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Sat, 25 Jun 2005, 01:53 AM

Patrick Does it Again
Courtesy of IHRA Communications
Photo copyright 2005 BME Photography

Foley, Billes and Atchison Also Lead In Friday Qualifying


Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick must enjoy driving in Canada. First, two weeks ago in Grand Bend, Patrick claimed the #1 qualifying spot at the Mopar Canadian Nationals before winning the Ironman Sunday. At the Western RV Rocky Mountain Nationals in Edmonton Patrick again was the quickest Pro Stocker as he posted the first run in the 6.40's in track history; a 6.49 Friday evening.

In the afternoon session it was Frank Gugliotta pacing the field with a 6.530/214.01. At the time that set both ends of the track record, but Patrick's 6.49 left Gugliotta with only the speed record.

Patrick (Fredericksburg, VA) was second after the first qualifying session as he posted a 6.521 in his first shot at the newly-resurfaced quarter mile strip in Edmonton.

Rounding out the top five provisional Torco Pro Stock qualifiers after Friday's sessions are Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, MD), Tony Gillig (Lake Bluff, IL), John Montecalvo (Speonk, NY) and Steve Spiess (Manhattan, IL).

Rob Atchison (London, ON) continued his Funny Car dominance as he set both ends of the track record during the evening qualifying session. Atchison's 5.842/240.42 put him on top of the ladder after the first session, almost a full tenth faster than Jim Sickles (Caledonia, NY) who checked in #2 at 5.920.

Al Billes
Mark Thomas (Louisville, OH) was out of the top eight after the morning qualifying session, but he laid down an impressive 5.967/232.71 to land in the #3 spot. Thomas Carter (Cuero, TX) and Terry McMillen (Elkhart, IN) rounded out the top five Funny Car provisional qualifiers.

Doug Foley (Sewell, NJ) was the top qualifier in Top Fuel, but Todd Paton kept his string of surprises intact as he claimed the #2 provisional qualifying spot. Paton shocked the world when he was a surprising finalist at the Mopar Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend two weeks ago. His 4.703 in Saturday evening's session in Edmonton was just a thousandth of a second behind Foley's 4.702.

In Torco Pro Mod, Al Billes (Barrie, ON) set both ends of the track record as well as his 6.150/234.53 put the Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored driver provisionally on the pole heading into the two pro qualifying sessions tomorrow.

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