Topeka Saturday Results

HILL QUALIFIES NO. 1 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1997 TOPEKA, Kan. - Eddie Hill led a parade of records Saturday, recording the quickest Top Fuel pass at Heartland Park Topeka to close qualifying for the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA ...

HILL QUALIFIES NO. 1 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1997

TOPEKA, Kan. - Eddie Hill led a parade of records Saturday, recording the quickest Top Fuel pass at Heartland Park Topeka to close qualifying for the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Hill, from Wichita Falls, Texas, ran 4.520 seconds at 323.74 mph in his Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster and will lead the 16-car field into tomorrow's 11 a.m. eliminations. This is Hill's first number one qualifying position since 1997 in Sonoma, Calif. "It does feel good." Hill said. "It feels especially good to not have to spend a $100,000 car to earn that number one like we did at Sonoma last time." Whit Bazemore and Richie Stevens were also qualifying leaders at the $1.7 million race, the 18th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston drag racing series. Pro Stock Truck top qualifier Bob Panella Jr. was among the first round winners during that category's opening eliminations. Bazemore, from Indianapolis, powered his Kendall Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car down the quarter-mile establishing a track record for elapsed time at 4.885 at 298.40. "To pick their (John Force and Tony Pedregon) pocket is the best case scenario." Bazemore said. "I know they were counting the Budweiser money. That's the enemy over there. Johnny and Tony, and they were qualified one and two and to come out in the last session and get the job done like that, it feels good." New Orleans' Stevens drove to the top spot in his Pro Stock Valspar Pontiac Firebird, running a track record elapsed time of 6.888 at 198.44. "We've had a couple of close calls." Stevens, 20, earning his first top qualifying position. "Warren (Johnson) has taken it away from us at the last second. We had everything running good this weekend." Panella, from Stockton, Calif., took over the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck points lead defeating Chip Ippolito and Kim Smith in the first two rounds of eliminations aboard his Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10. "It's way too early to celebrate taking over the points lead." Panella said. "(Brad) Jeter is not to far behind, Mike Coughlin is coming on. It's probably going to end up down in Pomona and I guess that's what it is all about."

TOPEKA, Kan. -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the 18th of 22 events in the $40-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Top Fuel -- 1. Eddie Hill, Wichita Falls, Texas, 4.520 seconds, 323.74 mph vs. 16. David Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., 4.766, 281.89; 2. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 4.524, 315.86 vs. 15. Randy Parks, Lombard, Ill., 4.759, 307.72; 3. Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.538, 322.11 vs. 14. Mike Smith, Round Rock, Texas, 4.749, 309.20; 4. Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., 4.539, 321.96 vs. 13. Paul Romine, Indianapolis, 4.718, 304.60; 5. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.555, 327.90 vs. 12. Jim Head, Columbus, Ohio, 4.697, 314.39; 6. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., 4.569, 314.31 vs. 11. Larry Dixon, San Diego, 4.691, 297.88; 7. Andrew Cowin, Huntington Beach, Calif., 4.588, 313.58 vs. 10. Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., 4.672, 310.27; 8. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., 4.641, 318.99 vs. 9. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 4.650, 323.27.

Funny Car -- 1. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.885, 298.40 vs. 16. Larry Huff, Bell Canyon, Calif., Pontiac Firebird, 5.444, 237.55; 2. Tony Pedregon, Gardena, Calif., Ford Mustang, 4.894, 305.01 vs. 15. Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., Firebird, 5.398, 204.73; 3. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Mustang, 4.905, 311.70 vs. 14. Ron Capps, La Costa, Calif., Camaro, 5.391, 282.54; 4. Cristen Powell, Portland, Ore., Firebird, 4.971, 263.56 vs. 13. Al Hofmann, Umatilla, Fla., Firebird, 5.339, 270.05; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Firebird, 4.999, 305.70 vs. 12. Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Chevrolet Corvette, 5.227, 239.40; 6. Del Worsham, Costa Mesa, Calif., Firebird, 5.021, 306.40 vs. 11. Cory Lee, Sierra Del Oro, Calif., Dodge Avenger, 5.165, 299.80; 7. Jim Epler, Phoenix, Firebird, 5.037, 305.01 vs. 10. Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Corvette, 5.156, 299.66; 8. Gary Densham, Bellflower, Calif., Firebird, 5.127, 285.29 vs. 9. Frank Pedregon, Alta Loma, Calif., Firebird, 5.148, 285.35.

Pro Stock -- 1. Richie Stevens, New Orleans, Pontiac Firebird, 6.888, 198.44 vs. 16. Mike Edwards, Broken Arrow, Okla., Chevrolet Camaro, 6.935, 197.74; 2. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., Firebird, 6.891, 200.08 vs. 15. John Nobile, Melville, N.Y., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.935, 198.17; 3. Troy Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.892, 200.02 vs. 14. Tom Martino, Farmingdale, N.J., Firebird, 6.935, 199.46; 4. Mark Pawuk, Bath, Ohio, Firebird, 6.894, 199.14 vs. 13. Mike Trumble, Pasadena, Texas, Firebird, 6.933, 198.03; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.911, 199.17 vs. 12. George Marnell, Las Vegas, Firebird, 6.930, 198.09; 6. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Firebird, 6.912, 199.02 vs. 11. Steve Schmidt, Indianapolis, Firebird, 6.926, 198.47; 7. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 6.913, 198.67 vs. 10. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., Camaro, 6.925, 199.79; 8. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Dodge Avenger, 6.922, 197.39 vs. 9. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Firebird, 6.923, 198.17.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Paul Romine , Jim Head , Doug Herbert , Frank Pedregon , John Nobile , Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Ron Krisher , Mike Coughlin , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , George Marnell , Allen Johnson , Steve Schmidt , Cory Lee , Mike Trumble , Jerry Toliver , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr. , Cristen Powell , Mike Smit