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Sat, 11 Nov 2000, 03:24 PM

SHOOTOUT - Top Fuel Round 1 Eliminations
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Results of round 1 eliminations in Top Fuel at the 16th annual Budweiser Shootout at Pomona:

   4 Kenny Bernstein    14.000  31.55  Q    5 Larry Dixon        15.000  31.10
 *****WINNER***** 0.477  4.744 295.46  E1                  0.501  4.769 292.08
11:57 AM The Bud Shootout at Pomona opens with the two "beer cars," Bernstein's "Bud King" against Dixon's "Miller Lite." And today it's "Bud Time" Bernstein away first and winning by a margin of victory = 0.049 seconds (approximately 21 feet). Both flamed their engines on this pass, which also counts as their third qualifying run. Dixon's fireball came early, Bernstein's in the lights. The Safety Safari rolled to clean up oil in Bernstein's lane, so he'll lose $500 of his prize money. Both cars were black-tracking from the start, the tire spin probably contributing to the engine carnage, but neither car really smoked the tires anywhere during the run.

   3 Cory McClenathan   13.000  33.25  Q    6 Tony Schumacher    16.000  30.55
                  0.479  7.326 231.00  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.512  7.148 229.35
Cory Mac comes into this matchup in a car that had never lost in eliminations, winning eight straight rounds to garner the winner's share at the two Texas events. This was a pedaling contest, both cars losing traction early and both drivers frantically pedaling to regain traction. Any doubts about Schumacher's readiness to get back behind the wheel should be answered here, Tony getting the rear tires stuck again to shoot past Cory Mac and win by a margin of victory = 0.145 seconds (approximately 49 feet). Cory Mac finally got it stuck again, but too late.

   2 Joe Amato          12.000  34.20  Q    7 Doug Kalitta       17.000  29.75
 *****WINNER***** 0.485  4.655 307.65  E1                  0.492  4.759 284.03
The two crew chiefs on these cars dove into their clutch control boxes after watching the pedal-fest between Tony and Cory Mac. Both cars got cleanly off the starting line, both spinning the tires just enough to leave twin black tracks, but both got to half track with no tire smoke. But it was Jimmy Prock who solved the equation for the top half of the track, Amato's car clean through the lights while Kalitta's started hazing the tires at half track and he smoked them the rest of the way, Amato winning by a margin of victory = 0.111 seconds (approximately 46 feet). He will have lane choice against Schumacher in the semifinals.

   1 Gary Scelzi        11.000  36.45  Q    8 Doug Herbert       18.000  26.20
 *****WINNER***** 0.481  4.637 309.84  E1                  0.432  5.065 209.23
Herbert got a psychic light for Top Fuel, but Scelzi's wasn't bad either and "Big Red" made up the difference by 330 feet, then pulled away for the win when Herbert started smoking the tires at half track. Scelzi will have lane choice over Bernstein, running low ET of the first round.

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