Darlington Record Performances Highlight Qualifying

27th annual IHRA Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals Darlington International Dragway's Annual Raw Horsepower Festival March 12 - 13 - 14 Darlington, SC Records Fall By The Wayside As The IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals ...

27th annual IHRA Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals Darlington International Dragway's Annual Raw Horsepower Festival March 12 - 13 - 14 Darlington, SC

Records Fall By The Wayside As The IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals Conclude Qualifying!

DARLINGTON, SC--- It's amazing what will happen when you combine a great racing surface, favorable weather conditions and over 500 of the toughest drag racers in the United States jockeying for early leads in the IHRA/Snap-On Tools professional points standings. Astounding numbers in the Top Fuel, Alcohol Funny Car, Pro Modified, Pro Stock, Super Eliminator and Screamin' Eagle/Top Fuel Harley divisions were recorded before a capacity crowd at Darlington International Dragway.

Jim Bailey made his sponsor proud as he wheeled the Snap-On Tools backed dragster to a 4.676/301.47 to better the IHRA World Record currently held by his car owner, Doug Herbert. His run topped the 4.744/303.78 recorded by Texan Jim Lampus during the Friday evening session. However, that run was backed up as a new Top Fuel record. Defending World Champion Paul Romine ended up seventh qualifier and is scheduled to face Lampus in the first round.

The two-wheeled contingent were represented well during the record-smashing third session. Jay Turner, the Top Fuel Harley rider from Greensboro, N.C., topped the Harleys with the first 6.5 second pass in history with a 6.552 at over 212 miles per hour. Series newcomer Doug Vancil pushed the Vance & Hines Harley to a 6.786/185.92 to slip into the second spot. Veteran rider Ray Price was third with a 6.811/197.42.

Von Smith rested on his Friday laurels and qualified number one with a 5.855/235.89. the Oak Ridge, Tn., based driver made the pole-securing run during the first session. Melinda Green-King remained second with a 5.889/235.68.

The Pro Modified division, which debuted here in 1990, entered into a new arena of battle as Canadian Al Billes pushed his new Scotty Cannon-built, 1953 Studebaker to a 6.268/222.47. The run topped both ends of the class record once shared by Cannon and Shannon Jenkins. Shannon Jenkins picked up where he left off in 1998 by producing a 6.323/218.44. Steve Vick ended up third with a 6.346 and Johnny Rocca's 1949 Merc, driven by Australian Troy Critchley which turned in a 6.392. There were 45 entries for what turned out to be the quickest ever Pro Mod field in history.

The World's Quickest and Fastest Pro Stockers lived up to their reputation. Chris Holbrook reset the elapsed time world record with a 6.612/209.07 in the Stu Evans Ford Probe, which also took the number one spot. Former Pro Stock World Champion Jon Yoak led early qualifying with a 6.620/209.98 blast. Floyd Cheek continued the Ford domination as he secured the third spot with a 6.633. The bump spot for the 16-car field was a 6.712 from rookie driver Jeremy Bevins.

Super Eliminator, the open bodied equivalent to Pro Modified, remained the property of Larry Snyder. Snyder crept the innovative category closer to the five-second zone with a 6.087/221.23 in his 400-cubic inch, supercharged dragster. Defending World Champion Ray Price made a valiant last ditch effort and emerged with a 6.230/218.16. John Long fell to third with a 6.281/214.42.

Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday. The track is located six miles west of Darlington on Hwy 151. Coverage of the event can be obtained on the World Wide Web at the IHRA web site (WWW.IHRA.COM).

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Doug Herbert , Johnny Rocca , Scotty Cannon , Ray Price , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Troy Critchley , Von Smith , John Long