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Sun, 30 Sep 2001, 04:49 PM

CHICAGO-2 - Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

JOLIET, Ill. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the Inaugural NHRA Nationals:

   9 Darrell Russell     4.621 315.56  Q    8 Andrew Cowin        4.617 290.69
 *****WINNER***** 0.535  5.692 249.26  E1                  0.466  6.629 172.45
Under sunny skies and the temperature around 59 degrees, humidity is 90% and and the barometer is 30.38 inches we start eliminations. Cowin with a big starting line advantage, but was up in smoke immediately. Then Russell loses traction and they both pedal it. Russell is able to get it to hook back up. Cowin lost traction again and had the car completely side ways before he lifted. Russell has had Cowin's number this year with this race making it four and 0.

   7 Tony Schumacher     4.573 321.12  Q   10 David Grubnic       4.622 295.79
                  0.531  5.570  50.58  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.521  4.774 300.80
Schumacher with a slight starting line advantage, shook hard and then starts to haze the tires, he pedals it. He can not get it to hook it up. Grubnic dropped a cylinder right off the starting line and then had a big fireball around 400 feet and keep his foot in it trailing flames across the finish line for the win.

   6 Gary Scelzi         4.546 316.45  Q   11 Rhonda Hartman-Smi  4.633 317.42
 *****WINNER***** 0.499  4.567 324.20  E1                  0.484  4.687 313.22
Rhonda with a slight starting line advantage, but Scelzi has her chased down by half track. Scelzi had a little wiggle at mid-track, but was able to keep the Goodyears stuck. Something flew off Rhonda's car right at the finish line.

   5 Doug Herbert        4.542 325.69  Q   12 Tim Gibson          4.647 310.63
                  0.539  7.250 109.24  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.496  4.727 251.77
Gibson was out of the gate first and never looked back, but started to lose traction on the top end and threw the blower belt off. Herbert overpowered the track around 300 feet and that was the end of his day.

   4 Doug Kalitta        4.541 319.37  Q   13 Bruce Litton        4.651 308.92
 *****WINNER***** 0.510  4.546 319.60  E1                  0.506  8.431  98.90
Litton with a slight starting line advantage and, but then blistered the Goodyears around 200 feet. Kalitta with a good looking pass, keeping the candles lit and the Goodyears stuck all the way through the 1320. He will have lane choice over Gibson in round two.

   2 Kenny Bernstein     4.513 325.22  Q   15 Chris Karamesines   4.876 299.13
 *****WINNER***** 0.493  4.528 324.98  E1                  0.613  9.329  95.17
Bernstein out of the gate first and never looked back with pretty pass. He had a 0.836-second 60-foot time and was going 270.32 mph at half track for the quickest pass of the session, so far. Karamesines had problems right off the starting line, looked like he lost some parts around 200 feet and clicked it off. Bernstein will have lane choice over Grubnic.

   3 Larry Dixon         4.514 320.58  Q   14 Paul Romine         4.704 307.44
 *****WINNER***** 0.494  4.531 323.66  E1                  0.493  4.648 315.42
Dixon and Romine leave together and then Dixon starts to drive away at half track. Romine gave him a race for the money though with his best pass of the weekend. Dixon had a 0.836-second 60-foot time too and was going 270.21 mph at half track. He will have lane choice over Scelzi in round two.

   1 Mike Dunn           4.511 326.95  Q   16 Scott Weis          4.928 224.88
                  0.497  6.146 208.97  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.495  5.826 212.19
They left the line together and then all the action started to happen Dunn started blistering the hides and attempted to drive through it, but with no luck. Weis shook hard, so hard that one of the parachutes came out and blossomed. Weis took the win light with the parachute full blossom from at least half track on. Weis will give up lane choice to Russell in round two.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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