READING - Friday Recap by Larry Sullivan READING, Pa. - SUMMIT FastNews - After two rounds of qualifying for the 14th annual NHRA Pioneer Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Gary Scelzi (Top Fuel), Dean Skuza (Funny Car), Richie ...
READING - Friday Recap by Larry Sullivan READING, Pa. - SUMMIT FastNews - After two rounds of qualifying for the 14th annual NHRA Pioneer Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Gary Scelzi (Top Fuel), Dean Skuza (Funny Car), Richie Stevens (Pro Stock), and Angelle Seeling (Pro Stock Bike) were atop the ladders in their respective Professional categories. Scelzi's 4.558 second, 310.66 mph qualifying run came in the second qualifying session, under the lights. It was the fourth-quickest in NHRA history, a career-best for Scelzi, and a track record. Scelzi's run eclipsed the 4.58 at 303.13 mph posted just minutes earlier by Cristen Powell. Skuza, known for his long burnouts, posted a 5.008 second, 301.40 mph clocking, also during the evening session, to take the number-one spot away from Tim Wilkerson, who ran 5.016 at 295.56 during the afternoon session. Points leader and seven-time Winston champion John Force reactivated his commemorative gold Mustang body, which was only planned to be used at Indianapolis, to get improved downforce and move into the third spot at 5.020 and 289.29. His closest rival, Ron Capps, matched Force's elapsed time, but had a slightly slower speed and ended up fourth. Richie "the Kid" Stevens was the surprise leader after two rounds of Pro Stock qualifying, his 6.958 at 197.23 just enough to edge Kurt Johnson's 6.960 at 197.54 for the top spot. In all, eleven drivers were clocked under seven seconds, but perhaps the biggest surprise was Warren Johnson's absence from the field after the usually decisive evening session. Johnson had problems during the evening session and ended up seventeenth with a 7.021 at 196.93, well off the pace expected of the Winston points leader. Seeling's number one spot came on her first run of the day, a 7.400 at 180.83, but the biggest surprise was that points leader Matt Hines wasn't even in the top half of the field after two qualifying sessions. Seeling's closest challenger was John Smith, who came up just 0.001 seconds short with a 7.401 at 180.68. Hines ended up eleventh, with a best of 7.621 at 182.29.
Two more qualifying sessions Saturday will set the sixteen-competitor fields for Sunday's eliminations.
Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **