Grand Bend: Saturday qualifying summary

Gilbertson Claims Nitro Funny Car No. 1 Qualifier Honors at Mopar Canadian Nationals GRAND BEND, Ontario (July 21, 2007) -- Bob Gilbertson gave the standing room only crowd at Grand Bend Motorplex a thrill. Gilbertson (Gastonia, N.C.) shot to...

Gilbertson Claims Nitro Funny Car No. 1 Qualifier Honors at Mopar Canadian Nationals

GRAND BEND, Ontario (July 21, 2007) -- Bob Gilbertson gave the standing room only crowd at Grand Bend Motorplex a thrill. Gilbertson (Gastonia, N.C.) shot to the top of the Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car qualifying sheet when he posted a 5.011 at 258.91 mph in the Saturday evening qualifying session.

"Everyone in Canada is pretty cool," Gilbertson said of the huge Canadian crowd. "Live Nation does a great job of putting these things on. I hope everyone who came out today comes back tomorrow. We're planning on putting on a great show. We're either going to blow it up, put it in the wall or put it in the Winner's Circle."

Gilbertson will take on Andy Kelley in the first round while defending event champion Dale Creasy Jr., the No. 2 qualifier, will face Jack Wyatt.

T.J. Zizzo (Lincolnshire, Ill.) ended up holding on to the No. 1 qualifying spot in Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel, but defending Mopar Canadian Nationals champion Bobby Lagana (Scarsdale, N.Y.) made him sweat it out in the last pair. Zizzo ran a 4.662 at 314.83 mph during Saturday afternoon qualifying to move into the top spot, but Lagana took a shot Saturday night and narrowly missed bumping Zizzo off the pole.

Zizzo will face Bruce Litton in the first round of eliminations while Lagana will square off with Jim Cavaleri.

Scott Cannon Jr.'s astounding 5.997 pass Friday night held on to the pole in the Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified class. Cannon (Lyman, S.C.) set both ends of the track record Friday and will battle Jason Hamstra in the first round. Mike Janis, Kenny Lang, Ed Hoover and Tony Pontieri rounded out the top five on the qualifying sheet.

Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) has advanced to the final round of each of the first four Knoll Gas Nitro Jam events this season. He appears to be well on his way to his fifth. Thomas claimed No. 1 qualifier honors in the Alcohol Funny Car class on the strength of a 5.838 pass at 241.76 mph. Thomas will face Paul Noakes in the first round of eliminations. Larry Dobbs was second on the sheet with a 5.841/242.41 pass while Tim Stevens ended up third.

Brian Gahm (Lucasville, Ohio) ran the first 6.20s run in Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock history Friday night. He backed up his record, officially a 6.299, during Saturday afternoon qualifying and the time stood up against the field when all qualifying was complete. He will face Rob Mansfield, the No. 8 qualifier, in the first round. Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) ended up second on the qualifying sheet with a 6.318 pass at 220.15 mph. Steve Spiess, Frank Gugliotta and Pete Berner rounded out the top five.

Professional eliminations are scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 p.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, log onto www.ihra.com. The Mopar Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol is the fifth of eleven events on the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Mark Thomas , Bruce Litton , Bob Gilbertson , Dale Creasy Jr. , Steve Spiess , Kenny Lang , Frank Gugliotta