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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

MIR U.S. Pro Stock Open Rained Out

By Bill Pratt
Photos by Tim Pratt (more soon!)

Mike Thomas vs. Jim Yates. Jim qualified; Mike didn't. Photo by Tim Pratt
Mike Thomas vs. Jim Yates. Jim qualified #1; Mike didn't qualify. Photo by Tim Pratt

The 27th Annual U.S. Pro Stock Open did not make it into the books last night as the event was rained out immediately after the completion of qualifying. A light but steady drizzle began right after fields were set in NHRA Pro Stock and MIR Frantic Four Doorslammer. After waiting for 90 minutes for the drizzle to stop, promoter Royce Miller called the race. It was the third time in five years that the race had been rained out.

Warren Johnson versus Rickie Smith in qualifying. Photo by Tim Pratt
Warren Johnson versus Rickie Smith in qualifying. Photo by Tim Pratt

Unfortunately, there will be no rain date. Getting the top stars of NHRA Pro Stock in one place is accomplished through scheduling the U.S. Pro Stock open the day before qualifying begins at the NHRA Supernationals at Englishtown, NJ. A Monday finish is not possible because the racers must immediately hit the road for Topeka, Kansas, and then Joliet, Illinois, in a three weekend marathon of NHRA national events. In years past, the U.S. Pro Stock open was scheduled for the Wednesday before the NHRA national event in Maple Grove, Pennsylvania. That cannot occur this year, however, because the Maple Grove race is scheduled within 30 days of MIR's own IHRA President's Cup national event. IHRA rules stipulate that no special event may be scheduled at a member track within 30 days of its IHRA national event.

Johnson versus Johnson, Allen versus Kurt. Photo by Tim Pratt
Johnson versus Johnson, Allen's Mopar versus Kurt's Chevy. Photo by Tim Pratt

With these limitations in mind, Royce Miller reluctantly called the race, paid the Pro Stock drivers, and split the purse among the remaining bracket drivers. Fans who attended the U.S. Pro Stock open will be able to use the ticket stub for this race to get half price admission to any 2001 MIR special event (except for the IHRA President's Cup).

Tony Gillig and Tom Martino both qualified on this pass. Photo by Tim Pratt
Tony Gillig and Tom Martino both qualified on this pass. Photo by Tim Pratt

The MIR track records took a beating during two rounds of qualifying for the U.S. Pro Stock open. Jim Yates smashed the track elapsed time record with a 6.862-second blast in the first qualifying session. Warren Johnson reset the track speed record in the same session with one of the fastest speeds ever recorded in NHRA Pro Stock - 201.76 mph. The complete list of qualifiers and alternates for the 2001 U.S. Pro Stock Open follows:

1. Jim Yates, Splitfire 2001 Grand Am, 6.862, 201.46
2. Kurt Johnson, AC Delco 2001 Cavalier, 6.865, 200.74
3. Tom Martino, Century 21 2001 Grand Am, 6.871, 200.23
4. Warren Johnson, GM Goodwrench 2001 Grand Am, 6.878, 201.76
5. Brad Jeter, 2001 Grand Am, 6.887, 200.86
6. John Nobile, 1998 Cutlass, 6.891, 200.20
7. Allen Johnson, Amoco Ultimate 2000 Avenger, 6.905, 200.53
8. Tony Gillig, Gillig Racing 1997 Cutlass, 6.915, 199.40

Alternates

9. Rickie Smith, Kenny Koretsky 2000 Camaro, 6.915, 199.11
10. Robert Patrick, 2000 Mustang, 6.918, 200.05
11. Mike Thomas, Thomas Racing 2001 Grand Am, 6.947, 198.29

Chris Krajewski in the Randy Delano '41 Willys faces Tommy Howes. Photo by Tim Pratt
Chris Krajewski in the Randy Delano '41 Willys faces Tommy Howes. Photo by Tim Pratt

MIR also qualified its Frantic Four Doorslammer category. The Frantic Four consists of Pro Modified/Top Sportsman type cars running various engine combinations with weight breaks. Supercharged cars are limited to 526 cubic inches and must weigh 2750 lbs. Nitrous injected cars are limited to 706 cubic inches and must weigh 2550 lbs. Normally aspirated cars may run motors larger than 800 cubic inches and must weigh 2350 lbs. BY comparison, the nitrous and supercharged entries are each at least 200 lbs. heavier than their IHRA Pro Modified counterparts.

Marc Hayes' tangerine Monte Carlo made the show, but Ed Burnley's Predator did not. Photo by Tim Pratt
Marc Hayes' tangerine Monte Carlo made the show, but Ed Burnley's Predator did not.
Photo by Tim Pratt

Billy Farmer earned another Frantic Four pole position in his C&B Racing nitrous injected 1963 Corvette, running 6.517 at 214.45 mph. The times stood up as Low ET and Top Speed of the event. The complete list of Frantic Four qualifiers and alternates follows:

1. Billy Farmer, C&B Racing nitrous '63 Corvette, 6.517, 214.45
2. Tommy Howes, supercharged '92 Camaro, 6.645, 212.43
3. Marc Hayes, nitrous '99 Monte Carlo, 6.652, 210.08
4. Johnny Foltz, nitrous '63 Corvette, 6.769, 210.08

Alternates

5. Frank Snellings, Jr., mountain motor '96 Lumina, 6.917, 201.73
6. Chris Krajewski, supercharged '41 Willys, 6.964, 192.52
7. Robert Tyree, nitrous '57 Chevy, 7.281, 189.47
8. Ed Burnley, nitrous '94 Corvette, 7.492, 206.23
9. George Barksdale, nitrous '92 Trans Am, 7.816, 175.50
10. Mark Pullen, nitrous '57 Bel Air, 7.983, 176.35

Royce Miller greets Lugnut, the Racing Squirrel, as announcer Lewis Bloom and the Second Dimension dancers look on. Photo by Tim Pratt
Royce Miller greets Lugnut, the Racing Squirrel, as announcer Lewis Bloom 
and the Second Dimension dancers look on. Photo by Tim Pratt

The next MIR special event is one for the blower fans -- the 16th Annual Pennysaver Superchargers Showdown on Saturday, June 9, 2001. It will feature 6-second Pro Modifieds, supercharged 240+ MPH Funny Cars, Frantic Fours, and experimental Jet vehicles.

Bill Pratt
www.draglist.com

 

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