Reading Qualifying Recap

READING - Qualifying Recap (rev.) by Larry Sullivan READING, Pa. - SUMMIT FastNews - By the time qualifying for the 14th annual NHRA Pioneer Keystone Nationals was complete Saturday, only one of the four first-day leaders was able to hold on...

READING - Qualifying Recap (rev.) by Larry Sullivan READING, Pa. - SUMMIT FastNews - By the time qualifying for the 14th annual NHRA Pioneer Keystone Nationals was complete Saturday, only one of the four first-day leaders was able to hold on to their perch atop their Professional category ladder. Gary Scelzi, John Force, Warren Johnson, and Matt Hines all qualified number-one to lead their respective Professional categories into Sunday's eliminations, which are scheduled to start at 11:00 AM EST. Scelzi's track-record 4.558 second elapsed time at 310.66 miles per hour, run Friday night, was not seriously challenged during Saturday's Top Fuel qualifying sessions. Both Scelzi and second-qualifier Cristen Powell were able to hold on to the topmost rungs of the ladder through two more sessions that saw much of the rest of the ladder shuffled and reshuffled as the day went on. Bob Vandergriff ended up on the Top Fuel bubble with a 4.748, barely slower than the quickest bump time ever, a 4.737 at the U.S. Nationals this year. In Funny Car, Force saved the best for last, electing to gamble and go for it on his final qualifying attempt. The last car down the track during Professional qualifying, Force nailed down the top spot by running 4.938 -- a track record -- at 300.30 mph. Force's last-ditch run edged out Whit Bazemore's 4.990 at 282.84, run during the first qualifying session Saturday. Dean Skuza, who led qualifying Friday, fell to third when he failed to improve on his 5.008 second elapsed time. Jack Wyatt ended up on the Funny Car bubble with a 5.338 In Pro Stock, Johnson assumed his usual spot atop the ladder with a 6.940 at 198.36, resetting both ends of the track record in today's first session. His son Kurt was second at 6.950 at 197.67. Mark Osborne ended up third, his 6.950 tying Kurt's elapsed time but his speed was slower than Kurt's. Friday-night polesitter Richie Stevens fell to fourth, at 6.951. John Nobile ended up on the Pro Stock bubble with a 6.999 under weather conditions that saw the field shuffled during three of the four qualifying sessions, including both sessions Saturday. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Hines retook the number-one spot in the first session Saturday, running 7.400 at 180.83, then locked himself into the top spot by resetting both ends of the track record on a stunning 7.273 at 187.53 in the final qualifying session. Friday night leader Angelle Seeling was also passed by Greg Underdahl in the first session Saturday, but the distaff racer retook second place by a thousandth of a second in the final session, where she was clocked at 7.335 at 184.08; Underdahl ran 7.336 at 179.21. Horace Wright survived the final round on the bubble with a 7.917. Chip Ippolito was uninjured when he crashed his 1995 Olds Cutlass in the first round of Competition eliminations today. The Laconia, N.H. racer lost control, crossed the centerline, struck the retaining wall, then barrel-rolled before coming to a stop in an upright position. He was examined and released by NHRA medical officials; the car suffered extensive damage. Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , John Nobile , Warren Johnson , Dean Skuza , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Greg Underdahl , Jack Wyatt , Bob Vandergriff , Cristen Powell