Madison: Friday qualifying summary

Cowin, Cannon, Yates and Savoie lead qualifying order at Sears Craftsman Nationals. MADISON, Ill. - Andrew Cowin earned the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in the Top Fuel category Friday at the sixth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals...

Cowin, Cannon, Yates and Savoie lead qualifying order at Sears Craftsman Nationals.

MADISON, Ill. - Andrew Cowin earned the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in the Top Fuel category Friday at the sixth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

Cowin drove his Spirit of New York Dragster down the quarter-mile track in 4.635 seconds at 319.75 mph to climb to the top of the category. Qualifying continues with two sessions Saturday at 9:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Scotty Cannon, Jim Yates and Angelle Savoie led their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the 12th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Cowin earned the No. 1 qualifier spot at the season opener in Pomona, Calif., in February. The performance since, however, has been less than desirable. The team has won one round all season and is looking to turn the year around.

"Now we are having some fun," Cowin said. "The crew is working real hard and we are starting to become more consistent. (Crew chief) Mike Green is doing a fantastic job. Everyone is having more fun and doing a better job, including me."

Cowin said he is not sure if the run will stay at the top spot. "It might stay No. 1, but I am sure it will at least be in the top three," Cowin said. "The weather conditions are going to be warmer (Saturday) but there are a couple of crew chiefs like Dick LaHaie on the Miller Lite team and Tim Richards (on the Budweiser team) that can tune the car well in hot conditions.

"Hopefully it will stay at the top. It's about time we turned this car around." Cannon drove his Oakley Pontiac Firebird to a 4.964 at 302.14 to lead the Funny Car category. This is the second time this season that Cannon has been the Funny Car leader after one day of qualifying. He has yet to keep the No. 1 spot going into eliminations.

"We came out looking to run quicker but after watching all the cars run in front of us, we backed it down and got down the track nice and safe," Cannon said. "We don't want to be Superman, we just want to be the quickest."

Yates set the track record in time with a 6.848 pass at 200.59 to pace the Pro Stock category in Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am. Ron Krisher set the track record for speed with a 6.874 at 201.01 in his Eagle One Chevy Cavalier.

Savoie set the elapsed time track record with a time of 7.171 at 187.05 on her CVEC Suzuki to lead the Pro Stock Motorcycle. Shawn Gann set the track record for a speed with a run of 7.259 at 190.14 on his Gann Speed/Mac Tools Suzuki.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Andrew Cowin , Shawn Gann , Scotty Cannon , Dick LaHaie , Tim Richards