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Phil Painter's Mopars at the Strip has grown to be the premier Chrysler brand event on the west coast and to add to the excitement, the first Hemi Shootout of the year. Over the past few years, the Hemi Shootout eliminator has grown from hoping for a full eight-car show to this year, a nearly full sixteen-car show. After Friday qualifying Charlie Westcott Jr. from Parma, Michigan was the leader by two tenths (8.512/156.43) over Stephen Herbert's '68 Cuda out of Louisiana (8.712/151.44).
In the early Saturday morning test session prior to eliminations, Westcott Jr. flexed his muscles again with a killer 8.486 and Pennsylvania's Jim Daniels stepped up with what would have been the number two qualifying position running a stellar 8.545 ET at 154.71 MPH pass.
With fifteen Hemi cars in the first round, Westcott Jr. fortunately got a bye run, fortunately because transmission issues probably would have cost him the round win with a way off pace 14-second run. He'd have it repaired for round two.