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Sun, 7 Sep 2003, 02:05 PM

McAmis Claims Top Spot in Pro Mod Qualifying
Courtesy of Pro Mod Marketing Group

CLERMONT, Ind. -- The rain-delayed 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals resumed action yesterday after three of five qualifying sessions from last weekend were postponed and rescheduled for this weekend.

Drivers competing in the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, made up one qualifying session on Friday (Sept. 5) and finished their qualifying with two sessions today. The field that began Pro Mod qualifying last weekend was missing a number of competitors when qualifying resumed yesterday.

Four drivers in the top ten of the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup point standings did not return due to previous racing commitments for this weekend. The four included: Mitch Stott (currently No. 2 in the standings), Quain Stott (No. 5), Mike Castellana (No. 7), and Shannon Jenkins (No. 8 and the defending U.S. Nationals Pro Mod champion). As a result of the exodus, Rickie Smith was the only driver of a nitrous-assisted car to return.

But the nitrous contingency had no cause to worry, as Smith, from King, N.C., jumped to the top of the hill and claimed the No. 1 position with a run of 6.226 seconds at 224.40 mph in Friday's lone qualifying session. Smith held onto the No. 1 position until the final qualifying session on Saturday.

First, Fred Hahn, from West Seneca, N.Y., zipped past Smith when he lowered the elapsed time (E.T.) to 6.224 seconds. Three pairs later, Tim McAmis, from Hawk Point Mo., took another thousandth of a second off Hahn's E.T. when he ran a pass of 6.223 seconds at 224.36 mph to take the top spot for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge.

Entering tomorrow's elimination McAmis, who will be behind the wheel of the Sanders Motorsports '63 Corvette, is third in the point standings for the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup; while Hahn, in the Jim Oddy-owned Summit Racing-backed '02 Corvette, is first.

The top eight qualifiers for the seventh of ten events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, being held at the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park are as follows:

Pro Modified -- 1. Tim McAmis, Chevy Corvette, 6.223 seconds at 224.36 mph; 2. Fred Hahn, Corvette, 6.224, 221.42; 3. Rickie Smith, Corvette, 6.226, 224.40; 4. Von Smith, Ford Mustang, 6.228, 228.04; 5. Mike Stawicki, Corvette, 6.260, 226.70; 6. Mike Ashley, Willys, 6.265, 224.73; 7. Chip King, Dodge Avenger, 6.266, 226.96; 8. Thomas Patterson, Willys, 6.278, 224.70

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