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Sun, Nov 15, 03:01 PM

POMONA - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green


POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 34th annual NHRA Winston Finals:
  11 Mitch McDowell      5.154 303.54  Q   6 Tony Pedregon       5.017 248.55
                  0.504  5.445 207.08 E1 *****WINNER***** 0.528  5.110 264.31

It is 62 degrees, humidity is 46% and the barometer is 30.03 inches.

McDowell leaves Tony at the line and has him covered until around 800 feet and then he starts to lose traction. Tony started to haze the tires right before half track, but was able to drive through it and around McDowell. Pedregon uses up an engine right in the lights, but takes the win.

  13 Dale Pulde          5.255 290.04  Q   4 Whit Bazemore       4.962 307.37
 *****WINNER***** 0.468  4.893 305.60 E1                  0.549  5.059 302.52

Look out, Pulde takes the Gene Cristensen's local fuel flopper into the fours for a big upset here. Great light and then runs the ninth quickest Funny Car elapsed time ever, a career-best.

  14 Dean Skuza          5.262 280.46  Q   3 John Force          4.933 308.85
                  0.490  5.110 290.22 E1 *****WINNER***** 0.522  4.985 304.36

This is the rubber match between Skuza and Force as they have each won three times. Skuza leaves first and then just past half track starts to lose traction and then mix up the cylinders. That is all Force needed to chase him down and take the win, and his Eighth NHRA Winston Championship. He also wins lane choice against teammate Tony in round two.

  15 Dale Creasy, Jr.    5.265 271.32  Q   2 Tim Wilkerson       4.913 304.87
                  0.356 14.933  64.17 E1 *****WINNER***** 0.532  6.127 249.79

Creasy take a shot on the tree, and Wilkerson goes up in smoke. He apparently does not see the win light, and gets back on the throttle.

  16 Jerry Toliver       5.315 282.92  Q   1 Cruz Pedregon       4.867 302.72
 *****WINNER***** 0.497  5.290 278.63 E1                  0.594  9.480  93.56

Cruz is number on qualifier for the 12th time this year and has had Toliver's number this year. But that changes here as Toliver leaves first and when Cruz smashes the throttle the car does not respond. Toliver gets close to the centerline, but stays with it for his second round victory this year.

  12 Gary Densham        5.198 270.92  Q   5 Al Hofmann          4.976 307.58
 *****WINNER***** 0.486  5.073 294.21 E1                  0.513  7.984 105.83

Densham leaves first and leaves Hofmann in his own tire smoke as Hofmann is up in smoke as soon as he hits the throttle. This is the first time the school teacher has made it out of round one since St. Louis, 11 events ago. Great job for the Southern California native as he picks up 0.125 seconds over his qualifying time, but not enough to win lane choice against fellow Southern California driver Dale Pulde in round two.

  10 Ron Capps           5.086 300.90  Q   7 Chuck Etchells      5.025 301.70
                  0.485 12.322  79.35 E1 *****WINNER***** 0.524  5.002 301.70

Capps still has the wheelie bar on the car, he put them back on yesterday. This is the rubber match between the Chevy Camaros as each of them have one win against each other. Capps is up in smoke as soon as the light turns green and he hits the throttle. Etchells starts mixing up the cylinders around 1000 feet and has a little flash right in the lights. He will get to pick his lane over Wilkerson in round two.

   9 Randy Anderson      5.056 304.98  Q   8 Tom Hoover          5.051 297.52
                  0.529 17.455  61.07 E1 *****WINNER***** 0.567  5.108 271.49

This could be Hoover's last race. No, he will get another shot at it when Anderson Blows off the big Goodyears right off the starting line. So, this could be Randy's last race as his sponsor has gone away and the Anderson family currently does not have set up for next year. Hoover will have lane choice over Toliver on the next round.

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