Epping: Saturday qualifying summary

Massive Crowd Sees Gilbertson No. 1 Nitro Funny Car Qualifier EPPING, N.H. (August 11, 2007) -- Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., qualified No. 1 in Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car during the Amalie Oil North American Nationals...

Massive Crowd Sees Gilbertson No. 1 Nitro Funny Car Qualifier

EPPING, N.H. (August 11, 2007) -- Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., qualified No. 1 in Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car during the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers. Gilbertson covered the New England Dragway quarter-mile in 4.953 seconds at 309.91 mph, also earning Last Man Standing in front of the capacity crowd.

Other professional No. 1 qualifiers include TJ Zizzo (Top Fuel), Mike Janis (Pro Modified), Terry Munroe (Alcohol Funny Car) and Brian Gahm (Pro Stock).

Trailing Gilbertson in Nitro Funny Car qualifying is Andy Kelley and Mike Smith, two and three. Points leader Dale Creasy Jr. sits fourth, followed by Jack Wyatt, Mitch King, Jeff Diehl and Terry Haddock.

Zizzo topped the Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel class with a 4.610, 320.13, which earned the Lincolnshire, Ill., driver Last Man Standing as well. Terry McMillen qualified second, 4.663, followed by Scotty Cannon and Bobby Lagana Jr. Current points leader Bruce Litton is fifth. His lead over Zizzo is less than one round, and the two will meet in the first round of eliminations.

In Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified, Janis, Lancaster, N.Y., used the afternoon qualifying session to set the No. 1 mark at 6.064, 239.74. The speed is fast enough to give him the world record if he can back up the run. He's trailed by Ed Hoover, who earned the Last Man Standing. Shannon Jenkins sits third and Jason Hamstra, who won the last IHRA event in Martin, Mich., is fourth. Harold Martin holds the bump spot.

Alcohol Funny Car driver Munroe, Beaver, Pa., who entered the event second in points, earned top qualifier and Last Man Standing. His 5.771, 242.54, was enough to outlast No. 2 qualifier Rob Atchison, current points leader Mark Thomas and Paul Noakes. Neal Parker locked up the bump spot with a 5.962.

Gahm, Lucasville, Ohio, used a 6.343 ET to take the No. 1 spot in Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock, as well as the Quarter-Max Pro Stock Challenge. His speed of 221.27 tied the world record set by Robert Patrick at New England Dragway in 2006. Patrick finished second, followed by Frank Gugliotta, Rob Mansfield and Pete Berner. Dan Sweeney, Groton, Mass., qualified twelfth.

Professional eliminations are scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, log onto www.ihra.com. The Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers is the seventh of eleven events on the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Bruce Litton , Robert Patrick , Bob Gilbertson , Dale Creasy Jr. , Scotty Cannon , Bobby Lagana Jr. , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Mitch King , Jack Wyatt , Terry Haddock , Harold Martin , Jeff Diehl , Frank Gugliotta , Terry McMillen