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Sat, 4 Nov 2000, 01:14 PM

DALLAS-2 - Funny Car Round 1 Eliminations
By Michael L. Jex

McCuulloch's Agressive Call Is Spectacular.

ENNIS, Texas - Results of round 1 eliminations in Funny Car at the 15th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec:

   8 Del Worsham        18.000   NS    Q    9 Bruce Sarver       19.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.496  5.020 299.26  E1                  0.487  7.647 101.52
11:36 AM The Top Fuel crew chiefs did a great job getting a base-line tuneup for the diggers, now it's time to see how the Funny Car tuners do. Don't rule out the drivers that can pull the brake, pedal and stay in the groove the best either - this is an exciting way to race. Sarver did all the above, but the tire smoke didn't stop till he gave up just before half-track. Worsham slapped the throttle once then thundered down the Motorplex to drive into the 2nd round.

   6 Whit Bazemore      16.000  10.23  Q   11 Frank Pedregon     21.000   NS
                  0.478  8.424 121.33  E1 *****WINNER***** 0.564  6.781 247.29
Bazemore blazed the tires immediately, then pedaled furiously after Pedregon lost traction just past the 100-foot mark. The ensuing smokefest was too close to call until Whit lost the blower belt. It wasn't pretty, but the second CSK Funny Car had enough to take the win.

   1 John Force         11.000  17.56  Q   16 Cristen Powell     26.000 387.00
 *****WINNER***** 0.532  5.201 215.75  E1                  0.517  9.414  81.54
Force had his hands full of Castrol Mustang on this run, he finally lifted after getting very close to the centerline. Powell was well behind, her Pontiac lost traction at the 330-foot mark. Force will race Del Worsham in round two, and Worsham will have lane choice.

   2 Ron Capps          12.000  14.20  Q   15 Tim Wilkerson      25.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.485  4.870 305.56  E1                  0.431  7.063 124.32
Ed McCulloch is the true nitro-wizard so far today, an amazing run considering the situation here this weekend. Wow, what a run. Wilkerson lost a blower belt at mid-track, raw fuel began pouring out the header pipes at half track.

   4 Tony Pedregon      14.000  13.14  Q   13 Al Hofmann         23.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.487  5.021 296.05  E1                  0.469  5.063 297.22
What a fantastic drag race! Both Cars were side-by-side all the way down the track, Pedregon got a fender out on Hofmann at the top end.

   7 Scotty Cannon      17.000  10.08  Q   10 Dean Skuza         20.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.512  5.119 234.98  E1                  0.519  9.855  90.24
Dean Skuza announced a five year sponsorship package with Mopar beginning next year during last weeks SEMA show in Las Vegas. Here he goes to the 1000-foot mark with his trademark burnout. Cannon looked good till the 900-foot mark, then the engine started eating itself up. Luckily Skuza had lost traction early, the Matco Tools car left a billowing cloud of tire smoke all the way downtrack.

   5 Jim Epler          15.000  11.78  Q   12 Bob Gilbertson     22.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.483  5.317 234.21  E1                  0.477  8.263  91.27
The winner of this matchup will face Tony Pedregon in round number two. Epler's bullet was loosing power from half-track on, but when you're ahead you don't lift... The motor finally gave up the ghost at the thousand foot marker with a bang and a sailing burst panel. Gilbertson had problems of his own in the other lane, he boiled the hides early.

   3 Jerry Toliver      13.000  13.85  Q   14 Gary Densham       24.000   NS
 *****WINNER***** 0.477  5.139 299.93  E1                  0.480 11.921  75.39
Densham's car went silent quickly, the reason not clear from here. There was no tire smoke, perhaps he broke a throttle cable or something. Toliver pedaled a couple of times, he will face Frank Pedregon in round two, and Toliver will have lane choice. The other pairings for round two are Tony Pedregon and Epler, Force will race Worsham, and Capps will run against Cannon. 12:01 PM

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