Atlanta Saturday Qualifying Recap

COMMERCE GA - SUMMIT FastNews - Final qualifying for the 19th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals took place under more representative conditions for this time of year near Atlanta - sunny, warm, and humid. The result was a lot of...

COMMERCE GA - SUMMIT FastNews - Final qualifying for the 19th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals took place under more representative conditions for this time of year near Atlanta - sunny, warm, and humid. The result was a lot of tire smoke, but somewhere along the way several teams found the combination needed to tame the slippery track surface and move up the ladder. By the time the tire smoke cleared, Bob Vandergriff, Tim Wilkerson, Warren Johnson, and Angelle Seeling found themselves atop their respective eliminations ladders. Vandergriff moved to the front of the line in Top Fuel in the first qualifying session Saturday, moving Friday's top qualifier, Larry Dixon, one rung down on the ladder. Vandergriff's 4.651 at 305.91 mph came amidst a spate of mid-4.70s runs by the top teams, making the run more impressive than the relatively modest numbers (by today's standards) would suggest. In Funny Car, Wilkerson's Friday-night 4.976 at 287.35 mph was good enough to retain the number one spot, though Cruz Pedregon and points leader John Force took determined shots at that mark, Pedregon with a 4.986 in the first session Saturday and Force with a 5.020 in the second. Johnson's domination over Pro Stock continued Saturday, but his dominance was challenged in the final qualifying session when Richie Stevens made the quickest run of the session. Since that round was run in the worst conditions of the day - hot, humid, and sunny - the feat was even more remarkable since those conditions usually favor Johnson. The sixteen-car field spans just 0.094 seconds, one of the tightest fields in recent events. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Angelle Seeling move to the front of the line with a 7.288 at 179.37 mph in the first session of the day and Matt Hines moved into second position with a 7.298 at 185.31 in the second, 0.002 seconds quicker than Seeling in the final session. The top eight riders are separated by just 0.095 seconds, a tight field indeed for the two-wheel warriors, one that offers the possibility of several upset victories Sunday. In the first two rounds of Pro Stock Truck eliminations, first-round upsets took out the number two and three qualifiers, leaving sixth place qualifier Randy Daniels to face eighth place qualifier Craig Eaton in the semifinals. On the other side of the ladder, number-one qualifier Tim Freeman survived and faces the number five qualifier, points leader Mark Osborne, in the semis. Eliminations action resumes Sunday at 11:00 AM EDT with the first round of Top Fuel. Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Larry Dixon , John Force , Randy Daniels , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Tim Freeman , Bob Vandergriff