Norwalk Pro Stock Shootout notes, results

Berner scores $20,000 Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout crown NORWALK, Ohio - Pete Berner was crowned the champion of the $51,000 Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout during the 27th annual IHRA Sunoco World Nationals presented by PPG Automotive Refinish...

Berner scores $20,000 Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout crown

NORWALK, Ohio - Pete Berner was crowned the champion of the $51,000 Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout during the 27th annual IHRA Sunoco World Nationals presented by PPG Automotive Refinish at Norwalk Raceway Park. Berner, 49, of Crete, Ill., pocketed $20,000, defeating defending champion Frank Gugliotta.

The final was a rematch of last year's shootout.

"That was a good race," said Berner, who entered the event as the second seed. "We knew we had to stay focused on winning. Getting the opportunity to race Frank again and for it to be as close as was made the experience tremendous. This was no doubt this was the best race of my career."

Although not the fastest and quickest, Berner was unbeatable in eliminations, posting a quicker reaction time in all three rounds.

The first victory on Berner's march to the money run came at the expense of Elijah Morton from Jacksonville, N.C. Berner pulled a .083 holeshot and extended that lead to a 6.596, 209.72 to 6.603, 208.39 decision.

The semifinals saw Berner put a .03 second starting line advantage in his pocket against Rick Jones, of Galesburg, IL., winning with a 6.562, 211.66. Jones in a losing effort produced the top speed of the shootout at 213.16.

In the final, Berner recorded his third consecutive holeshot win as he reeled off a quicker reaction time and sped to a winning 6.608, 210.97. Gugliotta, of Mt. Airy, Md., was the runner-up with a 6.609, 212.39.

"I have been working hard on my reaction times," explained Berner. "That was something we needed to improve on and my team was very supportive. I have a great team that made this win possible."

Saturday's final results from the Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout at the 27th annual Sunoco World Nationals presented by PPG Auto Refinish at Norwalk Raceway Park. The $1.1 million race is the ninth of 12 in the 2004 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series:

SUNOCO PRO STOCK SHOOTOUT:

ROUND ONE
Frank Gugliotta, Mercury Cougar, 6.567, 211.96
    def. John Nobile, Ford ZX-2, 6.589, 210.87
Rick Jones, Dodge Neon, 6.554, 212.46
    def. Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, broke
Pete Berner, Mustang, 6.596, 209.72
    def. Elijah Morton, Mustang, 6.603, 208.39
Steve Spiess, Chevy Cavalier, 6.574, 210.11
    def. John Montecalvo, Cavalier, 6.579, 210.83;

QUARTERFINALS
Gugliotta, 6.577, 213.13
    def. Spiess, 6.570, 211.39
Berner, 6.562, 211.66
    def. Jones, 6.561, 213.16;

SEMIFINALS
Berner, 6.608, 210.97
    def. Gugliotta, 6.609, 212.39.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers John Nobile , John Montecalvo , Steve Spiess , Frank Gugliotta