Epping: Friday qualifying notes and quotes

EPPING, NH. - Qualifying Pit Notes from the IHRA Amalie Oil North American Nationals courtesy of CompetitionPlus.com in Epping, N.H. TOP FUEL Bruce Litton - Litton's start in qualifying was one that he'd just as soon to forget. However, the...

EPPING, NH. - Qualifying Pit Notes from the IHRA Amalie Oil North American Nationals courtesy of CompetitionPlus.com in Epping, N.H.


Bruce Litton - Litton's start in qualifying was one that he'd just as soon to forget. However, the end result was well worth it. The veteran enclosed trailer dealer from Indianapolis didn't get off to a good opening run immediately. Paired opposite of Roger Dean on the run, Dean inexplicably left the starting line before the tree was activated as well Litton was staged, this forced Litton to shut down his engine. He was granted an hour to service the car and he returned with a 4.684, 316.52, which was a thousandth off of the track record. He holds the top spot entering Saturday's qualifications.


Terry McMillan - McMillan entered New England Dragway sporting the livery of Amalie Oil. The veteran driver from Elkhart, Ind., found a good baseline with a 6.061, 234.78 in the first session. He continued the upward trend as he stepped up with a quicker 6.030,233.56. McMillen enters Saturday as the tenth qualifier.

Laurie Cannister - The Girl Power Motorsports entry of Laurie Cannister has enjoyed an incredible season thus far. Her first attempt was a throwaway as she went out a few hundred feet and shook the tires and coasted to an 8.225. She improved tremendously in the evening session with a 5.904, 226.43. She holds on to the third position.

John Vouros - Vouros fired an incredible shot right off of the bat in the CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored entry. He leapt to the top of the program with a 5.909, 219.97, that was only bettered by Jimmy Rector's 5.897. In the evening session, Vouros hazed the tires and coasted to an 8.869.


Paul Athey/Johnny Rocca - One could tell that Johnny Rocca's 1951 Mercury with Paul Athey driving, was ready to lay down a lap from the sound of the burnout. The intuitions were correct as the Mohegan Sun-sponsored driver stormed to a 6.329, 207.69 to earn a place in the field. His bid greatly improved in the second session with a 6.294, 223.02. He ended the day as the sixth qualifier.

Alan Pittman - Pittman was looking for some redemption after his failure to make the cut at the Indy Pro Modified exhibitions. The driver for Ken and Sylvia Westbrook's supercharged 1941 Willys redeemed himself in his first attempt with a 6.329, 225.45. Pittman come back with his guns blazing in the second session with a 6.246, 226.66. He completed the first day as the third quickest.

Ed Hoover - Hoover has good memories of Epping. It was here in 1992 that he became the first Pro Modified racer into the 6.50s and outrun Scotty Cannon in the final round. The positive memories continued as the Columbia, SC.-based driver pushed Paul Trussell's 1963 Corvette to a 6.345, 223.10. His luck wasn't the same in the next attempt, as sixty-feet out the car rattled the tires and he lifted. He stands as the tenth quickest.

Chip King - Chip King knew that he needed to slam dunk bad luck right off of the bat. The driver of the Indy Cylinder Heads-sponsored, supercharged Dodge Avenger R/T made his best run in a long time with a 6.301, 225.03. The Semora, NC.-based driver made up for lost time with a 6.246, 226.66. He claimed the fourth spot in the program.

Team Castellana - Qualifying began with the Team Castellana program experiencing both ends of the emotional spectrum. A faulty plug wire kept Mike Castellana's Western Beef-sponsored from pulling to the line on his first attempt. Shannon Jenkins carried the banner proudly as he piloted his 1968 Camaro to a 6.301, 223.76. Neither driver improved and after one day Jenkins is seventh and Castellana remains unqualified.


John Montecalvo - Montecalvo is another driver that has good memories from New England Dragway. The Citgo-sponsored driver from Center Moriches, N.Y. was looking to repeat his 1999 win. The memories continued as he leapt to the top of the field in preliminary qualifying with a 6.663, 209.33. He retained a good measure of consistency as he returned with a 6.664. He retained the lead early in the final session of Friday, but ended the day as the third.

Tom Lee - Lee was on the aggressive side when he rolled out for his first attempt behind the wheel of Charlie Taylor's Mustang. The Kingsport, Tenn., driver missed the combination in the first session, chattered the tires, got sideways and coasted through the lights. The second session afforded no reprieve as he shook and lifted again. He is currently ranked 15th.

Dwayne Rice - The Grove City, Ohio-based, excavator made an excellent run right off of the bat. Rice blasted out a 6.677, 209.69 to earn a berth in the field after the first session. He fell short of improvement on the Friday evening session and ended the day as the fourth quickest.

Gene Wilson - Wilson has developed a reputation of marking his territory right of the bat in qualifying. In his first trek down the quarter-mile, he emerged with a less than spectacular performance. The Charlie Hunt Mercury Cougar got up on the tires, encountered tire shake and coasted to a 15.882. Not one to stay down, Wilson rebounded with the New England Dragway track record, a 6.602, 211.36. He paces the field headed into Sunday.


The current qualifiers for the LIZZARD RACING Top Sportsman Quick Eight are as follows:
1. Ron Iannotti 6.407, 209.36
2. Steve Salvadore 6.639, 217.74
3. Paul Rocco 6.708, 210.08
4. Patrick Doherty 6.724, 210.93
5. Doug Mills 6.826, 204.98
6. Gary Bingham 7.054, 197.19
7. John Benoit 7.100, 193.38
8. Billy Albert 7.165, 191.87


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Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Johnny Rocca , Bruce Litton , Alan Pittman , Paul Athey , Chip King , Scotty Cannon , Gene Wilson , John Vouros , Dwayne Rice , John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Doug Mills