Brainerd: Valvoline/Eagle One preview

Pro Stock: Krisher's 62 Straight Starts Tops Class Since Warren Johnson failed to qualify at Somona, ending a 303-race consecutive qualifying streak, Ron Krisher's 62 straight race-day appearances tops the Pro Stock class. Krisher has five No....

Pro Stock: Krisher's 62 Straight Starts Tops Class

Since Warren Johnson failed to qualify at Somona, ending a 303-race consecutive qualifying streak, Ron Krisher's 62 straight race-day appearances tops the Pro Stock class. Krisher has five No. 1 qualifying runs this season in his Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier and won at Las Vegas.

Krisher's qualifying streak dates back to the year 2000 season-opener at Pomona. Pro Stock may well be the most competitive racing series in the world, with between 34-37 cars typically trying for the 16 qualifying positions. Krisher was one of only four drivers to qualify for all 24 NHRA events in 2001.

Krisher owns his own drag racing engine development company, KRJ, located in Newark, Ohio. His company supplies engines to Pro Stock competitors Tom Hammonds and V. Gaines. Before entering Pro Stock, Krisher raced sports cars on road courses and sprint cars on dirt, and he's a self-made entrepreneur.

Krisher on going quicker during daylight Saturday qualifying sessions vs. Friday night qualifying: "Absolutley (it's a thrill), because the racetrack is hotter, it doesn't have the same 'stick' to it. To get out in the sun and do it, is pretty awesome. It's definitely a bigger accomplishment when it's hot than doing it at night." (Krisher did just this to gain the pole at Denver.)

Krisher on Friday night qualifying: "I don't mind running Friday night. The big thing is where you are in the procession (qualifying line). If you screw up your first run (Friday), for some reason, it can shoot your feet off. If you're the first or second car out, before the shadows get longer, the temperature gets colder, the air gets better, that can hurt your (car's) performance."

Top Fuel: Russell Wins 10 of 12 Rounds Out West

Darrell Russell won 10 of 12 rounds during NHRA's Western Swing (Denver, Seattle, Somona) and has jumped to fourth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. Russell won two consecutive races on consecutive weekends, at Denver and Seattle, then made the semifinals at Somona. He now has three wins this season in the Valvoline-backed Bilstein English Flush dragster. After an unproductive start to the season, team owner Joe Amato hired Wayne Dupuy as crew chief beginning at Las Vegas (fourth event) and the new combination has been making steady progress.

Continuing one of the most successful partnerships in modern motor racing, Valvoline returns in 2002 for the 19th season as a sponsor of Joe Amato's Top Fuel team. From 1984 through his retirement after the 2000 campaign, Valvoline's technical, product and financial support helped Amato to five Top Fuel championships and 52 victories, both NHRA records. Darrell Russell added to the record in 2001, with two wins, and NHRA Rookie of the Year honors in Amato's dragster. Bilstein Engine Flush is Amato Racing's new primary sponsor.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hines Hot; Up to 3d in Points

Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Hines has jumped to third in points in the last two events, following a victory at Denver and a runner-up result at Somona, on his Eagle One Suzuki. He has three No. 1 qualifying efforts this season.

NEXT EVENT: Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Clermont, Ind., Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

-v/eo-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Warren Johnson , Joe Amato , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds