Bruce Litton on Top of Provisional Top Fuel Field at IHRA President's Cup Nationals Dale Creasy Jr. (Nitro Funny Car), Tommy D'Aprile (Pro Modified), Larry Dobbs (Alcohol Funny Car) and Jeff Dobbins (Pro Stock) also claim provisional ...
Bruce Litton on Top of Provisional Top Fuel Field at IHRA President's Cup Nationals
Dale Creasy Jr. (Nitro Funny Car), Tommy D'Aprile (Pro Modified), Larry Dobbs (Alcohol Funny Car) and Jeff Dobbins (Pro Stock) also claim provisional #1 qualifier spots Friday at Maryland International Raceway
Mechanicsville, Md. (June 13, 2008) -- Fresh off his win at the Motor City Nationals in May, defending IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Bruce Litton thundered to the top of the provisional qualifying sheet in the Torco Pro Nitro Top Fuel class, carding a 4.699 at 287.90 mph at the President's Cup Nationals in Budds Creek. Litton made a clean pass right down the groove at Maryland International Raceway to move to the top of the sheet heading into Saturday's two qualifying sessions.
For running the quickest winning pass of the Friday evening session Litton also claimed Last Man Standing honors and the five bonus points that go with it.
"The car was running really good until about 1,000 feet," Litton, an Indianapolis resident, said. "So I had to back off it a little bit. But I'm glad we were able to move to #1 and I'm happy with winning Last Man Standing. There are a lot of good cars out here and that was a bonus for us."
Bobby Lagana Jr. (Scarsdale, N.Y.) was right on Litton's heels, posting a 4.717 at 312.13 mph to end up second on the qualifying sheet.
Litton was not the only defending World Champion in the Nitro ranks to claim the provisional #1 qualifier position. Beecher, Ill. resident Dale Creasy Jr., a two-time defending champion in the Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car class, moved to the top of the provisional qualifying sheet with a 4.967 blast down the track at 300.40 mph.
"We've been having some trouble getting the car down the track, and it was mostly the driver," Creasy said. "I had a little talk with him and we were able to get down the track tonight. I'm happy about that."
Tommy D'Aprile (Port Charlotte, Fla.) put his Mel Bush-owned '62 Bel Air on top of the provisional qualifying sheet with a 6.042 pass at 236.13 mph. It was his second-quickest pass of the season, trailing only the 6.038 he ran three weeks ago at Milan Dragway. Points leader Kenny Lang (Grande Pointe, Manitoba) ended up second on the sheet with a 6.079/239.95 pass.
Larry Dobbs (Welland, Ont.) shocked the Alcohol Funny Car class when he posted a sizzling 5.791 at an incredible 254.14 mph to claim the provisional #1 qualifier spot. His speed was a provisional world record, nearly five miles per hour faster than Dale Brand's standing record of 249.30. Dobbs' run seemed to come from nowhere as his previous best speed of the season was 247.57.
Defending AFC World Champion Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) appears to have things turned around. The seven-time world champ failed to qualify for the elimination rounds at the previous two races, but his 5.814/246.26 pass put him #2 on the provisional qualifying sheet heading into Saturday's two qualifying sessions. Thomas also claimed the five Last Man Standing bonus points for being the quickest winning driver in Friday's evening qualifying session.
Jeff Dobbins (Wilmington, N.C.) kept his streak of strong qualifying efforts alive by jumping to the provisional #1 position in Pro Stock. The #1 qualifier in Milan three weeks ago clocked a 6.358 at 221.56 mph to move to the top of the sheet Friday night. Dobbins won the Friday Quarter-Max Pro Stock Challenge bonus for being the quickest winning driver of the Friday evening qualifying session, a feat he also pulled off both nights in Rockingham. The winner of the Quarter-Max Pro Stock Challenge receives five bonus points as well as a $500 check from Quarter-Max.
The Torco President's Cup Nationals will continue Saturday, June 14 with two professional qualifying sessions. The first will begin at 2:00pm with all five professional classes running. The field will finalize after Saturday's evening qualifying session, which will start at 7:00pm.