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IHRA Friday Pro Class Qualifying

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Amalie Oil Texas Nationals presented by Ancira Cars, Trucks & Vans and San Antonio Express-News @ San Antonio Raceway 3/26/04

By J M Hallas

Friday Qualifying in Pro Classes

Marion, Texas. In the afternoon session for Pro qualifying, it was Three-time IHRA Top Fuel Champion as well as last years top qualifier and event winner, Clay Millican once again topping the list of 16 qualifiers. The Drummond, Tenn. hot shoe, Millican posted a run of 4.642 seconds at 303.23 MPH in his Werner Enterprises/2004 Hadman chassis.


Top Fuel newcomer, Mitch King from Galveston was able to grab the 4th spot turning the 1/4 mile 4.883 seconds in his LaKings Confectionery/1997 Hadman chassis. Another Texas driver, Mike Bowers from Plano, is on the outside looking in still as he was only able to garner the 13th position with a pass of 5.783 seconds. Currently the final spot is held down by Gene Davis and his 5.314 second blast. Three drivers found the sand trap during the only Top Fuel round run on Friday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.642 seconds, 303.23 mph; 2. Mark Kinsella, 4.728, 303.30; 3. Todd Paton, 4.882, 288.33; 4. Mitch King, 4.883, 242.19; 5. Bobby Lagana Jr, 5.035, 291.89; 6. Doug Foley, 5.070, 283.43; 7. John Sipple, 5.282, 242.89; 8. Gene Davis, 5.314, 224.96.




In Funny Car, Rob Atchison was quickest in the afternoon qualifying turning a lap of 5.853 seconds at 239.31 MPH in the Erickson Manufacturing, Firebird. Atchison was unable to better his time posting a nearly identical 5.856 in the evening session, but held the top spot. Ronnie Midyette posted the best top speed with a 240.38 MPH pass.

Funny Car -- 1. Rob Atchison, Pontiac Firebird, 5.853, 239.53; 2. Mark Thomas, Dodge Avenger, 5.856, 240.38; 3. Chris Foster, Avenger, 5.989, 234.57; 4. Terry McMillen, Avenger, 6.019, 235.10; 5. Ronnie Midyette, Chevy Camaro, 6.030, 240.38; 6. Ray Drew, Ford Mustang, 6.034, 227.50; 7. John Sullivan, Pontiac Firehawk, 6.219, 206.04.



Pro Stock first round qualifying was lead by Elijah Morton in his 815CI, 2004 Ford Mustang. The Jacksonville, NC. driver put up a 6.553 second run at 211.89 MPH to set a new San Antonio Raceway track record.

Not to be outdone, last years defending champion, Rick Jones would set a duplicate time in second qualifying, running a faster 212.06 MPH to grab the number one spot driving the 815CI Hemi powered Dodge Stratus. Morton retained the record, since his pass was first. Robert Mansfield sits on the bump spot with a 6.751.

Pro Stock -- 1. Rick Jones, Dodge Stratus, 6.553, 212.06; 2. Elijah Morton, Ford Mustang, 6.553, 211.89; 3. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.559, 211.76; 4. John Montecalvo, Chevy Cavalier, 6.572, 212.26; 5. Tony Gillig, Mustang, 6.578, 211.83; 6. Charlie Peppers, Mustang, 6.589, 211.33; 7. John Nobile, Ford Escort, 6.603, 212.16; 8. Robert Patrick, Escort, 6.608, 211.86; 9. Frank Gugliotta, Escort, 6.611, 211.69; 10. John Bartunek, Cavalier, 6.617, 211.39; 11. Steve Spiess, Cavalier, 6.623, 210.50; 12. Mike Bell, Ford ZX2, 6.633, 210.67; 13. Pete Berner, Mustang, 6.640, 210.90; 14. Larry O'Brien, Stratus, 6.641, 209.79; 15. Chuck DeMory, Escort, 6.718, 207.11; 16. Robert Mansfield, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.751, 208.42.



A field of 32 Pro Modifieds ran qualifying to set a 16 car bracket and it was last years number one qualifier, Mike Janis grabbing the top spot in round one as he toured the 1/4 mile in 6.278 second at 227.88 MPH in his 526CI Chevy, 63 Corvette.

Second round saw the top spot change hands several times before it was settled for the night. Von Smith was first to grab the number one spot as he ran off a 6.241 second pass to put his 526 CI Ford, 2004 Mustang on top. Unfortunately Smith also found the beach as he ended up running into the sand box.

After grenading a motor in round one, 2003 IHRA Pro Modified and Texas Nationals champion, Mitch Stott, bested Smith’s time laying down a 6.265 second shot in his 526CI Hemi, 63 Corvette. M. Stott again hurt the motor as he layed down oil at the top end, drawing a black flag, that will cost him championship points.

M. Stott’s reign was short-lived as six-time Pro Modified champion, Scotty Cannon made his return to IHRA in a big way. Cannon ran a 6.227 @ 228.15MPH in his 520CI, 53 Studebaker. Cannon’s time on top of the mountain came and went quickly also. Al Billes then stepped up and powered to a 6.224 second run to finish number one after round two in the 527CI Hemi, 53 Corvette.

Smith wasn’t the only driver to experience trouble in second round qualifying. At the start of his run, Harold Martin’s 2003 Grand Am, broke the center out of the wheel on take off. This caused the car to turn right hard, cross the other lane a drive head-on into the concrete retaining wall. Martin was uninjured, but the car suffered extensive front end damage and he’s still not in the show.

Steve Engel holds the bubble position with a 6.350, while fastest during qualifying, Carl Spiering was only able find the 18th spot with his 228.65 MPH lap. Faster doesn’t always mean quicker!

Pro Modified -- 1. Al Billes, Chevy Corvette, 6.224, 225.86; 2. Scotty Cannon, Studebaker, 6.227, 228.15; 3. Von Smith, Ford Mustang, 6.241, 228.61; 4. Frankie Taylor, Corvette, 6.253, 224.62; 5. Mitch Stott, Corvette, 6.265, 226.70; 6. Mike Janis, Corvette, 6.278, 227.88; 7. Shannon Jenkins, Chevy Camaro, 6.279, 224.43; 8. Zach Barklage, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.281, 226.51; 9. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 6.283, 222.29; 10. Rick Distefano, Corvette, 6.295, 217.28; 11. Thomas Patterson, Willys, 6.296, 221.82; 12. Glen Kerunsky, Chevy Bel Air, 6.308, 224.25; 13. Steve Vick, Camaro, 6.311, 222.47; 14. Dennis Radford, Dodge Viper, 6.326, 222.95; 15. Pat Moore, Bel Air, 6.337, 223.17; 16. Steve Engel, Corvette, 6.350, 223.39.


(Agates compliments of Fastnews.net)

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