TOPEKA, Kan. - Inclement weather postponed the remainder of
professional qualifying at the 14th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer
Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
The entire Pro Stock category made one of two scheduled qualifying
passes. Darrell Alderman paced the category with a 6.882-second pass at
199.61 mph in his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T.
Johnny Gray was one of 15 Funny Car drivers to make a pass in the nitro
category before persistent downpours forced NHRA officials to cancel the
rest of the schedule. Gray is the provisional No. 1 qualifier after he
drove his Checker Schucks Kragen Pontiac Firebird to a 4.882 at 317.12.
The $1.8 million O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals is the ninth of 23
events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
The first two rounds of Top Fuel qualifying were canceled. Two more
qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Final
eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
If Alderman can stay at the top of the Pro Stock ranks, it will be his
24th No. 1 qualifying effort. Alderman qualified for the first
seven events of the season before he failed to make the ladder at
Englishtown, N.J. last weekend.
"It's good to have a run in that you think might be safe enough to
get you in the show," Alderman said. "The biggest hurdle in Pro
Stock right now is just qualifying for the race. I feel a lot better after
that run than I did anytime in Englishtown."
Alderman may be at the top of the field now, but he knows that could
"It is possible that the 6.88 might not be enough to get into
Sunday's elimination round," Alderman said. "If the weather
clears up and the humidity goes down, who knows what can happen? I feel
better being No. 1 right now than being No. 14, that is for sure."
Qualifying continues Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. while the final
eliminations are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.