Photos by Phil Hutchison. Story by Phil Hutchison and courtesy of NHRA Communications
Defending NHRA Lucas Top Alcohol Dragster World champ Duane Shields will not be part of the starting lineup at the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at the Strip in Las Vegas. Shields last attempt, a 5.586, was not even close to the near record setting bump in Top Alcohol Dragster.
Former Lucas champ Jim Whiteley leads the quick field in his blown dragster with a 5.266. Saturday night’s finals qualifying session was unbelievable with cars getting in and getting bumped out before the drivers picked up their time slips.
Outside the field is NED racer Jackie Fricke after her 5.462 put her in the field on her last pass, but was bumped out when Randy Meyer ran a 5.375 two pairs later.
Driver and Hometown E.T. Speed
|1||Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction CO,||5.266||272.83|
|2||Garrett Bateman, Albany OR, Hadman-BAE||5.297||262.18|
|3||John Finke, Selkirk NY, Monden-Chrysler||5.320||258.76|
|4||Sidnei Frigo, Ft. Lauderdale FL, McKinney||5.351||263.92|
|5||Megan McKernan, Sierra Madre CA, McKinny||5.354||264.80|
|6||Todd Odom, Dallas TX, Monden-BAE||5.363||260.81|
|7||Aaron Olivarez, Sandy UT, Spitzer-TFX||5.367||268.87|
|8||Randy Meyer, Spring Hill KS, Meyer-BAE||5.375||256.26|
|9||Greg Hunter, Sheridan WY, Hadman-BAE||5.384||267.80|
|10||Ray Martin, Anchorage AK, Hadman-BAE||5.384||265.53|
|11||Joey Severance, Woodburn OR, Hadman-MBR||5.386||263.98|
|12||Cody Perkins, Bluffdale UT, Perkins-APS||5.393||263.72|
|13||Mark Taliaferro, Odessa TX, Monden-CRE||5.399||263.20|
|14||Don St. Arnaud, Edmonton AB, Hadman-BAE||5.437||266.06|
|15||Chase Copeland, Gainesville TX, Monden-||5.446||266.48|
|16||Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita CA, Uyehara||5.453||240.51|
|—- Not Qualified ————|
Jackie Fricke, Flemington NJ, McKinney-
|18||Duane Shields, Boulder City NV, Hadman-||5.466||255|
Alcohol Funny Car qualifying did not have the drama of the dragsters but the field is as solid as you could want with NY racer Tony Bartone in his ’09 Mustang sitting on the pole for Sunday’s first round. Bartone pushed the Mustang of Annie Whiteley to the #2 spot during the Saturday morning session after Annie led the field on Friday.
|Driver, Hometown, and Body Style||E.T.||Speed|
|1||Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, ’09 Mustang||5.570||262.39|
|2||Annie Whiteley, Grand Junction CO, ’10 Mustang||5.571||259.36|
|3||Jay Payne, Claremont CA, ’10 Mustang||5.590||259.06|
|4||Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls OR, ’06 Monte Ca||5.590||259.01|
|5||Shane Westerfield, Lake Forest CA, ’06 Monte C||5.625||256.06|
|6||Steve Gasparrelli, W. Covina CA, ’06 Monte Car||5.626||258.62|
|7||John Lombardo Jr., Brea CA, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.630||257.19|
|8||Doug Gordon, Paso Robles CA, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.640||257.28|
|9||Mark Woznichak, Ontario CA, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.658||255.43|
|10||Mickey Ferro, Stamford CT, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.671||251.86|
|11||Keeter Ray, Newport Beach CA, ’11 Mustang||5.690||252.80|
|12||John Evanchuk, Edmonton AB, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.693||254.14|
|13||Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda CA, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.723||253.33|
|14||Sean Bellemeur, Tustin CA, ’02 Camaro||5.726||252.47|
|15||Charles McLaws, Winslow AZ, ’03 Firebird||5.749||254.14|
|16||Kris Hool, Casper WY, ’06 Monte Carlo||5.752||255.53|
Super Comp Lucas points leader Al Kenny, took another huge step in his journey to the world title as his closest competitor, Stefan Kondolay, lost in the early rounds ending his chances of getting the points he needed to pass Kenny in the title race. Kenny advanced his Jeg’s sponsored dragster to the big show on Sunday although he is out of national races to claim, a win would sweeten his weekend, as he is nearly a lock to win the Lucas 2012 Super Comp title.
In Pro Mod, Don Walsh was able to retain fifth consecutive No. 1 qualifying position of the season during the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx event during the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals.
Walsh was able to best Clint Satterfield in the first round of eliminations held on Saturday and will face Ray Commisso when racing resumes on Sunday.
Series points leader Mike Castellana made it through to the second round of eliminations when he defeated Jay Payne on Saturday. Castellana will be seeking his first career NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Pro Care Rx championship on Sunday when he faces second in points racer, Troy Coughlin.
Rickie Smith, who is third in points, will face Leah Pruett in the other quarterfinal matchup after blowing the hood and scoop of his Camaro in a first round win. Danny Rowe will face Pete Farber in the remaining quarterfinal race.