New Hampshire qualifying pit notes - Friday

EPPING, NH - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA Amalie North American Nationals. Top Fuel Bruce Litton - Litton was on a stout lap, but hazed the tires at the eighth-mile mark. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver rode out the smoke,...

EPPING, NH - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA Amalie North American Nationals.

Top Fuel

Bruce Litton - Litton was on a stout lap, but hazed the tires at the eighth-mile mark. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver rode out the smoke, but lifted at the 1,000-foot mark and coasted to a 5.30/190.73. He currently resides in the third position after the first of three laps.

J.R. Todd - Todd was in the first pair to roll out for the first session of qualifying. The 18-year old driver of the United Expressline/Bruce Litton Top Fueler was determined to not repeat his Norwalk performance where he qualified on the last attempt. The former junior dragster racer blasted out a 4.90/276.52 and slipped into the second spot.

Pro Funny Car

Von Smith - Smith encountered some tire shake in his first qualifying attempt. The defending World Champion from Oak Ridge, Tenn., made his first attempt in the left lane and posted a tire rattling 5.909/239.06. Smith was battling the machine throughout the run and his single attempt during Friday's lone session landed him in the third position.

Scott Weney - Weney had watched Jim Lape deliver a tremendous 5.761/243.77 in the first pair to run in the class. The current points leader from Royersford, Pa., put forth a valiant effort when it came his time to run. He blasted out a 5.874/238.13 to land into the second position in the program.

Pro Modified

Troy Critchley/Johnny Rocca - Critchley made an immediate statement in the early going. Freed of 75 pounds by the IHRA rulesmakers prior to the event, the Johnny Rocca-tuned machine stormed to a 6.28/217.14 in perfect weather conditions for a supercharged combination. He currently leads qualifying going into the second day.

Shannon Jenkins - The defending World Champion has had a rough title defense season, but all of his frustrations may be over. His first qualifying attempt could be considered a positive one as he nailed down a 6.38/220.62. Jenkins resides in the seventh position.

Ed Hoover - Hoover got off to a good start in qualifying. The Gilbert, SC.-based veteran driver has plenty of history at Epping as he won the 1992 North American Nationals and became the first 6.5 second Pro Modified entry en-route to the victory. Seven years later, he's still blistering the New England Dragway racing surface with a 6.44/220.55. He currently resides in the 13th spot.

Dale Brinsfield - Brinsfield didn't get off to a good start in qualifying at Epping. The veteran drag racer from Greensboro, NC., could only muster a 6.73/209.36 best. It was later discovered that he was experiencing electrical problems that only afforded him one nitrous system during the run. He is currently at the 17th spot in the field.

Mike Castellana - Castellana still struggled to find the right combination for his new 1957 Chevy, which he debuted at Norwalk. He launched hard, but at the 60-foot mark the car drifted right and he lifted. He's currently at the 21st position.

Steve Cossis - Cossis stumbled slightly on the launch in his CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored 1954 Corvette. He made up for it on the second half of the run by storming to a 6.41/219.72. The Astoria, NY.-based racer settled into the eighth position.

Al Billes - Billes stands as the defending North American Nationals champion and he hoped to announce his intentions to repeat in the first qualifying session. The Canadian racer made a clean lap that equaled a 6.36/223.80. He is currently in the third position after one session.

Pro Stock

Chris Holbrook - Holbrook was in his second outing with the Lucket & Bohanan Ford Mustang. The defending World Champion found a good baseline to work off of as he recorded a 6.799/203.71. He currently resides in the 12th position and has two attempts remaining on Saturday.

John Montecalvo - Montecalvo has a good reason to want to perform well at Epping. It was at the North American Nationals in 1999 that he scored his first national event victory. He had a special treat when he lined up against his old pal John Nobile and hammered out a 6.683/207.78. He is currently in the second position, just .013 out of first.

Gene Wilson - Wilson got off to a good start early in the first session. The driver for the Charlie Hunt two-car Pro Stock team stepped up with a 6.713/208.75. The Canton, Ga.-based racer slipped into sixth spot after the first session.

Dwayne Rice - Rice opened up in the right lane and found a good starting spot. He made a straight lap and emerged with an impressive 6.766/207.02. The Grove City, Ohio-based, excavator claimed the tenth spot.

Floyd Cheek - Cheek had made some laps in his yet to be debuted Mercury Cougar prior to Epping. However, at the North American Nationals he was in his trusty Ford Probe and proved to be in step with the rest of the program with a 6.727/204.73. He qualified eighth in the program.

Pro Outlaw

Laurie Cannister - The current points leader from Clinton, Pa., was still smarting from a broken starter that sent packing in the first round at Norwalk. She was determined to put the misfortune behind and did a fine job in the first qualifying session in her Nicorette/Nicoderm-sponsored, Mopar powered dragster as she reeled off the top qualifying position with a 6.170/218.09.

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Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Scott Weney , Johnny Rocca , Bruce Litton , John Nobile , Gene Wilson , Dwayne Rice , John Montecalvo , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Troy Critchley , Von Smith , J.R. Todd