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Sat, 9 Sep 2000, 02:32 PM

ENGLISHTOWN - Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Rick Green

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 31st Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions:

   9 Jim Bailey          9.375 146.15  Q    8 Steve Smith         5.218 272.94
                  0.000 No Time        E1 *****WINNER***** 0.527 11.265  87.38
Bailey making the trek down from Epping was unable to get the car to fire. That gave Smith the freebie and then he went up in smoke as soon as he hit the throttle. Under sunny skies and the temperature around 85 degrees, humidity 40% and the barometer around 27.12 inches.

  12 Doug Kalitta       13.360  79.05  Q    5 Doug Herbert        4.700 292.46
 *****WINNER***** 0.510  4.683 309.70  E1                  0.485  5.483 179.71
Herbert was out of the gate first and had him covered until half track and that was when Herbert began to lose traction. He pedaled it once and Kalitta drove around him for a very impressive pass in the heat of the day.

   4 Tony Schumacher     4.693 320.36  Q   13 Don Lampus         16.303  42.29
 *****WINNER***** 0.554  5.094 262.95  E1                  0.476  6.456 131.92
Lampus drilled Schumacher on the tree and was on his way for the win. Then around half track there was a quick flash of flames from Lampus' engine and that was when Schumacher drove by and took the win light.

   3 David Grubnic       4.691 298.40  Q   14 Rit Pustari        18.387  44.91
 *****WINNER***** 0.524  4.802 304.19  E1                  0.546  4.941 304.19
Grubnic with the slight hole shot and the just out ran Pustari. Grubnic was real loose on the top end. Pustari gave him a drag race with his career best et and mph pass here.

        Bye                            Q    1 Larry Dixon         4.644 311.70
                                      E1 *****WINNER***** 0.519  7.712 102.99
Dixon with the bye here. Dixon launched hard and was up in smoke by the 330-foot mark where he clicked it off. Dixon will still win lane choice over Steve Smith in round two.

   2 Joe Amato           4.680 304.53  Q   15 Bobby Lagana       22.983  51.08
 *****WINNER***** 0.514  4.730 309.84  E1                  0.507  7.887 146.86
Lagana with the slight lead on the starting line and that was the only time as Amato drove by him by the 100 foot-mark. Lagana then dropped cylinders and clicked it off.

   6 Cory McClenathan    4.715 290.32  Q   11 Rhonda Hartman-Smi 11.572  75.44
 *****WINNER***** 0.510  4.644 319.29  E1                  0.515  4.721 308.99
Cory with the slight hole shot and stretched it out form there to move on to round two. Rhonda had a great looking pass and would of been good enough to win five of the other previous first round match ups.

   7 Gary Scelzi         4.797 256.65  Q   10 Kenny Bernstein    10.985  78.06
 *****WINNER***** 0.496  4.689 313.22  E1                  0.515  4.696 315.19
That was a drag race Scelzi with a slight advantage on the starting line and then out ran him. This is a little pay back for last week when Bernstein put Scelzi on the trailer in round one. Margin of victory = 0.026 seconds (approximately 12 feet). The top three in points move on to round two. Scelzi with lane choice over Amato, Cory Mac with his choice over Grubnic, and Kalitta over Schumacher.

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