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Sat, 22 Sep 2001, 09:01 PM

MEMPHIS - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Dave Rowe

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Notes from final, round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the 14th annual AutoZone NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:

Left Lane: John Lawson Runs 5.784/175.09, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.071/290.13, Was #17

3:30 PM Lawson gets out of the groove and breaks the tires loose. He tries to save the run but finally shuts down about half-track.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.019/296.31, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.066/294.69, Was #16
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.258/275.56, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.222/150.56, Was #21

Worsham would like nothing better than to get off the bump, there are still several drivers not qualified that are capable of bumping him out....and he does it, getting in at the 12th spot. Creasy makes his best pass of the weekend but it's still not enough to make the field.

Left Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.051/293.09, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.048/280.89, Was #16
Right Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 5.051/275.06, Now #17; Best prior run: 5.191/279.38, Was #20

Gray had a decent sixty foot time, an .899, but he starts hazing the tires about 1000 feet out and flames start coming from under the car. Epler makes a clean run but doesn't improve and stays on the bump.

Left Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.014/291.70, Now #11; Best prior run: 5.040/291.63, Was #15
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.088/290.57, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.141/277.89, Was #20

Pedregon improves and moves toward the middle of the pack into the 11th spot. Wilkerson makes his best run of the weekend but doesn't get in.

Left Lane: Vinny Arcadi Runs 8.283/97.31, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.030/295.72, Was #15
Right Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.133/285.77, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.107/282.54, Was #20

Sarver has qualified for every race this year. His last DNQ came at Englishtown last year, a string of 33 events. He doesn't appear to have any problems on this run, the car right down the groove, but he doesn't step up enough to get in the show. Arcadi goes up in smoke just before half-track and gives up on the run.

Left Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 5.084/287.60, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.011/303.03, Was #10
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.033/285.71, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.029/295.53, Was #14

The field is now set with Epler on the bump. No problems for these two, both right down the groove.

Left Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 8.690/91.47, Now #10; Best prior run: 4.982/301.00, Was #9
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 4.943/299.73, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.014/291.38, Was #12

Cannon has this track figured out, his the only run in the four's this session. Skuza had a better sixty foot time, a .904 to .907, but he broke the tires loose about 300 feet out and had to abort the run.

Left Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.006/296.89, Now #9; Best prior run: 4.977/299.66, Was #9
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 10.380/89.51, Now #8; Best prior run: 4.974/294.05, Was #8

Johnson had a good sixty foot time, .893, but blew the tires off about 200 feet out. Gilbertson makes a good pass right down the groove.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.941/299.60, Now #5; Best prior run: 4.900/308.78, Was #5
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.022/299.93, Now #6; Best prior run: 4.943/305.98, Was #6

Great run for Pedregon in the heat of the day, surpassing Cannon for the best run of the session. Densham doesn't improve but makes only his second full pass of the weekend.

Left Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.029/291.45, Now #4; Best prior run: 4.899/308.85, Was #4
Right Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.008/294.88, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.881/313.29, Was #3

The crew chiefs are getting a handle on this hot track, not great runs, but good consistent runs. These two were side-by-side all the way down the track, Bazemore pulling slightly ahead just before they went through the lights.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.313/214.86, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.824/302.82, Was #1
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 11.333/85.40, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.858/306.12, Was #2

Capps goes up in smoke about sixty feet out and shuts down. Force had a cylinder out from the start and finally banged the blower at the 1000 foot mark.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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