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Palmer, Janis Grab First Day Qualifying Leads at IHRA Spring Nationals

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Dave Densmore, Rockingham Dragway






Palmer, Janis Grab First Day Qualifying Leads at IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham




(Rockingham, N.C.; April 18, 2008) – Surprising Scott Palmer grabbed the provisional No. 1 position in the featured Top Fuel category and Mike Janis put his 1967 replica Pontiac Firebird on the provisional “pole” in Pro Modified Friday in the first day of qualifying for Sunday’s 37th annual IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.




Palmer was clocked in 4.645 seconds at 296.83 miles per hour on a run on which his car ricocheted off the guardwall just past the finish line.




“My arm restraint got caught in my buckles and I had to shut it down about 150 or 200 feet further than we wanted to,” Palmer explained. “I grazed the wall in the shut-down area because I ran it out as far as I could. We just got a little racing stripe down the wing, it’ll be okay.”




Palmer, who struggled in the season-opening event in the Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Series at San Antonio, Texas, said he owed his resurgence to a tip from another crew chief, Johnny West.




“I talked to Johnny West on the way here,” Palmer said. “Johnny told us to look out for these new clutch disks. So when we got here, (we) looked at them and, sure enough, we had some bad ones. We changed them and the thing went back to running like it should.”


“We’re going for it tomorrow,” Palmer said. “We know it would have run a high 4.50 on that run.”




Other Friday qualifying leaders were Terry Haddock of Woodinville, Wash., in Nitro Funny Car, Pete Berner of Crete, Ill., in Pro Stock and Laurie Cannister of Johnstown, Ohio, in Alchol Funny Car.




Haddock had a minor fire at the end of the run and aborted his run early.




“We had to let go of it a little bit,” Haddock said. “I’m not sure why it was on fire, but I’m allergic to fire, so I let go of it.”




Most of the Top Fuel surprises were at the back of the pack Friday where reigning series champion Bruce Litton was on the outside, looking in, and rookie sensation Spencer Massey was clinging to the eighth and final qualifying position.




Janis drove his 1967 Firebird to the top of the qualifying sheet by covering the quarter-mile in 5.986 at 240.08 mph. Janis not only claimed the five “Last Man Standing” bonus points, he established a new Rockingham Dragway speed record.




Cannister was clocked in 5.722 seconds at 245.14 mph, just off her 5.669 second track record.




“I have a flawlessly running car,” acknowledged the Johnstown, Ohio, driver who is bidding for her second straight Rockingham pole. “I put that thing into third gear and it just wanted to pull harder. It was such a smooth pass. I really have to give (the credit) to my crew and my tuner (her husband, Dale).”




“I want to do more,” Cannister said. “I want to be the first in the 5.50’s and the first over 250, so we’ll see what happens. If the weather is good enough to make it happen (this weekend), then it will. If not maybe the fall (at the IHRA World Finals, also contested at Rockingham).”




Berner covered the standard distance in 5.324 seconds Friday in his Pontiac GXP to snatch the first day lead away from Frank Gugliotta’s Ford.




“It was awesome,” Berner said. “Hats off to my guys and hats off to (chassis builder) Rick Jones for his support. I really appreciate the fans coming out tonight and I was glad they were able to see that run.”




Qualifying continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., the latter the Castrol Night of Fire session. Single elimination finals begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.




ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Results Friday after qualifying for the Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts and Castrol at Rockingham Dragway, second of 11 events in the 2008 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.






Top Fuel -- 1. Scott Palmer, 4.645 seconds, 296.83 mph; 2. Terry McMillen, 4.696, 272.34; 3. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.721, 293.92; 4. Michael Gunderson, 4.785, 303.37; 5. Chris Karamesines, 4.860, 301.67; 6. Mike Strasburg, 5.458, 171.16; 7. Todd Paton, 5.553, 180.74; 8. Spencer Massey, 5.665, 176.19. Not Qualified: 9. Bruce Litton, 6.314, 135.81; 10. Kevin Jones, 11.239, 80.94.




Nitro Funny Car -- 1. Terry Haddock, Dodge Stratus, 4.956, 296.11; 2. Andy Kelley, Pontiac Firebird, 4.994, 299.53; 3. Jack Wyatt, Stratus, 5.085, 284.75; 4. Steven Macklyn, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.110, 290.32; 5. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 5.127, 295.98; 6. Matt Hagan, Monte Carlo, 5.869, 174.39; 7. Bob Gilbertson, Stratus, 6.915, 152.66; 8. Todd Simpson, Chevy Camaro, 9.438, 92.59. Not Qualified: 9. Paul Lee, 9.852, 86.03; 10. Jeff Diehl, 10.139, 72.23; 11. Cory Lee, 11.357, 68.56.




Pro Modified -- 1. Mike Janis, Pontiac Firebird, 5.986, 240.08; 2. Kenny Lang, Chevy Corvette, 6.031, 239.74; 3. Scott Cannon, Firebird, 6.035, 231.83; 4. Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 6.071, 230.72; 5. Chris Russo, Corvette, 6.094, 235.02; 6. Tommy D'Aprile, Chevy Bel Air, 6.114, 233.12; 7. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.119, 237.09; 8. Jason Hamstra, Chevy Camaro, 6.120, 228.31; 9. Jim Halsey, Camaro, 6.132, 231.00; 10. Burton Auxier, Corvette, 6.154, 226.28; 11. Pat Stoken, Camaro, 6.170, 228.04; 12. Billy Gibson, Plymouth Superbird, 6.178, 227.65; 13. Steve Vick, Corvette, 6.194, 225.52; 14. Ed Hoover, Camaro, 6.198, 231.20; 15. Thomas Patterson, Willys, 6.211, 217.60; 16. Frederick Scriba, Corvette, 6.236, 227.46. Not Qualified: 17. Mike Castellana, 6.308, 227.11; 18. Jason Stock, 6.362, 226.58; 19. Anthony Prestamo, 8.686, 134.04; 20. Mark Nielsen, 9.812, 91.25.




Alcohol Funny Car -- 1. Laurie Cannister, Chevy Camaro, 5.722, 245.14; 2. Thomas Carter, Camaro, 5.763, 239.14; 3. Rob Atchison, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.822, 247.88; 4. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.832, 241.02; 5. Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.833, 243.15; 6. Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.866, 244.03; 7. Paul Noakes, Dodge Avenger, 5.869, 241.32; 8. Mark Thomas, Chevy Impala, 5.875, 243.02. Not Qualified: 9. Tony Bogolo, 5.934, 231.95; 10. Melinda Green-King, 5.993, 233.80; 11. Tim Stevens, 6.050, 219.58; 12. Bill Naves, 6.071, 233.12.




Pro Stock -- 1. Pete Berner, Pontiac GXP, 6.324, 220.37; 2. Frank Gugliotta, Ford Mustang, 6.340, 218.55; 3. Dean Goforth, Pontiac GTO, 6.358, 219.22; 4. Jeff Dobbins, Ford Escort, 6.368, 220.19; 5. John Montecalvo, Chevy Cobalt, 6.371, 220.19; 6. Rob Mansfield, GTO, 6.372, 218.41; 7. Elijah Morton, Mustang, 6.374, 219.47; 8. Robert Patrick, Mustang, 6.379, 219.94; 9. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.388, 220.12; 10. Rickie Smith, Cobalt, 6.398, 217.32; 11. Cary Goforth, Cobalt, 6.427, 218.44; 12. Bob Bertsch, Mustang, 6.429, 218.94; 13. John Bartunek, Cobalt, 6.431, 216.93; 14. Trevor Eman, Escort, 6.433, 216.86; 15. Bert Jackson, Chevy Cavalier, 6.439, 216.97; 16. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.443, 206.23. Not Qualified: 17. Ron Miller, 6.457, 215.72; 18. Jason Collins, 6.489, 216.00; 19. Scott Hintz, 6.502, 213.94; 20. Cale Aronson, 6.548, 213.16; 21. Rocky Watford, 6.569, 211.56; 22. Sylvester Barnes, 6.598, 210.01; 23. Richard Freeman, 6.800, 168.98; 24. Chuck DeMory, 7.068, 194.97; 25. John Konigshofer, 7.743, 127.65; 26. Larry O'Brien, 11.197, 99.77.




About IHRA


Headquartered in Norwalk, Ohio, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a division of Live Nation, promotes professional, semi-professional and local level racing opportunities for drivers at all levels. The $21.5 million Knoll Gas Nitro Jam™ Drag Racing Series is an 11-event North American professional drag racing circuit. In 2008, the series will be comprised of eight events in major cities throughout the United States and three in Canada. The Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Championship presented by Mr. Gasket consists of competition at national events and 40 events in six regional divisions, while IHRA’s Summit SuperSeries is conducted nearly every weekend at over 85 IHRA-sanctioned tracks. Providing a safe environment to develop future stars, IHRA offers the Junior Dragster Racing Series for youths ages 8-17. Stand-alone events include Live Nation’s entertainment-filled “Thunder Jam” shows and the street legal racing and lifestyle event series Street Warriorz. More information can be found at www.nitrojam.com.




About Live Nation


Live Nation is the world's largest live music company. Our mission is to inspire passion for live music around the world. We are the largest promoter of live concerts in the world, the second-largest entertainment venue management company and have a rapidly growing online presence. We strive to create superior experiences for artists and fans, regularly producing tours for the biggest superstars in the business, including The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay. Globally, we own, operate, have booking rights for and/or have an equity interest in more than 160 venues, including House of Blues® music venues and prestigious locations such as The Fillmore in San Francisco, Nikon at Jones Beach in New York and London’s Wembley Arena. Our websites collectively are the second most popular entertainment/event websites in the United States, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In addition, we also produce, promote or host theatrical, specialized motor sports and other live entertainment events. In 2006, we connected nearly 60 million fans with their favorite performers at approximately 26,000 events in 18 countries around the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol “LYV.”





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