FUNNY CAR: JIM EPLER AND SCOTTY CANNON REACH SEMI-FINALS JIM EPLER, in the WWF RACING CAMARO Z28, defeated Tim Wilkerson and Frank Pedregon en route to the semifinals, where he met Tony Pedregon. Epler was ahead mid-track, but lost to...
FUNNY CAR: JIM EPLER AND SCOTTY CANNON REACH SEMI-FINALS
JIM EPLER, in the WWF RACING CAMARO Z28, defeated Tim Wilkerson and Frank Pedregon en route to the semifinals, where he met Tony Pedregon. Epler was ahead mid-track, but lost to Pedregon's 5.081/314.31 (5.939/163.16 for Epler) when the burst panel on his Camaro blew out.
EPLER: "I don't believe it, I had him covered."
On the other side of the ladder, SCOTTY CANNON disposed of TODD PATON, NITRO-FISH CAMARO Z28, and RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, before he reached the semis, where he faced Jerry Toliver, driving the WWF Racing Pontiac. Cannon shut it off almost immediately and slowed to a 15.054-second run at 69.65 mph, while Toliver sped to a 4.848/309.42 victory, producing a new elapsed time track record.
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, continues to battle demons in his camp, as he again was ousted in the first round, this time by Dean Skuza in a close match-up. It came down to reaction times (.516 for Bazemore, .477 for Skuza), as Skuza outran him to the finish line on a holeshot advantage with a 4.970-second run at 309.42 mph to Whit's 4.956/306.95. This, on top of the news this weekend that crew chiefs Tim and Kim Richards were released by team owner Chuck Etchells, made for an emotional time.
BAZEMORE: "That's a tough way to end a difficult weekend. Overall, I'm happy for Tim and Kim (Richards) and the entire Kendall/Matco Camaro team that we ran well today. That .95 in the first round was a good lap. Unfortunately, and most importantly, we didn't get the win. I pride myself on doing my job as best I can, and I take it hard when we lose like that, which fortunately has not happened in a long time. This is a tough business, which never cuts you any slack. We'll have to put the events of this weekend behind us and look to the future. We have the Madison event in a few days, and we have to focus on doing well there."
Capps had the advantage on the starting line with his .472 reaction time to Cannon's .556 and was clearly on a winning run when the blower drive shaft broke. Ron crawled to a 7.057-second pass at 119.98 mph.
CAPPS: "It broke the blower drive shaft and pulled it right off the front of the blower. It basically twisted off, which is something you don't see very often at all. It's something that can't be helped. Sometimes things like that break; you don't know they're going to break. Unfortunately, it broke during that run. We definitely had him covered, but it just quit running. It was quite awhile before I heard him come around me, but it didn't want to go anywhere. I tried to pedal it a few times to make sure, but the engine quit. You just have to pack up knowing you gained one round on (John) Force -- which is better than none -- put this behind us and head to St. Louis."
PRO STOCK: KJ OUT IN SECOND ROUND
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, made it to the second round after defeating Jim Yates, then had to face one of the hottest drivers currently on the circuit, Ron Krisher, in that round. Krisher solidly earned lane choice with his 6.905-second pass against Mike Thomas in the first round, while Kurt disposed of Yates with a 6.980. Kurt's 6.942-second lap at 197.42 mph (.443 R/T) was strong, but it was no contest against Krisher's 6.926/198.38 (.424 R/T).
KURT: "We realized we had an engine problem after the first round when I ran a 6.98 on a perfect run. We came back and swapped engines for the second round, and it slipped the clutch a a little too much; it should have gone 6.93. Ron Krisher ran a 6.92 and it was a real good drag race. I made my best run of the weekend and I was on the short end of the stick. Even on my run at 6.94 in the left lane, with my reaction time, I would have beat all the other cars out there. I just ran up against the wrong guy. Ron's making good runs out there and it's just we need to go to work."