Reading Saturday report 97-09-13

Reading, PA, September 13, The final two rounds of qualifying were held today for Sunday's Pioneer Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. After the first session for Top Fuel, Cristen Powell and Rhonda Hartman found themselves looking for...

Reading, PA, September 13, The final two rounds of qualifying were held today for Sunday's Pioneer Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

After the first session for Top Fuel, Cristen Powell and Rhonda Hartman found themselves looking for a qualifying position as both ladies ran slower than Rit Pustari's bubble mark of 5.161. Powell ran a 5.432 and Hartman turned a 5.680 to take the 17th and 18th positions in the 20 car field. Powell came back in the final session with a 4.760 ET and top speed of 300.20 to qualify ninth. Powell meets rival Shelly Anderson in round one of eliminations.

Hartman qualified 15th with an ET of 4.846 and a top speed of 295.17 MPH.

Scott Kalitta was Top Fuel's fastest qualifier with a 4.645 ET/ 313.80 MPH. Kallita meets Tony Shumacher in round one.

Kenji Okazaki was looking for a starting position after Friday's qualifying session had ended. He found one in today's first session, but his time of 5.371 didn't hold up in the final session and the Japanese driver was unable to improve.

Chuck Etchells was fastest in the funny car division with a 4.982 ET and top speed of 309.91 MPH. Etchells' ET and top speed were both new track records at Maple Grove Raceway.

Tony Pedregon's 5.273 ET / 285.98 MPH from Friday's first session was good enough to keep him in the field, although he slipped from third to sixteenth position after four rounds of qualifying.

Jim Yates set new track records on his way to becoming the fast qualifier in Pro Stock. Yates' 6.946 ET and top speed of 197.67 MPH were both track records. Warren Johnson, who qualified second, also had a top speed of 197.67 MPH.

Both Mopar cars of Geoffrion and Alderman will go home early as they missed the mark of 7.018 set by sixteenth qualifier, Ron Krisher. Krisher set his fast time in today's first session.

In the Pro Stock Truck exhibition, John Lingenfelter's Chevy S-10 set the fastest speed of the season for the trucks with a 7.704 / 174.52. Lingenfelter's team mate, Jerry Haas was second fastest today in his Chevy S-10. Haas has built four of the six chassis currently making exhibition runs. He has ten customers who've placed orders for the NHRA's newest division. In Pro Stock, the Haas chassis accounted for 17 of the 35 car field at Maple Grove. The Haas chassis with a Lingenfelter Chevrolet engine looks to be the package to beat for the new trucks.

Round one of Pro eliminations begins at 11:00 a.m. at Maple Grove Raceway.

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Krisher , John Lingenfelter , Chuck Etchells , Scott Kalitta , Jerry Haas , Shelly Anderson , Cristen Powell