Incidents Slow Qualifying at Winter Nats

INCIDENTS MAR FIRST DAY AT IHRA SEASON OPENER By Ed Dykes BRADENTON, Fla. - SUMMIT FastNews - Two professional category cars were significantly damaged in separate incidents during qualifying today at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals, slowing...

INCIDENTS MAR FIRST DAY AT IHRA SEASON OPENER

By Ed Dykes

BRADENTON, Fla. - SUMMIT FastNews - Two professional category cars were significantly damaged in separate incidents during qualifying today at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals, slowing the pace significantly in the first day of the event.

In the day's first round of qualifying for Pro Modified cars, Wally Stroupe brushed the guardrail just past the finishline, in an effort to get his car stopped because of a developing fire under the hood. Before he could get the car to a stop, the fire had spread significantly and Stroupe had difficulty getting out of the machine.

Stroupe, from Kings Mountain, NC, was airlifted to Tampa Burn Center where he is currently receiving treatment for burns to his hands and face. He is expected to remain there for several days, according to his father, who accompanied him to the hospital.

In the later Pro Mod qualifying session, Johnny Rocca lost control of his beautiful '49 Mercury, crossing the centerline and striking the right side guardrail about 800' downtrack. The car impacted the rail at roughly a 30 degree angle, almost a glancing blow, and remained upright although the rear end was high in the air at one point.

The Leesburg, VA-based Rocca was able to bring the car to a stop without further incident, and climbed out of the car uninjured. The safety crew spend close to an hour making repairs to the guardrail, and Rocca was reportedly already making plans to get the car back to the chassis shop for repairs.

The incidents have shuffled the schedule somewhat, but qualifying has resumed and full results should be available soon.

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Series Drag
Drivers Johnny Rocca