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Mon, 11 Feb 2019, 13:38 PM

Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By David Gerard

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

    1 J.R. Todd                              77 Bob Tasca III                
E1                   0.063  9.384  84.66     ****WINNER****  0.052  3.959 319.75
 Qualified:             #9  3.940 319.98                        #8  3.939 318.92
10:03 a.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 53 degrees, relative humidity 50 percent, barometer 29.04 inches, adjusted altitude 1,053 feet, track temperature 62 degrees.

It's a cool and clear Monday morning and the track is fast! J.R. Todd won here in Top Fuel in 2007. He already has been to 176 first round matchups with a 56% win record. This is the 198th start in Funny Car for Bob Tasca. He comes into today's eliminations with a 47% round one win record. He is running the new 2019 Mustang Funny Car body.

Todd is 5 - 1 against Tasca III in prior events.

2018 World Champ, Todd, will have to start his 2019 challenge at Phoenix, as the tires are smoking hard at the green.

Tasca is away first and runs close to his best times of the weekend with a little better speed.

Bob Tasca III's incremental times: 60ft-0.902 sec., 330ft-2.276, 660ft-3.202/277.37 mph.

   73 Frank Pedregon                         71 Cruz Pedregon                
E1                   0.067  6.688 109.80     ****WINNER****  0.068  4.292 215.86
 Qualified:            #10  4.012 310.05                        #7  3.930 328.14
Cruz Pedregon has won this race in TAD (1989), TAFC (1990) and FC (1995). This is his 528th first round appearance and he comes here with a 57% win record. This is the first national event for Frank Pedregon since the NHRA Finals in 2006. Frank is 3 -1 against Cruz in round one matchups. He already has 216 round one matchups with a 42% win record. The Pedregon's father, Frank Sr., qualified for the Top Fuel field at the Winternationals in 1966.

They leave together with just 0.001 separating them. Cruz pulled steadily ahead, as Frank's Camry started to shake the tires hard. He tries to pedal, but can't recover.

Cruz looked to be on a good pass, but the engine goes silent down track and he coasts on down.

  703 Jim Campbell                          333 Shawn Langdon                
E1                   0.170 13.400  49.20     ****WINNER****  0.063  3.930 328.30
 Qualified:            #11  4.024 315.78                        #6  3.927 325.77
Shawn Langdon won here in top Fuel in 2013 & 2015. This is his 478th first round appearance. He has a 56% percent win record. This is the 56th start for Jim Campbell. His car owner, Jim Dunn, won his first trophy at the Winternationals when he won the AA/A class in 1963 (10.82 - 147.05). Jim Dunn's first Winternationals in Top Fuel was in 1966.

Campbell and Langdon have each won 1 times against the other in prior events.

Campbell sits in the lights briefly and then has big tire shake and spin.

Langdon runs strong to the finish line with his best speed of the weekend.

Shawn Langdon's incremental times: 60ft-0.879 sec., 330ft-2.259, 660ft-3.186/279.56 mph.

  156 Phil Burkart                            7 Jack Beckman                 
E1                         No Time           ****WINNER****  0.082  4.102 237.96
 Qualified:            #15  5.200 149.23                        #2  3.900 330.23
Track temp is now 72 degrees!

Jack Beckman starts the day with 399 round wins overall between Top Fuel and Funny Car and 395 in the Funny Car class and that is the 8th most among all Funny Car drivers. Phil Burkart was runner-up here in 2005. Burkart is a no show and was making his 169th first round start with a 44% win record.

Beckman has to drive the Charger hard as the backend moves around a bunch. The tires come loose down track and he has to lift early.

He will have lane choice over Pedregon next round.

    5 Tim Wilkerson                           3 Tommy Johnson Jr.            
E1                   0.097  5.822 121.03     ****WINNER****  0.076  4.193 288.33
 Qualified:            #14  4.120 251.95                        #3  3.904 327.03
This is Wilkerson's 20th season with Levi, Ray and Shoup as your primary sponsor. He already has 455 first round appearances with a 51% win record.

Johnson Jr. is 23 - 6 against Wilkerson in prior events.

Both cars have to pump a short ways out, and Johnson gets his Charger to recover and finish the run under power.

Langdon will have lane choice in round two.

  121 Terry Haddock                           2 Robert Hight                 
E1                   0.140  4.877 164.87     ****WINNER****  0.090  4.076 246.57
 Qualified:            #16  6.926  89.59                        #1  3.871 329.67
Robert Hight won here in 2006, 2008 & 2011. He is 50 - 10 in the first round when starting from the #1 spot. In the last 28 years the #1 qualifier in FC is 25-3 in round 1. Terry Haddock is making his 93rd start.

Hight is 2 - 0 against Haddock in prior events.

Hight gets a big lead at the green and was pulling away until the he drove the tires loose and had to lift.

Haddock is spinning the tires early and still makes his best pass of the weekend.

Tasca will have lane choice later this morning.

  782 Gary Densham                           28 Ron Capps                    
E1                   0.152 12.020  83.20     ****WINNER****  0.079  3.933 323.04
 Qualified:            #12  4.072 310.48                        #5  3.915 304.87
Ron Capps' 39 round wins at the Winternationals are the 2nd most in the Funny Car class. He has 3 wins at this race along with 4 runner-up finishes. This is Gary Densham's 38th Winternationals' appearance. His first was in 1974. This is his 398th round one appearance with a 35% win record.

Capps is 23 - 11 against Densham in prior events.

Densham instantly smoked the tires hard and he was done,.

Capps had a big lead initially and drove hard to the finish line. Right in the lights, the Charger make a big move towards the wall and just stayed off of it.

Ron Capps' incremental times: 60ft-0.868 sec., 330ft-2.244, 660ft-3.178/276.29 mph.

    9 John Force                           2814 Matt Hagan                   
E1   ****WINNER****  0.082  3.890 333.74                     0.075  4.140 243.33
 Qualified:            #13  4.101 330.23                        #4  3.909 326.79
Matt Hagan has won here in three of the last four years (2015, 2017 & 2018). The only FC driver to win it in three consecutive years was Don Prudhomme who won it four years in a row from 1975 thru 1978. This is John Force's 42nd Winternationals. His first was in 1977 and his 59 round wins at the Winternationals are the most for any driver in any pro class. This is the 1,900th round of racing for John which is, by far, the most among all pro drivers. The 2nd most is Warren Johnson with 1,381.

Force is 22 - 17 against Hagan in prior events.

We finally get a race in the final pair and it's a great one. Hagan gets a small lead off the starting line and holds off Force until after the 330 lights. The engine is unhappy at that point and he slows.

Force drives right on by at that point and pulls steadily ahead to run low ET of the round and top speed of the event in the "bad" left lane. He will have lane choice over Capps later.

John Force's incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.025), 330 ft(-0.011), 660ft(0.049). MOV: 0.2431 seconds (approximately 87 feet).

John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.886 sec., 330ft-2.239, 660ft-3.155/283.61 mph.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.868 sec., 330ft-2.235, 660ft-3.211/247.34 mph.

10:32 a.m.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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