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Sun, 3 Sep 2000, 02:16 PM

INDY - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #4
By Darryl Jackman

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from round 4 qualifying in Funny Car at the 46th annual U.S. Nationals 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: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.114/285.71, Now #13; Best prior run: 5.152/254.42, Was #14
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.124/289.57, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.163/289.82, Was #15

The first four pairs are part of the Big Bud Shootout so I'll describe the runs but look for Larry Sullivan's reports for the winners. Great side by side runs for this pair. Pedregon was hooked up but there was a flash of fire out from under the car before the finish line. The Syntec crew will have some work before the next round of qualifying. Toliver was looking good but started to haze the tires from about 800 feet on. Both drivers move up one spot in the field. Bruce Sarver is on the bump spot at the beginning of the session and Tommy Johnson still holds down the inside of the front row.

Left Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.053/295.21, Now #8; Best prior run: 5.046/298.47, Was #8
Right Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.732/170.54, Now #3; Best prior run: 4.968/300.53, Was #3

Epler slows slightly from his attempt last night. Capps was side by side with Epler but it appeared that a blower belt was seen coming out from under the car at around 1000 feet. They don't do a lot for performance when they are on the ground.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.103/298.80, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.967/306.53, Was #2
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 5.506/221.78, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.077/299.26, Was #10

Worsham had an all night thrash to put the car back together after the tire problem yesterday. They purchased a body from Toliver last night and finished at 2AM. Worsham proceeds to haze the tires from half track on and calls it off. Force was no where near as quick as last evening but he has other things on his mind right now. 100K!

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.145/296.76, Now #16; Best prior run: 5.755/246.57, Was #22
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 5.105/302.69, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.129/299.93, Was #15

Bazemore gets good news and bad. The good is that Bazemore makes the field on this pass. The bad is that he is now on the bump spot with almost the entire field still to run. Skuza moves up three spots in the other lane.

Left Lane: John Lawson Runs 8.678/98.98, Now #23; Best prior run: 7.905/115.84, Was #23
Right Lane: Tommy Johnson Jr. Runs 12.858/76.37, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.963/301.27, Was #1

Tommy Johnson Jr is looking to improve on his time, even though he's still at the top of the field. Lawson is just looking for anything that might get him. Johnson got to the 300 foot mark and started smoking the tires. Lawson got to half track before smoking the tires.

Left Lane: Cory Lee Runs 8.098/105.26, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.013/310.91, Was #6
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.114/296.96, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.428/216.90, Was #22

Smoke claims Cory Lee but Gilbertson Makes the field. That bumps Bazemore.

Left Lane: Bob Weickgenannt Runs 5.401/275.62, Now #22; Best prior run: 5.311/288.70, Was #22
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 8.344/95.09, Now #21; Best prior run: 5.296/288.21, Was #21

Weickgenannt was all over the lane. He had his hands full of funny car as it tried to drive him into the guardrail. Creasy could not get the Mad car stuck to the track and calls it off. Both drivers are down to one final shot this afternoon.

Left Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.017/296.76, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.212/224.32, Was #20
Right Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.232/256.94, Now #20; Best prior run: 5.205/230.21, Was #19

Wilkerson makes the big move and winds up in the top half of the field. The conditions are very warm and humid but the track is not getting a lot of direct sunlight. Wilkerson just bumped Jerry Toliver out of the field. Hofmann looked good until he began to haze the tires as the finish line approached.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.148/299.46, Now #19; Best prior run: 5.169/283.85, Was #19
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 5.119/291.89, Now #14; Best prior run: 5.113/292.01, Was #14

Tony Pedregon is now on the bump spot. Neither of these cars gets any help on this pass. Densham remains #14, but Sarver is still on the outside.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 5.446/209.43, Now #12; Best prior run: 5.098/297.55, Was #12

Weis had the rpm creeping up as he staged and may have thrown the timers off. He was very soft off the line and clicked it after half track. Frank Pedregon was to be in the other lane but the crew is busy rebuilding the car after yesterday's engine explosion. I understand that the crank was laying in the pan and the entire right side of the engine was detached.

Left Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 6.752/127.61, Now #6; Best prior run: 5.002/297.61, Was #5
Right Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 4.981/304.60, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.032/302.69, Was #8

Boy, does Cristen move up the ladder. They have had a great first weekend out and have not lost a single run this weekend to smoke or any other problems. Cannon was all over the other lane and pedaled several times before he gave up. That finishes this session and it was a good one. The fuel cars will get one more later today.

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