POMONA, Calif., July 6, 2001 - The brackets are set in all of the professional classes as qualifying for the Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals presented by American Racing Wheels concluded today at Pomona Raceway. In Pro Stock,...
POMONA, Calif., July 6, 2001 - The brackets are set in all of the professional classes as qualifying for the Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals presented by American Racing Wheels concluded today at Pomona Raceway.
In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards in the Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier grabbed the No. 1 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 6.928 seconds at 198.76 mph. Kurt Johnson is second, also in a Cavalier. Jim Yates in the Spitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am is third with an elapsed time of 6.944 seconds at 198.55 mph, and Grand Am stablemate Bruce Allen is right behind in fourth at 6.946 seconds and 198.58 mph. Mark Osborne in a Dodge R/T rounds out the top five in qualifying. Other Grand Am qualifiers include points leader Warren Johnson in seventh, George Marnell in eighth, Tom Martino in ninth, Mark Pawuk in 14th and Brad Jeter in 16th.
"We're really excited going into tomorrow," said Yates, second in points at the halfway point of the 24-race Winston championship season. "The engine's making a lot of power and we're making decent runs. We changed the car around completely coming into this race, and we were happy to see it respond so well. The Splitfire Grand Am has gone out there and put the numbers on the board."
In Funny Car, Whit Bazemore is qualified No. 1 in the Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird at a career-best and track-record elapsed time of 4.816 seconds at 313.51 mph. Scotty Cannon, first-day top qualifier, is second in his Oakley Sunglasses Pontiac Firebird with an elapsed time of 4.836 seconds at 312.57 mph. Ford Mustang teammates round out the top five as John Force is qualified third, Gary Densham is fourth and Tony Pedregon is fifth. Other Firebird qualifiers include Bruce Sarver in seventh, teammates Frank Pedregon and Del Worsham in ninth and 11th, respectively, Jerry Toliver in 14th and Al Hofmann in 16th.
"What a great job by (crew chief) Lee Beard and the crew," Bazemore said. "We were second-low e.t. in the first round today and had made good passes in all three qualifying sessions today, so we knew we had an opportunity to be low qualifier and go for it. Lee said we were going to step it up in this session and either rip their throats out or go up in smoke!"
Mike Dunn in Top Fuel qualified the Gwynn/Steinbrenner/Yankees GMC Dragster eighth at 4.632 seconds and 287.41 mph. Gary Scelzi qualified No. 1 at an elapsed time of 4.554 seconds at 318.69 mph.
The field is set for the Pep Boys 50th Anniversary Nationals presented by American Racing Wheels. Leading the Pro Stock class for the fourth time this season is Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier driver Mike Edwards who ran an elapsed time of 6.928 seconds at 198.67 mph in the final session. Kurt Johnson is right behind Edwards in the ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier with an elapsed time of 6.936 seconds at 199.05 mph. Jim Yates is third, Bruce Allen is fourth and Mark Osborne is fifth.
Team Chevrolet driver Larry Dixon drove the Miller Lite dragster to the fourth position with an elapsed time of 4.603 seconds at 315.71 mph. Gary Scelzi is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.554 seconds at 318.69 mph. Kenny Bernstein is second, Andrew Cowin is third and David Grubnic is fifth.
The Pep Boys 50th Anniversary Nationals is the 13th race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Same-day coverage of final elimination's can be seen on ESPN on Saturday, July 7, starting at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The track changed drastically from this afternoon to tonight's session. We did quite a bit of clutch maintenance work and a little bit of an adjustment on the chassis. The track was great for us. Now tomorrow first and second session will be absolutely different. We will have to be prepared for that. I just thank God for another No. 1 qualifying spot. This Chevy Cavalier has just been working great for me. I just can't say enough about Bruce Allen and his crew. They've given us some confidence that we were lacking and the Reher-Morrison power that they've given us has been just great.
"I feel like the right lane is just a tad bit slower then the left lane. If Warren or Kurt would've gone down the left lane they probably would've ran faster then me. I felt like we could make a good run but we didn't think we'd run the 6.92. When we saw Kurt run the 6.93 we figured we'd be able to run at least that well." No. 1 qualifier - 6.928ET/198.76MPH
Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "Well my future is looking brighter! I may have to get my sunglasses on for California. We were No. 3 qualifier at the last race and No. 2 here and we made some really good runs today. My reaction times were in the .450s so we're pretty pleased. We think we have a combination that can run in the heat at a 3 p.m. session and a combination that will work for a 7 p.m. session when it's a little cooler. I think both lanes are about the same; at least that's how we feel. I know some guys think the right lane is better but we find both of them just fine. We are looking forward to going some rounds tomorrow and try and get in the winner circle." No. 2 qualifier - 6.936ET/199.05MPH
Troy Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) -"The set up that we put on the car during the third session was done to better prepare us for the final session. The car responded much better off of the line and all the way down the track to the changes that we made in the fuel delivery system. "We really thought that we were on target to improve our position and make a much stronger run in the final session. We are in the show and you can't win unless you are one of the sixteen quickest cars. Tomorrow will be a new day and Team Jeg's. We will have the lights on in our pit area getting ready for battle." No. 13 qualifier - 6.987ET/197.57MPH
Jeg Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier)- "The car took off from the line and spun. The track is tricky to judge and controlling the wheel speed off of the line will be the key to success on race day here in Pomona. We went the right direction in the final session and we had everything going for us. We were in the better of the two lanes and the sun dropping fast. I expected that both of our cars would have made sub 6.94 runs in the last session. Our team has a well documented history of doing winning at this track and that is something that Team Jeg's is focused on continuing." No. 11 qualifier - 6.961ET/197.57MPH
Larry Dixon (Miller Lite Dragster) - "We really needed that run to stay in the top half of the field. We knew that this last session was going to be the better of the four qualifying rounds. So, we had to buckle down and get this Miller Lite dragster down the track. Dick LaHaie has done really great this weekend. We're consistent and hopefully we can stay that way and go some rounds tomorrow. We're happy with the performance and we only hope to improve throughout the day tomorrow. The team has worked hard and we know this dragster has potential to win. We're going to go out and give it our best shot." No. 4 qualifier - 4.603ET/315.71MPH