Budds Creek Friday qualifying summary

Rob Mansfield Leads Pro Stock Record Assault during Friday Qualifying; Mike Janis, Mark Thomas and Clay Millican also On Top After First Day BUDDS CREEK, Md. -- The racing surface at Maryland International Raceway is famous for producing record...

Rob Mansfield Leads Pro Stock Record Assault during Friday Qualifying; Mike Janis, Mark Thomas and Clay Millican also On Top After First Day

BUDDS CREEK, Md. -- The racing surface at Maryland International Raceway is famous for producing record runs just about every time the Hooters IHRA Drag racing Series comes to town, and the first session of qualifying for this weekend's 13th annual President's Cup Nationals was no exception.

No more was this more evident than in Sunoco Pro Stock, where no less than nine drivers eclipsed the old track E.T record of 6.532-seconds, and eight also buried the previous mile-per-hour mark of 213.91.

Rob Mansfield, of Margate, Florida, led the assault, setting the bar with an impressive 6.48, 216.06 behind the wheel of his 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. His speed mark also bettered the IHRA World Record of 215.37 mph. Mansfield was followed by Pete Berner (6.492, 214.08) and Robert Patrick (6.500, 214.86). The bump spot is held down by local runner Tommy Franklin.

Next up were the Funny Cars, and the first two cars to the line were the rival machines of points leader Mark Thomas and defending champ Rob Atchison, who are battling for the title once again.

Atchison launched his 2002 Firebird into a wheelstand and lifted, allowing Thomas to place his 2004 Avenger in the low qualifier spot with a lap of 5.870, 36.

Holding down the No. 2 position in the provisional field is Jim Sickles (5.903, 239.74), followed by Terry McMillen (5.903, 238.85). The 16th place is currently the domain of Melinda Green-King.

In Pro Modified, the session started off slowly, but by the time the heavy hitters took to the quarter-mile the action heated up considerably. When the smoke cleared, the blower contingent held the first day's advantage.

Leading the charge was points leader and former champion Mike Janis, who clicked off an impressive 6.187, 229.94 behind the wheel of his blown '63 Corvette. He was followed by defending class champ Mitch Stott (6.192, 229.43) and Mike Castellana, who carried the flag for the nitrous contingent with his mark of 6.198, 228.11. Sitting in the bump spot is Ted Smith.

Once again Clay Millican dominated the first day of Top Fuel qualifying, leading the pack behind the wheel of his Werner Enterprises dragster. In an impressive session which featured plenty of full passes and towering header flames, Millican tripped the timers in 4.72-seconds at 311 mph, followed closely by Doug Foley's 4.72, 311.70 and Tim Cullinan's 4.813, 305.22. The No. 8 man on the list, with two sessions to go, is John Sipple.

Qualifying continues tomorrow with professional sessions scheduled for 2 and 7:30 PM.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Robert Patrick , Jim Sickles , Doug Foley , Tim Cullinan , Terry McMillen