mph.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.904 sec., 330ft-2.411, 660ft-3.445/253.09 mph.

  750 Del Worsham                             5 Courtney Force               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.128  4.054 317.57                     0.085  5.138 167.78
 Qualified:             #3  4.045 313.15                       #14  4.088 316.30
The #14 spot equals Courtney Force's lowest starting spot of her career..Del Worsham is looking to make the Countdown and needs to win at least two rounds today. Del won Indy in 2005 and has a three to one win advantage over Force.

Like in the last pair, Force gets a big head start and then has the tires smoking hard before the 330 lights. She tries to pedal a couple of times to no avail. Worsham flies on by and runs a big speed in the win.

Del Worsham's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.048), 330 ft(0.029), 660ft(0.483). MOV: 1.0415 seconds (more than 100 feet).

Del Worsham's incremental times: 60ft-0.924 sec., 330ft-2.331, 660ft-3.285/271.08 mph.
Courtney Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.919 sec., 330ft-2.403, 660ft-3.811/172.34 mph.

    8 Tim Wilkerson                          77 Bob Tasca III                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.090  4.028 315.86                     0.058  4.505 199.23
 Qualified:            #13  4.086 312.50                        #4  4.046 313.88
The Tasca - Wilkerson match is the key one in the opening round. Tasca is in ninth place and has a slight lead (less than one round) over Robert Hight. Tasca has been to three final round here, two in his alky car and one in his Funny Car..Tim won here in 2003. However, Wilkerson has a fifteen to nine win advantage.

Tasca is away first, but a charging Wilkerson is quickly out and front and powers on down the track for the quickest pass of eliminations. Tasca's Mustang was drifting towards the center line and suddenly make a huge move near the finish line. He gets the car back straight in time.

Tim Wilkerson's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.007), 330 ft(0.030), 660ft(0.115). MOV: 0.4457 seconds (more than 100 feet).

Tim Wilkerson's incremental times: 60ft-0.906 sec., 330ft-2.301, 660ft-3.253/269.46 mph.
Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.931 sec., 330ft-2.363, 660ft-3.400/226.77 mph.

This win lock Wilkerson into the Countdown and he will have lane choice over Capps next round.

    9 John Force                            116 Paul Lee                     
E1   ****WINNER**** -0.039  4.062 319.14                    -0.055 10.107  81.84
 Qualified:             #6  4.052 313.58                       #11  4.072 297.61
John Force is making his 34th U.S. Nationals appearance and is 44-25 overall at this event. His first start was in 1980 and he has won here four times..Paul Lee is here for the 5th time in the Funny Car class and this is his best starting position. Force has a four to two win advantage to date.

Lee double steps the throttle and goes red. Force jumps at the same time, but just after Lee.

Clean and straight for Force, but he gives up lane choice to Worsham in the next round.

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.343, 660ft-3.296/271.52 mph.

    7 Robert Hight                            4 Cruz Pedregon                
E1   ****WINNER****  0.069  4.054 315.27                     0.092  5.650 120.83
 Qualified:             #7  4.056 310.91                       #10  4.068 309.06
Robert Hight has won here twice (2006 & 2008) and is clinging to that final spot in the Countdown..Robert is 15-6 overall here but only 5-3 in round one matches...Cruz Pedregon has three wins here but none since 1995. Robert beat Cruz in round one here last year and has a career win advantage of 15 to 11.

Height really needs some points and he pushes the tree to ensure a win. Pedregon was right after him and gaining until the tires are smoking right after the 330 lights. That gives Height the win and locks him into the Countdown and lane choice over Gray in round two.

Robert Hight's incremental times: 60ft-0.905 sec., 330ft-2.310, 660ft-3.278/267.53 mph.

 3111 Chad Head                               1 Jack Beckman                 
E1                   0.119  4.129 308.78     ****WINNER****  0.104  4.019 316.45
 Qualified:             #9  4.064 308.35                        #8  4.062 310.20
Jack Beckman is coming off that wild final round win yesterday in the Shootout. Jack is 13-2 overall against members of the head family. In the last 12 years at Indy the number 8 & 9 qualifiers are evenly split, six wins each in round one. He defeated Head in their only prior encounter.

Beckman is looking to double up today, after winning the Traxxas Shootout yesterday. He blew up the body big time in the final round, but it didn't hurt the tune up, as he powers on down the track to run the quickest pass of the session and take the win. That gives him lane choice over Arend later.

Head made a great looking pass, but slowed from his qualifying times.

Chad Head's incremental times: 60ft-0.918 sec., 330ft-2.355, 660ft-3.341/263.10 mph.
Jack Beckman's incremental times: 60ft-0.890 sec., 330ft-2.291, 660ft-3.249/270.43 mph.

12:27 p.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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