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Fri, 10 Nov 2000, 07:14 PM

POMONA-2 - Funny Car Qualifying Notes, Session #2
By Larry Sullivan

POMONA, Calif. - Notes from round 2 qualifying in Funny Car at the 36th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals 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: Jeff Arend Runs 19.805/56.85, Now #28; No Prior Run

3:06 PM Arend teamed up with Chuck Beal to field this car here. He didn't make an attempt yesterday. Here he lost traction immediately, shut it down, and coasted through..

Left Lane: Louis Sweet Runs 7.864/106.70, Now #13; Best prior run: 21.057/34.19, Was #29
Right Lane: Dale Creasy Jr. Runs 5.313/281.30, Now #5; Best prior run: 12.224/62.43, Was #22

Sweet shook and then smoked the tires about 100 feet out. He pedaled, then gave it up. Creasy was dropping cylinders and picking them up again, struggling through the quarter to move into the field.

Left Lane: Cristen Powell Runs 10.558/65.69, Now #24; Best prior run: 18.362/43.50, Was #28
Right Lane: Phil Burkart Runs 8.871/95.79, Now #15; Best prior run: 10.048/82.37, Was #20

Both cars shook and spun the tires early in the run. The burst panel came off Burkart's car, but there was no other visible sign of a blower problem.

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 5.707/168.11, Now #10; Best prior run: 16.606/70.14, Was #28
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 7.284/117.65, Now #14; Best prior run: 9.884/83.41, Was #20

Capps was on a good pass to half track, then started smoking the tires and slowed. Worsham lost traction much earlier.

Left Lane: Al Hofmann Runs 5.166/270.59, Now #4; Best prior run: 14.445/81.87, Was #28
Right Lane: Bob Gilbertson Runs 5.288/223.54, Now #6; Best prior run: 9.781/93.92, Was #20

Both cars lost traction around half track, Hofmann driving through it smoothly while Gilbertson lost the engine in a flash of flame and coasted across the line.

Left Lane: Peter Russo Runs 14.849/70.74, Now #28; Best prior run: 14.076/71.59, Was #28
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 8.028/108.91, Now #18; Best prior run: 9.713/92.81, Was #21

Instant tire smoke for both cars. Densham pedaled once, Russo didn't.

Left Lane: Scott Weis Runs 7.727/111.24, Now #18; Best prior run: 13.581/74.86, Was #27
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 5.449/205.85, Now #11; Best prior run: 9.596/82.67, Was #21

Toliver is the only notable Funny Car driver with no oildown penalty yet this year. Here he makes a good run to get into the field. Weis had to get out of the throttle when the front of his car got up in the air and kept on rising.

Left Lane: Bruce Sarver Runs 5.008/294.88, Now #3; Best prior run: 10.105/82.06, Was #25
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 5.575/184.19, Now #13; Best prior run: 6.345/145.74, Was #16

Nice pass by Sarver, no tire smoke we could see. Pedregon was on a good pass, but started boiling the tires at half track.

Left Lane: Whit Bazemore Runs 5.578/185.97, Now #14; Best prior run: 10.059/84.83, Was #25
Right Lane: Bob Hallock Runs 10.675/80.38, Now #15; Best prior run: 5.595/196.04, Was #14

Hallock smoked the tires early. Bazemore was on a good pass to half track, then started smoking the tires. He pedaled, then lost the blower belt around 1,000 feet out.

Left Lane: Johnny Gray Runs 8.573/109.67, Now #23; Best prior run: 9.808/87.45, Was #25
Right Lane: David Benjamin Runs 14.338/85.67, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.406/239.82, Was #10

Benjamin went up in smoke instantly. Gray did so about 100 feet out. Gray pedaled a couple times, to no avail.

Left Lane: Cory Lee Runs 5.269/254.28, Now #7; Best prior run: 6.286/141.80, Was #18
Right Lane: John Lawson Runs 6.131/159.57, Now #10; Best prior run: 5.349/254.76, Was #9

Good effort by Lee, tire smoke and a dropped cylinder on the top end as with most this session, but a pretty good run to the half track point. Lawson's problems started much earlier.

Left Lane: Jim Epler Runs 5.219/271.57, Now #7; Best prior run: 5.953/160.42, Was #18
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 5.070/280.89, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.200/240.55, Was #6

Two more runs on the tricky racing surface, clean to half track, then battling for traction, Epler getting left of the groove and pedaling once, about 300 feet out.

Left Lane: Frank Pedregon Runs 5.034/275.22, Now #5; Best prior run: 5.446/191.32, Was #13
Right Lane: Scotty Cannon Runs 5.011/272.89, Now #4; Best prior run: 5.096/277.26, Was #5

Two more pairs to finish this troubled session. This one turned nasty at the finish line, Pedregon's car dropping several cylinders on the right side, then diving across the centerline past the finish line. Cannon had already completed a nice run and had the chutes out when Pedregon's car nailed Cannon's in the left rear, destroying the left rear of Cannon's car. The impact knocked the body completely off Pedregon's car, along with both front wheels. Cannon's car slid to the right, hitting the the right-hand wall and damaging the right front of his car. Then Pedregon's car hit it again, finishing the demolition job. As Pedregon and Cannon started to climb out of their cars, one of Pedregon's front wheels came bounding over the top of both, probably looking a lot closer on the long-lens TV shot than it really was. Neither driver was hurt, but both cars are junk and both will have to go to backup cars tomorrow. Since the accident was past the finish line, both times stand.

Left Lane: John Force Runs 5.662/171.16, Now #1; Best prior run: 4.908/291.63, Was #1
Right Lane: Dean Skuza Runs 10.201/86.38, Now #2; Best prior run: 4.921/307.86, Was #2

These two ran the only fours yesterday - or today, for that matter. Skuza lost traction almost immediately. Force got to half track okay, then started spinning the tires and called it quits.

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