Epping: Friday qualifying summary

Dale Creasy Takes No. 1 Nitro Funny Car Spot at New England Dragway Todd Paton, Kenny Lang, Rob Mansfield and Rob Atchison Also Provisional Top Qualifiers EPPING, N.H. (September 8, 2006) -- Dale Creasy Jr. helped his bid to maintain the...

Dale Creasy Takes No. 1 Nitro Funny Car Spot at New England Dragway
Todd Paton, Kenny Lang, Rob Mansfield and Rob Atchison Also Provisional Top Qualifiers

EPPING, N.H. (September 8, 2006) -- Dale Creasy Jr. helped his bid to maintain the lead in the Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car class Friday during the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers, blasting a 4.852/311.92 track record-setting pass to claim the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot. Todd Paton (Top Fuel), Kenny Lang (Pro Modified), Rob Mansfield (Pro Stock) and Rob Atchison (Alcohol Funny Car) also claimed provisional top spots.

Creasy, Beecher,Ill., who made the best pass of any car during the night session, is followed in qualifying by Jack Wyatt and Paul Lee. Bob Gilbertson, Charlotte, N.C., was on a 5.023-second run but the pass was disqualified when he crossed the centerline.

"We knew the track was good, the air here is phenomenal, and that's a lethal combination," said Creasy. "You can really get yourself in trouble when the conditions are just right and you overpower the car. But we decided to just do what we know how to do and it worked out to make a great run."

In Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels Pro Top Fuel, Paton, originally from Paris, Ontario, took the No. 1 position with a 4.960/241.76 pass that he shut off before the finish line. The team recently acquired the dragster, and didn't know if they'd even have it ready for the first qualifier. Despite the uncertainties, Paton sits atop the qualifying sheet, followed by Chris Karamesines and points leader Clay Millican.

"We were still building this car about twenty minutes before we got up to the staging lanes," said Paton. "The guys have been working around the clock on this car for a couple of weeks. How satisfying is that to come in under those circumstances and come out tonight No. 1? We'll definitely take that for a first lap in the car."

Canadian Lang, who comes into the event just outside the top ten in points, flew to a track record-setting ET 6.102 to take the provisional No. 1 spot in Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified. He's trailed by Ed Hoover, Carl Spiering and Scott Cannon. Point's leader Glen Kerunsky sits 13th. Charles Carpenter, Harrisburg, N.C., is on the bump spot with a 6.364.

As the first professional class to hit the track, Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock round one low qualifier is Mansfield, Winter Park, Fla., who's had one of the quickest cars in the last few races. Mansfield crossed the stripe at 6.380/218.90 and is trailed by Pete Berner, 6.412/216.86, who enters this event second in the point standings. Lake Bluff, Ill.-resident Tony Gillig, current points leader, sits in the 7th spot.

The Alcohol Funny Car class is seeing a familiar face emerge in Atchison. After a tough start to the season, the London, Ontario-native has climbed to within 5 points of the lead behind Mark Thomas, Canton, Ohio. Atchison is one step closer to closing out on Thomas, as he ends the day in the No. 1 position with a 5.769/247.52, trailed by Fred Tigges, Neal Parker, Tom Carter and Thomas. Terry McMillen, driver of the Amalie Oil-sponsored funny car sits on the bump spot with a 5.966.

Qualifying resumes Saturday for the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway. Gates open at 8 a.m. with Sportsman eliminations at 9:30 a.m., Professional qualifying at 3 and 7 p.m. Professional eliminations start Sunday at 11 a.m.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Tony Gillig , Chris Karamesines , Dale Creasy Jr. , Ed Hoover , Todd Paton , Paul Lee , Jack Wyatt , Glen Kerunsky , Kenny Lang , Terry McMillen