Grand Bend: Saturday qualifying note

GRAND BEND, Ont. - Qualifying Pit Notes from the IHRA Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals courtesy of in Grand Bend, Ont. TOP FUEL Bruce Litton - Litton found a good starting point during Friday's evening session. The Wix ...

GRAND BEND, Ont. - Qualifying Pit Notes from the IHRA Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals courtesy of in Grand Bend, Ont.


Bruce Litton - Litton found a good starting point during Friday's evening session. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver from Indianapolis made the second-quickest lap of the day with a 4.822, 299.70. With several of the team's improving in the early part of the session, Litton had intended to do the same. The enclosed trailer dealership owner launched hard, but drifted out of the groove and he was forced to abort the run and coast to a 6.618. He slipped to the fourth spot because of his failure to improve status. The rain delay didn't help conditions, but Litton came out with the intention of giving it his best shot. He delivered as he ascended to the second highest position with a 4.795, 303.54. Litton will do battle with Jim Head in the opening round.


Terry McMillan - The Vintage Trailers-sponsored McMillen opened Friday's qualifying with a 6.285 and ended the first day as the fifth quickest. The Elkhart, Ind.-based driver stepped up in his first shot during the second day with a 6.165, 225.79. He entered the final session as the seventh quickest entry. McMillen came to the line ready to do the best in his final attempt. He improved on his third run with a 6.145, 231.42. He slipped to the eighth spot and will meet Paul Noakes in the first round.

Laurie Cannister - Cannister was on the short end of an unfortunate experience. Apparently when running alongside of another driver, her car had problems in the left lane. In the right lane, the parachute of her opponent snagged one of the timing cones leaving her without a qualifying time despite stopping the clocks with a 6.192. She left no doubt in her first attempt during Saturday qualifying with a 6.198, 225.79. She ended the session as the eighth quickest. Cannister, who was kicking off the Girl Power Motorsports theme in Grand Bend, stepped up to a 5.934, 233.70 to land in the second spot. She will match up against Dan Roman in the first round.

John Vouros - The Vouros made a quantum leap in Saturday's early qualifying. After securing a modest 6.259 baseline on Friday, the former Top Dragster pilot from Victor, NY., put the Tom Anderson-tuned machine solidly in he field with a 5.935, 232.25. He entered the final session as the second quickest flopper. He was the final flopper to run in the night session. After watching his entry bumped down a spot in the pair prior, he gunned for a 5.80. He drifted out of the groove and lifted. He ended up as the third quickest entry and will meet Mike Etter in the opening round.


Paul Athey/Johnny Rocca - Athey had enough clout on the first day of qualifying to earn a berth in the show. He had hoped to improve his status behind the wheel of Johnny Rocca's famed 1951 Mercury Pro Modified entry. Instead of improving on Friday's 6.450, the "Ironhorse" launched hard and drifted left out of the groove and he was forced to abort the run. He coasted to a 12.17, 65. He held on to the 15th spot entering the final session. Athey improved to a 6.365, 218.17 for the 11th spot. He will meet Steve Vick in the first round.

Dale Brinsfield - Brinsfield had a terrible first day of qualifying. The Greensboro, NC.-based Import Automobile business owner had only produced a paltry 6.797 elapsed time on Friday. His first run on Saturday looked to be a drastic improvement judging by his starting line launch, but the run went sour on the top end and he had some flash fire underneath the car and he slowed to a 6.796, 155. He entered the final session unqualified. He never gained the opportunity to improve as breakage kept him from making his final attempt.

Steve Vick - Vick had a steep order to improve on after blasting out a 6.340 during the first day of qualifying. The Mocksville, NC.-based, clutch specialist rolled up to the starting line and unleashed a run that required quite a bit of driving talent. He managed to record a 6.356, 221.83, despite drifting out of the groove. He slipped to the fourth spot. After watching many of his comrades improve, the multi-time IHRA national event winner looked to turn up the wick on his final qualifying round. His 1968 Camaro launched hard, but once it drifted out of the groove, he decided to lift and rest on his laurels. He claimed the sixth spot and will face Paul Athey in the first round.

Chris Cline - After securing a spot in the program after the first day, Cline had hoped to hold onto his place in Tori Cagle's 1968 Camaro. He never got the shot to improve as the new entry broke on the starting line. Because of his failure to improve, he entered the final session unqualified and in the 21st spot. The transmission problems reappeared in the final qualifying attempt and he missed the cut.

Alan Pittman - Pittman has struggled in the last couple of weeks to find the dominating prowess the led him to the Winner's Circle in Rockingham. The veteran chassis builder from Pelzer, SC., abandoned the monkey that had taken up temporary residence on his back and stormed to the top spot in Ken and Sylvia Westbrook's 1941 Willys. Pittman's 6.291, 219.83 was the best of the session. Not wishing to lose his top qualifying spot, Pittman came to the line loaded for bear and the car violently drifted out of the groove forcing him to abort. He held onto the top spot and will meet Ronnie Hood in the first round.

Troy Critchley/Roy Singleton - Critchley had visions of the top spot in Roy Singleton's Majesty Group-sponsored 1941 Willys. The Aussie native had earned a spot in the field on Friday with a 6.355 and was essentially the quickest blower car of the first day. He gave it a valiant effort, but failed to improve with a 6.441, 206.56. He held on to the 6th spot entering the evening session. The bump spot gradually dropped in the final session and in knowing that, he stepped up his performance with a 6.294, 220.10. As the third qualifier, he will race Shannon Jenkins in the first round.

Ed Hoover - Hoover was looking for a measure of improvement headed into the final day of qualifying in Grand Bend. Pro Modified's original national event winner found the right combination in Paul Trussell's classic 1963 Corvette and earned a spot in the 16-car field. Hoover launched hard and carried the front wheels to a 6.439, 217.54. He held on to the 14th spot entering the night session. He sat back in the field and watched himself get bumped from the program prior to his final run. Hoover improved his stock with a 6.374, 218.97 and secured a berth in the field. He laid claim to the 12th spot and will race Al Billes in the first round.

Chip King - King's Hemi-powered Avenger has provided a bright spot for Mopar Pro Modified fans. The Semora, NC.-based business owner had no luck in his first Saturday attempt. The Mopar failed to make a run when the car broke a reverser and would not engage following the burnout. He entered the final session unqualified. It went down to the final attempt for the prototype engine-powered for a place in the final eliminations field. He launched hard and stormed to a 6.376, 221.62 to land in the 13th position. He will run Mike Janis in the first round of eliminations.

Team Castellana - Both cars on Team Castellana entered the final day of qualifying unqualified. Jenkins improved his status with a 6.392, 217.28 and earned the 10th spot in the program. Castellana was in the pair of cars behind an oildown, which necessitated a lengthy delay before he got to run. It was a carbon copy of the first day's ill-fated attempt as the car launched and then lunged sharply left. Neither car managed to get down the track on the final attempt. Entering final eliminations, Castellana failed to make the cut while Jenkins landed in the 14th spot against Troy Critchley.

Steve Cossis - Cossis was strong in the first day of qualifying. The driver from Astoria, NY., established a good starting point with a 6.404. He failed to improve in the early part of qualifying on Saturday with a 6.436, 216.71 lap in his 1953 Corvette. He remained in the program in the 12th spot. He insured himself a final eliminations berth with a 6.353, 218.34 run on Saturday evening. He claimed the ninth spot and will race Carl Moyer in the first round.


John Montecalvo - After claiming the second quickest qualifying lap after the first day, the Center Moriches, NY.-based Montecalvo failed to improve in his first of two attempts on Saturday. The Citgo-sponsored Chevrolet Cavalier launched hard, but fell short of improvement with a 6.719, 206.70. His qualifying status fell to fifth headed into the final session. He knew that getting his Chevrolet down the track in the cold conditions was going to be a formidable task. The two-time national event champion delivered with a 6.651, 207.46 to conclude as the third quickest qualifier. He will meet Chris Holbrook in the first round of eliminations.

Angelo Alesci - Alesci laid down an impressive baseline on Friday's lone session with a 6.753. The Cleveland, Ohio-based businessman turned up the wick in the second session and stormed to a 6.695, 206.51, which landed him in the fourth spot. Alesci upped the ante even more in the final session with a 6.629, 205.76 to end up in the second spot. His first round opponent will be Wally Stroupe.

Tom Lee - It was at this same event last year that Lee debuted as driver of Charlie Taylor's record-holding Mustang. He made a respectable 6.699 qualifying attempt on Friday, but overestimated the left lane on Saturday's first session. He shook the tires and lifted early. After the lengthy rain delay, Lee was in the fis pair to run after the track was dry. He improved on his previous effort with a 6.667, 207.70 to land in the sixth spot. He will match up against Ed Machecek in the opening round of eliminations.

Dwayne Rice - Rice was impressive with a 6.718 in the first day of qualifications with his trusty Firebird Pro Stocker. He made a strong run in Saturday's initial qualifying session, but it wasn't enough for an improvement. His 6.733, 205.76 proved to secure a measure of consistency for his Grove City, Ohio-based team. Rice failed to improve, but he remained close to his best effort with a 6.719, 206.51. His eighth position will pair him opposite of Elijah Morton.


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Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Jim Head , Johnny Rocca , Bruce Litton , Alan Pittman , Paul Athey , Ronnie Hood , Chip King , John Vouros , Dwayne Rice , Angelo Alesci , John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Troy Critchley