Empire Nationals Final Qualifying Report Summary

Leicester Report - Final Qualifying Reports From The IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals Top Fuel Bruce Litton-- Litton made his intentions known during the first qualifying session. While several of the more prominent teams had problems getting ...

Leicester Report - Final Qualifying Reports From The IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals

Top Fuel

Bruce Litton-- Litton made his intentions known during the first qualifying session. While several of the more prominent teams had problems getting their machines in tune to the excellent racing surface at New York International Raceway Park, he had no such problems and stormed to the early lead in qualifying with a 4.807/300.13. This elapsed time stood as a track record. The final session created somewhat of a bit of controversy. When the Top Fuel driver in the other lane had problems and couldn't fire his car. Litton proceeded with his burnout. The other driver got his car fired as Litton had backed up and squeaked across the line with a burnout. IHRA officials instructed the driver to abandon the run as he went on forward to the first turn-off. Litton's car had generated too much heat in the engine and crew chief Richard Hartman made the decision to shut-off. Litton declined another run and as a result of his failure to improve, slipped to the third position. He is scheduled to face Luigi Novelli in the first round of competition.

Top Fuel Harley-Davidson

Jamie Emery-- Emery stepped up during the second session and secured a spot in the field following the second session. He held onto the eighth spot with a 7.127/191.84 going into the final session. He did exactly as he needed and stepped up during the final session with a 7.040/193.18. However, he was bumped out in the last pair of Harleys to run during the final session.

John Mancuso-- Mancuso fired a tremendous shot during the first session on Saturday. He was relentless in his pursuit of an top qualifying lap and succeeded in securing the lead after the second session with a 6.662/202.85. He failed to improve during the final session with a 6.78/203.19, but the damage had been done against the scooter contingent. He remained in the top spot and is scheduled to face John Russell in the first round. Pro Alcohol Funny Car Scott Weney-- It didn't take much to improve on his Friday performance. But, Weney decided to pull out all of the stops and ascended into the seventh spot with a 5.988/238.30. He further improved during the final session with 5.969/239.87. His mile per hour set a new track record and stands as the quickest mile per hour in IHRA Pro Alcohol Funny Car since the restructured rules. Weney is scheduled to face David Burch in the first round.

Von Smith-- Smith, like most of the other alky flopper pilots, stepped up during the second session. He ascended one rung higher on the ladder with an astounding 5.895/238.34. He went into the final session in the second spot. His seeding remained intact despite his failure to improve. Smith will meet Dan Crownhart in the first round of competition.

Pro Modified

Wally Stroupe -- Stroupe greatly improved during the second session and made his first full pass. He slipped into the 11th spot with a 6.467/216.51. Crew chief Barry Stroupe expressed concern that his engine might not be up to full strength for the final session; however, the outcome of the session proved otherwise. Wally stormed to his quickest run of the evening, a 6.44/217.25. He qualified in the 12th spot and is scheduled to face Dale Brinsfield in the first round of competition.

Johnny Rocca/Troy Critchley-- According to car owner, he greatly underestimated the NYIRP racing surface in his first session combination. He didn't make the second mistake twice and finished the session as the 13th quickest with a 6.481/216.58. Crew chief Johnny Roc felt that the track could handle even more horsepower than previously applied and the result, during the final session, produced a 6.465/217.95. Critchley claimed the 15th spot and will face Glen May in the first round of competition.

Mike Castellana-- Castellana was in the field at the beginning of the session, but despite an improved effort was bumped from the program into the first alternate position. He ran a 6.542/214.52 to improve on his previous day's performance. Going into the final session, he knew that he was going to have to make a phenomenal run just to have a chance to race on Sunday. His 1957 Chevy has never looked finer as he stormed to a 6.443/216.13, good enough for the 13th spot. He will meet Tommy Gray in the first round of competition.

Dale Brinsfield-- Brinsfield continued his bid to greatly improve by cranking out a 6.410/218.58. He completed the second session in the fourth position. Great weather conditions and a phenomenal stage afforded him what was possibly the great run of his career during the final session. Brinsfield stormed to a 6.379/218.16, good enough for the fifth spot. He will face Wally Stroupe in the first round of competition.

Shannon Jenkins-- Jenkins stepped up in a big way during the second session with a 6.414/217.81. He went into the final qualifying session in the fifth spot. However, he knew that run was not going to be nowhere near the top following the final session. Jenkins stepped in a big way and stormed to the quickest run of all the nitrous-injected entries with a 6.340/220.91. He will face Quain Stott in the first round of competition.

Ed Hoover -- Hoover continued his trend to move into the top half of the program. He was impressive in his second qualifying attempt with a 6.431/218.90, good enough for the seventh spot going into the night session. When he saw that the track could handle even more horsepower, Hoover stepped up with an impressive 6.405/219.40. He will meet Tim McAmis in the first round of competition.

Pro Stock

John Montecalvo-- Montecalvo's hardworking crew of crew chief Billy Wagener and Pete Jepson found the right combination for the second session and it paid great dividends. They climbed six spots with one run into the fourth spot with a 6.727/206.80. They knew that the NYIRP racing surface would take even more and yet again they continued to stand as the quickest Chevrolet in competition. Montecalvo stormed to a 6.682/207.27, good enough for the third spot. He will meet Jeremy Bevins in the first round of competition. Charlie Hunt Racing-- Both drivers improved during the second session with Tom Lee making the larger leap over teammate Floyd Cheek. Lee stepped into the third spot with a 6.719/207.56, while Cheek improved with a 6.771/206.48, but fell into the ninth spot. While most entries improved during the final session, Lee failed to improve with a 6.72/206.54 during the final session. Cheek leapfrogged his teammate with a 6.717/206.99. Cheek ended up in the 7th spot and will face Dwayne Rice in the first race. Lee ended up in the ninth spot and will match against Doug Kirk in the first round.

Super Eliminator

Larry Snyder-- Snyder apparently found a better combination during the second session and greatly improved to a 6.214/218.83. The improvement moved him from the 15th spot to the second spot, going into the final session. He came into the final session with even more power than the last go-round and improved with a 6.120/222.66. For the first time in 1999, Snyder was not the quickest qualifier in Super Eliminator. He will enter eliminations as the #2 qualifier and is scheduled to meet Terry Munroe in the first round.

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Series Drag
Drivers Scott Weney , Johnny Rocca , Bruce Litton , Quain Stott , Dwayne Rice , John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Tommy Gray , Shannon Jenkins , Luigi Novelli , Tim McAmis , Troy Critchley , Von Smith , Richard Hartman , Johnny R