Rockingham: Qualifying notes

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals. Top Fuel Bruce Litton -Litton entered the rescheduled event with a 7.704/100.82 best under his belt. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver more than...

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals.

Top Fuel

Bruce Litton -Litton entered the rescheduled event with a 7.704/100.82 best under his belt. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver more than picked up the pace today as he sped to a 4.760/305.08 during Saturday's first session to jump up to the second spot in qualifying. During the final qualifying session of the season Saturday night, Litton improved again, blasting to a 4.725/317.72 to remain qualified third. Litton will face Steve Smith in a crucial first round battle on Sunday.

J.R. Todd - Todd didn't fare too well either before the rains hit with a 10.704. Like his boss, the 18-year old Top Fuel driver stepped up with a 4.888/298.27 to jump into the Top Fuel field in the No. 7 position. Todd failed to improve during the final qualifying session and remained in the No. 7 spot. The former Jr. Dragster standout will face Clay Millican in round one on Sunday. A defeat of Millican would be a tremendous boost for Bruce Litton's title hopes.

Pro Funny Car

Von Smith - Smith battled tireshake before the event was rescheduled and was 15th in the early going with a 12.306. The three-time World Champion from Oak Ridge, TN., used the first session on Saturday to improve dramatically with a 6.049/237.59 to jump up to the eighth position. During the 'Night of Fire' Smith once again improved, storming to a great 5.918/243.59 to finish qualifying in the No. 6 spot. Smith will face Andy Kelly in round one competition.

Scott Weney - The newly crowned World Champion entered the event qualified third with a 6.032/232.55. On Saturday, Weney jumped up to the second qualifying position with an outstanding 5.882/234.70. He failed to improve during the night session and dropped one qualifying position down to third. Weney will have a tough first round battle with former World Champion, Mark Thomas, on Sunday.

John Vouros - Vouros was not at the initial running for good reason. He didn't have a car and wasn't a licensed Funny Car driver. The CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored driver barely missed the show on his first lap when he miscued on his staging procedure, which cost him nearly a tenth off of his elapsed time. Vouros was unable to crack the tough Rockingham field and finished qualifying in the 24th position.

Pro Modified

Troy Critchley/Johnny Rocca - The Ironhorse team more than made up for the shortcomings of the initially scheduled event. Unqualified going into Saturday's first session, Critchley piloted the '49 Mercury to an amazing 6.229/226.20 to jump into the No. 1 qualifying spot. After failing to improve during the evening session, the Ironhorse team wound up in the No. 2 spot, with a first round match-up on Sunday with Buzz Varner.

Ed Hoover - Hoover entered the event as the fifth quickest with a 6.427/220.84 in Paul Trussell's Corvette. After failing to improve during the second qualifying session, the earlier 6.42 was only good enough to qualify Hoover 20th in the record setting Pro Mod field. A valiant 6.381/221.27 during his final qualifying shot left Hoover qualified 17th, just three-thousandth's of a second short of making the quickest field in Pro Modified history. This marked the first time in three years that Hoover has failed to qualify.

Al Billes - Billes had produced a 6.479/219.19, which put him 13th in the program before the rains hit. He was bumped out of the program prior to his final qualifying attempt, but earned his way back in with a 6.314/227.38. He ended up qualified fifth and will meet Quain Stott in the first round of eliminations.

Tommy Mauney - Mauney blasted out a 6.365/220.94 in Roy Singleton's Majesty Homes Willys to claim the second spot before the rains hit. Mauney failed to improve on the 6.36 during Saturday's two qualifying sessions and fell the 13th on the ladder. He'll face Mitch Stott during the first round of eliminations.

Tommy Gray - The driver of the Undertaker Corvette was not at the originally scheduled date of the event. Gray faced nothing but misfortune in Rockingham and failed to make the show. He did produce a 6.41 best, but by-passed the scales disqualifying his run.

Pro Stock

Chris Holbrook - The defending Pro Stock World Champion from Lavonia, MI., piloted the Luckett & Bohannon machine to a 6.820/204.98 at the regularly scheduled event. Holbrook improved to 6.742/209.92 during the first session Saturday but fell from 13th to 16th on the qualifying ladder. After failing to improve on the 6.74 during the final qualifying session, Holbrook fell to 20th and failed to qualify.

John Montecalvo - Montecalvo entered the rescheduled event with a 6.756/207.72 best under his belt in the Citgo-sponsored Chevrolet. The New York racer improved with 6.702/208.88 during the first session Saturday to qualify 11th. After failing to improve in the last session, Montecalvo finished qualifying in the No. 13 position. He'll face Jerry Yeoman during the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

Gene Wilson - Wilson was the 12th quickest with a 6.799/207.59 when the rains hit in Charlie Hunt's Ford Probe. Wilson improved by a full tenth of a second with a great 6.691/211.03 to move up to 10th with one qualifying session left. The Georgia driver improved once again during the evening session with 6.679/211.73 to finish qualifying in the No. 9 spot. Wilson will face Angelo Alesci in round one action on Sunday.

Floyd Cheek - It was at this rain-delayed event that Cheek debuted the Cougar with a best 6.825/207.11. The former World Champion has more than found the combination as he improved with a 6.727/208.20 on his first pass on Saturday. Cheek once again stepped up his performance during the final qualifying session with 6.694/207.40, which qualified the Tennessee driver 12th. He'll face Dwayne Rice during the first round of eliminations.

Dwayne Rice - Rice did quite a bit of testing before returning to Rockingham, where he established himself in the field with a 6.794/207.46. He came back for the rescheduled event ready to race and improved with a 6.684/208.39 during his first qualifying shot on Saturday. Rice laid down a great 6.653/210.14 in the final qualifying session to qualify in the 5th spot. The Ohio racer will go up against Floyd Cheek in round one of eliminations.

Angelo Alesci - Alesci entered today's qualifying with a 6.835/203.98, good enough for the 15th spot. The Ohio racer improved dramatically with a 6.668/210.41, to jump up to the 6th position during Saturday's first qualifying session. After failing to improve during the night session, Alesci's 6.66 dropped him down to the No. 8 position. He'll face Gene Wilson in round one.

Pro Outlaw

Laurie Cannister - Cannister was at the top of the field in her Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ-sponsored entry with a 6.177/222.88. On Saturday, Cannister improved her time with a 6.166/220.55, but dropped to the No. 2 position on the qualifying ladder. After failing to improve on her final qualifying attempt, the defending IHRA World Champion wound up in the No. 4 spot. She'll face Dave Christensen during the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

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