LEICESTER, NY - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals. Top Fuel Bruce Litton -The Indianapolis, Ind.-based enclosed trailer dealer didn't turn in a career performance, but had enough clout that he...
LEICESTER, NY - Pit notes from Harley Communications at the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals.
Bruce Litton -The Indianapolis, Ind.-based enclosed trailer dealer didn't turn in a career performance, but had enough clout that he claimed the second position. The Wix Filters-sponsored driver launched hard and appeared to be on a good pass, until he hazed the tires at mid-track and was forced to perform a masterful pedal job. He was rewarded with a 5.084/271.24 for his efforts.
J.R. Todd - The 18-year old Top Fuel racing sensation from Lawrenceburg, Ind., didn't fare too bad in the first round of qualifying when his efforts were compared to the more experienced comrades. During the first round of qualifications, he pushed the United Expressline, Inc., Top Fueler to a 5.178/236.90, good enough for third.
Pro Funny Car
Von Smith -Smith, the defending World Champion from Oak Ridge, Tenn., continued to be plagued with tire shake woes. The three-time Pro Funny Car World Champion could only manage the 15th best spot at the last event and didn't fare any better in this weekend's first session. He shook the tires so hard that he had to shut down and coast to a 13.414/57.36.
Scott Weney - Weney was hoping for a much tamer run in the first session of qualifying than he did in the finals of New York. Sporting a new 2000 Corvette body, the Royersford, Pa.-based driver didn't lean on the Ken Sheetz-owned entry too hard as he encountered a small bit of tire shake with a 6.585/227.50.
Troy Critchley/Johnny Rocca - The Native American/Aussie combo didn't have a good baseline to work off of. The car launched hard, but shook the tires at about mid-track and it had enough force to convince the former Australian champion to get out of it momentarily. He got back on it and still hammered out an 8.056/188.79. He is presently unqualified.
Shannon Jenkins - The defending Pro Modified champion from Tuscaloosa, Ala., had a rather uneventful first run of qualifying when compared to his effort of the early part of the season. The man that answers to the nickname of the Iceman ended up as the 12th quickest with a 6.588/213.06.
Ed Hoover - Hoover, who pilots the Paul Trussell-owned 1963 Corvette, continues to show off the legendary prowess that has made him the name that he is today in the class. He didn't do too well in Friday's qualifying as something popped on the upper end of the run and he coasted to a 6.655/173.24. His momentum was still enough to land him in the 13th spot.
Dale Brinsfield - Brinsfield has been quite a roller coaster of emotions during the past couple of weeks. Shortly after the last event, he announced that he was going to quit. He disbanded his crew and then just a few days before the event, decided that he wanted to race again. The Greensboro, NC-based did well for himself as he landed in the fifth spot with a 6.518/222.60.
Mike Castellana - Mike's Drive In was hopping on Friday. The veteran driver from Westbury, NY., who fixes his pit area up to resemble a Fifties-style Drive-In, made a decent pass to earn the tenth spot in the program. Castellana pushed his classic 1957 Chevy to a 6.561/215.77 best.
Steve Cossis - The man known simply as "Psycossis" didn't get off to a good start. The veteran Pro Modified driver from Astoria, NY., launched hard, but encountered problems and was forced to lift. The CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored driver drifted close to the center-line and wisely lifted and coasted to a 9.066/93.67.
Chris Holbrook - The defending World Champion hoped to put together a good showing for his home state fans. Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way he'd hoped they would as he got crossed up at mid-track and lifted. He by-passed the scaled and currently is unqualified.
John Montecalvo - After watching most of the entries having a tough time navigating the tricky Mid-Michigan Motorplex racing surface. He didn't get off to the start that he hoped for as he launched and had problems during the run. He lifted and coasted to a 12.459/95.29.
Gene Wilson - Wilson established himself as a top of the field runner as he pushed the Charlie Hunt Pro Stock Ford Probe to an impressive launch. He ended up as the sixth quickest qualifier with a 6.777/207.32. He never lifted and gave quite an impressive driving job.
Dwayne Rice - The former Modified racer and fourth year Pro Stock driver Rice had his Pontiac flying in the first session. He ended qualifying as the fifth quickest as he hammered out a 6.770/205.76. Rice expects to step up from this mark in Saturday's qualifying sessions.
Floyd Cheek - Cheek ended the first day as the quickest of the two drivers on the Charlie Hunt team. The former World Champion had quite a ride to the finish-line, but it was a positive as it yielded a 6.764/208.23. He ended Friday's qualifying as the fourth quickest.
Laurie Cannister - The Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ-sponsored driver wanted to establish a decent baseline in her Mopar-powered dragster. The administrative assistant for SmithKline & Beecham drive very well as she hammered out a 6.325/213.32. The current points leader stands in the third spot.
Mark McElwee - The PowershieldsCoatings.com machine made its return to the Pro Outlaw scene after being absent at the last two events as a means of regrouping from a horrific Canadian Nationals that saw them encounter tremendous engine damage. McElwee showed no signs of being out of the loop as he posted a conservative 6.554/201.70, good enough for the sixth spot.
Malinda Bertozzi - Bertozzi had two runs on the first day of qualifying for Top Dragster. Her goal was to put the CompetitionPlus.com dragster into the program solidly and then back it down in the ensuing runs to make her chances better on race day. The former model held her own as she stormed to a 6.850/196.20 to end up in the ninth spot in the 31-car field.