POMONA, Calif. - Federal Mogul Funny Car once again saw an Austin in the late rounds at this past weekend's AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif., not Pat but "Uncle Bucky" Austin who made it to the semifinals.
Bucky came into the event hot off a win at the Division 7 closer in Phoenix, and qualified for the Pomona field with a solid 5.746 at 248.84 mph. On his way to the semifinals, he took out Jim Bartoli and Doug Gordon with runs of 5.720 and 5.707 before meeting up with eventual winner Steve Gasparrelli. In what proved to be the closest race of the weekend, Gasparrelli just edged Austin by .007 with a 5.677 to Austin's right-there 5.678.
Two other B&J heavy hitters were taken out in round two. No. 1 qualifier Pat Austin was on the losing end of the quickest FMFC race of the weekend in his race with Gasparrelli. Austin's stout 5.622 was overshadowed by Gasparrelli's out-of-the-blue 5.592. Recently crowned Division 7 Champ John Weaver was unable to make his race with Russ Parker due to extensive damage from running off the end of the racetrack in his first round win. Weaver had qualified No. 3 and ran a 5.620 in round one.