Bristol: Larry Nance qualifying summary

Qualifying: Larry Nance Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol Dragway -- Bristol, Tenn. Session ...

Qualifying: Larry Nance
Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway -- Bristol, Tenn.

Session #1 Friday: 27.887 seconds at 52.35 mph (#34)
Session #2 Friday: 6.901 seconds at 199.23 mph (#14)
Session #3 Saturday: 6.980 seconds at 198.52 mph (#14)
Session #4 Saturday: 6.961 seconds at 198.23 mph (#14)

Nance and Team Marines Olds qualify at NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The carnival of the senses, formally known as the NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series, moved to the Bristol Dragway, nestled in the mountains, on the border between Tennessee and Virginia, as the NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals got underway in the Tri-Cities area (Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City) of northeast Tennessee.

On Friday, Larry Nance, driver of the U. S. Marine Corps Olds Cutlass, got off to a slow start in the opening session. In the first of four qualifying sessions the Akron, Ohio, driver spun the tires on his initial pass down the quarter-mile and coasted to a slowing elapsed time (E.T.) of 27.887 seconds.

He made up for the slow start in Friday evening's second session and placed his Marines Olds in the 14th position, one of 16 spots allotted to the Pro Stock car class for Sunday's eliminations. Nance clicked off a very respectable E.T. of 6.901 seconds.

After two sessions, the bump spot is already lower than the prior track record of 6.930 seconds, set last year by Ron Krisher. As the sun sets on Friday, Kurt Johnson is on the bump with an elapsed time of 6.916 seconds.

Nance will try to better his time in the two remaining qualifying opportunities on Saturday. Entering the final two qualifying sessions, Troy Coughlin, from Delaware, Ohio, held the provisional pole with an E.T. of 6.853 seconds.

With higher humidity and higher temperatures than Friday, Saturday's early qualifying session didn't produce many changes. Nance was no exception and entering the final chance to make Sunday's eliminations, the former NBA all-star remained in 14th position.

There was no improvement for Nance or many others in the final session, but the good news was that Nance maintained his hold on the 14th qualifying position and will be part of the show tomorrow (Sunday, April 28th). This marks the first time in the 2002 season that Nance and the Team Marine Olds have qualified.

Nance will square off against V. Gaines, from Lakewood, Colo., in the opening round. Gaines qualified third with a best pass of 6.868 seconds at 200.50 mph. Troy Coughlin held onto the #1 spot throughout the final two sessions.

The happiest guy at Bristol Dragway was Larry Nance. He had the following to say about his weekend. "(Engine builder) Richard (Maskin) worked on the Team Marines Olds all weekend and turned it (the car) into a much better car than it was when we got here," said Nance. "He picked up power and worked on the car. That's why it ran better.

"After Richard's work, my weekend was pretty easy. (Crew chief) Taylor (Lastor) made good calls regarding the car. We made good runs. We got into the show. What most people don't realize is that this Marine Corps Olds Cutlass has had power all along. We just needed to get the both the car and the power working together. So far this weekend, we've done that.

"This first qualifying spot of 2002 means everything to me.  My family's
with me this weekend.  That was a good luck thing for me.

"I'm proud to be able to do this for all the U.S. Marines that give me the opportunity. It's awesome that while they are keeping this country safe from terrorism and other aggression I can give back something like this. I'm proud to represent the U.S. Marine Corps.

"I'm really dedicated to this year as far as performing and competing against these guys (the Pro Stock drivers). We've worked very hard this year. This is the first life we've shown this year as far as how well we can do. We're looking to keep up the pace tomorrow and do well," concluded Nance.

-lnr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Ron Krisher , Larry Nance