Epping: Series Friday qualifying summary

Rain shortens first day of qualifying After dodging rain showers during a majority of the afternoon, New England Dragway's luck finally ran out just an hour shy of the second session of pro qualifying and the track and IHRA were forced to pull...

Rain shortens first day of qualifying

After dodging rain showers during a majority of the afternoon, New England Dragway's luck finally ran out just an hour shy of the second session of pro qualifying and the track and IHRA were forced to pull the plug on the opening day of qualifying Friday at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers in Epping, N.H.

With frigid temperatures and light rain plaguing the afternoon, the afternoon's only round of pro qualifying saw a few surprises on top of the charts as Fidelio Montrond (Pro Modified) and Mark Martino (Elite Motorsports Pro Stock) topped their respective divisions after one round of qualifying.

Montrond ( Acushnet, Mass.) had the only full power pass of the afternoon in the Pro Modified category as his 6.143 second lap at 230.06 miles per hour was good enough to take the provisional pole.

He was followed closely by the turbocharged Camaro of Andy Jensen (Nescopeck, Pa.) who ran a 6.183 second pass at 209.23 miles per hour. Behind them was Tony Pontieri (7.801), Ed Hoover (8.901) and Pete Farber (11.316).

In Elite Motorsports Pro Stock the competition was much stiffer as Martino (Stoney Creek, Ontario) produced his career best speed at 222.88 miles per hour and his elapsed time of 6.335 seconds was good enough to put him first on the charts after one round.

Bob Bertsch (Willis, Mich.) equaled Martino with a 6.335 second pass, but his slower speed of 221.16 mph placed him second on the charts. Pete Berner (6.354), John Montecalvo (6.357) and Ned Katuran (6.362) rounded out the Pro Stock top five.

The other professional category to get in a round on Friday was the stars of the Pro Stock Sled class.

The northeast based group put on an exciting show in the opening round as Jay Pearl (Newport, Maine) topped the charts with a solid 8.491 E.T. at 153.74 miles per hour. He was followed by Kevin Zucco (Agawam, Mass.) who ran an 8.513 second pass.

Kristin Stanley (8.525), Brian Hamel (8.660) and Ed Illgen (8.865) rounded out the top five.

IHRA's other two professional categories, Top Fuel and the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association, did not make qualifying passes on Friday.

The Amalie Oil North American Nationals will pick right up where it left off Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. Qualifying will run throughout the day capped off by the thrilling New England Dodge Dealers "Night of Fire" Saturday night.

-credit: irha

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Series Drag
Drivers John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Mark Martin , Pete Farber