St Louis: Friday summary

MADISON, Ill. - Joe Amato earned his third Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position of the season Friday at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Jerry Toliver, Ron Krisher, Angelle Seeling and ...

MADISON, Ill. - Joe Amato earned his third Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position of the season Friday at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Jerry Toliver, Ron Krisher, Angelle Seeling and Randy Daniels were also the leaders of their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 12th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Amato, from Exeter, Pa., sped down the quarter-mile in 4.602 seconds at 313.51 mph during Thursday's qualifying which was enough to lead the 16-car field. He will face Rhonda Hartman-Smith in the first round of eliminations. "We're real excited about being on top," said Amato. "The car is handling god and it's getting down the track in the hot and the cold weather. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hopes it works tomorrow. I was figuring (Gary) Scelzi (Kenny) Bernstein, or Cory (McClenathan) could slip into the top spot and pick my pocket and run a 58 or 59 but they didn't. I just wanted to get a descent run down the track so it would give us a good idea of where we're going to be tomorrow night around this time if we get to the third or fourth round. This gives us a little bit of confidence and let's hope we can parlay it into a win." Current points leader Toliver, from Huntington Beach, Calif., earned his first career Funny Car No. 1 qualifying position when he covered the distance in 4.883 at 303.84 in his WWF Racing Pontiac Firebird. He will face Scott Weiss in the opening round. "It feels great anytime you can be number one, it's cool," said Toliver. "I was extremely proud of my team because we ran that 88 because we were the first pair to run last night and probably had the worst track conditions to deal with. Tonight I wasn't real nervous because I didn't think that we could run better than our 88. Then Tony (Pedregon) came out and ran a 91 and I thought it was getting close. I feel real good." Nine-time Winston champion John Force is qualified fourth and entered the race eleven points behind Toliver. "Last week we were runner-up but this is a new week, a new program and a new racetrack, and I hope we have a new winner," said Toliver. "This team is committed and has the resources and the personnel to beat Force and win the championship. We're midway through the season and here we are in the points chase. We are no flash-in-the-pan and we are ready for the war tomorrow." Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, led the Pro Stock field when he posted a 6.940 at 197.91 in his Eagle One Pontiac Firebird. He will line up against Terry Adams in the first round. Defending event winner and two-time series champion Jim Yates failed to make the field for Saturday's eliminations. New Orleans' Seeling earned her second No. 1 qualifying position when she blasted to a track record pass of 7.274 at 181.81 atop her Team Winston Suzuki to set the pace for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. She will meet Steve Johnson in round one. Daniels, from Grantsboro, N.C., established two Pro Stock Truck track records with his run of 7.553 at 178.57 behind the wheel of his Bailey's Chevy S-10. It was Daniels second No. 1 qualifying spot of the season. He will face Jeff Gracia in the first round. Eliminations are begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

MADISON, Ill. -- First-round pairings for Saturday's elimination at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. TOP FUEL 1. Joe Amato, 4.602 seconds, 317.42 mph vs. 16. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.909, 248.11; 2. Cory McClenathan, 4.608, 310.84 vs. 15. Joe Hartley, 4.881, 257.53; 3. Kenny Bernstein, 4.645, 315.12 vs. 14. Steve Smith, 4.850, 295.14; 4. Gary Scelzi, 4.649, 307.02 vs. 13. Luigi Novelli, 4.812, 308.14; 5. Bob Vandergriff, 4.655, 313.00 vs. 12. Bruce Litton, 4.789, 300.20; 6. Doug Kalitta, 4.664, 305.08 vs. 11. Tony Schumacher, 4.718, 313.00; 7. Don Lampus, 4.674, 315.19 vs. 10. Larry Dixon, 4.697, 306.05; 8. David Grubnic, 4.688, 309.98 vs. 9. Doug Herbert, 4.694, 309.34.

FUNNY CAR 1. Jerry Toliver, Pontiac Firebired, 4.883, 303.84 vs. 16. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette, 5.141, 268.38; 2. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.911, 312.21 vs. 15. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 5.121, 295.66; 3. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro, 4.927, 304.39 vs. 14. John Lawson, Pontiac Firebird, 5.076, 300.86; 4. John Force, Mustang, 4.928, 305.56 vs. 13. Cory Lee, Avenger, 5.067, 306.67; 5. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.956, 295.27 vs. 12. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 5.053, 285.53; 6. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.960, 302.55 vs. 11. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.053, 290.44; 7. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.964, 306.81 vs. 10. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.043, 300.66; 8. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.984, 305.63 vs. 9. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.017, 296.31. PRO STOCK 1. Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird, 6.940, 197.91 vs. 16. Terry Adams, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.005, 196.13; 2. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.952, 197.74 vs. 15. Mark Osborne, Firebird, 7.004, 196.47; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.958, 197.77 vs. 14. Tom Martino, Firebird, 6.999, 196.85; 4. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 6.965, 197.05 vs. 13. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.998, 196.44; 5. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 6.973, 197.48 vs. 12. V. Gaines, Camaro, 6.998, 196.99; 6. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 6.975, 195.56 vs. 11. Greg Anderson, Firebird, 6.994, 197.13; 7. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.980, 197.97 vs. 10. Brad Jeter, Firebird, 6.991, 196.70; 8. Kenny Koretsky, Firebird, 6.985, 196.73 vs. 9. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 6.990, 197.57.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE 1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.274, 181.81 vs. 16. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.567, 173.16; 2. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.297, 180.40 vs. 15. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, 7.541, 173.45; 3. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.305, 183.94 vs. 14. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.532, 175.96; 4. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.312, 182.45 vs. 13. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.482, 178.50; 5. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.330, 182.67 vs. 12. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.469, 180.24; 6. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.371, 181.91 vs. 11. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.468, 179.14; 7. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.405, 177.93 vs. 10. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.462, 178.97; 8. Hector Arana, Suzuki, 7.442, 179.06 vs. 9. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.452, 176.95. PRO STOCK TRUCK 1. Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10, 7.553, 178.57 vs. 16. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 7.646, 177.02; 2. Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.579, 177.42 vs. 15. Rob Slavinski, S-10, 7.645, 175.52; 3. John Lingenfelter, GMC Sonoma, 7.609, 176.58 vs. 14. Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.645, 176.05; 4. Brian Self, S-10, 7.612, 176.84 vs. 13. David Spitzer, Sonoma, 7.640, 176.26; 5. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 7.614, 176.30 vs. 12. Steve Johns, S-10, 7.636, 176.30; 6. Steven Farr, S-10, 7.619, 177.07 vs. 11. Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.633, 176.10; 7. Bart Price, S-10, 7.624, 176.79 vs. 10. Rick Jones, Sonoma, 7.629, 176.17; 8. John Coughlin, S-10, 7.625, 176.44 vs. 9. Jeff Naiser, S-10, 7.626, 176.10.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Litton , Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Matt Hines , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Scott Weis , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Reggie Showers , Ron Ayers , Shawn Gann , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Blaine Hale , John Lingenfelter , David Grubnic , Scotty Cannon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Tom Martino , Terry Adams , Luigi Novelli , Don Lampus , Rickie Smith , Joe Hartley , Mark Whisnant , Cory Lee , Brian Self , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Joe DeSantis , Steve J