Sonoma: Series Friday qualifying report

TODD, HAGAN, KRISHER AND KRAWIEC LEAD FRIDAY QUALIFYING AT FRAM AUTOLITE NATIONALS SONOMA, Calif. -- J.R. Todd raced to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel Friday at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway. Matt Hagan, Ron Krisher and...

TODD, HAGAN, KRISHER AND KRAWIEC LEAD FRIDAY QUALIFYING AT FRAM AUTOLITE NATIONALS

SONOMA, Calif. -- J.R. Todd raced to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel Friday at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

Matt Hagan, Ron Krisher and Eddie Krawiec also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Todd, who won here in 2006 and is competing in a limited schedule this season for Bay Area team owner David Baca, powered his Mach 1 dragster to a 3.811 second run at 312.06 mph to lead the 16-car order.

"That was a great run and I'm a little shocked," Todd said. "It's great to be able to come out here and make a run like that for David (Baca, team owner from Brentwood, Calif.), since this is his hometown track. He'll have some friends and family out here tomorrow so hopefully we can keep it going."

Antron Brown, who is attempting to become the seventh pro driver in NHRA history to sweep the Western Swing, qualified fourth in his Matco Tools dragster with a 3.844 at 311.05.

"We made two good runs today," Brown said. "Any time you can be in the top four, you're doing something right. Our goal is to stay consistent and go down the race track and put ourselves in a position to do well. (Crew chiefs) Mark (Oswald) and Brian (Corradi) have a great handle on our Matco Tools dragster and we're excited about working on the race day setup on Saturday afternoon."

Hagan is in position to claim his first No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car, as the rookie driver led his division with a 4.068 at 307.51 in his Shelor.com Dodge Charger.

"That was great run on a great track," said Hagan, who is one of the leading contenders for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award. "The fans here got a great show. Don [Schumacher, team owner] puts all the right stuff underneath us and that allows us to make runs like that. Being a rookie, it's nice to know I can come out here and do that. We really needed something to come together for us. Our morale has been down a bit lately but this really helps turn it around. We've had a lot of missed opportunities lately but this is a big positive and we just need to keep it going."

Hagan's teammate, series leader Ron Capps, became the first Funny Car driver to clinch his position in the Countdown to 1 by making a qualifying attempt today. His NAPA Dodge Charger was 13th with a 4.215 at 288.95.

"Obviously, it feels great to have clinched a spot in the Countdown," Capps said. "We have a lot of unfinished business. We want to stay No. 1 going into the Countdown. But to know that you're already going to be involved in the Countdown takes a little bit of pressure off, for sure. And now we can sit back and watch everybody else battle."

In Pro Stock, Krisher took advantage of cooler conditions in the second session and posted a track record time of 6.573 at 208.84 in a Valvoline Chevy Cobalt.

"The [NHRA Safety Safari] helped us out by working on the track and sweeping off the dust," Krisher said. "I didn't get to look at computer but I think we had the right amount of clutch or close to it. We made some big changes on the car race day in Seattle and they appear to be working out. Mike [Edwards] helped us out with a bar change and it really picked the car up in 60-feet. We have more left but we probably won't see it tomorrow because there will be water in the air and these Pro Stock cars don't like that at all. I might stay No. 1, but I wouldn't bet on it. Greg [Anderson] Jason [Line] and Edwards are awfully fast but if I stay No. 1 it might help make up for that red-light in Denver. I can't put that behind me yet."

Krawiec, who has been to the final round at the last six bike races, was quickest in Pro Stock Motorcycle, covering the distance in 6.973 at 190.48 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

"With that headwind, there was definitely some E.T. left on table but I think I made one of the best runs of the session," Krawiec said. "I didn't have to correct much. This whole class is about making really perfect runs and that's what we've been doing lately. It's great to come here in Sonoma and be No. 1 for now. Sonoma has always been a great place for me; I came here the first time and went to the final and then got to the semis last year. I just need to give it my best shot and hopefully round wins will follow on Sunday. It doesn't really matter where you qualify."

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Sunday's eliminations start at 11 a.m.

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Ron Capps , Ron Krisher , David Baca , J.R. Todd , Matt Hagan , Eddie Krawiec