Rockingham Qualifying Recap

ROCKINGHAM NC - SUMMIT FastNews - Courtesy of Dave Densmore, Rockingham Dragway - Troy Critchley of Leesburg, Va., drove Johnny Rocca's 1949 Mercury to the third quickest quarter mile in Pro Modified history Saturday night and won the pole for...

ROCKINGHAM NC - SUMMIT FastNews - Courtesy of Dave Densmore, Rockingham Dragway - Troy Critchley of Leesburg, Va., drove Johnny Rocca's 1949 Mercury to the third quickest quarter mile in Pro Modified history Saturday night and won the pole for Sunday's inaugural IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. In qualifying No. 1 for the second straight event in the IHRA's Shap-on Tools Drag Racing Series, Critchley led a parade of track record-breakers that included Top Fuel Harley Motorcycle rider Bob Spina of Brentwood, N.Y., and Pro Stock driver Chris Holbrook of Redford, Mich. Critchley, who was the quick qualifier for the first time in his career two weeks before at Epping, N.H., directed the "Ironhorse" entry through the timers in 6.272 seconds, breaking the day-old track Pro Mod standard set by Fred Hahn of Elma, N.Y. Hahn, the top qualifier in five of the nine events this season featuring Pro Modifieds, settled for No. 2 at 6.330 seconds while salvaging a track speed record of 224.15 miles per hour. Bailey of Mantua, Ohio sped past boss and teammate Doug Herbert in the final qualifying session Saturday and claimed the No. 1 qualifying position at the Carquest Autumn Nationals at Rockingham Dragway, in the process keeping alive his slim hopes of winning the 1999 IHRA Snap-on Tools Top Fuel Championship. Unqualified entering Saturday night's finale, Bailey drove his 7,000 horsepower dragster through the quarter mile course at a career-best elapsed time of 4.698 seconds at 308.93 miles per hour to claim the pole in the $500,000 event. Bailey came into Rockingham trailing Don Lampus of Garland, Texas, and Bruce Litton of Indianapolis, Ind., in the IHRA driver standings. To stay alive, he first needed to qualify No. 1. He next must win Sunday's single elimination finals, next-to-last race this year for those in the Top Fuel class. Other top qualifiers Saturday were Bob Spina of Brentwood, N.Y., in Top Fuel Harley Motorcycle, Chris Holbrook of Redford, Mich., in Pro Stock, Frederick Tigges of Holbrook, Mass., who held on to win the pole in Funny Car at 5.906 seconds, 238.85 mph and Mark McElwee of Port St. Lucie, Fla., No. 1 in Super Eliminator at 6.164 seconds, 218.55 mph. Spina, battling back from mechanical woes that had put his continued participation in jeopardy, sped to a career best time of 6.558 seconds at 207.23 mph, shattering the 6.593 second track record set last April by Doug Vancil of Albuquerque, N.M., who will start second in Sunday's single elimination finals. Spina became only the fifth Top Fuel Harley Motorcycle rider to break the 6.60 second barrier. In claiming his fifth pole of the season, Holbrook drove his Ford Probe to a time of 6.676 seconds at 207.23 mph to edge John Montecalvo of Center Moriches, N.Y., whose Chevrolet had started from the No. 1 position at the last two events. Sunday's single elimination finals in the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals, 10th of 12 races in the IHRA series, will crown champions in six professional and eight sportsman classes. Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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Series Drag
Drivers Fred Hahn , Doug Herbert , Johnny Rocca , John Montecalvo , Don Lampus , Troy Critchley