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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Billes Leads Pro Modified Qualifying
In Holley Spring Nationals

By FastNews Network

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Al Billes of Barrie, Ontario, Canada overcame the elements Friday and set a Rockingham Dragway track record during qualifying for the 32nd annual IHRA Holley Spring Nationals, an event marred by a crash that left Funny Car driver Billy Williams of Cleveland, Ohio seriously injured.

Williams, 57, was driving a 2002 Pontiac Firebird replica that crashed heavily into the right side guardwall just past the finish line after an apparent engine failure. He was treated by paramedics at the track and transported to First Health Richmond Memorial Hospital before traveling by Careflight to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., with head and other injuries.

A 25-year drag racing veteran who won races on both the IHRA and rival NHRA circuits in the now defunct Pro Comp class, Williams' last victory came in the 1980 NHRA Fall Nationals at Seattle, Wash. He won the IHRA Dixie Nationals at Atlanta, Ga., in 1978 and the IHRA Northern Nationals at Milan, Mich., in 1979.

Billes, driving a replica 1953 Studebaker, covered the standard quarter mile distance in 6.143 seconds at 227.15 mph to assume the No. 1 position in Pro Modified. His quarter mile time broke the previous track record (6.205 seconds) set last year by Troy Critchley of St. Joseph, Mich.

Two Saturday qualifying sessions will set the field in Pro Mod and four other professional categories including Top Fuel, Nitro Harley, and Pro Stock. Single elimination finals are Sunday.

While Billes and two other Pro Mod drivers broke the old track record, the combination of cold air and a colder racing surface was too much for most to overcome. The wind chill factor dipped into the 30s while the air temperature hovered in the 40s.

Clay Millican of Drummonds, Tenn., the reigning IHRA Top Fuel Champion, managed a best of 4.979 seconds at 178.75 mph for the first day lead, more than .37 of a second off his previous best at Rockingham (4.601).

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Results Friday after qualifying for the 32nd annual Holley Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts at Rockingham Dragway, first of 12 events in the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.979 seconds, 278.75 mph; 2. Jim Head, 5.322, 252.47; 3. Paul Romine, 5.372, 193.46; 4. Donald Reed, 11.041, 66.72; 5. Mitch King, 11.153, 75.15; 6. Steve Smith, 13.065, 47.80; 7. Bruce Litton, 14.141, 68.31.

Pro Modified -- 1. Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.143, 227.15; 2. Bob Rieger, Chevy Bel Air, 6.147, 223.32; 3. Tim McAmis, Chevy Corvette, 6.190, 227.30; 4. Mike Ashley, Studebaker, 6.234, 222.18; 5. Chip King, Dodge Avenger, 6.243, 210.57; 6. Tommy Gray, Corvette, 6.273, 223.02; 7. Shannon Jenkins, Chevy Camaro, 6.287, 221.38; 8. Rickie Smith, Dodge Viper, 6.289, 218.62; 9. Alan Pittman, Willys, 6.301, 218.05; 10. Mike Lockwood, Corvette, 6.341, 220.19; 11. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.375, 215.51; 12. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.410, 219.83; 13. Steve Cossis, Corvette, 6.437, 217.74; 14. Troy Critchley, Corvette, 6.464, 218.16; 15. Steve Salvadore, Corvette, 6.518, 216.41; 16. Thomas Patterson, Corvette, 6.549, 217.95.

Nitro Harley -- 1. Jay Turner, Dixie, 6.615, 209.33; 2. Mark Cox, Weekend, 7.162, 184.55; 3. Doug Vancil, Weekend, 7.428, 130.37; 4. Steve Stordeur, Weekend, 21.695, 43.58.

Funny Car -- 1. Jimmy Rector, Chevy Camaro, 5.763, 242.23; 2. Mark Thomas, Dodge Avenger, 5.853, 237.67; 3. John Vouros, Pontiac Firebird, 5.857, 235.97; 4. Dale Brand, Firebird, 5.894, 238.55; 5. Rob Atchison, Firebird, 5.910, 234.70; 6. Laurie Cannister, Camaro, 5.917, 238.26; 7. Billy Williams, Pontiac Trans Am, 6.156, 211.33; 8. Dave Ray, Ford Mustang, 6.198, 222.47; 9. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 6.212, 210.57; 10. Ray Drew, Mustang, 6.444, 191.67; 11. Mark Poyser, Mustang, 9.066, 100.04; 12. Bobby Baucom, Trans Am, 10.373, 74.85; 13. Terry McMillen, Avenger, 10.619, 87.14; 14. Chris Foster, Avenger, 22.428, 30.52.

Pro Stock -- 1. Ron Miller, Chevy Cavalier, 6.572, 208.84; 2. John Montecalvo, Cavalier, 6.582, 208.78; 3. Jerry Yeoman, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.633, 208.20; 4. Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.652, 208.78; 5. Kenny Benso, Cavalier, 6.653, 208.88; 6. Wally Stroupe, Grand Am, 6.661, 206.73; 7. Larry O'Brien, Dodge Avenger, 6.690, 207.18; 8. Rick Jones, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.691, 208.14; 9. Charlie Peppers, Ford Probe, 6.784, 206.07; 10. Chris Holbrook, Mercury Cougar, 6.953, 198.29; 11. Richard Penland, Grand Am, 6.958, 159.89; 12. Tom Lee, Mustang, 8.252, 112.05; 13. Jeff Dobbins, Probe, 9.324, 98.37; 14. Elijah Morton, Mustang, 9.380, 97.62; 15. Hank Hill, Ford Thunderbird, 10.663, 83.06; 16. Doug Kirk, Cavalier, 10.716, 91.50.

Results provided by the FastNews Network
Courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment
http://www.summitracing.com

 

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