Houston - Friday Recap

Houston, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - Weather conditions for the second day of qualifying for the 11th annual NHRA Pennzoil Nationals were almost ideal, with cool air and sunny skies. The competitors took advantage of the conditions to rewrite the...

Houston, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - Weather conditions for the second day of qualifying for the 11th annual NHRA Pennzoil Nationals were almost ideal, with cool air and sunny skies. The competitors took advantage of the conditions to rewrite the already impressive Houston Raceway record book.

Perhaps the most impressive showing was in the hotly-contested Pro Stock field, where Warren Johnson continues to show dominant performance over his competitors. Johnson easily took the number one qualifying spot in both Friday qualifying sessions, ending the day with a 6.890 second, 200.04 mph blast to rewrite both ends of the HRP record.

When asked if the fact he's never won here from the number one spot bothered him, Johnson replied, "Any one of the sixteen cars can win the race. I look at number one as a $3,000 advantage."

Basketball star Larry Nance provided the surprise of the day, qualifying in the second spot with a career-best 6.909 at 198.93 mph. In all, 21 of the 38 Pro Stock competitors made qualifying runs under the one-time seven-second barrier, seventeen of them in the first qualifying session alone.

In Top Fuel, Joe Amato only needed one attempt to grasp the top rung of the ladder, also erasing both ends of the HRP record with the second-quickest run in history, a 4.539 at 318.80 mph. Jim Head showed his recent hot performance was no fluke by settling in just behind Amato at 4.611 at 310.98 mph.

In Funny Car, points leader Ron Capps erased the HRP elapsed time record with a 4.889 second elapsed time at 300.60 mph. Said Capps, "Roland Leong found some leaking fuel valves at Gainesville. It's really hard to get down the track when it cools off like this, so I look for even better runs tomorrow."

Cruz Pedregon, winner last weekend at Gainesville, Fla., holds the second spot, just 0.008 seconds slower than Capps and continuing a flurry of 4.8-second runs he began in Gainesville.

The fledgling Pro Stock Truck category completed its first-ever NHRA qualifying runs today with Larry Kopp still atop the ladder going into Saturday's eliminations. Kopp described his fastest-ever run as, "Not nearly a perfect run. It moved over pretty far to the left wall and around 1,000 feet I was about ready to lift."

Kopp earned a bye run in the first round of eliminations tomorrow, only thirteen trucks showing up for thhis inaugural outing.

Eliminations for the Pro Stock Trucks and the Sportsman categories will be held Saturday, while the other Professional categories will have two more qualifying sessions to set Sunday's eliminations ladders.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Warren Johnson , Ron Capps , Joe Amato , Larry Kopp , Cruz Pedregon , Larry Nance