Epping: Saturday qualifying summary

Gilbertson establishes provisional world record during Nitro Funny Car evening session EPPING, N.H. (September 9, 2006) -- Doug Foley entered the Amalie Oil North American Nationals hot on Clay Millican's heels for the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing...

Gilbertson establishes provisional world record during Nitro Funny Car evening session

EPPING, N.H. (September 9, 2006) -- Doug Foley entered the Amalie Oil North American Nationals hot on Clay Millican's heels for the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel season points lead. Millican led Foley by just 15 points heading into Epping, leaving only four races left to determine the eventual 2006 World Champion.

In the battle down the stretch, Foley fired the opening salvo Saturday afternoon at the North American Nationals. His 4.637 at a track record 323.66 mph put him on the pole. But he had something more up his sleeve. He fired off a 4.590 Saturday evening to shatter the New England Dragway ET record and solidify his hold on the pole. Millican, who was a disappointing sixth after Saturday morning's session, threw down a 4.700 Saturday night to end up second and keep pace with Foley.

Bob Gilbertson continued his assault on the IHRA record books. After breaking John Force's track record at Norwalk Raceway Park two weeks ago, Gilbertson provisionally set both ends of the IHRA world record Saturday night in Epping. His 4.786/315.78 pass will have to be backed up during Sunday eliminations to go on the books.

Current IHRA points leader Dale Creasy Jr. was second on the qualifying sheet with a 4.852 pass at 311.92 mph.

Nothing changed after the Saturday afternoon qualifying session in Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified as Kenny Lang held on to the pole when Saturday evening's session was finished. Lang posted a 6.102 at 231.87 Saturday afternoon to jump to the top of the sheet and, despite strong evening runs by Ed Hoover and Carl Spiering, will sit No. 1 when the first round of eliminations begin Sunday.

Ed Hoover clocked a 6.119/232.91 pass to claim the #2 spot while Carl Spiering ended up third with a 6.133/232.23 pass.

Rob Mansfield has seemingly found something special with his '05 Cobalt. Mansfield posted the two quickest times of all Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock qualifying sessions with a 6.380 Saturday morning, followed by a 6.382 at 219.44 mph in the evening air to claim the No. 1 qualifying spot. Two weeks ago Mansfield advanced to the semifinals at the Skull Shine World Nationals.

Pete Berner, the Ironman winner in Norwalk, is second on the qualifying sheet with a 6.400/216.58 posted Saturday evening.

Fred Tigges, a New Englander from Holbrook, Mass., gave the fans in Epping a thrill with his final qualifying shot Saturday. Tigges clocked a 5.749 at 244.29 mph to jump from third to the top of the qualifying list, bumping Rob Atchison into the No. 2 spot. Terry Munroe will be in the No. 3 spot on the eliminations ladder.

Professional eliminations for the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway begin Sunday at 11 p.m. Final round starts at 4:15 p.m.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Clay Millican , Bob Gilbertson , John Force , Dale Creasy Jr. , Ed Hoover , Doug Foley , Kenny Lang