Leicester Qualifying Story

LEICESTER - Qualifying Story by Larry Sullivan LEICESTER, N.Y. - SUMMIT FastNews - Single-day qua;lifying for the 1998 CARQUEST Empire Nationals was completed Saturday with David Bieneman, John Mnntecalvo, Fred Hahn, Mark Thomas, and Dave...

LEICESTER - Qualifying Story

by Larry Sullivan LEICESTER, N.Y. - SUMMIT FastNews - Single-day qua;lifying for the 1998 CARQUEST Empire Nationals was completed Saturday with David Bieneman, John Mnntecalvo, Fred Hahn, Mark Thomas, and Dave Price atop the eliminations ladders for their respective categories. Bieneman was the last Top Fuel qualifier down the track in the "Night of Fire" final qualifying session Saturday and was not even in the eight-car field when he started his run. 4.989 seconds later he was not only in the field, he was also the owner of the event elapsed time record. Paul Romine, driving the CARQUEST dragster had become the first driver ever to break into the fours at New York International Raceway Park running just ahead of Bieneman and everyone expected Romine to lead the eight-car field into eliminations, so Bieneman's feat brought the crowd to their feet. Top Fuel driver Bobby Lagana received serious injuries to his left hand when the throttle on his car hung open and the car went off the end of the track at high speed. He was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for surgery to re-attach three fingers. He also suffered a broken right ankle in the accident, which demolished his dragster, during the first qualifying session Saturday. Montecalvo heads a very quick Pro Stock field, clocked at 6.780 seconds and 202.70 mph during the "Night of Fire" session. 1997 IHRA champion Floyd Cheek barely held on to make the field, qualified sixteenth at 6.901 seconds. Hahn edged favorite Scotty Cannon in a side-by-side pairing that set the top two positions on the Pro Modified ladder. Cannon held a tenth of a second edge on the field entering the "Night of Fire" session, but Hahn's 6.461 at 212.43 mph was just good enough to better Cannon's 6.504 at 213.64. Al Billes qualified sixteenth in the very quick field at 6.782 seconds. Number two in the points in 1997, Thomas edged 1997 IHRA Alcohol Funny Car champion Jimmy Rector to lead that field into Sunday's eliminations. Thomas posted an elapsed time of 6.061 seconds at 226.77 mph to better Rector's 6.077 at 228.96. Mike Preslar rounds out the sixteen-car field at 6.413 seconds and will meet Thomas in the first round Sunday. In Super Eliminator, Price's 6.367 at 214.96 mph was enough to hold off Angela Sicilia's last-chance 6.412 for the top spot on the eight-car ladder. Price will meet Dave Christensen in the first round Sunday, Christensen clocked at 6.548 seconds. Mike Swinarski dominated the Holbrook Tool Top Sportsman Quick 8 competition during the "Night of Fire", easily defeating his three opponents to earn the victory during Saturday evening eliminations. Final eliminations for Sportsman competitors begin at 8 AM Sunday, with Professional eliminations starting at noon. Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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Series Drag
Drivers Fred Hahn , Mark Thomas , Scotty Cannon , Al Billes