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Sat, Nov 14, 05:22 PM

POMONA - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session # 3
By Rick Green

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 3 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: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.315/282.92 Now # 8, (Best prior run: 6.584/124.86 Was #16)
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 4.913/304.87 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 4.968/293.63 Was # 2)

We start with Toliver on the bump and Cruz on top of the list. Both of those facts change here as Wilkerson takes over the number one spot with a very clean pass. Toliver backs it down a little to get down the track and into the top half of the show. The bump is now Etchells at 6.368 seconds.

Left Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.387/269.17 Now # 9, (Best prior run: 5.316/220.13 Was # 9)
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 11.184/ 84.43 Now #13, (Best prior run: 5.496/179.35 Was #13)

Worsham makes a hard right as the light turns green, so he clicks it off. Apparently he got some fluid underneath the left slick. Pedregon with the soft setup gets down the left lane with no problems, but does not help himself.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.918/238.53 Now #16, (Best prior run: 7.185/114.60 Was #17)
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 4.867/302.72 Now # 1, (Best prior run: 4.947/284.62 Was # 2)

Capps is not in the show. Capps launches hard, makes a move toward the wall and then starts to overpower the track. He has the car completely side ways as he whips it back into his lane. He pedals it once but is back up in smoke, and smokes it all the way through the quarter mile. Cruz spins the tires around 1000 feet and then drops a couple cylinders, but still lays down the quick time of the weekend.

Left Lane: Tom Hoover Runs 5.159/279.85 Now # 7, (Best prior run: 16.545/ 62.80 Was #23)
Right Lane: John Force Runs 5.007/305.81 Now # 4, (Best prior run: 5.017/306.85 Was # 4)

Hoover in his last race goes into the top half of the show with a really nice pass. Force picks up a little, but not enough to move any positions. Capps just got bumped out and Segrini is now on the bump with a 5.759.

Left Lane: Chuck Etchells Runs 5.025/301.70 Now # 6, (Best prior run: 6.368/157.04 Was #18)
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.198/270.92 Now # 9, (Best prior run: 9.695/ 88.25 Was #21)

A couple more get this tricky track figured out and make the show and bump out Higley and Segrini. Etchells run was nice and clean, while Densham had a big puff of smoke just past half track, but stays with it.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 4.962/307.37 Now # 3, (Best prior run: 5.469/270.69 Was #14)
Right Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.403/284.99 Now #15, (Best prior run: 9.953/ 90.33 Was #22)

Bazemore still looking for that corporate sponsor shows he can play with the big boys with a very good pass. Epler is off and on the throttle at least two times, but sneaks into the show.

Left Lane: Randy Anderson Runs 5.056/304.98 Now # 8, (Best prior run: 5.345/266.27 Was #14)
Right Lane: Wyatt Radke Runs 6.268/148.76 Now #21, (Best prior run: 16.867/ 68.39 Was #24)

Anderson breaks into the the top half of the show with Big Jim Dunn tune up. The news around the press tower is Jim Dunn will be back next year with his own car and and interesting sponsor Penthouse magazine. Radke makes a move toward the centerline and when he drives back into the center of his lane he loses traction. He smokes the Goodyears through the end of the quarter-mile.

Left Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 17.495/ 58.24 Now # 6, (Best prior run: 5.017/248.55 Was # 6)
Right Lane: Norman Wilding Runs 5.769/245.49 Now #20, (No prior time)

Pedregon is up in smoke right off the starting line. Wilding heads toward the wall and yanks on the brake to pull it back into the center of his lane. The engine then goes away around 1000 feet, but he stays with it.

Left Lane: Al Segrini No Time Now #20, (Best prior run: 5.759/232.61 Was #19)
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 5.262/280.46 Now #12, (Best prior run: 8.317/101.30 Was #23)

Skuza is not in the show, yet. He changes it that right here, bumping out Haddock. Segrini is real loose and then close to the centerline and then crosses it and follows Skuza past the finish line.

Left Lane: Bob Weickgenannt Runs 6.502/180.28 Now #24, (Best prior run: 15.007/ 76.79 Was #25)
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 9.533/ 82.26 Now # 4, (Best prior run: 4.976/307.58 Was # 4)

Weickgenannt launches and then is completely off the throttle and then back on it. Hofmann loses traction and clicks it off.

Left Lane: Dale Pulde Runs 5.255/290.04 Now #12, (Best prior run: 9.497/ 99.51 Was #25)
Right Lane: Ray Higley Runs 5.582/240.89 Now #20, (Best prior run: 5.624/195.05 Was #19)

Pulde gets down the track for the first time this weekend and bumps out Epler. That is it for Funny Car and Cruz solidifies his number one position and after a lot of shuffling Frank Pedregon is in the number 16 spot.

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