ENGLISHTOWN NJ - SUMMIT FastNews - It's Monday morning and we're still at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, waiting for the conclusion of the 30th annual Mopar Parts Nationals. It's a gray, foggy day, but so far the rain has held off. We need...
ENGLISHTOWN NJ - SUMMIT FastNews - It's Monday morning and we're still at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, waiting for the conclusion of the 30th annual Mopar Parts Nationals. It's a gray, foggy day, but so far the rain has held off. We need about three hours of dry weather to complete eliminations for the event, all of the categories having completed two rounds and Stock Eliminator three. The tentative schedule for today is to start running as soon as the local noise curfews allow, 10:00 AM, with the rest of the Sportsman round three eliminations, then bring on the Professional eliminators at 11:00 AM. That would put the final round of Top Fuel somewhere around 1:00 PM. The racing should be spectacular. In Top Fuel, Gary Scelzi will face a surprisingly strong Doug Herbert, Scelzi with lane choice by a scant 0.012 seconds. In the other matchup, golfing partners Kenny Bernstein and Joe Amato will face off, Bernstein carrying the added burden of the Winston "No Bull" Bonus, $100,000 if he wins the event. Amato will have lane choice there.
In Funny Car, it's Tony Pedregon versus Cruz Pedregon, for the fourth time in five races. Tony has won all three previous meetings this year and will have lane choice. In the other pair, John Force will take on Tim Wilkerson, Wilkerson with lane choice. In Pro Stock, the "No Bull" selectee, Allen Johnson lost to Richie Stevens in the second round, so that $50,000 is still safely in Winston's pocket. Stevens will meet Jeg Coughlin in the semifinals, Coughlin trying to reverse a losing streak and Stevens trying to keep his string of final round appearances alive. Coughlin has lane choice. In the other pair, Tom Martino faces Steve Schmidt, Martino with the choice of lanes. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Angelle Seeling has an apparent 0.15-second edge over Tony Mullen in one pairing, while Greg Underdahl holds the honors by 0.2 seconds over Craig Treble, in his first semifinals appearance ever. Number two qualifier Matt Hines continued his string of red light losses, this one in the first round, against Larry Cook. The Pro Stock Truck competitors, after running two rounds Saturday and then sitting around waiting to be called yesterday, will resume racing with their semifinal round, Brad Jeter with lane choice against Mike Coughlin in one pairing and Bob Panella Jr. with the honors against Tim Freeman in the other. In Federal-Mogul Dragster, the blown alcohol entry of Rick Santos will have lane choice over the A/Fuel entry of John Costanza, while the other pairing sees Michael Gunderson with the honors over John Rose. The Federal-Mogul Funny Car semifinal features a matchup between two of the big names in the category, Frank Manzo with lane choice against Jay Payne. The other pairing brings Fred Tigges as a decided underdog against Tony Bartone.
The weather? Your guess is as good as anyone's. It's gray and foggy, but it's not raining and the racing surface is dry. If it stays this way, we'll be finished shortly after 1:00 PM. If not, then we'll be here again tomorrow. The professional forecasters (not including Austin Coil, by the way) predict rain and hail and strong winds this afternoon. Hopefully we'll be done before it gets here.
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