Denver: Larry Nace Saturday summary

Nance notches third consecutive qualifying position. MORRISON, Colo. -- At Bandimere Speedway qualifying is in the NHRA record books for the 23rd annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, the 13th of 23 national events on the NHRA POWERade®...

Nance notches third consecutive qualifying position.

MORRISON, Colo. -- At Bandimere Speedway qualifying is in the NHRA record books for the 23rd annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, the 13th of 23 national events on the NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series and the first race of the "Western Swing" -- three-races-in-three-weekends in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.

Larry Nance qualified his Jerry Bickel-built, Richard Maskin-powered Team Marines Chevrolet Cavalier 13th in the Pro Stock class. The Akron, Ohio, driver's best time down the quarter-mile at Bandimere Speedway, which sits at an elevation of 5,860 feet in Morrison, Colo., just west of Denver, was an elapsed time of 7.319 seconds at 188.67 mph.

If times for Pro Stock cars look slower at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals than they do for other national events at tracks at or nearer sea level, they are. The Pro Stock cars and motorcycles are greatly affected by the thin air at this altitude as is anything with a normal aspirated engines and that includes the human body. The superchargers on the engines of nitro fuel cars assist to overcome the lack of oxygen in the air and thus the Top Fuel and Funny Cars are able to run closer to the numbers they run at lower altitudes than the other professional classes in the Pro Stock categories.

This is Nance's third consecutive race to qualify and his fourth of the 2002 season. After qualifying in Columbus, at the NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, Nance, from Akron, Ohio, backed that up by qualifying at the NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, near St. Louis and now Denver. He also qualified at the NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

The former NBA player turned drag racer will face-off against Allen Johnson, from Greeneville, Tenn., when eliminations begin tomorrow morning. Johnson qualified fourth with a pass of 7.279 seconds at 189.44 mph. Ron Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, took top honors with a stout run of 7.257 seconds at 189.50 mph.

Nance was drafted #1 by the Phoenix Suns and spent 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association -- six and a half with the Suns and six and a half with the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his career, Nance scored 15,678 points, averaging 17.1 points per game. One of the most prolific shot blockers in the game, Nance is the NBA all-time leading shot blocking forward with 2,027 blocked shots.

Among other accomplishments, he was named to the NBA all-star team three times (1985, 1989 and 1993) and he won the first slam dunk contest in 1984.

-lnr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Krisher , Larry Nance