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Mon, 5 Sep 2005, 03:03 PM

Hernandez Grabs Third No. 1
Courtesy of Duke Ritenhouse

CLASH Field Set

CLERMONT, Ind. -- The field has been set for the eight- car FLOWMASTER Pro Mod CLASH bonus event in Las Vegas. All that's left to determine now is exactly how the eight participants will pair off in the first round of the competition.

CLASH points leader Joshua Hernandez (Tommy Lipar Racing '57 Chevy) ran a stunning 6.08 in Sunday afternoon's heat at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals to finish on top of the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge presented by TLR qualifying order for the third time this season and solidify his position at the top of the standings. Hernandez finished in front of Jay Payne (6.10) and Mike Ashley (6.12) after the third and final U.S. Nationals qualifying session; those three drivers are also the top three in the CLASH points standings.

While Hernandez was racing with the knowledge of having already secured a position in the CLASH field, the final dramas of the season- long CLASH qualifying battles were played out slightly farther down the order, with Troy Coughlin and Glen Kerunsky clinching places with their strong U.S. Nationals performances and Chip King also getting into the bonus event despite a DNQ. Kerunsky's No. 5 finish in Indianapolis gave him 12 points in the CLASH competition and mathematically eliminated Frankie Taylor and Kirk Kuhns, neither of whom qualified for the U.S. Nationals eliminations program.

Although the eight competitors have been determined, some adjustment to the CLASH points standings is possible when the Pro Mod Challenge races Sept. 23-25 in Dallas, the final chance to earn points for the 2005 competition. Any shuffling at the top of the standings, though, is likely to be minimal, as Hernandez can finish no lower than second place, and neither Ashley nor Payne can finish lower than third.

About the FLOWMASTER Pro Mod CLASH The final top eight points-earners will compete in the 3rd annual FLOWMASTER Pro Mod CLASH, which will be held during qualifying at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 20-23. The No. 1 qualifier at each AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge presented by TLR event will earn 16 points, the No. 2 qualifier will earn 15 points, and so on, down to one point for the No. 16 qualifier. Points will be earned through the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, Sept. 22-25. The $44,000 FLOWMASTER Pro Mod CLASH will pay $25,000 to the winner.

FLOWMASTER Pro Mod CLASH points standings
(Top eight finishers qualify)
Through 13 of 14 events
1.  Joshua Hernandez   157*
2.  Mike Ashley        146*
3.  Jay Payne          138*
4.  Troy Critchley     121*
5.  Thomas Patterson   110*
6.  Troy Coughlin      100*
    Chip King          100*
8.  Glen Kerunsky       91*
9.  Frankie Taylor      70
10. Kirk Kuhns          69
11. Ed Hoover           66
12. Shelly Payne        64


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