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Sat, 09 Feb 2019, 20:55 PM

Top Alcohol Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By David Gerard

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Alcohol Funny Car at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by

    9 Brian Hough                                Bye
E1   ****WINNER****  0.077  5.429 267.91     
 Qualified:             #1  5.399 270.37                     Bye
5:19 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 60 degrees, relative humidity 52 percent, barometer 28.86 inches, adjusted altitude 1,776 feet, track temperature 71 degrees.

Hough gets the first round bye for qualifying number one in the eleven car field. Brian Hough won this race in 2014 and he has been runner-up four times. As number one qualifier, he will get the first round bye run.

Straight and clean from start to finish. You could hear the engine actually bog down a little at the green.

Brian Hough's incremental times: 60ft-0.926 sec., 330ft-2.435, 660ft-3.602/212.93 mph, 1,000ft-4.591.

    2 Shane Westerfield                      69 Ray Martin                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.041  5.495 267.85                     0.062  5.700 249.12
 Qualified:             #3  5.441 271.52                       #10  7.051 209.36
Westerfield is 2 - 0 against Martin in prior events. Shane Westerfield has won this race in each of the last 2 years. In the history of the event (going back to 1981 for the alky cars) nobody has ever won the TAFC class in three straight years.

This is Ray Martin's thirty-second round one appearance with a 61% win record.

Westerfield gets away first and pulls steadily ahead to take the decisive win.

Martin makes his first representative pass of the weekend and sounded to have done a pedal slap early.

Shane Westerfield's incremental times: 60ft-0.941 sec., 330ft-2.489, 660ft-3.658/212.63 mph, 1,000ft-4.654.
Ray Martin's incremental times: 60ft-0.952 sec., 330ft-2.571, 660ft-3.797/204.76 mph, 1,000ft-4.824.

    5 Doug Gordon                             4 Chris Marshall               
E1   ****WINNER****  0.050  5.462 267.85                     0.058  6.979 150.95
 Qualified:             #2  5.403 272.34                       #11 28.000   NS  
This is the 21st time that Doug Gordon has qualified for the Winternationals. His first was in 1997. His previous best start here was when he was #2 in 2015. Doug won here in 2003 and was runner-up in 2009, 2010 & 2011.

Chris Marshall is making his twenty-second round one race. He has a 52% win record in round one pairings.

Clean and strong pass for Gordon with a small starting line advantage. Big time 0.922 sixty foot time!

Marshall's Camaro gets loose and makes a move when he tries to pedal.

Doug Gordon's incremental times: 60ft-0.922 sec., 330ft-2.448, 660ft-3.626/211.16 mph, 1,000ft-4.623.

 7735 Steve Gasparrelli                      10 Ulf Leanders                 
E1                   0.096 11.016  85.42     ****WINNER****  0.110  5.584 266.69
 Qualified:             #9  6.735 175.96                        #4  5.476 266.74
Ulf Leanders was runner-up here last year and is making his forty-second round one matchup. He already has a great 68% win record.

Steve Gasparrelli will be in the other lane and has a 65% win record in his prior one hundred and seventy-one round one pairings.

Gasparrelli is running a brand new race car and was awarded Best Appearing Car earlier today.

Both cars get loose early. Gasparrelli's times were stronger early and he had to lift first. Leaders did a quick pedal slap and was able to finish the pass.

He will face Westerfield without lane choice in round two.

    8 Jay Payne                             739 Hannes Wernhart              
E1   ****WINNER****  0.109  5.551 244.43                     0.077 No Time      
 Qualified:             #5  5.480 259.71                        #8  6.177 209.79
This is Jay Payne's 395th race in the alcohol classes (166 TAD, 229 TAFC) which is the most in the alky classes. Jay won his first trophy at the Winternationals in 1974 when he won the SS/DA class in his Camaro. He won the TAFC class here in 2006 & 2007. He is 37 - 28 for his career at this race.

Wernhart is making his seventeenth first round pairing. He has just over a 12% win record.

Werner gets a big head start over Payne, but has the tires shake loose and drive the car right across the track to take out the 330 reflectors. He is hard on the brakes to stay away from Payne and takes out the 660 reflector, driving back into his lane.

Payne had a good pass going until near the lights, where the car moves towards the wall hard. The parachute actually hits and rips off the left lane win light.

Jay Payne's incremental times: 60ft-0.952 sec., 330ft-2.482, 660ft-3.669/209.49 mph, 1,000ft-4.674.

Gordon will have lane choice in round two.

5:34 p.m. Time out to do some track repairs

 7238 Bret Williamson                       729 Nick Januik                  
E1   ****WINNER****  0.074  5.704 244.78                     0.081  7.261 132.56
 Qualified:             #6  5.746 254.86                        #7  5.843 262.18
This is the 33rd time that Brett Williamson has competed in TAFC at the Winternationals and that is the most for any driver on either of the alky classes. His first race here was in 1983.

This is Nick Januik's sixty-seventh race in round one. He already has a 52% win record.

The two middle of the pack qualifiers come to the line to wrap up today's activities.

Two not so straight passes in both lanes.Williamson gets a small starting line advantage and snakes around the track to the finish line. Looks like he may have nipped some pistons, as there is a lot of smoke from the engine in the lights.

Januik was much stronger early, but was way loose right around the 330 lights. He tries to pump the pedal to no avail.

Bret Williamson's incremental times: 60ft-0.962 sec., 330ft-2.514, 660ft-3.738/202.21 mph, 1,000ft-4.791.

5:45 p.m. Hough will have lane choice in the next round.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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