Houston Friday Qualifying Report

BAYTOWN - Friday Recap Evening Brings Quicker, Faster Performance by Larry Sullivan BAYTOWN, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - Gary Scelzi summed up tonight's qualifying action at Houston Raceway Park perhaps better than anyone else: "Big speeds are...

BAYTOWN - Friday Recap Evening Brings Quicker, Faster Performance by Larry Sullivan BAYTOWN, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - Gary Scelzi summed up tonight's qualifying action at Houston Raceway Park perhaps better than anyone else: "Big speeds are run here. The track is smooth, and at sea level, a big factor to go fast."

Tonight featured the final night qualifying session of 1998 for the Pro Categories. In Top Fuel Gary Scelzi leads the field with a 4.549 second, 322.23 mph, running just a few ticks of the clock slower than his career best ET last week at the Motorplex. The run tonight will serve as a backup for a new ET record if Team Winston can run quicker tomorrow.

Gary was asked about setting a new record during the press interviews, and had the following comments - "Twenty points is twenty points. I'd be lying to you if I said it wasn't on our minds. Our car is running great in the middle right now. We might go for a record in the morning session, then prepare our raceday setup in the last session."

Cruz Pedregon driver of the Hot Rod Magazine Interstate Batteries machine just missed being the second Funny Car to run in the 4.7 second zone when he posted a stout 4.807 second, 319.60 mph run in round two of qualifying today. Both numbers are new career-bests for the middle Pedregon brother. In all, five Funny Car drivers ran over 310 miles-per-hour in qualifying today.

Kurt Johnson ran 6.920 at 198.67 to hold on to the top spot in Pro Stock, just three thousandths of a second quicker than his father Warren. He attributed his success to a two day test session his father ran with Kurt's car earlier this week, after the race in Ennis.

Matt Hines will officially clinch the 1998 Pro Stock Bike championship once qualifying has been completed. In the meantime, he leads all riders with a fine 7.312, a new track record here at Houston Raceway Park. John Smith set a new track speed record, running 188.04 during the first session of qualifying.

Hold on to your hats and caps, tomorrow's action should be fast, loud, and exciting here at Houston Raceway Park, the weather conditions expected to at least equal those tonight.

Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Kurt Johnson , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon