Las Vegas Saturday Report

LAS VEGAS - Kenny Bernstein earned his 51st career No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Inaugural NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals on The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Todd Paton, Ron Krisher, Matt Hines and Bob ...

LAS VEGAS - Kenny Bernstein earned his 51st career No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Inaugural NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals on The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Todd Paton, Ron Krisher, Matt Hines and Bob Panella were also the leaders in their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the fourth of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Bernstein, from Lake Forest, Calif., blasted down the quarter-mile on Friday in 4.630 seconds at 314.09 mph to pace the Top Fuel category. It is Bernstein's first No. 1 qualifying effort since the 1998 Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis. Bernstein will face Bobby Baldwin in tomorrow's first round. "It's very satisfying to be back at the top," said Bernstein. "It's good for the team. They work hard and they deserve it for as much effort they have put in it over the past year-and-a-half. I would have felt much better today if we would have made two really good runs back-to-back in the heat because that is what we are going to be facing tomorrow. Still, we are very happy to have accomplished what we did but we just need to do a little better during eliminations." Canadian rookie driver Paton, from Brantford, Ontario, captured his first No. 1 qualifying spot in only his second race behind the wheel of the Nitro Fish Pontiac Firebird. His pass of 4.945 at 307.09 led all Funny Car competitors. Paton will face Bob Gilbertson in the first round. "We are surprised we're this good this fast," said Paton, who elected not to make an afternoon qualifying run. "It feels like we're walking on a cloud right now. I am getting kind of spoiled, but we have a great team. We decided not to run the final session because we felt our number would stand and fortunately it did. We decided to save money and get ready to go four rounds tomorrow." During the first two days of qualifying there were a total of nine fines issued to eight nitro-category drivers for oiling the racing surface. Baldwin was fined twice. The upstart Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, earned his first Pro Stock No. 1 qualifying spot of the year as he used his run of 7.048 at 195.42 in his Eagle One Pontiac Firebird for top honors. Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., improved on yesterday's run, earning his first No. 1 qualifying award of the season. The three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle champion covered the distance in 7.334 at 183.19 atop his Eagle One Suzuki.. Stockton, Calif.'s, Panella held on to the top spot in Pro Stock Truck with his run of 7.684 at 175.68 in his Panella Racing Chevy S-10. This is Panella's sixth career No. 1 qualifying position. Final eliminations begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. (PT)

LAS VEGAS -- First-round pairings for Sunday's eliminations at the Inaugural NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $1.8 million race is the fourth of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

TOP FUEL

1. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., 4.630 seconds, 314.09 mph vs. 16. Bobby Baldwin, Upland, Calif., 4.982, 276.07; 2. Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.645, 316.67 vs. 15. Robert Reehl, Whittier, Calif., 4.906, 252.80; 3. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 4.660, 314.97 vs. 14. Rhonda Hartman, Williamston, S.C., 4.804, 298.93; 4. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 4.661, 314.46 vs. 13. Don Lampus, Garland, Texas, 4.797, 309.13; 5. Melanie Troxel, Littleton, Colo., 4.664, 316.15 vs. 12. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., 4.776, 300.66; 6. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, 4.673, 316.90 vs. 11. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., 4.765, 313.22; 7. Bob Vandergriff, Cumming, Ga., 4.677, 312.71 vs. 10. David Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., 4.746, 301.07; 8. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.735, 310.20 vs. 9. Tim Gibson, Irvine, Calif., 4.742, 311.41.

FUNNY CAR

1. Todd Paton, Paris, Ontario, Pontiac Firebird, 4.945, 307.09 vs. 16. Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., Firebird, 5.158, 302.28; 2. Jim Epler, Phoenix, Firebird, 4.947, 305.42 vs. 15. Cristen Powell, Portland, Ore., Firebird, 5.067, 306.19; 3. Dean Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Dodge Avenger, 4.984, 309.91 vs. 14. Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 5.052, 297.35; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Firebird, 4.996, 292.52 vs. 13. Frank Pedregon, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Firebird, 5.042, 299.06; 5. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Ford Mustang, 5.004, 318.32 vs. 12. Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Camaro, 5.040, 302.62; 6. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., Camaro, 5.005, 288.83 vs. 11. Bruce Sarver, Bakersfield, Calif., Firebird, 5.039, 303.50; 7. Al Hofmann, Umatilla, Fla., Firebird, 5.028, 263.51 vs. 10. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Camaro, 5.039, 305.15; 8. Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills, Calif., Mustang, 5.029, 279.73 vs. 9. Del Worsham, Laguna Hills, Calif., Firebird, 5.038, 299.26.

PRO STOCK

1. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Pontiac Firebird, 7.048, 195.42 vs. 16. John Fairleigh, Scott City, Kan., Firebird, 7.122, 193.35; 2. Mark Pawuk, Akron, Ohio, Firebird, 7.060, 195.48 vs. 15. Greg Anderson, Jacksonville, N.C., Firebird, 7.109, 195.11; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.069, 195.85 vs. 14. Mike Trumble, Pasadena, Texas, Firebird, 7.105, 193.63; 4. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., Firebird, 7.075, 196.33 vs. 13. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., Chevy Camaro, 7.102, 195.14; 5. Richie Stevens, New Orleans, Firebird, 7.077, 193.43 vs. 12. Tom Martino, Farmingdale, N.J., Firebird, 7.099, 196.10; 6. Jamie Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 7.079, 195.08 vs. 11. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Firebird, 7.098, 194.72; 7. Darrell Alderman, Morehead, Ky., Dodge Avenger, 7.087, 195.14 vs. 10. Robert Patrick, Fredricksburg, Va., Ford Mustang, 7.095, 195.08; 8. Troy Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 7.088, 195.08 vs. 9. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 7.092, 195.62.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

1. Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Suzuki, 7.334, 183.19 vs. 16. Chris Reuter, Gretna, Neb., Suzuki, 7.572, 179.44; 2. David Schultz, Fort Myers, Fla., Suzuki, 7.377, 182.90 vs. 15. Reggie Showers, Philadelphia, Honda, 7.569, 175.25; 3. Angelle Seeling, Matthews, La., Suzuki, 7.398, 179.04 vs. 14. Brian DeLong, Circleville, Ohio, Suzuki, 7.563, 176.93; 4. Tony Mullen, Bradenton, Fla., Suzuki, 7.417, 180.79 vs. 13. Larry Cook, West Linn, Ore., Suzuki, 7.553, 177.02; 5. Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Suzuki, 7.435, 183.19 vs. 12. Brian Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.536, 175.66; 6. Geno Scali, Palatine, Ill., Honda, 7.451, 179.64 vs. 11. Ron Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.532, 178.42; 7. Craig Treble, Chandler, Ariz., Suzuki, 7.486, 179.83 vs. 10. Joe DeSantis, Rootstown, Ohio, Suzuki, 7.521, 176.56; 8. Blaine Hale, Midland, Texas, Kawasaki, 7.489, 177.86 vs. 9. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Suzuki, 7.520, 180.94.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

1. Bob Panella Jr, Stockton, Calif., Chevy S-10, 7.684, 175.68 vs. 16. Mark Whisnant, Stockbridge, Ga., S-10, 7.795, 173.54; 2. Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., S-10, 7.698, 175.64 vs. 15. Rob Slavinski, Newark, Ohio, S-10, 7.793, 173.25; 3. Jerry Haas, St. Louis, Chevy S-10, 7.737, 174.71 vs. 14. John Lingenfelter, Decatur, Ind., GMC Sonoma, 7.791, 173.63; 4. Taylor Lastor, Austin, Texas, S-10, 7.743, 174.35 vs. 13. Brian Self, Houston, S-10, 7.785, 173.16; 5. Steve Johns, Lancaster, Pa., S-10, 7.747, 175.23 vs. 12. Jeff Gracia, Ontario, Calif., S-10, 7.785, 174.30; 6. Rick Jones, Galesburg, Ill., Sonoma, 7.757, 173.92 vs. 11. Craig Eaton, Glendale, Ariz., Dodge Dakota, 7.782, 172.43; 7. John Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, S-10, 7.760, 174.28 vs. 10. Larry Seay, Mayfield, Ky., S-10, 7.780, 173.25; 8. Scott Tidwell, Pinson, Ala., S-10, 7.767, 173.29 vs. 9. Greg Stanfield, Bossier City, La., S-10, 7.780, 174.01.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Jamie Yates , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Reggie Showers , Ron Ayers , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Blaine Hale , John Lingenfelter , David Grubnic , Todd Paton , Craig Treble , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson , Melanie Troxel , Don Lampus , Chris Reuter , Tim Gibson , Brian Self , Mike Trumble , Jerry Haas , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Joe DeSantis , Robert Reehl , Steve J , Cristen Powell
Teams Williams