Grand Bend: Series Friday qualifying summary

Bruce Litton Heads Friday Top Fuel Qualifying in Grand Bend Andy Kelley (Nitro Funny Car), Mike Janis (Pro Modified), Rob Atchison (Alcohol Funny Car) and Rob Mansfield (Pro Stock) also claim provisional ...

Bruce Litton Heads Friday Top Fuel Qualifying in Grand Bend

Andy Kelley (Nitro Funny Car), Mike Janis (Pro Modified), Rob Atchison (Alcohol Funny Car) and Rob Mansfield (Pro Stock) also claim provisional #1 qualifying spots at Mopar Canadian Nationals

Grand Bend, Ont. (July 18, 2008) -- Defending World Champion Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) moved to the top of the provisional Torco Pro Nitro Top Fuel behind the wheel of his Lucas Oil Canada Hadman Dragster qualifying sheet with his 4.743 pass at 302.75 mph. Litton was in the last pair of cars that went down the track in Friday's Top Fuel qualifying session and was just looking to get his feet under him at Grand Bend Motorplex. He ended up on the top of the list heading into Saturday's pair of qualifying sessions at the Mopar Canadian Nationals.

"The track was a little green last year, so we walked the track this morning and felt like it was in good shape," Litton said. "We just tried to get down the track and make the best of things. (Crew Chief) Richard (Hartman) and (Tuning Advisor) Nicky Boninfante made some great calls and things worked out."

Though Litton was in Grand Bend, his thoughts were in Western Canada where fellow 2007 World Champion Dale Creasy Jr., the Nitro Funny Car champ, lay in a hospital bed still recovering from his accident in Edmonton.

"I spoke with Dale about a half-hour before I got in the car and he seemed to be in good spirits," Litton said. "He's expecting to go home tomorrow, but he said he's really missing all of us right about now. I pray for a speedy recovery for him and hope he'll be back with us real soon."

Andy Kelley (Piedmont, S.C.) jumped to the top of the Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car provisional qualifying sheet Friday evening with a 5.013 pass at 294.31 mph. Jack Wyatt (Corydon, Iowa) was second with a 5.118/242.36 while Paul Lee (Wynnewood, Pa.) rounded out the top three with a 5.155/292.52.

Mike Janis (Lancaster, N.Y.) ran a strong 6.058 in the heat of the day Friday afternoon, a number that stood up against all challengers Friday night to put him in the provisional Torco Pro Mod pole position heading into Saturday. Torontonian Ray Commisso took a swing at Janis' number Friday evening but fell a little bit short. Despite sitting #2 on the qualifying list Commisso is confident heading into Saturday's qualifying sessions.

"That was a soft tune-up," Commisso said. "(Crew Chief) Al (Billes) wanted to put a soft tune-up in it to see if it would get down the race track. There's a lot left in that race car."

Rob Atchison (London, Ont.) defended his home turf by grabbing the provisional #1 qualifying position Alcohol Funny Car Friday night. Living just 45 minutes from Grand Bend Motorplex Atchison, a new father, laid down a 5.871 pass at 236.96 mph to move to the top of the sheet.

"This is our home track and it was great to be able to put on a good show for them," Atchison said.

Atchison and his wife Julie welcomed their first child, son Wyatt, to their family a few short months ago. Wyatt came to the races for the first time this weekend.

"This is his first race, but he didn't get to see that pass tonight," Atchison said. "He was back at the motor home. When I get back I'll tell him all about it."

Robert Mansfield (Margate, Fla.) jumped to the top of the provisional Torco Pro Stock qualifying ladder with a blistering 6.421 pass at 216.79 mph in the sweltering heat. Mansfield zipped straight down the groove Friday evening at Grand Bend Motorplex to narrowly nip defending world champion Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Virg.), who carded a stout 6.426 at 215.00.

Mansfield ran a decent number during the afternoon session, clocking a 6.477 pass, but his crew made some critical adjustments that allowed him to move to the top of the sheet.

"My crew is amazing," Mansfield said. "They can take the car apart and know exactly what to change. They are the ones making the car really fast. They make it easier for me to drive."

As the fastest qualifier who defeated his opponent during the Friday evening qualifying session Mansfield also won the Quarter-Max Pro Stock Challenge...claiming five bonus points and collecting a $500.00 cash bonus from

The Mopar Canadian Nationals will continue Saturday with a 2pm professional qualifying session. The final qualifying hit for the pros is scheduled for 7pm. Final eliminations, as part or PartSource Championship Sunday, will commence at 11am July 20th.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Bruce Litton , Robert Patrick , Dale Creasy Jr. , Paul Lee , Jack Wyatt