St. Louis Thursday's Sears Craftsman Nationals Summary

MADISON, Ill. - Five-time Winston champion Joe Amato led all Top Fuel competitors Thursday after the first day of qualifying at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Amato, from Exeter, Pa., blasted...

MADISON, Ill. - Five-time Winston champion Joe Amato led all Top Fuel competitors Thursday after the first day of qualifying at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Amato, from Exeter, Pa., blasted down the quarter-mile in his Dynomax dragster in 4.602 seconds at 313.5 mph to set the pace for the rest of the field at the night race. "About three races ago we kind of backed up a little bit and tried to be more steady with the car," said Amato. "We were trying to make it go down the track four times during qualifying because you learn a lot more. It's paying off with a little more consistency and we're tickled pink that the car is running a little better. Last week we were in the final round and had a little unfortunate thing happened when my chute opened. We feel as long as we're up there and in the hunt we're going to win a couple of races. It is just a matter of time. We're running good here and we will see what happens during eliminations on Saturday." Jerry Toliver, Ron Krisher, Angelle Seeling and Randy Daniels were also the leaders of their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 12th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Toliver, from Huntington Beach, Calif., covered the distance in 4.883 at 303.84 in his WWF Racing Pontiac Firebird to lead the Funny Car category. Defending series champion John Force was fourth in the order in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang with a 5.079 at 280.72. With last week's runner-up finish Toliver regained the points lead from Force. "It feels real good to be back in the number one spot as far as the points lead goes," said Toliver. "I was nervous about Force and (Ron) Capps, both were coming up after me (in the last session). For us to pull that kind of run out after smoking the tires in the first round, it just goes to show you what a good crew we have with (crew chief Dale) Armstrong and the boys. We couldn't ask for anything more. We laid a little 'smackdown' tonight and it feels good." Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, earned the top spot in Pro Stock when he powered his Eagle One Pontiac Firebird down the track in 6.940 at 197.91. Seeling, from New Orleans, led all Pro Stock Motorcycles as she set a track record for elapsed time when she sped down the track on her Team Winston Suzuki in 7.274 at 180.72. Daniels, from Grantsboro, N.C., established two track records with his run of 7.553 at 178.57 in his Bailey's Trucking Chevy S-10 to sit on top of the Pro Stock Truck pack. Qualifying continues Friday at 3:45 p.m.

MADISON, Ill. - Thursday's qualifying results for the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL

1. Joe Amato, 4.602 seconds, 313.51 mph; 2. Cory McClenathan, 4.608, 310.84; 3. Bob Vandergriff, 4.655, 313.00; 4. Don Lampus, 4.674, 315.19; 5. Kenny Bernstein, 4.686, 315.12; 6. David Grubnic, 4.688, 304.46; 7. Larry Dixon, 4.697, 306.05; 8. Gary Scelzi, 4.702, 292.68; 9. Doug Kalitta, 4.712, 299.86; 10. Doug Herbert, 4.775, 282.24; 11. Steve Smith, 4.850, 295.14; 12. Joe Hartley, 4.881, 257.53; 13. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 5.060, 229.47; 14. Bruce Litton, 5.088, 217.74; 15. Glenn Mikres, 5.122, 247.88; 16. Luigi Novelli, 5.123, 208.68.

FUNNY CAR

1. Jerry Toliver, Pontiac Firebired, 4.883, 303.84; 2. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.928, 305.56; 3. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.959, 308.43; 4. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro, 4.975, 298.54; 5. Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird, 4.984, 301.07; 6. Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.012, 290.07; 7. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.043, 299.86; 8. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.053, 290.44; 9. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 5.062, 280.60; 10. Cory Lee, Dodge Avenger, 5.067, 306.67; 11. John Lawson, Firebird, 5.093, 300.86; 12. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 5.126, 295.66; 13. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 5.126, 234.45; 14. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette, 5.141, 268.38; 15. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 5.176, 271.41; 16. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.329, 206.10.

PRO STOCK

1. Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird, 6.940, 197.91; 2. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.952, 197.74; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.958, 197.77; 4. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 6.965, 197.05; 5. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 6.973, 197.48; 6. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 6.975, 195.56; 7. Kenny Koretsky, Firebird, 6.985, 196.73; 8. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 6.990, 197.57; 9. Brad Jeter, Firebird, 6.991, 196.70; 10. Greg Anderson, Firebird, 6.994, 197.13; 11. V. Gaines, Camaro, 6.998, 196.99; 12. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.998, 196.33; 13. Mark Osborne, Firebird, 7.004, 196.47; 14. Terry Adams, Cutlass, 7.005, 196.13; 15. Tom Martino, Firebird, 7.008, 196.85; 16. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 7.011, 197.97.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.274, 180.72; 2. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.297, 179.52; 3. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.305, 182.18; 4. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.312, 182.45; 5. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.330, 182.67; 6. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.405, 175.34; 7. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.430, 180.09; 8. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.452, 176.95; 9. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.462, 177.25; 10. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.478, 176.58; 11. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.493, 180.24; 12. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.513, 175.71; 13. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.532, 175.96; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.567, 173.16; 15. Brian Ayers, Suzuki, 7.763, 168.66; 16. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, 7.770, 162.39.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

1. Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10, 7.553, 178.57; 2. Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.579, 177.42; 3. Brian Self, S-10, 7.612, 176.84; 4. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 7.614, 176.30; 5. Steven Farr, S-10, 7.619, 177.07; 6. Bart Price, S-10, 7.624, 176.79; 7. Jeff Naiser, S-10, 7.626, 176.10; 8. John Lingenfelter, GMC Sonoma, 7.627, 176.10; 9. Rick Jones, Sonoma, 7.629, 176.17; 10. Steve Johns, S-10, 7.636, 176.30; 11. John Coughlin, S-10, 7.637, 176.44; 12. David Spitzer, Sonoma, 7.640, 176.26; 13. Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.645, 176.05; 14. Rob Slavinski, S-10, 7.645, 175.52; 15. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 7.652, 176.60; 16. Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.655, 176.10.

-NHRA-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Litton , Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Scott Weis , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Reggie Showers , Shawn Gann , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Blaine Hale , John Lingenfelter , Steve Smith , David Grubnic , Scotty Cannon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Kenny Koretsky , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson , Terry Adams , Don Lampus , Rickie Smith , Joe Hartley , Mark Whisnant , Cory Lee , Brian Self , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Joe DeSantis