Norwalk: John Force Racing Friday notes

WATER COMING UP THROUGH THE TRACK SUSPENDS QUALIFYING Waterlogged Summit Motorsports Park Will Try Again on Saturday NORWALK, Ohio -- While spectators and racers cast a wary eye Friday toward gray skies that threatened to dump even...

WATER COMING UP THROUGH THE TRACK SUSPENDS QUALIFYING
Waterlogged Summit Motorsports Park Will Try Again on Saturday

NORWALK, Ohio -- While spectators and racers cast a wary eye Friday toward gray skies that threatened to dump even more moisture on waterlogged Summit Motorsports Park, first day qualifying for the second annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals fell victim not to rain from above but water from below.

A condition called "weeping" in which water seeps up through cracks in the racing surface shut down qualifying at approximately 4 p.m. Friday and, despite a five-hour marathon effort to control the moisture, NHRA officials finally threw in the towel at 9:20 p.m. with the promise to try again on Saturday.

NHRA and truck officials said that ground saturated by 13 inches of rain that fell the previous Friday simply was too much to overcome.

"Weeping" began to play into the equation as the temperature rose on Friday afternoon. After completing a round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying during which reigning POWERade Champion Matt Smith of King, N.C., set the pace, and after sending seven Pro Stock cars down the course, officials suspended the first of two qualifying rounds to try and deal with the water issue.

Multiple national event winner Richie Stevens, now driving for Kenny Koretsky, was the quickest of the Pro Stock drivers at 6.833 seconds, 202.64 mph in the NitroFish Pontiac.

Amazingly, most of the fans remained in their seats throughout the drying operation. The loss of Friday's sessions means that pros in Funny Car and Top Fuel in addition to most of the Pro Stock drivers will have only two opportunities on Saturday to make the starting fields in their respective categories.

Since Saturday's sessions are scheduled earlier in the day -- 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. -- NHRA officials were hopeful that there would be no further problems.

-credit; jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Matthew Smith