Rockingham: Paul Athey race notes

Rockingham, NC- Paul Athey, the driver of Johnny Rocca's 'Ironhorse' '51 Pro Modified, was eliminated in the first round on Sunday at the 3rd annual IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. Athey was ousted after a dramatic last...

Rockingham, NC- Paul Athey, the driver of Johnny Rocca's 'Ironhorse' '51 Pro Modified, was eliminated in the first round on Sunday at the 3rd annual IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. Athey was ousted after a dramatic last ditch qualifying effort on Saturday.

Athey piloted Rocca's '51 Mercury to a soft 6.49 at 200 mph during the opening round of Mopar Pro Modified qualifying to grab the No. 14 spot on the ladder. The 'Ironhorse' returned for Friday's evening session at Rockingham Dragway and improved to a 6.39 at 211 mph but dropped to the No. 17 position on the Pro Mod ladder. Athey returned for the first of Saturday's final two qualifying sessions and improved once again with a 6.38 at 218 mph but was unable to move into the 16-car field.

The 'Ironhorse' was still not qualified when Athey rolled to the starting line for his pressure filled final attempt to make the Mopar Pro Modified field. Car owner and tuner, Johnny Rocca, provided Athey with the muscle to thunder to a 6.34 at 219 mph to jump into the Sunday's show in the No. 14 position.

Rocca's Mohegan Sun-sponsored entry was paired up against No. 10 qualifier, Alan Pittman, during the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Pittman left the starting line first with a .444 to .529 reaction time and Athey was unable to track him down. Pittman took the victory with a 6.28 at 221 mph to Athey's respectable 6.34 at 219 mph.

The next for event for the "Ironhorse" will be the 10th annual IHRA CARQUEST President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Dragway.

-www.usaracing.com-

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Series Drag
Drivers Johnny Rocca , Alan Pittman , Paul Athey