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Sun, 23 Sep 2001, 04:40 PM

MEMPHIS - Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 14th annual AutoZone NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil:

   8 Tony Schumacher     4.707 307.37  Q    9 Andrew Cowin        4.722 303.98
 *****WINNER***** 0.516  5.009 285.11  E1                  0.425  5.537 238.68
Cowin with the starting line advantage, but then smoked the tires pedaled it one time and could not get it to hook up, but keep his foot in it. Cowin with a quick flash of flame on the top end. Schumacher started to lose traction around 330 feet, but was able to get it to hook enough to get the win. He hazed the Goodyears through the 1320. This avenges his first round lost at the U.S. Nationals to Cowin.

   7 Doug Kalitta        4.681 303.43  Q   10 Rhonda Hartman-Smi  4.741 303.16
 *****WINNER***** 0.504  4.679 298.01  E1                  0.517  4.750 310.84
This is the fifth time these two have faced off in round one competition this year and Kalitta has won all four of the previous matchups. He does it again out of the gate first and never looked back with a good looking pass. Hartman with a good pass just not enough.

   6 Darrell Russell     4.678 306.81  Q   11 Scott Weis          4.745 314.02
 *****WINNER***** 0.529  4.756 305.01  E1                  0.488  4.800 309.34
Weis with the starting line advantage, but Russell has made up the difference by 100 feet. This is a great drag race with Russell holding on to take the win. Margin of victory = 0.003 seconds (approximately 16 inches).

   5 Mike Dunn           4.624 306.67  Q   12 David Grubnic       4.793 291.63
 *****WINNER***** 0.495  4.692 310.77  E1                  0.479  8.032  82.99
Grubnic was out of the gate first and up in smoke immediately, he pedaled it and then got completely side ways and had to lift. Dunn with his second quickest pass of the weekend, so maybe the Yankee team has found the race day tune up.

   2 Doug Herbert        4.597 313.51  Q   15 Luigi Novelli       5.179 230.88
 *****WINNER***** 0.599  4.742 313.00  E1                  0.117  5.175 249.16
Luigi staged the car and then double step the throttle and left way early. Herbert with the freebie here and a good clean pass, but will give up lane choice to Kalitta in round two.

   3 Kenny Bernstein     4.600 318.99  Q   14 Jim Cavalieri       5.102 269.83
 *****WINNER***** 0.477  4.625 315.86  E1                  0.519  4.954 293.60
Bernstein with the light and never looked back with a great looking pass and some pretty big mph for this track, quick et of the round so far. The "Giant Killer" was there with only the second pass on this car if Bernstein would of made a mistake. Bernstein with lane choice over Russell in round two.

   4 Gary Scelzi         4.606 313.44  Q   13 Chris Karamesines   4.862 301.60
 *****WINNER***** 0.647  4.699 311.92  E1                  0.156  4.821 286.32
Karamesines left real early turning on the red light and giving Scelzi the freebie. Scelzi with a good looking pass keeping the candles lit and the Goodyears stuck all the way down the quarter-mile. He will give up lane choice to Dunn in round two by 0.007 seconds.

   1 Larry Dixon         4.581 309.70  Q   16 Don Sosenka         5.724 252.66
 *****WINNER***** 0.484  4.645 307.79  E1                  0.532  5.623 240.04
Dixon out of the gate first and just blasted on through for the win. Sosenka labored all the way down the 1320. Dixon with the second quick et of the round will have lane choice over Schumacher in round two. All the higher qualified dragsters advance to round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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