Rockingham qualifying notes

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals. Top Fuel Bruce Litton - Litton found a break during the early qualifying session. The driver of the Wix Filters presented by the Top Dragster...

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

Top Fuel

Bruce Litton - Litton found a break during the early qualifying session. The driver of the Wix Filters presented by the Top Dragster Driving Experience dragster appeared to be a good run until mid-track when his Indianapolis-based entry nailed the tires and went up in smoke. He slowed to a 7.704/100.82, good enough for the seventh spot.

J.R. Todd - Todd returned to the site of his initial Top Fuel announcement back in April. However, he didn't fare too well as the car encountered problems just past the tree and aborted the run. The 18-year old, driver of the United Expressline/Bruce Litton Trailer Sales entry slowed to a 10.704. He holds onto the bump spot going into the second day of qualifying.

Pro Funny Car

Von Smith - Smith opened his first round of qualifications with a mind numbing experience, literally. The three-time World Champion from Oak Ridge, TN., launched hard and at about the 200-foot mark, shook the tires severely. He lifted and coasted to a 12.306. He is 15th in the program.

Scott Weney - Weney captured the Pro Funny Car title at the Spring race and was looking to repeat the feat. Most of his flopper comrades were having a time trying to find the initial combination for the track, but Weney found it right off the bat with a 6.032/232.55. He's currently qualified third in the program.

Pro Modified

Troy Critchley/Johnny Rocca - Qualifying didn't provide a good experience for the recent Epping champions. When it came time for the first qualifying attempt, the Leesburg, VA.-based team could only sit helpless as their supercharged Mercury wouldn't fire. The culprit was later traced to a faulty battery.

Shannon Jenkins - Jenkins continues to wade knee-deep in frustrations and Rockingham's first qualifying session offered no reprieve. The Tuscaloosa, AL.-based driver was unable to secure a place in the field with a 6.646/179.42. He is currently ranked 28th.

Ed Hoover - Hoover was hoping for a good showing at Rockingham to avenge a dismal showing at Epping. The Gilbert, SC.-based driver of the Paul Trussell Corvette established a good baseline with a 6.427/220.84. He stands as the fifth quickest.

Dale Brinsfield - Brinsfield enjoys racing at Rockingham because it's the closest IHRA national event venue to his Greensboro, NC., home. The veteran driver stepped up with his jet-black painted, 1968 Camaro and delivered a 6.440/220.33. He is currently qualified sixth.

Mike Castellana - Castellana was determined to earn a spot in the program during the first session. The Westbury. NY.-based driver pushed his classic 1957 Chevrolet to a 6.448/216.20, good enough for the eighth spot. If he can maintain his status, it will mark the second consecutive time the new car has qualified in the top half of the program.

Steve Cossis - Cossis admitted that he was going to make his first attempt a little on the soft side because of his uncertainty of the weather. The CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored driver from Astoria, NY., slipped into the 15th spot with a 6.484/218.41.

Al Billes - Billes didn't have his classic supercharged Studebaker up to its usual torrid pace, but it didn't matter much as he still earned a spot in the field after the first round of qualifying. The Canadian-based driver stepped up to the plate and delivered a 6.479/219.19. He is currently qualified 13th in the program.

Tommy Mauney - Mauney's appearances on the IHRA series have been sporadic this season. One wouldn't have known it as he pushed Roy Singleton's Majesty Homes to the second quickest lap of the first round of qualifying. The veteran chassis builder did an admirable job of piloting the supercharged Willys across the finish line with a 6.365/220.94.

Pro Stock

Chris Holbrook - The defending Pro Stock World Champion from Lavonia, Ga., continued to put the Luckett & Bohannon machine through its paces. He made his first qualifying attempt a positive one as he successfully navigated the racing surface and hammered out a 6.820/204.98. He currently resides in the 13th spot.

John Montecalvo - Montecalvo entered in Rockingham in a tie with Jon Yoak for the Pro Stock points lead. The Citgo-sponsored driver ascended into the fifth position with a 6.756/207.72 on his first lap. He currently trails Yoak in qualifying, which unofficially slips him into the second position in the points chase.

Gene Wilson - Wilson got off to a good start in Charlie Hunt's Ford Probe. The Canton, GA.-based driver drifted towards the centerline, but corrected enough to hammer out a 6.799/207.59. He dropped to the 12th position by the end of Friday's first session.

Floyd Cheek - With his championship hopes pretty much awash, Cheek and team owner Charlie Hunt opted to go ahead and debut a new 2000 Jerry Haas-built Mercury Cougar. The maiden voyage on the neat machine was a good one as he earned a place in the field after the first session with a 6.825/207.11. He ended up as the 14th quickest.

Dwayne Rice - Rice was looking to solidify a place in the field after the first day of qualifications. The Grove City, Ohio based driver achieved his goal as he pushed his potent Pontiac to a 6.794/207.46. He currently resides in the tenth spot.

Angelo Alesci - Alesci continues to search for the right combination for his trademark black Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The Cleveland, Ohio-based driver was looking for a good baseline to work off of and he found it with a 6.835/203.98. He's currently holding onto the 15th spot in the Butch Peterson-tuned machine.

Pro Outlaw

Laurie Cannister - After qualifying was delayed almost an hour due to rain showers, the Pro Outlaw division was the first professional category to try and navigate the Rockingham Dragway surface. The Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ-sponsored driver from Clinton, PA., was in the third pair out and she immediately vaulted to the top of the field with a 6.177/222.88.

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Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Scott Weney , Johnny Rocca , Bruce Litton , Gene Wilson , Dwayne Rice , Angelo Alesci , John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Jerry Haas , Troy Critchley , Von Smith , J.R. Todd