PAC: Firebird Saturday summary

Niver, O'Bannon Hold onto Top Qualifying Spots at Firebird Int'l Raceway CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 28, 2009) -- In the final rounds of qualifying at Firebird International Raceway, Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Mark Niver of Phoenix, Ariz., and Top...

Niver, O'Bannon Hold onto Top Qualifying Spots at Firebird Int'l Raceway

CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 28, 2009) -- In the final rounds of qualifying at Firebird International Raceway, Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Mark Niver of Phoenix, Ariz., and Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Sean O'Bannon, Ontario, Calif., held onto the No. 1 qualifying positions in their classes. Their times from Friday's qualifying were sufficient enough to stay atop of their fields going into Sunday's final showdown. This weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event is the first of seven in Pacific division competition.

Niver remained at the top of the Top Alcohol Dragster ladder Saturday night with his run of 5.350-second, 264.23 mph. Del Cox Jr. of Downey, Calif., remained at the No.2 spot with Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., moving up to third.

The Top Alcohol Funny Car class continues to be lead by O'Bannon, who improved on his No.1 qualifying time from Friday. His pass of 5.629 seconds, 258.57 mph kept him ahead of Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., and veteran driver Tony Bartone of Long Island City, N.Y.

Top qualifiers in other classes include Comp Eliminator driver Clint Neff, Arvada, Colo.; Tibor Kadar from Peoria, Ariz., held the top spot in Super Stock; and Brian McClanahan, Alta Loma, Calif., drove to the top of the list in Stock Eliminator. Canyon, Texas, resident Greg Lair remained on top in Top Sportsman; Denny Hills, Gilbert, Ariz., leads Top Dragster, and Michael Vattioni, Visalia, Calif., held the No.1 qualifying position in Sportsman Motorcycle with a near perfect 0.001-second reaction time.

Sunday's gates open at 7:30 a.m. with eliminations beginning at 8 a.m. First round of eliminations for Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car are scheduled at noon.

General Admission / Pit Pass -- $28 on Sunday. For more information please call Firebird Int'l Raceway, (602) 268-0200.

The following are Saturday's final qualifying results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division 2009 bluemedia NHRA Opener at the Firebird International Raceway:

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
1) Mark Niver, Phoenix, Ariz., 5.350 seconds, 264.23 mph
2) Del Cox Jr., Downey, Calif., 5.364, 280.08
3) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., 5.380, 267.69
4) Johnny Ahten, Saugus, Calif., 5.390, 262.59
5) Chris Demke, Sunland, Calif., 5.399, 262.28
6) Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., 5.455, 265.17
7) Edwin Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.469, 267.11
8) Dale Carlson, Olympia, Wash., 5.527, 260.41

Not Qualified
9) Brooks Brown, Houston, Texas, 6.360, 200.35
10) Art Trautman, Wadell, Ariz., 7.296, 152.35
11) Eugene Tumbarello, Denver, Colo., 13.266, 57.84

First round TAD pairings
1) Mark Niver, Phoenix, Ariz., 5.350 seconds, 264.23 mph vs. 8) Dale Carlson, Olympia, Wash., 5.527, 260.41

2) Del Cox Jr., Downey, Calif., 5.364, 280.08 vs. 7) Edwin Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.469, 267.11

3) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., 5.380, 267.69 vs. 6) Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., 5.455, 265.17

4) Johnny Ahten, Saugus, Calif., 5.390, 262.59 vs. 5) Chris Demke, Sunland, Calif., 5.399, 262.28

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
1) Sean O'Bannon, Ontario, Calif., '08 Monte Carlo, 5.629 seconds, 258.57 mph
2) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '07 Monte Carlo, 5.638, 259.56
3) Tony Bartone, Long Island City, N.Y., '09 Mustang, 5.647, 254.23
4) Roger Bateman, Calgary, Alb., '08 Mustang, 5.666, 252.85
5) Mark Woznichak, Riverside, Calif., '03 Camaro, 5.718, 252.24
6) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.724, 252.71
7) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., '08 Mustang, 5.743, 255.53
8) Ken Webster, Red Deer, Alb., '08 Monte Carlo, 5.753, 252.57

Not Qualified
9) John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '03 Trans Am, 5.755, 231.44
10) Brian Thiel, Pleasant Grove, Calif., '02 Camaro, 5.783, 250.27
11) Keeter Ray, Newport Beach, Calif., '08 Mustang, 5.819, 246.84
12) Leif Andreasson, Solna, Sweden, '06 Stratus RT, 5.828, 248.75
13) Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda, Calif., '02 Camaro, 5.847, 229.31
14) Daniel Oliver, Whittier, Calif., '07 Monte Carlo, 6.032, 244.92
15) Charles McLaws, Winslow, Ariz., '03 Firebird, 6.427, 216.86
16) Paul Crifasi, Henderson, Nev., '05 Firebird, 6.644, 197.25
17) Pete Rivera, Mesa, Ariz., '97 Firebird, 7.333, 161.61

First round TAFC pairings
1) Sean O'Bannon, Ontario, Calif., '08 Monte Carlo, 5.629 seconds, 258.57 mph vs. 8) Ken Webster, Red Deer, Alb., '08 Monte Carlo, 5.753, 252.57

2) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '07 Monte Carlo, 5.638, 259.56 vs.

7) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., '08 Mustang, 5.743, 255.53

3) Tony Bartone, Long Island City, N.Y., '09 Mustang, 5.647, 254.23 vs.

6) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.724, 252.71

4) Roger Bateman, Calgary, Alb., '08 Mustang, 5.666, 252.85 vs. 5) Mark Woznichak, Riverside, Calif., '03 Camaro, 5.718, 252.24

COMP ELIMINATOR
1) Clint Neff, Arvada, Colo., '23 roadster, K/A, 7.782 seconds, -0.768 (under index)
2) Joe Delehay, Calgary, Alb., '68 Camaro, AA/PM, 6.138, -0.712
3) Mike DePalma, Glendale, Ariz., '98 Firebird, I/A, 8.094, -0.676
4) Tom Mettler, Bakersfield, Calif., '01 Dakota, PST, 7.385, -0.625
5) Dean Carter, Glendale, Ariz., dragster, B/ND, 6.953, -0.617
6) Scott Hedlund, Anaheim, Calif., '09 Cobalt, A/SM, 7.796, -0.614
7) Dan Fletcher, Churchville, N.Y., '08 Cobalt, C/EA, 8.029, -0.611
8) Todd Hoerner, Deer Park, Wash., '09 GXP, A/AA, 6.577, -0.593
9) Brian Browell, Lafayette, Ind., dragster, D/D, 7.230, -0.590
10) John Edwards, Claremont, Calif., '99 Neon, C/AA, 7.401, -0.589

SUPER STOCK
1) Tibor Kadar, Peoria, Ariz., '92 Camaro, SS/GM, 9.407 seconds, -1.293 (under index)
2) Eric Bell, Chandler, Ariz., '70 Challenger, SS/FA, 9.458, -1.292
3) Larry Schmidt, Grand Island, Neb., '55 BelAir, SS/PA, 11.752, -1.198
4) Steve Wann, Modesto, Calif., '69 Barracuda, SS/HA, 9.710, -1.190
5) Frank Grossi, Upland, Calif., '05 Sunfire, GT/BA, 9.387, -1.163
6) Byron Setters, Red Deer, Alb., '09 G5, GT/BA, 9.405, -1.145
7) Kip Martin, Phoenix, Ariz., '64 Mustang, SS/L, 10.408, -1.142
8) Ron Roddel, Sioux Falls, S.D., '02 Grand Am, GT/KA, 10.620, -1.130
9) Tom Nolan, Lacombe, Alb., '02 S-10, GT/TA, 9.740, -1.110
10) John Rains, Santa Paula, Calif., '68 Dart, SS/AH, 8.642, -1.108

STOCK ELIMINATOR
1) Brian McClanahan, Alta Loma, Calif., '02 Pontiac, A/SA, 10.052 seconds, -1.248 (under index)
2) Jack Foshee, Taylor, Ariz., '80 D-150, J/SA, 11.557, -1.193
3) Stephen Hagberg, Berthoud, Colo., '64 Savoy, A/SA, 10.161, -1.139
4) Brad Burton, Golden, Colo., '72 Formula, E/SA, 10.874, -1.126
5) Jimmy DeFrank, Thousand Oaks, Calif., '69 Camaro, A/SA, 10.179, -1.121
6) Scott Burton, Golden, Colo., '71 Formula, D/SA, 10.743, -1.107
7) Paula Cotten, Broken Arrow, Okla., '73 Duster, G/SA, 11.234, -1.066
8) John McGann, Phoenix, Ariz., '70 Nova, D/SA, 10.786, -1.064
9) Les Norton, South Jordan, Utah, '65 Belvedere, A/SA, 10.238, -1.062
10) Andy Kimball, Henderson, Nev., '66 Fairlane, E/S, 10.893, -1.057

TOP SPORTSMAN
1) Greg Lair, Canyon, Texas, '04 Grand Am, 6.704 seconds, 209.43 mph
2) Mike Strickland, Moses Lake, Wash., '07 Mustang, 6.936, 201.49
3) Chip Rumis, Ramona, Calif., '05 Cobalt, 6.936, 197.88
4) Joe Roubicek, Westlake Village, Calif., '63 Chevy, 6.968, 197.19
5) J Wayne Silvia, Upland, Calif., '04 Cavalier, 7.019, 196.39
6) Brad Wagner, Ramona, Calif., '97 Cutlass, 7.047, 198.41
7) Ray Martin, Anchorage, Alaska, '63 Corvette, 7.090, 194.07
8) John Taylor Sr., Queens Creek, Ariz., '98 Pickup, 7.279, 189.31
9) Kurtis Tamez, Yakima, Wash., '67 Nova, 7.281, 188.89
10) Raul Perez, La Mirada, Calif., '01 Grand Am, 7.283, 189.73

TOP DRAGSTER
1) Denny Hills, Gilbert, Ariz., dragster, 6.075 seconds, 224.28 mph
2) Jim Luttrell, Apache Junction, Ariz., dragster, 6.340, 234.00
3) Lyle Burnham, Henderson, Nev., dragster, 6.546, 205.85
4) Paul Gladden, Tracy, Calif., dragster, 6.574, 205.07
5) Russell Suyenaga, Bellflower, Calif., dragster, 6.691, 205.13
6) Chip Rumis, Romona, Calif., dragster, 6.700, 200.59
7) Joe Roubicek, Westlake Village, Calif., dragster, 6.779, 198.26
8) Carolyn Hills, Gilbert, Ariz., dragster, 6.792, 197.22
9) Tony Jardino, San Dimas, Calif., dragster, 6.796, 198.35
10) Anita Olsen, Grand Junction, Colo., dragster, 6.820, 196.70

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE
1) Michael Vattioni, Visalia, Calif., '06 Suzuki, ETMX, 0.001 seconds reaction time
2) Lance Samson, Tucson, Ariz., '95 Suzuki, SMC, 0.002
3) Tom Patterson, Tucson, Ariz., '91 Kawasaki, SMC, 0.004
4) Dave Parfett, Red Deer, Alb., '06 H-D, SMC, 0.005
5) Danny Lee Patridge, Kennewick, Wash., '90 Suzuki, SMC, 0.005
6) Tom Lannie, Tucson, Ariz., '94 Suzuki, SMC, 0.009
7) T.J. Crocker, Henderson, Nev., '05 Suzuki, ETMX, 0.011
8) Tracy Bailey, Coos Bay, Ore., '75 Kawaski, SMC, 0.014
9) Travis Patridge, Kennewick, Wash., '83 Suzuki, SMC, 0.024
10) Jay Matthews, Henderson, Nev., '98 GSX-R, SMC, 0.024

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , John Taylor , Jimmy DeFrank , Dean Carter , John Patton , Doug Gordon , Dan Fletcher , Jay Matthews , John Edwards , Todd Hoerner , Brian Thiel