Edmonton: Saturday qualifying report

Mother Nature Has the Last Say at Jam-Packed Castrol Raceway Kevin Jones (Top Fuel), Dale Creasy Jr. (Nitro Funny Car), Mike Janis (Pro Modified), Thomas Carter (Alcohol Funny Car), and Bob Bertsch (Pro Stock) claim No. 1 qualifying spots after...

Mother Nature Has the Last Say at Jam-Packed Castrol Raceway

Kevin Jones (Top Fuel), Dale Creasy Jr. (Nitro Funny Car), Mike Janis (Pro Modified), Thomas Carter (Alcohol Funny Car), and Bob Bertsch (Pro Stock) claim No. 1 qualifying spots after rain brings early end to second day of qualifying

EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 5, 2008) -- For the second day in a row rain and lightning brought an exciting day of qualifying for the CARS RV & Sport & Marine Rocky Mountain Nationals to an early end.

The day which started with a huge crowd enjoying top-notch racing action under clear blue skies ended prematurely when, as Friday, strong winds blew rain into the area. And, as Friday, attempts to dry the track after an initial stoppage proved futile despite the best efforts of Castrol Raceway and IHRA staff.

Pro Stock and Alcohol Funny Car fields were set before the first showers struck, while Pro Mod was in the middle of its session. A revised ladder put Mike Janis, who carded a best pass of 6.173, 232.19, at the top of the list.

In Pro Stock, Bob Bertsch, with his Rislone Engine Treatment-backed team from Willis, Michigan, claimed top qualifying honors as well as the Last Man Standing bonus with a pass of 6.568 at 213.33 mph. Bertsch is the lone Pro Stock driver at Edmonton. His decision to attend the race was twofold. He lost crew member and friend John Weisler during the previous event, at Budds Creek, Maryland, and Weisler's widow urged him to continue racing.

Said Bertsch, "I needed to get back to the racetrack." He said he also had made a commitment to his sponsor, who had been counting heavily on the two Canadian races to promote a product recently introduced north of the border. "My sponsor asked me to go, and that's what I signed up for at the beginning of the year," he said.

He said that "it's weird" to be the only driver "competing" in the class this weekend. "Some moments it feels good, and other moments it feels sad," Bertsch said. Prior to his run tonight a moment of silence was observed in honor of his fallen friend.

Dr. Thomas Carter is the only competitor other than Laurie Cannister to have claimed an Alcohol Funny Car Ironman this season, taking the win at the Motor City Nationals at Milan, Michigan, in May. Carter, of Cuero, Texas, currently sits third in championship points behind Cannister and Rob Atchison.

Saturday evening he claimed both the No. 1 qualifying spot and Last Man Standing honors and the accompanying five bonus points by pacing his "Jawbreaker" 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to an elapsed time mark of 5.849 at 243.28 mph.

"We've been working to get this car to run since the beginning of the season and it's finally performing the way we knew it could," Carter said. "We have been working real hard and I have to thank my whole crew for their effort. They have done an outstanding job. And I'd also like to thank this great crowd here at Edmonton for coming out to see us."

The No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel was Kevin Jones, who claimed the spot on the strength of his 4.911, 275.96 pass in the class' only session.

On the Nitro Funny Car front, defending champion and most recent event winner Dale Creasy Jr. laid claim to the top spot with his run of 5.319, 278.17.

-credit: ihra

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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Mike Janis , Dale Creasy Jr.