Rockingham Saturday summary

Millican No. 1 Qualifier at U.S. Sports Scene.com Spring Nationals ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- (April 24, 2004) - Clay Millican maintained his No. 1 Top Fuel qualifying spot Saturday during the 34th annual U.S. Sports Scene.com Spring Nationals...

Millican No. 1 Qualifier at U.S. Sports Scene.com Spring Nationals

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- (April 24, 2004) - Clay Millican maintained his No. 1 Top Fuel qualifying spot Saturday during the 34th annual U.S. Sports Scene.com Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts and Castrol at Rockingham (N.C.) Dragway.

Other No. 1 qualifiers include Fred Hahn, West Seneca, N.Y., (Pro Modified); Rob Atchison, London, Ontario, Canada, (Funny Car); and John Nobile, Melville, N.Y. (Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock).

In the quickest Top Fuel field in IHRA history, Millican holds the No. 1 spot with his Friday qualifying time of 4.550-seconds. He is trailed by Wilkesboro, North Carolina's Danny Dunn, Bruce Litton and Tim Cullinan. Bobby Lagana, Jr. rounds off the eight-car field with a 4.875.

"Our first qualifying pass today, we were working on some test items and that didn't go quite as we hoped," said Millican after not improving his qualifying time. "But you can't move forward if we don't try things. We are always searching."

Hahn's Friday night time of 6.144, 229.12 held up for the No. 1 Pro Modified spot. Canadian Rick Distefano is second, followed by Mike Janis, Billy Harper and Al Billes. Harold Martin, runner-up at the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals last month, failed to make the field, as did reigning world champion Mitch Stott.

"So far the whole weekend has gone excellent," said Hahn. "Yesterday the conditions were great, and actually the pass surprised us. We tested earlier this week and didn't run that well. Those numbers came out of this race track.

"We've had a good race track, good horsepower, and a lot of good people helping us. It all came together. We're thrilled to be in the No. 1 spot. Rockingham has always been really good to us."

In Funny Car Atchison claimed No. 1 with a 5.809-second run Friday night. He was ill Saturday and unable to make either qualifying session, yet held on to the top spot. Mark Thomas is second, Ronnie Midyette third and Dan Roman fourth.

In Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock Nobile began the day No. 1 and held maintained the top spot, improving with a 6.520, 213.43. Pete Berner jumped into second followed by John Montecalvo, Rick Jones and Jacksonville, N.C.-native Elijah Morton. Reigning world champion Brian Gahm failed to qualify.

"I'm hungry," said Nobile, who despite 10 final rounds, has never won an IHRA Pro Stock event. "People say you have a monkey on your back, but I have a gorilla. I'm definitely hungry for a win, but I know anything can happen."

Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. for the U.S. Sports Scene.com Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts and Castrol at Rockingham Dragway. Final round is scheduled for 5 p.m.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Fred Hahn , Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Bruce Litton , John Nobile , John Montecalvo , Al Billes , Harold Martin , Tim Cullinan