Englishtown Saturday summary

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Larry Dixon and Jim Epler are the leaders in Top Fuel and Funny Car with one qualifying session still to be completed in those categories Sunday at the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township ...

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Larry Dixon and Jim Epler are the leaders in Top Fuel and Funny Car with one qualifying session still to be completed in those categories Sunday at the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals at

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The final session for the two 6,000-horsepower categories is set for 11 a.m. tomorrow and will lead into the 1 p.m. final eliminations for the $2 million event, the eighth of 23 races in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Unseasonable weather conditions forced NHRA officials to cancel Saturday's second qualifying session for Top Fuel and Funny Car teams after several teams experienced tire-wear problems due to the extreme grip of the racing surface. NHRA officials plan to evaluate the racing surface overnight and make adjustments as necessary.

"Unfortunately the weather has been an issue at this event and we felt like it was only fair to give the competitors in Top Fuel and Funny Car another qualifying run tomorrow," said Graham Light, NHRA senior vice president of racing operations. "Because of the cold and rainy weather and extremely good condition of the racing surface, there have been some issues with tire wear for the Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. We plan to address those concerns by making some adjustments to the racing surface. Safety is our primary concern."

Jeg Coughlin and Matt Hines earned No. 1 qualifying awards with record-setting performances in Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, respectively.

Dixon, who won this event in 1995, covered the historic New Jersey quarter-mile dragstrip in 4.644 seconds at 311.70 mph in his Miller Lite dragster to lead Top Fuel competitors.

"We've been able to get down the track in both lanes and run 4.60s," said Dixon, a two-time winner this season. "That's just a credit to (Dick) LaHaie (crew chief) and his setup. He's definitely got his game face on this weekend."

Epler paced the order in Funny Car, posting a 4.947 at 308.14 in his WWF Racing Chevy Camaro.

"The track is almost too good, and I never thought I would say that," said Epler with a smile. "Today the track wasn't allowing the tires to spin at all. The track is there because the Pro Stock cars and motorcycles had record-setting results. Hopefully the NHRA can do some things to take out a little bit of the (track's) bite."

Coughlin will seek his seventh victory of the season from the top of the order for the quickest Pro Stock Field in NHRA history. Coughlin set the pace with a career-best 6.822 at 200.68 for his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season. He'll face No. 16 qualifier Kurt Johnson (6.880 seconds) in the first round of eliminations.

Hines recorded the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle run in NHRA history to claim his second No. 1 position of the year, clocking a 7.138 at 188.62 on his Eagle One Suzuki. {TB} ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying order and first-round pairings for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle eliminations Sunday at the 31st Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the eighth of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. One qualifying session remains in Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Top Fuel -- 1. Larry Dixon, 4.644 seconds, 311.70 mph; 2. Joe Amato, 4.680, 304.53; 3. David Grubnic, 4.691, 298.40; 4. Tony Schumacher, 4.693, 320.36; 5. Doug Herbert, 4.700, 292.46; 6. Cory McClenathan, 4.715, 290.32; 7. Gary Scelzi, 4.797, 256.65; 8. Steve Smith, 5.218, 272.94; 9. Jim Bailey, 9.375, 146.15; 10. Kenny Bernstein, 10.985, 88.68; 11. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 11.572, 75.44; 12. Doug Kalitta, 13.360, 79.05; 13. Don Lampus, 16.303, 42.29; 14. Rit Pustari, 18.387, 44.91; 15. Bobby Lagana, 22.983, 51.08.

Funny Car -- 1. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro, 4.947, 308.14; 2. Jerry Toliver, Camaro, 4.974, 298.47; 3. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 4.992, 301.20; 4. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 5.045, 303.64; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird, 5.053, 295.27; 6. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.098, 274.83; 7. John Force, Ford Mustang, 5.107, 299.80; 8. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.133, 294.18; 9. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.193, 294.82; 10. Gary Densham, Firebird, 5.238, 291.13; 11. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.278, 284.39; 12. Terry Haddock, Avenger, 6.018, 206.92; 13. Cristen Powell, Firebird, 6.227, 162.37; 14. Todd Paton, Firebird, 6.370, 290.69; 15. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 6.924, 256.80; 16. Ron Capps, Camaro, 7.236, 264.96.

Pro Stock -- 1. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.822, 200.68 vs. 16. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.880, 201.01; 2. Richie Stevens, Pontiac Firebird, 6.840, 200.23 vs. 15. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 6.877, 200.80; 3. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 6.841, 199.91 vs. 14. Hurley Blakeney, Ford Probe, 6.870, 199.82; 4. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.847, 200.41 vs. 13. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Avenger, 6.864, 199.52; 5. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.849, 201.76 vs. 12. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.862, 200.29; 6. Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.851, 200.92 vs. 11. Greg Anderson, Firebird, 6.861, 201.70; 7. Brad Jeter, Firebird, 6.857, 200.38 vs. 10. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang, 6.860, 200.44; 8. Jim Yates, Firebird, 6.859, 200.83 vs. 9. Tom Martino, Firebird, 6.860, 200.92.

Pro Stock Bike -- 1. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.138, 188.65 vs. 16. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, 7.420, 179.73; 2. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.158, 192.06 vs. 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.400, 178.68; 3. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.178, 191.00 vs. 14. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.385, 182.38; 4. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.197, 185.79 vs. 13. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.347, 181.98; 5. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.198, 183.15 vs. 12. Chris Reuter, Suzuki, 7.336, 179.16; 6. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.213, 186.64 vs. 11. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.333, 180.72; 7. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.267, 184.77 vs. 10. Hector Arana, Suzuki, 7.311, 187.03; 8. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.306, 186.43 vs. 9. Rob Short, Kawasaki, 7.310, 183.29.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Robert Patrick , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Jim Epler , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Reggie Showers , Mike Berry , Shawn Gann , Hurley Blakeney , Blaine Hale , Steve Smith , Dale Creasy Jr. , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Cruz Pedregon , Todd Paton , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Tom Martino , Allen Johnson , Don Lampus , Chris Reuter , Terry Haddock , Joe DeSantis , Cristen Powell