Rockingham: Series Friday summary

Point leader Bruce Litton tops Top Fuel charts IHRA veteran Rickie Smith holds down top spot in Pro Mod; Gugliotta takes top honors in Pro Stock ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) picked right up where he left off at the ...

Point leader Bruce Litton tops Top Fuel charts
IHRA veteran Rickie Smith holds down top spot in Pro Mod; Gugliotta takes top honors in Pro Stock

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) picked right up where he left off at the season opener in Baton Rouge with the top run of the night in Top Fuel during Castrol "Night of Fire" qualifying Friday at the 38th annual Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.

Litton laid down a 4.721 E.T. at 290.32 mph to top the provisional Top Fuel qualifying charts, edging out rookie Del Cox Jr. (Downey, Calif.) in a head-to-head battle. Cox ran a 4.739 at 312.28 mph, the fastest speed of the night.

"It was good. We kind of adjusted accordingly based on what everyone else was doing and Richard made a couple of adjustments there toward the end and it worked out in our favor," Litton said. "Being that this is the first lap, it is hard to guesstimate, but you would rather be safe than sorry.

"The track is there. I walked it last night and I could tell that it was in really good shape."

Behind Cox was defending Nitro Funny Car champion Terry Haddock (Woodinville, Wash.) who put up the third 300 mile per hour run of the night. He clocked in at 302.14 mph on a 4.767 E.T.

Paul Lee was fourth (4.837/304.05) and Tim Boychuk (4.852/270.81) rounded out the top five in Top Fuel.

Seven-time IHRA World Champion Rickie Smith (King, N.C.) put down the lap heard round the world in his Al-Anabi backed 1968 Camaro to take the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot in Pro Modified and also claim Friday's Last Man Standing award with a pass of 5.962 at 234.37 mph.

"This car is awesome. We had run at some tracks earlier that hadn't been prepared right, this track is prepared right. The starting line crew is doing a great job," Smith said. "We know we can run fast with this car and when you throw this Speed Tech stuff on there she gets out of here."

Smith knocked off IHRA newcomer Tim Tindle (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) who held down the top spot until late in Friday's evening qualifying session. Tindle was bumped to second with a 6.029 pass at 234.74 mph. Ed Hoover (Gilbert, S.C.) put down the top speed of the night in Pro Mod at 237.50 mph and currently sits third with a 6.030 E.T.

Burton Auxier (6.032/234.53) and Scott Cannon (6.045/235.06) rounded out the top five in Friday's Castrol "Night of Fire" qualifying.

Frank "The Flying Meatball" Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) claimed top honors in Elite Motorsports Pro Stock, taking the provisional "pole" and Last Man Standing award with a pass of 6.328 at 218.23 mph.

"She was rocking at 'The Rock'," Gugliotta said. "We had her locked in and had a great run. This is only our second race out and we are just trying to do the best we can out here."

Gugliotta's '09 Pontiac GXP edged out Cary Goforth's (Holdenville, Okla.) Chevy Cobalt which ran a 6.332 at 218.94 mph. Baton Rouge runner-up John Montecalvo (Center Moriches, N.Y.) currently sits third with a pass of 6.333 at 219.26 mph.

Defending Pro Stock World Champion Pete Berner (6.338/219.51) and Elite Motorsports entry Richard Freeman (6.370/218.62) rounded out the top five.

In exhibition action, Kevin Martin became the first person to surpass the 200 mile per hour barrier on a jet bike atop his Ballistic Eagle jet motorcycle with a pass of 7.887 at 202.55 mph.

In the nightcap, the Super Shockwave jet truck edged out Grave Digger by .0091, or roughly 11 inches, at the line in a wildly entertaining drag race.

Saturday's action will get back underway at 9 a.m. with sportsman qualifying followed by more pro qualifying at 3 p.m. and the Saturday Castrol "Night of Fire" will begin at 6:30 p.m.

-credit: ihra

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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Bruce Litton , John Montecalvo , Paul Lee , Rickie Smith , Terry Haddock , Richard Freeman