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Sun, 2 Sep 2001, 06:10 PM

INDY - Pro Mod Qualifying Notes, Final Session
By Larry Sullivan

CLERMONT, Ind. - Notes from final, round 3 qualifying in Pro Mod at the 47th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time/top speed this round, position in order following run, best prior elapsed time/speed, and position in order prior to run:

Left Lane: Dennis Radford Runs 6.370/221.27, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.609/215.00, Was #19
Right Lane: Mitch Stott Runs 8.754/105.86, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.354/222.55, Was #8

6:23 PM Final qualifying for the eight-car exhibition field opens with Stott on the bubble at 6.354. The Sun is low enough to the left of the race track that we could see some good runs and the field could shuffle a bit, maybe a lot.

Stott's '63 split-window Corvette was skating around for the first 300 feet, almost crossing the centerline, and he had to lift. Meanwhile, Radford showed the potential for good runs this round with his best run of the weekend, by over two tenths of a second.

Left Lane: Chip King Runs 6.339/222.11, Now #8; Best prior run: 6.359/221.71, Was #10
Right Lane: John Scialpi Runs 7.190/146.40, Now #16; Best prior run: 6.463/212.63, Was #16

Scialpi was also skating around and had to lift to keep the full-bodied '57 Bel Air off the wall. Nice pass by King to replace Stott on the bump spot.

Left Lane: Billy Harper Runs 6.283/223.62, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.316/220.73, Was #5
Right Lane: Ed Hoover Runs 8.918/140.27, Now #4; Best prior run: 6.288/223.58, Was #3

King gets a breather, both these cars already in the field. The left lane is shaded by the stands and seems to be holding the cars' power better than the right lane right now. Harper went right down the groove while Hoover was skating around and had to lift, allowing Harper to move around him on the ladder.

Left Lane: Al Billes Runs 9.165/96.72, Now #12; Best prior run: 6.364/220.40, Was #11
Right Lane: Dan Rowe Runs 6.314/221.27, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.560/175.39, Was #19

Rowe proves the right lane is okay by running right down the groove, bumping King, while Billes gets out of shape in the left lane and lifts. Now it's Rickie Smith who is sweating things out on the bump spot at 6.330.

Left Lane: Mike Ashley Runs 9.063/98.93, Now #20; Best prior run: 6.615/182.53, Was #20
Right Lane: Carl Spiering Runs 7.039/220.44, Now #18; Best prior run: 6.488/215.65, Was #18

No help here, Ashley out of shape and Spiering way slow for the first 60 feet.

Left Lane: Thomas Patterson Runs 6.215/226.77, Now #2; Best prior run: 6.317/222.91, Was #7
Right Lane: Fred Hahn Runs 10.098/102.24, Now #1; Best prior run: 6.170/227.96, Was #1

These two were no threat to Smith, already in the field before these runs. Hahn launched, headed for the centerline, and shut it down. Patterson made a straight, smooth run to jump all the way into the second spot on the ladder.

Left Lane: Shannon Jenkins Runs 8.985/102.45, Now #3; Best prior run: 6.231/223.62, Was #3
Right Lane: Troy Critchley Runs 6.577/215.82, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.626/213.70, Was #22

As Critchley neared half track the front body on his 90 Camaro came apart, sending fiberglass and carbon-fibre pieces flying in all directions. Jenkins launched and shut it down before half track, already in the show and the car not responding.

Left Lane: Quain Stott Runs 6.297/222.55, Now #7; Best prior run: 8.338/109.89, Was #24
Right Lane: Tim McAmis Runs 6.378/218.34, Now #17; Best prior run: 6.418/212.23, Was #16

Quain Stott bumps Smith despite getting out of shape in the first 300 feet of the run. McAmis gets into the thirties, but not far enough. Now the bump is Dan Rowe's 6.314.

Left Lane: Paul Athey Runs 6.335/220.37, Now #10; Best prior run: 6.372/220.08, Was #16
Right Lane: Ronnie Hood Runs 6.295/222.88, Now #6; Best prior run: 6.297/222.62, Was #6

Nice pass by Athey, but it's only good enough for second alternate. Nice pass by Hood, improving his elapsed time by a whole two thousandths of a second.

Left Lane: Mike Castellana Runs 10.154/81.47, Now #14; Best prior run: 6.354/221.05, Was #14
Right Lane: Rickie Smith Runs 6.323/221.92, Now #9; Best prior run: 6.330/222.36, Was #9

Smith was the only driver left in the lanes with a chance to be able to brag he qualified at all of the NHRA exhibition races - and he came up short by a hundredth of a second. Castellana launched into immediate problems and shut it down.

Left Lane: Glen Kerunsky Runs 6.528/215.17, Now #21; Best prior run: 6.544/214.42, Was #21
Right Lane: Randy Hagerty Runs 17.652/43.85, Now #24; Best prior run: 6.901/200.23, Was #24

The final two drivers came a long way to give it a shot at the U.S. Nationals, Kerunsky from Calgary, Alberta and Hagerty from Poway, California. Kerunsky made his best pass of the weekend but came up short. Hagerty launched with the wheels up and, for the second run in a row, his Corvette headed for the wall, forcing him to pull the plug.

Timing data courtesy of CompuLink

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