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Sun, 12 Nov 2000, 03:16 PM

POMONA-2 - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 36th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

   6 Bruce Sarver        5.008 294.88  Q   11 Jerry Toliver       5.045 294.95
 *****WINNER***** 0.550  4.924 305.36  E1                  0.527  5.023 294.11
11:43 AM Toliver and Ron Capps are in a close fight over second place in the points and Toliver's hopes of holding on to second suffer here when Sarver pulls out a solid run to beat Toliver's pretty good run. Both drivers turned in their best lap of the weekend and Toliver got the advantage at the start, but Sarver drove by at mid track and pulled away to win by a margin of victory = 0.076 seconds (approximately 33 feet). Now Toliver will have to hope that Phil Burkart can send Capps home early in order to hold on to the #2 number plate for next year.

   2 Dean Skuza          4.921 307.86  Q   15 John Lawson         5.176 284.69
 *****WINNER***** 0.526  6.353 234.09  E1                  0.580  7.211 149.45
This was a wild tire-smoking, pedaling contest and Skuza's experience paid off when he was able to regain traction and get his Avenger to the finish line well ahead of Lawson's wildly fishtailing Firebird.

   1 John Force          4.908 291.63  Q   16 Whit Bazemore       5.188 262.64
 *****WINNER***** 0.518  4.928 301.40  E1                  0.532  6.117 193.60
This is not your usual first-round matchup, both cars normally qualified near the top of the field. Force was out of the groove for much of this run, but still negotiated the course in fine style. Bazemore was in the race to about 300 feet, then started hazing the tires and fishtailing, finally giving it up and letting the Grinch steal the win light.

   3 Del Worsham         4.929 306.53  Q   14 Al Hofmann          5.163 239.14
 *****WINNER***** 0.493  5.150 249.44  E1                  0.511  5.605 182.82
Worsham "won ugly" here, losing traction about 1,000 feet out, while Hofmann lost traction before reaching half track, fishtailing and shutting it down at about the 1,000-foot marker. Sarver will have lane choice over Del Worsham in the second round.

   4 Tony Pedregon       4.947 299.13  Q   13 Scott Weis          5.123 288.89
 *****WINNER***** 0.500  5.049 254.76  E1                  0.395  5.966 158.74
Weis took a shot at the light and just missed. He also lost traction before half track, as have several cars in the right lane. Pedregon was on a good run most of the way, but the header flames went out early and he coasted across the finish line.

   5 Ron Capps           4.951 295.14  Q   12 Phil Burkart        5.070 284.56
 *****WINNER***** 0.509  4.954 299.33  E1                  0.528  5.077 276.07
Capps only trailed Toliver by two points for second place in the championship after qualifying, so his almost-perfect run here moved Capps into second and gave him lane choice against Tony Pedregon in round two.

   8 Scotty Cannon       5.011 272.89  Q    9 Frank Pedregon      5.034 275.22
 *****WINNER***** 0.570  5.077 225.63  E1                  0.557  5.157 291.13
The luck of the ladder, the two drivers involved in a second-round qualifying accident end up paired in round one of eliminations. This was a strange race, Cannon way out in front when his chute shook out, fully deployed at 1,000 feet. Cannon's car had enough of a lead and enough momentum to hold off the fast-closing Pedregon and win by a Margin of victory = 0.067 seconds (approximately 29 feet). Cannon loses lane choice to Force in round two.

   7 Bob Gilbertson      5.010 300.66  Q   10 Louis Sweet         5.041 296.50
 *****WINNER***** 0.499  5.039 296.37  E1                  0.496  8.512  94.83
Sweet dropped a cylinder or two early and then lost a blower belt. Gilbertson turned in one of his trademark smooth, "five-oh" runs for the win and lane choice against Skuza in round two.

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