NORWALK, OHIO --
With fantastic conditions leading to remarkable times across the board in every ADRL class, Snyder had one of the best performances of the day, running a career-best 3.598 at 209.95 mph to take the No. 1 qualifying spot after three sessions of the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags VI presented by Mickey Thompson.
Snyder, the PX points leader, became just the fourth ADRL driver to run in the 3.50s, setting a track record in the process on what turned into a picturesque Friday in Norwalk.
"It's pretty cool. The 3.50s club is a neat group and to be one of four is an awesome deal," Snyder said. "We knew the conditions would be good enough, but to actually make the pass is very cool. The air was so good, we got the right tune-up and it all worked out really well."
Other No. 1 qualifiers through three sessions on Friday included Pat Stoken (Pro Nitrous), Alan Pittman (Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5), Dave Vantine (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Todd Hoerner (Extreme Pro Stock), Raymond Matos (Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified) and Joshua Vettel (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman).
Vettel ran a 3.975 in Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman, becoming the first driver in the history of the class to make a 3-second run.
Saturday's final qualifying session starts at 11 a.m., with eliminations for the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags VI presented by Mickey Thompson to follow.
Snyder's 3.598 was a welcome sign after a three-race slump that saw his points lead over teammate Jason Scruggs get slashed. But Snyder and his Powersource Transportation Corvette seemed to have righted the ship on Friday at Summit Motorsports Park.
"That was a great pick-me-up. The last three races, we've struggled. When you get in a little bit of a slump, it's always nice to do something to get back out of it," Snyder said.
"These cars are so finicky, but we're back to being consistent and that's pretty exciting."
Brandon Pesz is No. 2 with a 3.603, while Scruggs, who trails Snyder by just more than 100 points, is third with a 3.614.
"We were struggling through the first two qualifying runs, but we changed some things and that seemed to be the way to go. I knew we needed to do something," Stoken said. "I didn't think it would be that quick, but hopefully things will continue to go well."
Doug Riesterer is currently second with a 3.843 and points leader Bob Rahaim is right behind at 3.844. Stoken, who also thanked Reher-Morrison and Switzer Dynamics, also enjoyed the company of his twin brother, Mike, on Friday, who was watching him race for the first time in 15 years.
"Maybe he's bringing me good luck, but we've got some good people helping us," Stoken said. "This is a great facility and we always seem to do well here."
It puts Vettel in the No. 1 spot in Summit Racing Top Sportsman for the first time in his career, doing it with an incredible run in the process.
"That was just amazing. It was definitely a lot of fun and definitely the fastest we've ever been," Vettel said. "It's a huge honor to be the first to go in the 3s."
Mark Malcuit and his superb 4.027 at 180.94 mph is currently No. 2, while Travis Harvey's 4.04 is third. Vettel's 3.975 also leads the quickest field in the history of the Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman class in the ADRL, as the current bump (No. 16 Glenn Butcher) is a remarkable 4.21.
"We were shooting for No. 1 and tried to see how fast it would go. We knew a 3-second run was possible. The track was really good and the car took off on a rope," Vettel said.
After watching Richard Penland slip momentarily past him into the No. 1 spot in Extreme Pro Stock with a 4.055, Todd Hoerner and his 2012 Jerry Bickel Race Cars Camaro ended Friday back on top with a 4.04 at 178.95 mph. Powered by an EFI set-up from Sonny's Racing Engines, Hoerner continued to stay consistent at Norwalk, giving major credit to co-crew chief Jeff Dobbins Jr.
"That was great to run that and take back the No. 1 spot for (Friday)," Hoerner said. "Jeff Dobbins Jr. just does a phenomenal job calling the shots. He's really methodical, just taking baby steps, and more and more data really pays dividends.
"He said he thought it would run a 4.04 and he was right on. He's the man and the power Sonny's (Racing Engines) gives me is just phenomenal as well."
Richie Stevens Jr. is third with a 4.057 while points leader Cary Goforth is fourth with a 4.058 in a super-tight field that is already the second-quickest in XPS history.
A career-best from Dave Vantine gave him the No.1 qualifying spot through three rounds in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, as the New York native ran a career-best 4.071 at 175.07 mph.
Points leader Eric McKinney is right behind with a 4.083, but Vantine was brilliant during the second qualifying session. He also hopes to build on the late-season success he had in 2011 that led to his first ADRL win at the final event of the year.
"The surface was great, our 60-foot time was good and there's still some on the table," Vantine said. "I'm pretty happy with it and it kind of came out of nowhere. We weren't able to test and that was kind of a big jump for us.
"It was a little bit unexpected, but we always seem to finish the season well."
In his first ADRL race of the 2012 season and just the second in his career, Raymond Matos jumped to the top spot in Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified, going a career-best 3.91 at 187.52 mph.
Driving a 1970 'Cuda powered by Sonny's Racing Engines and Pat Musi Racing Engines EFI, the Puerto Rico native was consistent from the start, running in the 3.90s in all three sessions to make it a welcome return for the Dragstock V winner.
"It's very exciting to come out and make this happen. It's great to come out and start everything again," Matos said. "We decided Monday to come out here without testing.
Closing in on his first world championship in Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5, Alan Pittman is the current No. 1 qualifier, running a 3.911 at 197.31 mph.
Billy Glidden is right behind, going 3.923 at 188.95 mph.
In the SuperCar Showdown class, Chris Holbrook set the world E.T. and speed record in the class, running a 5.667 at 121.34 mph.
His first pass included a run of 121.43 mph, good enough to make it the fastest run in the history of the class.
In Pro Junior Dragster, Camrie Caroso is the current No. 1 qualifier with a 7.90.