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Fri, Nov 13, 07:46 PM

POMONA - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session # 2
By Rick Green

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Funny Car at the 34th annual NHRA Winston Finals, 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: Dean Skuza Runs 8.317/101.30 Now # 7, (Best prior run: 9.941/ 80.71 Was # 9)
Right Lane: Mitch McDowell Runs 5.154/303.54 Now # 3, (Best prior run: 15.212/ 74.95 Was #19)

3:27 PM The weather conditions are 76 degrees, humidity is 20% and the barometer is 30.11 inches.

Skuza after doing one of his 3/4 track burnouts drops a cylinder on the right side and the unbalanced thrust pushes him very close to the centerline so he clicks it off. McDowell runs a career best pass here, elapsed time and mile per hour, Richard Bays is tuning the car.

Left Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.597/183.63 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 4.976/307.58 Was # 1)
Right Lane: Bob Weickgenannt No Time Now #19, (Best prior run: 15.007/ 76.79 Was #19)

Weickgenannt has problems on the burnout, and then when he launches the car does not even move. He then stomps on the throttle again, but still does not take off, so he aborts it. Hofmann has problems early on and shuts off.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.968/293.63 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 10.683/ 81.84 Was #14)
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 6.584/124.86 Now # 8, (Best prior run: 11.483/ 80.63 Was #17)

Wilkerson takes his JCIT Pontiac straight down the center of his lane for the number one spot (for now). In the other lane Toliver has a big flash of flame around half track when he blew the rods out of it. He gets the car stopped quickly and the fire out, no apparent damage to that wild paint scheme. Plus he is in the show for now.

Left Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.496/179.35 Now # 6, (Best prior run: 9.152/ 92.71 Was #10)
Right Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.316/220.13 Now # 5, (Best prior run: 10.436/ 75.88 Was #15)

Worsham starts mixing up the cylinders around the 330-foot mark, he stays with it and it never picks them back up, so he clicks it off. Pedregon starts dropping cylinders around half-track and he then loses an engine around 900 feet. Getting real close to the centerline, but moves into the show at the number five spot. The bump is now Cruz with a slow 10.860 seconds.

Left Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.947/284.62 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 10.860/ 79.20 Was #16)
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 7.185/114.60 Now #12, (Best prior run: 10.138/ 83.66 Was #15)

Cruz goes from number 16 to number one with a pass that was not picture perfect. Cruz started mixing up the cylinders around 1000 feet and he shuts it off a little early. Capps has problems early and clicks it off by half track.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.017/306.85 Now # 4, (Best prior run: 5.058/284.00 Was # 4)
Right Lane: Tom Hoover Runs 16.545/ 62.80 Now #20, (Best prior run: 16.647/ 57.37 Was #20)

Force with another good pass then a big puff of smoke right in the lights. He put some fluid out on the track. Hoover loses traction immediately and clicks it off.

Left Lane: Gary Densham Runs 14.768/ 77.00 Now #15, (Best prior run: 9.695/ 88.25 Was #15)
Right Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 8.230/ 98.56 Now #10, (Best prior run: 6.368/157.04 Was #10)

Densham is up in smoke before he goes 100 feet. Etchells starts losing traction where the track makes the transition from concrete to asphalt and clicks it off.

Left Lane: Jim Epler Runs 16.122/ 65.60 Now #16, (Best prior run: 9.953/ 90.33 Was #16)
Right Lane: Dale Creasy, Jr. Runs 5.265/271.32 Now # 6, (Best prior run: 5.808/177.40 Was # 9)

Epler is up in smoke as soon as he hits the throttle. Creasy hurts the engine around 1000 feet, but still makes the top half of the field.

Left Lane: Wyatt Radke Runs 16.867/ 68.39 Now #22, (No prior time)
Right Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.469/270.69 Now # 8, (Best prior run: 16.870/ 66.79 Was #21)

Wyatt continues to struggle. Bazemore starts to lose traction, pedals it at least two times to get into the top half of the show.

Left Lane: Terry Haddock Runs 5.471/211.76 Now #10, (No prior time)
Right Lane: Randy Anderson Runs 5.345/266.27 Now # 8, (Best prior run: 10.949/ 77.31 Was #18)

Finally we have a pair of cars get down the track. Anderson was mixing up the cylinders all the way down the track, but is still in the top half of the show. Haddock clicks it off around 800 feet.

Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.017/248.55 Now # 5, (Best prior run: 14.128/ 68.75 Was #20)

Tony loses an engine around 1000 feet, but makes the show. The bump is now Capps at 7.185.

Right Lane: Dale Pulde No Time Now #18, (Best prior run: 9.497/ 99.51 Was #18)

Pulde is up in smoke as soon as he launches.

Right Lane: Al Segrini Runs 5.759/232.61 Now #14, (Best prior run: 18.642/ 61.11 Was #24)

Segrini gets this unique Plueger car in the show with its quickest pass ever.

We finish this round with Cruz on the pole and Toliver in the Mad Magazine car on the bubble with a 6.584.

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