San Antonio: Friday qualifying notes

Litton Heads Top Fuel Qualifying at Texas Nationals Bob Gilbertson (Nitro Funny Car), Scott Cannon (Pro Modified), Laurie Cannister (Alcohol Funny Car) and Frank Gugliotta (Pro Stock) also claim provisional ...

Litton Heads Top Fuel Qualifying at Texas Nationals

Bob Gilbertson (Nitro Funny Car), Scott Cannon (Pro Modified), Laurie Cannister (Alcohol Funny Car) and Frank Gugliotta (Pro Stock) also claim provisional #1 qualifier slots at San Antonio Raceway

(Marion, Texas; April 4, 2008) -- Bruce Litton picked up right where he left off. The 2007 Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel World Champion, who clinched his first career title by winning the World Finals in Rockingham last season, made an early statement in the new season. He finished at the top of the qualifying sheet Friday and claimed the five Last Man Standing bonus points at the eighth-mile Amalie Oil Texas Nationals...the first event on the 2008 Knoll Gas Nitro Jam schedule.

Litton ran a crisp 3.125 at 271.95 mph to claim the provisional pole.

"My team is amazing," the Indianapolis resident said. "I'm really thankful for them. I get to do all the talking and they get to do all the work. We're happy to get a good lap under our belts tonight, now can go concentrate on getting ready for tomorrow."

Bob Gilbertson (Charlotte, N.C.) also kicked off 2008 the way he finished 2007. The World Finals Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car champion grabbed the provisional Nitro Funny Car pole with a 3.353/255.92 pass Friday evening at San Antonio Raceway.

Defending Torco Pro Modified World Champion Scott Cannon (Lyman, S.C.) proved he is in mid-season form, using a strong 3.967/188.12 Friday evening qualifying lap to claim the provisional #1 qualifier position and Last Man Standing honors. Cannon claimed an incredible 20 Last Man Standing awards, and the five bonus points that come with them, during his 2007 championship season.

"We picked up right where we left off last season," Cannon said. "We got a bunch of these Last Man Standing awards last year and were able to get one tonight."

Laurie Cannister (Johnstown, Ohio) put her 1999 Camaro on the provisional pole in the Alcohol Funny Car class with a strong 3.842 pass at 196.85 mph during evening qualifying Friday. Cannister was almost a full hundredth quicker than Tony Bogolo (Hamilton, Ohio), who clocked a 3.851 at 189.95. Bogolo was the Last Man Standing in Alcohol Funny Car, however, since he posted the quickest winning pass of the evening.

"The track was good and the car went straight down," Bogolo said. "I hope there's more left in it because it's going to take a lot more than that to do anything this weekend."

Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) is in a new Torco Pro Stocker this season, but if his Friday evening salvo is any indication he should be back in the thick of the championship points chase this season. Gugliotta drove his 2007 Mustang to a 4.117 at 175.21 to claim the provisional pole at the Texas Nationals. He also claimed the five bonus points for winning Quarter-Max Pro Stock Challenge honors.

"I have to take my hat off to my team," Gugliotta said of his new Bob Yoak-owned racing operation. "The guys did a great job to put us here. I hope this is the start of a good year."

-credit: ihra

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