Houston Saturday summary

BAYTOWN, Texas - Bruce Sarver earned his first career top qualifying award in Funny Car Saturday at the Matco Tools SuperNationals at Houston Raceway Park. Mike Dunn, Kurt Johnson and Angelle Seeling also will lead their ...

BAYTOWN, Texas - Bruce Sarver earned his first career top qualifying award in Funny Car Saturday at the Matco Tools SuperNationals at Houston Raceway Park. Mike Dunn, Kurt Johnson and Angelle Seeling also will lead their respective categories into tomorrow's 11 a.m. eliminations at the $1.8 million race, the 21st of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Sarver drove his e-moola.com Ponatic Firebird to a run of 4.876 seconds at 310.55 mph to edge John Force from the top of the order and lead the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA history. Force, who can clinch his 10th NHRA Winston championship on Sunday, was just a tick slower, posting a 4.878 at 311.77 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. "The track kept getting cooler and Alan (Johnson, crew chief) came over and said, 'Heck with it, we're going for the pole,'" said Sarver, who earned his first career victory in September at Maple Grove Raceway. "We ran after John Force and he had just took the top spot and was down there to congratulate me, which was really cool. One of my goals was to get my first pole and hopefully I can double-up tomorrow with my teammate (Gary Scelzi, Top Fuel)." Dunn secured his first No. 1 effort of the year as no one improved on his qualifying best of 4.530 at 322.34 in the Yankee dragster. He'll face Bobby Baldwin in the first round. "The car has a ton of potential and it's making good power," said Dunn, also the top qualifier at this event one year ago. "Unfortunately making a ton of power doesn't equate to winning races. If we hit on the combination tomorrow we'll have a shot at winning. It's our first race back and the 75-minute rule will be a big test for us. The crew has a good plan, so I think we'll be fine." Johnson claimed his fourth No. 1 position in Pro Stock, speeding down the track in 6.902 at 199.55 in his AC Delco Chevy Camaro.

by recording a 7.202 at 184.88 on her Team Winston Suzuki. Should Seeling advance past Matt Hines in tomorrow's eliminations she could join Shirley Muldowney as the sport's only females to earn pro category Winston championships.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Matt Hines , Mike Dunn , Kurt Johnson , John Force , Gary Scelzi