Norwalk: Friday qualifying summary

A TRIP TO THE TOP FOR GILBERTSON Sets Norwalk Raceway Park Nitro Funny Car track record during Skull Shine World Nationals Friday qualifying; Hillary Will, Mark Thomas, Eddie Ware and Robert Patrick also claim provisional poles heading into ...

A TRIP TO THE TOP FOR GILBERTSON

Sets Norwalk Raceway Park Nitro Funny Car track record during Skull Shine World Nationals Friday qualifying; Hillary Will, Mark Thomas, Eddie Ware and Robert Patrick also claim provisional poles heading into Saturday qualifying

NORWALK, Ohio (August 25, 2006) -- The sportsman car count may have dominated the news from the Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco, but the professional qualifying session stole the show.

Bob Gilbertson (Charlotte, N.C.) set a track record and jumped to the top of the provisional qualifying sheet by blistering the track with a Norwalk Raceway Park record 4.864 pass at 318.39 mph in the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car qualifying session. Gilbertson, currently third in IHRA championship points standings, broke John Force's track record (4.879) by ripping straight down the groove and charging hard past the finish line.

Jack Wyatt (Corydon, Iowa) headed into the Skull Shine World Nationals just 16 points behind leader Dale Creasy Jr. He put himself in position to cut into that points lead by clocking a solid 4.917 pass at 271.24 to slip into the provisional #2 qualifying position. Gary Densham (Bellflower, Calif.) will head into Saturday qualifying in third position while Creasy (Beecher, Ill.) was fourth.

Hilary Will (Ypsilanti, Mich.) made a statement right out of the gate in her first career IHRA Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel event. Will and J.R. Todd, in the first pair of the qualifying session, ran side-by-side 4.64 passes to set the mark early. Those numbers held up after all Top Fuel cars went down the track. Will, with a 4.643, nosed Todd (4.645) at the finish line to put her on the provisional pole. Will was clocked at 322.11 as she crossed the finish line while Todd posted a speed of 308.64.

Sewell, N.J. resident Doug Foley, currently in second behind five-time defending IHRA World Champion Clay Millican, ended Friday in the #3 spot with a 4.65 pass at 309.0 mph. Millican, a Drummonds, Tenn. resident, was fourth after the Friday session with a 4.69 pass at 308.2.

In Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified Eddie Ware (Marietta, Ga.) set the pace, posting a stout 6.185 pass at 229.59 mph. Ware, in his blown '67 Camaro, finished Friday's qualifying session slightly in front of Carl Spiering (Jordan Station, Ont.) and Jim Halsey (Street, Md.), who both crossed the finish line in 6.191 seconds. Spiering was awarded the provisional #2 spot based on his 229.70 mph speed compared to Halsey's 225.41.

Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) jumped to the top of the provisional qualifying ladder Friday night by running a tight 5.964 pass at 242.06 mph. Thomas stepped in front of Fred Tigges (Holbrook, Mass.) and Terry Munroe (Beaver, Pa.) by a thousandth-of-a-second, two pairs of cars after Tigges and Munroe clocked identical 5.865 passes. Tigges will spend Friday night in the #2 qualifying session as his 238.22 speed was faster than Munroe's 231.40.

Fredericksburg, Va.-resident Robert Patrick is in position to claim his second consecutive pole position after taking command of the Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock qualifying session. Patrick, who was the top qualifier in Martin three weeks ago, ran a 6.467/213.03 pass to sleep on top of the ladder Friday night. Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) ran the second-quickest pass of the Friday qualifying session with a 6.480/214.76 run. Current points leader Tony Gillig (Lake Bluff, Ill.) finished down the sheet in 12th position and will have to take advantage of the two Saturday qualifying sessions to move up the ladder.

Mike Romine set the pace in Nitro Cycle, lighting up the scoreboard with a 6.55 pass at 208.68 mph to pace the exhibition class. Mark Cox was second on the qualifying ladder with a 6.848 pass at 186.25 mph.

Qualifying resumes Saturday for the Skull Shine World Nationals presented by ACDelco at Norwalk Raceway Park. Gates open at 8 a.m. with Sportsman eliminations at 9 a.m., Professional qualifying at 3 and 7 p.m. Professional eliminations start Sunday at 11 a.m.

-credit: ihra

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Tony Gillig , Robert Patrick , Bob Gilbertson , John Force , Dale Creasy Jr. , Gary Densham , Jack Wyatt , Doug Foley , Jim Halsey , Hillary Will , J.R. Todd , Frank Gugliotta