EPPING, NH - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA Amalie North American Nationals. Top Fuel Bruce Litton - Litton stepped up from his 5.30/190.73 on Friday with an amazing display of consistency. He had two attempts and both...
EPPING, NH - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA Amalie North American Nationals.
Bruce Litton - Litton stepped up from his 5.30/190.73 on Friday with an amazing display of consistency. He had two attempts and both yielded a 4.84 elapsed time. His best run came during the second session when he recorded a 4.840/310.41. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver from Indianapolis ended up in the fifth qualifying spot and will meet Paul Romine in the first round of eliminations.
J.R. Todd - The second day was not a good one for the 18-year old driver of the United Expressline/Bruce Litton Trailer Sales as he failed to make a full pass under power. He smoked the tire on his first Saturday attempt and on the second one, broke his steering and was forced to shut off. He will stand on his 4.90 best on Friday, which seeds him as the sixth quickest and he will Jim Bailey first round for the third consecutive event.
Pro Funny Car
Von Smith - Smith had a best 5.909/239.06 to his credit after the first day of qualifying, and followed his trend with a 5.907/239.02 in Saturday's first session. He failed to improve with a 5.967 in the final session. The three-time Pro Funny Car champion from Oak Ridge, TN., qualified fourth and will meet Terry Munroe in the first round.
Scott Weney - Weney found it difficult to improve on his first day's 5.874/238.23. He rattled the tires pretty hard in his first Saturday attempt, yet redeemed himself with a 5.906/234.45 in the final session. The current points leader from Royersford, Pa., qualified in the third spot and will face Terry McMillan in the first round.
Troy Critchley/Johnny Rocca - Critchley and Rocca retained their top perch for the entire event and they did it with bracket-like consistency. With a 6.283/217.14 best in his possession after Friday, he made his best run on Saturday's first session with a 6.288/222.84. He failed to improve with the final attempt and remained on top. He will face Dale Brinsfield in the first round of eliminations.
Shannon Jenkins - Jenkins only made two full runs in three qualifying attempts. His final attempt was negated with a broken driveshaft, but he more than made up for the shortcoming with a 6.38/220.62 on Friday and a 6.392/221.20 on Saturday. He will face Mike Castellana in the first round of eliminations as the eleventh qualifier.
Ed Hoover - Hoover used his second qualifying attempt to post his best lap. The Gilbert, SC.-based driver of Paul Trussell's Corvette blasted out a 6.377/221.56 to improve on Friday's 6.44/220.55. His final qualifying attempt provided no improvement. He qualified seventh and will meet Ronnie Hood in the first round.
Dale Brinsfield - Brinsfield had been hampered by one problem after another in qualifying. The Greensboro, NC.-based Pro Modified driver had it all come together for him in the final session as he stormed to a 6.446/219.01, which put him into the field on the bump spot. He will face Troy Critchley in the first round of eliminations.
Mike Castellana - Castellana had pretty much decided that his chances of winning the Pro Modified championship were slim-to-none and that was the deciding factor in his decision to debut a new 1957 Chevy at mid-season. He had made five passes in the new machine prior to his final attempt at Epping, none of which were straight. With a little chassis tuning help from defending World Champion Shannon Jenkins, Castellana stormed to a 6.367/220.51. He ended up as the sixth quickest and as fate would have it, he meets Jenkins in the first round.
Steve Cossis - Cossis failed to improve on his 6.41 from Friday during the first session on Saturday, but he did in the second session. The Astoria, NY.-based driver of the CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored 1953 Corvette stepped up with a 6.408/217.88, good enough for the 12th spot. He will face Quain Stott in the first round.
Al Billes - Billes saved his best for last. The defending North American Nationals champion had a respectable 6.36 to his credit on Friday and when it was all said and done on Saturday, he stepped up in a big way. The Canadian Pro Modified racer blasted out a 6.295/224.85 in his final attempt. He claimed the second position and will meet Pat Moore in the first round of eliminations.
Chris Holbrook - Holbrook knew that he had a secure spot in the field and worked to maintain his current baseline in the Lucket & Bohanan Mustang. He failed to improve on his 6.799 from Friday during the first session. He did imp-rove in the final attempt with a 6.784/204.63. He qualified in the 13th spot and will meet Gene Wilson in the first round.
John Montecalvo - Montecalvo didn't go for the top spot, choosing simply to work on his consistency. The plan worked as he remained close to his 6.683 during Friday's qualifications with a 6.693 and a 6.689. The Citgo-sponsored driver from Center Moriches, NY., ended up as the sixth quickest and will face Dwayne Rice in the first round.
Gene Wilson - Wilson had a tall order to fill going into the final day of qualifications as the Canton, GA.-based driver had a 6.713/208.75. He failed to improve on his second attempt, but that was only because he saved his best for last. The driver for the Charlie Hunt team stepped up with a 6.670/209.49. He qualified fourth and will meet Chris Holbrook in the first round.
Dwayne Rice - Rice got off to a scary start in Saturday's first session as he performed a masterful job to keep the car off of the wall. Going into the final round, the Garden City, Ohio-based driver had a 6.766 to his credit. He upped the ante on the final run and showed no ill effects of his early near-mishap as he stormed to a 6.737/206.95. He will face John Montecalvo in the first round.
Floyd Cheek - Cheek made his best lap on Friday with a 6.727, which left him as the eighth quickest after the first day. The former Pro Stock World Champion from Soddy Daisey, TN., ran a 6.776 and a 6.769 on the second day in Charlie Hunt's Ford Probe. He qualified tenth and will meet Steve Spiess in the first round of eliminations.
Laurie Cannister - Cannister was the top of the game after Friday's qualifying and was very much intent on holding onto it going into the final day of qualifications. She held her own in the first session as she remained on top with a 6.147/218.62. However, in the second session, her 6.097/218.62 matched Mick Snyder's identical lap, but missed the top spot due to a slower speed. She will face Karen Haddock in the first round of eliminations.