Rockingham World Finals Friday qualifying summary

Gugliotta Leads Record-Setting Binge at Rockingham ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Frank Gugliotta of Mt. Airy, Md., drove his 2004 Ford Escort ZX2 through the quarter mile timers in 6.436 seconds at 213.81 miles per hour Friday, shattering the ...

Gugliotta Leads Record-Setting Binge at Rockingham

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Frank Gugliotta of Mt. Airy, Md., drove his 2004 Ford Escort ZX2 through the quarter mile timers in 6.436 seconds at 213.81 miles per hour Friday, shattering the Rockingham Dragway track Pro Stock record during first day qualifying for the ninth annual Bethesda Softworks World Finals.

The World Finals, last of 12 races in the IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series, continues Saturday with pro qualifying sessions at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday will crown champions in Top Fuel, Pro Modified, Pro Stock, Funny Car and eight sportsman categories.

Gugliotta was one of five Pro Stock drivers to break the old track record of 6.484 seconds Friday including 1995 series champion Mike Bell of nearby Asheboro, N.C., who was fifth at 6.458, 212.79 mph in another Escort.

Qualifying in Top Fuel and Pro Modified continued late Friday night, the result of an unusually large number of track cleanup delays.

While Gugliotta and Steve Speiss of Manhattan, Ill. (6.437 seconds) provided a Ford-Chevy battle at the head of the pack Friday, it wasn't the Ford-Chevy battle everyone had anticipated.

That's the one between points leader John Nobile of Dix Hills, N.Y., also in a Ford Escort, and the former Rockingham track record holder, John Montecalvo of Center Moriches, N.Y., in a Chevrolet Cavalier.

The two close friends were separated by only 10 points entering the World Finals and they still were separated by 10 points Friday night after both experienced problems and recorded no times for their first qualifying efforts.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers John Nobile , John Montecalvo , Mike Bell , Frank Gugliotta