IHBA: Bakersfield qualifying story

Stewart, Stokes Blow To Top of Field Bakersfield, CA (May 4, 2001) --- Windy conditions late in the afternoon followed perfect racing conditions in the first round creating exciting and diverse racing conditions for the Final Round of qualifying...

Stewart, Stokes Blow To Top of Field

Bakersfield, CA (May 4, 2001) --- Windy conditions late in the afternoon followed perfect racing conditions in the first round creating exciting and diverse racing conditions for the Final Round of qualifying at the IHBA Western Fuel Nationals held at Ming Lake in Bakersfield, California.

At the end of the day Shannon Stewart, of Hesperia, CA, stood atop the Top Fuel Hydro class after posting a 5.776 second, 215.20 mph pass. Dwayne Patton is steadily improving his twin prop design and he secured the number two position. The final qualifying session was late in the day and conditions were less than optimal but Stewart was able to get down the track.

"The run went well. It took off on the starting line and it was really taking a set. I saw Dale (Ishimaru) pass me and I was a loose then she took a bite and I took off again," said Shannon Stewart. "Our goal is to get this boat a little quicker and a little faster every run. The team is the key. We want to be consistent. We need to get the boat to run a little harder and a little faster. We have a good combination we just need to put it all together tomorrow."

Tim Stokes, of Eufaula, OK, continued his domination of the Top Alcohol Hydro class during qualifying. This is the second event in a row where Stokes has captured the number one spot. Stokes made another record run in the first session on Saturday 5.357 second, 224.06 mph pass. Stokes was so confident with his pass he did not go out for the second run.

" We had really good air this morning. We didn't go out in the afternoon because it was a little rough. We were hoping to get out on the lake this afternoon so we could get one more pass in since we have a leg on the record again. Unfortunately, the wind really kicked up. It just wasn't safe out there when they called the TAH," said Tim Stokes. "We decided to wait and see what the rest of the teams did. We didn't hurt anything on the first run so we just have to do some regular maintenance. We are using the same set up that got us the #1 spot in Phoenix. I am beginning to fell more comfortable. I think it will take a race or two to get totally used to it. It will be business as usual."

In the Top Alcohol Flat class Eric Morris, of Madera, CA, grabbed the number one spot with a 6.866 second, 155.10 mph pass. Jay Brookhart, of Longview, WA, edged Phoenix winner Josh Hayden for the number one qualifying spot in Pro Mod with a 7.015 second pass versus the 7.00 second index.

-IHBA-

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