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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Millican Takes First Day Qualifying
Lead In IHRA Spring Nationals

By IHRA Communications

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Clay Millican took the first step toward claiming his 10th consecutive No. 1 qualifying award when he drove the Werner Enterprises Top Fuel dragster to a quarter mile time of 4.697 seconds at 295.79 miles per hour Friday on the first day of the 33rd annual IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.

Millican, the last driver down the track after rain interrupted the first day program on four occasions, actually was off the throttle on two different occasions on the effort which was .273 of a second quicker than No. 2 Ken Zeal of Reno, Nev., who briefly led the way in his IHRA Top Fuel debut.

Millican, the two-time reigning IHRA Hooters Top Fuel Champion, has been the No. 1 qualifier at 20 of the last 25 events in the series. He'll have two opportunities to improve his performance at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Drivers in categories other than Top Fuel completed two qualifying sessions Friday and will have two more opportunities to improve their performance in advance of single elimination finals beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.

In Pro Modified, Mitch Stott of Mill Spring, N.C., raced to the head of the pack in the "Radiac Maniac" 1963 Chevy Corvette with a time of 6.156 seconds at 227.46 mph that put him in a different area code, performance-wise.

The first Pro Modified driver to break the 6.00 second barrier, Stott is seeking his second victory of the new season, having opened with a win at San Antonio, Texas.

Also of note Friday were the efforts of reigning Pro Mod Champion Shannon Jenkins of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who posted the quickest quarter mile time in history in a car using a non-supercharger motor, and rookie Annette Summer of Aiken, S.C., who became the quickest woman in the history of the class with a time of 6.284 seconds.

Other first day leaders were Pete Berner of Crete, Ill., who led a Ford breakaway in Pro Stock, and Rob Atchison of London, Ontario, Canada, in Funny Car.

Berner's 6.538 second, 211.53 mph effort at the wheel of his independently campaigned 2002 Ford Mustang led a one-through-seven sweep for Ford products. Charlie Peppers of Auburn, Ga., was second at 6.554, 211.13 mph in another Mustang with Carl Baker of North Ridgeville, Ohio third in a Mercury Cougar (6.555, 211.46 mph), former series champion Chris Holbrook of Redford, Mich., fourth at 6.557, 205.35 mph in his 1998 Probe and reigning champ Brian Gahm of Lucasville, Ohio, fifth at 6.567, 210.93 mph.

The highest qualified non-Ford after the first day was Tim Nabors' Lawrenceville, Ga.-based 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier which was clocked at 6.600, 209.95 mph for the eighth spot.

Atchison was the surprise first day leader in Funny Car although five-time former series champion and pre-season favorite

Mark Thomas of Louisville, Ohio, was lurking close behind in the No. 2 spot at 5.873, 238.76 mph.

Thomas' latest bid is enhanced by his new alliance with Jimmy Rector, last year's Funny Car champion who this year is doing double duty as Crew Chief on both Thomas' Funny Car and Mitch Stott's Pro Mod.

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Results Friday after qualifying for the 33rd annual Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol at Rockingham Dragway, second of 12 events in the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.697 seconds, 295.79 mph; 2. Ken Zeal, 4.970, 256.70; 3. Danny Dunn, 5.074, 210.21; 4. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 5.750, 242.80; 5. Bobby Lagana Jr, 6.262, 145.55; 6. Tim Cullinan, 6.606, 135.41; 7. John Smith, 6.683, 132.93; 8. Louie Allison, 7.374, 131.32; 9. Josh Starcher, 10.833, 84.21; 10. Bruce Litton, 13.610, 72.61; 11. Jerry Freeman, 14.320, 51.73.

Pro Modified -- 1. Mitch Stott, Chevy Corvette, 6.156, 227.46; 2. Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.190, 225.48; 3. Fred Hahn, Corvette, 6.209, 224.55; 4. Shannon Jenkins, Chevy Camaro, 6.209, 222.55; 5. Roy Hill, Ford Mustang, 6.212, 225.52; 6. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.224, 227.42; 7. Mike Ashley, Studebaker, 6.230, 224.40; 8. Rickie Smith, Dodge Viper, 6.238, 223.84; 9. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.248, 223.14; 10. Tim McAmis, Corvette, 6.272, 222.11; 11. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 6.272, 221.63; 12. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.272, 221.52; 13. Annette Summer, Chevy Bel Air, 6.284, 219.86; 14. Dale Brinsfield, Willys, 6.292, 221.45; 15. Pat Moore, Bel Air, 6.306, 222.14; 16. Paul Athey, Corvette, 6.306, 221.16.

Funny Car -- 1. Rob Atchison, Pontiac Firebird, 5.831, 238.47; 2. Mark Thomas, Dodge Avenger, 5.873, 238.76; 3. John Vouros, Firebird, 5.904, 234.66; 4. Terry McMillen, Avenger, 5.949, 235.06; 5. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 5.950, 235.89; 6. Von Smith, 5.959, 222.91; 7. Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.970, 234.45; 8. Ronnie Midyette, Chevy Camaro, 5.979, 236.55; 9. Bunny Burkett, Avenger, 5.979, 235.60; 10. Mike Comella, Avenger, 5.979, 233.56; 11. Neal Parker, Camaro, 5.989, 232.79; 12. Monty Todd, 6.027, 232.31; 13. Tony Bogolo, Olds Achieva, 6.033, 205.98; 14. Chris Foster, Avenger, 6.056, 232.55; 15. John Sullivan, Pontiac Firehawk, 6.098, 230.41; 16. Bobby Martindale, Dodge Daytona, 6.506, 216.27.

Pro Stock -- 1. Pete Berner, Ford Mustang, 6.538, 211.53; 2. Carl Baker, Mercury Cougar, 6.552, 211.46; 3. Charlie Peppers, Mustang, 6.554, 211.13; 4. Chris Holbrook, Ford Probe, 6.557, 205.35; 5. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.567, 210.97; 6. Floyd Cheek, Mustang, 6.573, 209.33; 7. John Konigshofer, Cougar, 6.593, 210.11; 8. Tim Nabors, Chevy Cavalier, 6.600, 209.95; 9. Mike Bell, Pontiac Firebird, 6.603, 209.49; 10. John Bartunek, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.609, 209.62; 11. Frank Gugliotta, Cougar, 6.610, 209.85; 12. Steve Spiess, Grand Am, 6.618, 208.91; 13. Jason Collins, Cougar, 6.618, 210.14; 14. Steve Williford, Cavalier, 6.622, 209.20; 15. Rick Jones, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.626, 206.99; 16. Jerry Haas, Grand Am, 6.638, 207.78.

IHRA Communications 

 

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