March 29-April 1

BAYTOWN, Texas --

Friday qualifying

(#'s courtesy NHRA.com and DRC)

BAYTOWN, Texas --


Nineteen-year Funny Car veteran Whit Bazemore is turning out to be a quick study in Top Fuel as he raced to the provisional No. 1 spot in just his fourth race in the class, posting a 4.514 at 326.87 mph to lead Friday qualifying at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
Racing stopped momentarily during the first round of Funny Car qualifying when the spot that would have been reserved for Eric Medlen, the popular driver who died one week earlier after a crash in testing, came up.

Track announcer Bob Frey spoke for a couple of minutes before a tribute video was shown on Motel 6 Vision and a moment of silence was observed.

Then 2005 Funny Car world champion Gary Scelzi made a solo run down the track -- with the lane reserved for Medlen empty -- as racing resumed and by day's end Funny Car champ Cruz Pedregon, Pro Stock veteran Jeg Coughlin, and Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Matt Smith had joined Bazemore as provisional No. 1 qualifiers.

After aborting his first run, Bazemore ran first in the evening session and quickly moved to the top slot with his 4.514 at 326.87 mph in the Matco Tools rail. Interestingly, no one else in the field managed to go any quicker, leaving him on top for the first time in his brief Top Fuel career.

"I'm surprised to be No. 1 to be honest," Bazemore said, "especially after struggling in Round 1 and being the first pair out. After we put that up there I was sure someone would step it up, especially my teammate Rod Fuller since they knew our tune-up, but it didn't happen."

Melanie Troxel placed her Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA dragster in between Bazemore and his David Powers Motorsports teammate Rod Fuller with a second-best 4.530 at 323.89 mph. Fuller's Caterpillar rail dropped to third on the grid with a best of 4.533.


Pedregon lived out the zero-to-hero drag racing axiom in one day, going from out of the field to the No. 1 spot with a 4.796 at 300.20 mph in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo in Round 2 after failing to get down the track under power in the opening session.

"Being No. 1 is great and it would be good to keep it through tomorrow but I'd trade it right now for some consistency," Pedregon said. "If we can run another 4.79 in the morning and then step it up and go a little quicker after that I'd be happy, no matter where we end up on the ladder. I just want to get down the track and pull the 'chutes a few times."

Pedregon's brother Tony Pedregon was just a few ticks back with a 4.798 at 291.26 mph in his identical Chevrolet, despite losing his blower belt at 1,100 feet.

For the second race in a row, Coughlin is the provisional qualifying leader in Pro Stock. This time he used an opening-round pass of 6.649 at 208.17 mph to put his Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt on the Day 1 pole. The elapsed time set an HRP track mark.


"To have the quickest car of both sessions is pretty darn impressive," Coughlin said. "As a driver, it gives you a lot of confidence knowing that your crew has such a great handle on the car and the track that you can be quick no matter what lane you're in. That's pretty powerful knowledge to have heading into race day. It gives you confidence."

Points leader Greg Anderson was next in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO, running a 6.665 at 208.36 mph, a track record speed. Allen Johnson had the quickest with a third-best 6.675 at 206.89 mph.


Smith was the only frontrunner to make a big move in the second Pro Stock Motorcycle session, jumping from third to first with a track-record 6.968 at 191.76 mph on his Buell V-Twin. Earlier in the day, Angelle Sampey and Andrew Hines each ran six-second passes of their own, a 6.973 and a 6.995, that left them in second and third, respectively.

"We hurt one of our motors so we're down to just one," said Smith, who recorded a runner-up finish in Gainesville, Fla. "It would be alright with me if it just rained all day long tomorrow and they set the field. If not, we'll just fine-tune off that run and just be careful with this motor. We want to make sure we're ready for Sunday. I'd be great to get back to the finals and win it this time."

Points leader Karen Stoffer is fourth after a 7.025 at 191.02 mph on her Geico Suzuki.

Top Fuel

1 73 Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis IN, Hadman-TFX 4.514 326.87 326.87
2 4 Melanie Troxel, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.530 323.89 323.89
3 5 Rod Fuller, Las Vegas NV, Hadman-TFX 4.533 326.56 326.56
4 743 Morgan Lucas, Brownsburg IN, Hadman-TFX 4.538 305.49 317.27
5 1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX 4.558 312.50 312.50
6 91 Larry Dixon, Indianapolis IN, McKinney-TFX 4.597 313.44 313.44
7 8 J.R. Todd, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.618 311.77 313.37
8 10 Hillary Will, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.630 310.41 310.41
9 524 Joe Hartley, Portland OR, McKinney-BAE 4.631 312.42 312.42
10 104 Clay Millican, Drummonds TN, Hadman-BAE 4.632 314.61 314.61
11 2 Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.633 315.27 315.27
12 3 Brandon Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, McKinney-TFX 4.649 310.34 310.34
13 6 David Grubnic, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.650 309.91 309.91
14 345 Bruce Litton, Indianapolis IN, Hadman-TFX 4.658 312.78 312.78
15 530 Alan Bradshaw, Odessa TX, Don Long-BAE 4.670 313.58 313.58
16 9 Cory McClenathan, Lake Havasu City AZ, Hadman- 4.689 276.86 276.86

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 12 Bob Vandergriff, Alpharetta GA, McKinney-BAE 4.714 295.66 295.66
18 11 Doug Herbert, Lincolnton NC, Spitzer-BAE 4.722 275.96 275.96

Funny Car

1 10 Cruz Pedregon, Camarillo CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.796 300.20 300.20
2 5 Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.798 291.26 304.25
3 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger 4.806 315.34 315.34
4 180 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, '07 Charger 4.814 309.63 309.63
5 388 Jim Head, Columbus OH, '07 Solara 4.823 282.72 282.72
6 7 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '06 Charger 4.827 311.85 311.85
7 750 Del Worsham, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.830 318.24 318.24
8 170 Jeff Arend, San Dimas CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.836 308.50 308.50
9 206 Bob Gilbertson, Charolette NC, '06 Stratus 4.854 302.82 302.82
10 782 Gary Densham, Bellflower CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.861 310.34 310.34
11 404 Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, '07 Charger 4.864 291.45 291.45
12 347 Tim Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '05 Monte Carlo 4.885 313.00 313.00
13 503 Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon IN, '07 Impala 4.902 312.13 312.13
14 711 Jack Beckman, Brownsburg IN, '07 Charger 4.995 259.41 259.41
15 427 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, '05 Monte C 5.141 224.47 224.47
16 499 Todd Simpson, Ponder TX, '02 Camaro 5.222 293.28 293.28

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 121 Terry Haddock, Lynnwood WA, '05 Stratus 5.713 174.89 174.89
18 319 Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, '07 Solara 9.905 90.85 90.85

Pro Stock

1 25 Jeg Coughlin, Mooresville NC, '07 Cobalt 6.649@ 208.17 208.17
2 2 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO 6.665 208.36& 208.59
3 6 Allen Johnson, Greeneville TN, '06 Stratus 6.675 206.89 206.89
4 1 Jason Line, Terrel NC, '06 GTO 6.676 208.42 208.42
5 208 Warren Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 GTO 6.680 207.94 207.94
6 9 Richie Stevens, Metairie LA, '06 Stratus 6.688 206.32 206.35
7 10 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '06 Stratus 6.696 206.80 207.15
8 8 Greg Stanfield, Bossier City LA, '06 GTO 6.696 206.35 206.35
9 4 Mike Edwards, Coweta OK, '06 GTO 6.698 206.61 206.61
10 3 Dave Connolly, Elyria OH, '07 Cobalt 6.699 205.85 207.43
11 7 Jim Yates, Occoquan VA, '06 GTO 6.701 207.11 207.11
12 20 Tom Hammonds, Crestview FL, '02 Cavalier 6.703 206.16 206.16
13 5 Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '07 Cobalt 6.709 207.34 207.34
14 430 Erica Enders, Houston TX, '07 Stratus 6.713 205.69 205.69
15 357 Larry Morgan, Newark OH, '07 Stratus 6.720 206.51 206.51
16 107 Kenny Koretsky, Richboro PA, '07 Cobalt 6.728 206.57 206.57

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 351 Ron Krisher, Warren OH, '07 Cobalt 6.728 204.94 204.94
18 1568 Justin Humphreys, Monrovia MD, '06 GTO 6.731 206.13 206.23
19 186 Tom Martino, Farmingdale NJ, '06 GTO 6.733 206.39 207.18
20 103 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '06 Stratus 6.738 205.51 206.23
21 18 Dwayne Rice, Grove City OH, '06 GTO 6.742 205.63 206.10
22 772 Tony Rizzo, Tucson AZ, '07 Cobalt 6.743 205.54 205.54
23 2006 Matt Scranton, Land O Lakes FL, '06 GTO 6.745 205.54 205.54
24 41 Roger Brogdon, Houston TX, '06 Stratus 6.751 205.13 205.13
25 7111 Bill Windham, Eldorado Hills CA, '07 Cobalt 6.850 199.91 199.91

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1 5 Matt Smith, King NC, Buell 6.968@ 191.76 191.76
2 3 Angelle Sampey, Mathews LA, Suzuki GSXR 6.973 192.22 192.22
3 1 Andrew Hines, Brownsburg IN, Harley V-Rod 6.995 192.41 192.41
4 6 Karen Stoffer, Smith NV, Suzuki 7.025 191.02 192.60
5 4 Chip Ellis, Plains GA, Buell 7.029 190.70 190.70
6 2 Antron Brown, Indianapolis IN, Suzuki GSXR 7.043 190.67 190.67
7 499 Peggy Llewellyn, Houston TX, Buell 7.045 189.18 189.18
8 10 Craig Treble, Hensley AR, Suzuki GSXR 7.050 190.35 191.10
9 25 Matt Guidera, Loomis CA, Buell 7.069 187.65 187.65
10 88 Eddie Krawiec, Englishtown NJ, Harley V-Rod 7.071 189.92 189.92
11 778 Scott Lewis, Orangevale CA, Suzuki GSXR 7.071 187.52 187.52
12 748 Chris Rivas, Fresno CA, Buell 7.076 187.89 188.62
13 310 Joe DeSantis, Rootstown OH, Suzuki 7.083 191.48 191.48
14 8 Tom Bradford, Eagle WI, Buell 7.084 188.75 188.75
15 205 Shawn Gann, Stoneville NC, Suzuki 7.091 187.89 187.89
16 751 Steve Johnson, Irondale AL, Suzuki 7.092 189.82 189.82

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 235 Hector Arana, Milltown IN, Buell 7.096 188.70 188.70
18 9 Geno Scali, Palatine IL, Suzuki 7.102 189.02 190.11
19 1000 Marco Andreano, Monroe Twp NJ, Buell 7.147 183.05 187.60
20 412 Michael Phillips, Baton Rouge LA, Suzuki GSXR 7.162 189.79 191.70
21 573 Mike Berry, Littleton CO, Suzuki 7.170 187.44 187.44
22 302 Barry Henson, Nicholasville KY, Suzuki 7.204 187.03 187.03
23 408 James Randolph, Theriot LA, Suzuki 7.219 184.22 185.31
24 457 Redell Harris, Prairieville LA, Suzuki 7.562 177.30 177.30

TAD

1 1 A/FD Bill Reichert, Owosso MI, Bowen-Reich 5.230 278.17 278.17
2 7438 A/FD Morgan Lucas, Brownsburg IN, Spitzer-BAE 5.245 274.27 274.27
3 3 A/FD Spencer Massey, Fort Worth TX, Bowen-TFX 5.262 271.57 271.57
4 4 A/FD Duane Shields, Boulder City NV, Hadman-B 5.317 274.44 274.83
5 33 B/AD Marty Thacker, Robinson IL, Spitzer-BAE 5.392 265.48 265.48
6 7 A/FD John Finke, Selkirk NY, McKinney-BAE 5.439 267.69 269.19
7 2151 A/FD Lindsey Wood, McAlpin FL, McKinney-BAE 5.442 263.98 263.98
8 7334 A/FD Shawn Langdon, Mira Loma CA, Monden-BAE 5.485 265.12 265.12
9 596 A/FD Randy Meyer, Spring Hill KS, Meyer-BAE 5.495 250.46 250.46
10 9 A/FD Aaron Olivarez, Sandy UT, Page-BAE 5.505 267.48 267.48
11 44 A/FD Brandon Pierce, Moore OK, Monden-TFX 5.518 237.80 239.36
12 469 B/AD Darvin Martinets, Lake Jackson TX, Hadma 5.536 243.37 243.37
13 371 A/FD Dave Heitzman, Decatur MI, Spitzer-BAE 5.691 264.55 268.28
14 412 A/FD David Brounkowski, Cypress TX, Uyehara-F 5.789 246.84 246.84
15 48 A/FD Chris Holley, Freeport TX, Holley-TFX 6.075 223.84 223.84
16 436 A/FD Vitali Kazakevich, Houston TX, Dragster- 6.567 217.46 217.46

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 440 A/FD Kate Harker, Gainesville GA, Monden-CRE 8.633 96.33 96.33
18 416 A/FD James Thompson Jr, Vernon TX, Monden-CRE DQ

TAFC

1 4 Bob Newberry, Morriston FL, '05 Monte Carlo 5.598 259.36 259.36
2 3 Brian Hough, Junction City OR, '02 Firebird 5.603 257.73 257.73
3 2 Jay Payne, Claremont CA, '02 Camaro 5.618 260.06 260.06
4 32 Marty Nothstein, Orefield PA, '07 Charger 5.652 256.84 256.84
5 237 Von Smith, Oak Ridge TN, '02 Camaro 5.661 254.76 254.76
6 41 Jimmy Jones, Cleburne TX, '99 Camaro 5.696 254.71 254.71
7 777 John Patton, Peoria AZ, '02 Firebird 5.711 252.57 252.57
8 484 Kebin Kinsley, Kennedale TX, '02 Camaro 5.739 251.30 252.14
9 75 Dennis Taylor, Anaheim Hills CA, '02 Camaro 5.750 252.52 252.52
10 425 Will Hanna, Richwood Village TX, '05 Monte Car 5.750 249.35 249.35
11 54 Vern Moats, Des Moines IA, '02 Camaro 5.758 254.09 254.09
12 76 Mark Woznichak, Ontario CA, '02 Camaro 5.766 241.28 241.28
13 5 Cy Chesterman, Sioux City IA, '07 Mustang 5.788 254.86 254.86
14 13 Mickey Ferro, Stamford CT, '02 Camaro 5.809 252.43 252.43
15 418 Lee Callaway, Baytown TX, '07 Mustang 5.923 245.45 245.45
16 46 Steve Burck, Corpus Christi TX, '02 Camaro 5.927 242.80 242.80

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 45 Ron Morrison, Oklahoma City OK, '06 Monte Carlo 5.932 237.88 237.88
18 7 Steve Harker, Gainesville GA, '06 Monte Carlo 10.618 78.44 78.44
19 497 Brandon Lewis, Broken Arrow OK, '06 Monte Carlo12.109 108.88 108.88
20 347 Daniel Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '05 Monte Ca 13.671 72.17 72.17

Pro Mod

1 1090 Raymond Commisso, Toronto ON, *'67 Camaro 5.985 243.94 243.94
2 217 Tim Tindle, Santa Rosa FL, *'67 Mustang 6.000 239.19 239.19
3 1986 John Russo, Middleton MA, *'68 Camaro 6.042 241.20 241.20
4 2813 Scott Cannon Jr, Lyman SC, *'06 GTO 6.046 238.13 238.13
5 1010 Troy Critchley, Wylie TX, '70 Barracuda 6.052 240.59 240.59
6 1 Jay Payne, Ontario CA, *'05 Stratus 6.065 238.30 238.30
7 1313 Chip King, Semora NC, *'69 Daytona 6.148 240.21 240.21
8 320 Steve Engel, Shandon OH, *'63 Corvette 6.168 237.00 237.00
9 1212 Scott Ray, Greenville OH, *'63 Corvette 6.227 232.27 232.27
10 2805 Bryan Seward, Naples FL, *'04 Mustang 6.255 230.45 230.45
11 2814 Matt Hagan, Christiansburg VA, *'63 Corvette 6.267 235.27 235.27
12 1152 Tony Pontieri, Bolton ON, *'57 Bel Air 6.744 212.66 212.66
13 4901 Joshua Hernandez, Conroe TX, '68 Camaro 7.269 140.40 140.40
14 1941 Eddie Ware, Marietta GA, *'67 Camaro 8.307 113.20 113.20
15 38 Dan Rowe, Laguna Hills CA, *'63 Corvette 14.617 71.89 71.89

------------ Not Qualified ------------

16 463 Brandon Pesz, The Woodlands TX, *'63 Corvette DQ

Event Preview

The 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, the fourth of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2007 NHRA POWERade Series world championships. Sportsman competitors in six categories earn points leading to 2007 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas. From I-10, go south on Hwy. 146, or FM 3180. Then follow FM 565 to the facility. From the south, follow Hwy. 146 to Spur 55, then east to FM 1405, then north to FM 565. For additional information about directions please visit houstonracewaypark.com. WHEN: Friday through Sunday, March 30-April 1. PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $1.7 million. SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, March 30 - Sportsman qualifying and eliminations begin at 8 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 3 and 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 31 - Sportsman eliminations, 8 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11:15 a.m. and 2 p.m.
SUNDAY, April 1 -Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
TELEVISION:
Saturday, March 31, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 7 p.m. (ET).
Sunday April 1, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will broadcast NHRA Race Day at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, April 1, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of final eliminations at 4 p.m. (ET).
2006 EVENT WINNERS: Brandon Bernstein, Top Fuel; Ron Capps, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock; Angelle Sampey, Pro Stock Motorcycle. TRACK RECORDS:
Top Fuel - 4.480 seconds by Gary Scelzi, Oct. '99; 335.32 mph by Tony Schumacher, April '05
Funny Car - 4.695 seconds by John Force, March '06; 328.06 mph by John Force, March '06
Pro Stock - 6.686 seconds by Jason Line, March '06; 206.95 mph by Mike Edwards, April '06
Pro Stock Motorcycle - 7.038 seconds by Angelle Sampey, April '06; 195.73 mph by Andrew Hines, April '05
NATIONAL RECORDS:
Top Fuel -- 4.428 seconds (Nov. '06, Pomona, Calif.) and 336.15 mph (May '05, Columbus, Ohio) by Tony Schumacher.
Funny Car -- 4.659 seconds (Feb. '07, Phoenix) by Tony Pedregon; 333.66 mph (Nov. '06, Pomona, Calif.) by Jack Beckman.
Pro Stock -- 6.536 seconds (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) and 211.69 mph (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) by Jason Line.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 6.911 sec. (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) by Angelle Sampey; 197.45 mph (March '05, Gainesville, Fla.) by Andrew Hines.
TICKETS:
For tickets call Houston Raceway Park, (281) 383-RACE (7223). Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster. GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Friday: Adult, $34; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Saturday: Adult, $45; Junior (6-12 years), $12. Sunday: Adult, $45; Junior (6-12 years), $12; Children 5 and under admitted free in General Admission and pit areas each day. RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) - Friday: Adult, $42; Junior (6-12 years), $20; Child (5 years and under), $10. Saturday: Adult, $55; Junior (6-12 years), $22; Child (5 years and under), $12. Sunday: Adult, $57; Junior (6-12 years), $22; Child (5 years and under), $12.

Archives

2006 National events

Winterational's coverage is here (Pomona)
CSK National's coverage is here (Phoenix)
Gatornational's coverage is here (Gainesville)
O'Reilly National's coverage is here (Houston)
Summit National's coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Thunder Valley National's coverage is here (Bristol)
Southern National's coverage is here (Atlanta)
Pontiac Performance National's coverage is here (Columbus)
O'Reilly Summer National's coverage is here (Topeka)

CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Chicago)
K&N Filters SuperNationals coverage is here (Englishtown)
O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals coverage is here (St.Louis)
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Denver)
Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Seattle)
Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Sonoma)
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Brainerd)
O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals coverage is here (Memphis)
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals coverage is here (Indy)
O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals coverage is here (Dallas)
Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Reading)
Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Virginia)
ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals coverage is here (Pomona)

 

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