Atlanta Saturday''s quotes and results

MCCLENATHAN, SKUZA, W. JOHNSON, SEELING AND PANELLA LEAD QUALIFYING IN THE PEACH STATE COMMERCE, Ga. - Cory McClenathan earned his first Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position since 1998 Saturday at the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA...

MCCLENATHAN, SKUZA, W. JOHNSON, SEELING AND PANELLA LEAD QUALIFYING IN THE PEACH STATE

COMMERCE, Ga. - Cory McClenathan earned his first Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position since 1998 Saturday at the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., covered the distance in 4.577 seconds at 312.25 mph in his Joe Gibbs-owned MBNA dragster. His elapsed time was a new track record. It was McClenathan's 25th No. 1 qualifying spot of his career but his first since his effort at the 1998 event held in Brainerd, Minn. "We are definitely happy to be back in the game and be in a position to win a race here," said McClenathan. "It has been a long dry spell for us. We feel we should have won one by now. It has been difficult with all the parity in the class and everyone running so close together. Tomorrow if we can come out and win this race it would really help the team a lot and help my confidence as a driver as well. We are working towards a goal and I think we have achieved part of that goal and maybe we can go ahead and win tomorrow. That would make us all happy and Joe Gibbs would be equally as happy." McClenathan has now qualified in a record 164 consecutive races but has not won an event since last seasons U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He will meet Robert Rheel in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Dean Skuza, Warren Johnson, Angelle Seeling and Bob Panella were also the leaders of their respective categories at the $1.7 million race, the seventh of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Skuza, from Brecksville, earned his first-ever No. one qualifying spot in his nine-year career when he blasted his Matco Tools Dodge Avenger down the quarter-mile in 4.860 at 312.06 to lead all Funny Cars. "Nine years it took us to do it," said Skuza. "It's awesome. That was probably the last monkey on our back. We have been number two and three a few times but never number one. That is like being runner-up. Number one, with everybody getting four shots at the track, that really says something about your tune up and I think we finally have the tune up where this could be the first of many I hope. "I don't think we have had the potential to be the fastest car on any given weekend. We are good enough to be number two or three and good enough to win races because race day is different than qualifying. I think it just took that kind of time to get the continuity of our team, get familiar with our parts, to get the budget and the finances together. All these play integral parts in being number one." Skuza's last event win came in 1998 at the national event held in Reading, Pa. Skuza's first round opponent on Sunday will be Gary Densham. Five-time series champion and hometown favorite Johnson, from Buford, Ga., sped down the track in his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird in 6.907 at 200.14 to lead the 16-car field. Johnson will try and win his fifth national event at his home track when he faces Ron Krisher. Seeling, from New Orleans, earned Pro Stock Motorcycle top honors for the first time this season when she powered her Team Winston Suzuki to a run of 7.234 at 183.79 to lead the two-wheel category. Seeling will start the day off by lining up against Blaine Hale in the first round. Defending NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck champion Panella, from Stockton, Calif., made a pass of 7.525 at 180.09 to earn his fourth straight No. 1 qualifying position of the year in his Panella Trucking Chevy S-10. He will face Mark Whisnant in the first round. Final eliminations begin Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

COMMERCE, Ga. - Sunday's first-round pairings for the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series,

TOP FUEL 1. Cory McClenathan, 4.577 seconds, 312.35 mph vs. 16. Robert Reehl, 4.919, 296.24; 2. Kenny Bernstein, 4.601, 312.06 vs. 15. Paul Romine, 4.889, 306.74; 3. Joe Amato, 4.614, 318.24 vs. 14. Jim Bailey, 4.847, 296.50; 4. Tony Schumacher, 4.636, 316.97 vs. 13. Terry Mullins, 4.841, 266.21; 5. Doug Kalitta, 4.637, 310.34 vs. 12. Don Lampus, 4.788, 304.32; 6. David Grubnic, 4.663, 301.13 vs. 11. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.757, 304.53; 7. Gary Scelzi, 4.664, 304.60 vs. 10. Doug Herbert, 4.726, 304.67; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 4.671, 304.53 vs. 9. Larry Dixon, 4.672, 316.08.

FUNNY CAR 1. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 4.860, 312.06 vs. 16. Gary Densham, Pontiac Firebird, 5.074, 304.46; 2. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 4.914, 307.30 vs. 15. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.055, 291.95; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.921, 310.27 vs. 14. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 5.055, 302.21; 4. Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 4.937, 309.91 vs. 13. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.045, 297.94; 5. Todd Paton, Firebird, 4.956, 309.27 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.039, 299.06; 6. Jim Epler, Camaro, 4.961, 302.01 vs. 11. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.017, 297.29; 7. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.965, 306.46 vs. 10. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette, 5.003, 304.25; 8. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.969, 301.20 vs. 9. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.991, 298.67.

PRO STOCK 1. Warren Johnson, Pontiac Firebird, 6.907, 201.37 vs. 16. Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.978, 198.85; 2. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.922, 203.68 vs. 15. Greg Anderson, Firebird, 6.973, 198.06; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.924, 199.32 vs. 14. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 6.972, 196.79; 4. Jim Yates, Firebird, 6.937, 199.11 vs. 13. Don Beverley, Firebird, 6.970, 197.22; 5. Tom Martino, Firebird, 6.942, 200.29 vs. 12. Jamie Yates, Firebird, 6.969, 197.97; 6. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 6.945, 198.17 vs. 11. V. Gaines, Camaro, 6.968, 198.44; 7. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.946, 198.38 vs. 10. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.961, 197.48; 8. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 6.947, 198.61 vs. 9. Terry Adams, Cutlass, 6.952, 198.15.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE 1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.234, 183.79 vs. 16. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.457, 182.48; 2. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.247, 185.21 vs. 15. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.451, 181.79; 3. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.265, 185.23 vs. 14. Rob Short, Kawasaki, 7.427, 186.12; 4. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.270, 184.27 vs. 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.422, 181.32; 5. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.307, 186.79 vs. 12. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.416, 183.17; 6. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.330, 183.69 vs. 11. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.398, 182.53; 7. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.360, 182.21 vs. 10. Brian Ayers, Suzuki, 7.396, 180.48; 8. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.380, 177.44 vs. 9. Fred Collis, Suzuki, 7.382, 184.45.

PRO STOCK TRUCK 1. Bob Panella Jr, Chevy S-10, 7.525, 180.09 vs. 16. Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.598, 177.39; 2. John Lingenfelter, GMC Sonoma, 7.551, 177.86 vs. 15. Brian Self, S-10, 7.594, 177.11; 3. Randy Daniels, S-10, 7.552, 178.78 vs. 14. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 7.593, 176.95; 4. Mike Coughlin, S-10, 7.556, 177.79 vs. 13. Steven Farr, Chevy S-10, 7.589, 177.84; 5. John Coughlin, S-10, 7.558, 178.47 vs. 12. Tim Freeman, S-10, 7.587, 177.35; 6. Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.561, 178.59 vs. 11. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 7.579, 177.72; 7. Larry Seay, S-10, 7.562, 177.39 vs. 10. Rick Jones, Sonoma, 7.578, 177.49; 8. Steve Johns, S-10, 7.567, 178.10 vs. 9. Scott Tidwell, S-10, 7.569, 178.12.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Jamie Yates , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Scott Weis , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Mike Berry , Ron Ayers , Shawn Gann , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Blaine Hale , John Lingenfelter , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Todd Paton , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , Tim Freeman , Terry Adams , Allen Johnson , Don Lampus , Fred Collis , Mark Whisnant , Brian Self , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Steve J