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Hight On Top At Four-Wides

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 15 2011

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Funny Car points leader Robert Hight continued his torrid start to the 2011 season by earning the provisional No. 1 qualifying position at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the fourth of 22 races in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).

Hight, the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series champion, has won two of the first three races this season and he sits atop the Funny Car qualifying order with his 4.062-second pass at 313.07 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang.

“When you race aggressive like Jimmy Prock does, why back off,” Hight said. “That’s why we have a lot of No. 1 qualifiers. That’s why we’re No. 1 in points.”

If it holds, it would be Hight’s 39th No. 1 qualifer in just his 143rd career race, placing only six shy of Top 10 status on NHRA’s all-time list of No. 1 qualifiers (No. 10 on the list right now is Angelle Sampey with 45).

In Top Fuel, Kalitta earned the provisional top spot with a 3.814-second pass at a track-record 325.45 mph.

“Real relieved there after that run,” said Kalitta, who made a marked improvement from his 3.910 Q1 pass in the Kalitta Air dragster. “Dixon (3.824) and some of the other cars on that first run really put down a good number. I went back and talked to my crew chief, Jim O(berhofer) and was wondering if he could step this thing up so we could run with those guys and he did a great job.”

In Pro Stock, four-time and defending champion Anderson, from nearby Mooresville, N.C., earned the provisional No. 1 with a 6.566-second pass at 210.37 mph in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP.

“You can’t be too conservative with one of these cars as close as this class is. You’ve got to go for it pretty much every time out there,” Anderson said.

“Obviously, we had a good test here at zMAX Dragway a few weeks ago and we’re applying what we learned then, as well as what we gained from our last race in Vegas.  We definitely made a lot of right moves this week, which is a tribute to my KB Racing team.

“They put their heads together and came up with a great game plan, which has worked so far, and I’m fairly happy with my performance as a driver.  I staged the car properly and left the starting line without any issues, so now I can work on improving my reaction times for race day.  All in all, I’d consider Day 1 at the 4-Wide Nationals a success.”

Anderson also addressed the numerous challenges presented by racing four cars simultaneously, including the redesigned starting line Christmas Tree and running in four distinct lanes.

“The revised tree is definitely a step forward, and seems a little less confusing than the system we used last year,” said Anderson.  “At the same time, I personally find it a lot to take in, so I end up talking to myself trying to figure out what to do, as opposed to acting on instinct.  It’s just that it’s new to us, and we’re getting better – it’s just going to take a little time.  Still, it’s definitely better, as you can see by the fewer mistakes being made.  Once we get used to it, it should be fine.”

Qualifying at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals concludes with the third and fourth sessions on Saturday when the fields will be set for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Results Friday after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the Second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway @ Concord, fourth of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.822 seconds, 322.04 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.824, 319.90; 3. Del Worsham, 3.833, 320.20; 4. Brandon Bernstein, 3.835, 316.90; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.853, 320.89; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.856, 318.69; 7. Antron Brown, 3.864, 316.15; 8. Spencer Massey, 3.881, 319.98; 9. Doug Foley, 3.892, 307.79; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 3.896, 311.63; 11. Terry McMillen, 3.904, 305.56; 12. David Grubnic, 3.922, 306.12; 13. Shawn Langdon, 3.931, 304.94; 14. Dom Lagana, 3.957, 303.03; 15. Doug Herbert, 4.005, 239.40; 16. Morgan Lucas, 4.012, 255.73. Not Qualified: 17. Pat Dakin, 4.031, 306.40; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.118, 258.86; 19. Terry Sainty, 6.187, 108.57.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.062, 313.07; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.064, 307.44; 3. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.094, 303.84; 4. John Force, Mustang, 4.108, 301.54; 5. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.110, 307.93; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.111, 307.44; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.119, 301.13; 8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.142, 305.63; 9. John Smith, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.143, 298.40; 10. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.170, 296.89; 11. Paul Lee, Chevy Impala SS, 4.192, 288.33; 12. Tony Pedregon, Impala SS, 4.211, 300.20; 13. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.233, 294.88; 14. Jim Head, Solara, 4.259, 254.23; 15. Dale Creasy Jr., Impala SS, 4.279, 282.60; 16. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.316, 285.83. Not Qualified: 17. Melanie Troxel, 4.604, 249.44; 18. Brian Thiel, 4.776, 199.14.

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 6.566, 210.37; 2. Jason Line, GXP, 6.576, 210.77; 3. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.577, 210.01; 4. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.579, 210.44; 5. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.582, 210.37; 6. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.586, 210.21; 7. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.590, 210.28; 8. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.591, 210.11; 9. Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 6.598, 209.49; 10. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.608, 210.41; 11. Erica Enders, Cobalt, 6.611, 209.04; 12. V.

Gaines, Avenger, 6.621, 209.62; 13. Warren Johnson, Cobalt, 6.631, 209.20; 14. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.640, 208.20; 15. Bob Benza, GXP, 6.652, 207.78; 16. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.663, 208.14. Not Qualified: 17. Mark Martino, 6.681, 206.95; 18. Robert Patrick, 6.682, 206.83; 19. Larry Morgan, 6.694, 209.14; 20. Buddy Perkinson, 6.698, 207.02; 21. Frank Gugliotta, 6.778, 204.60; 22. Steve Spiess, 8.955, 105.88.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 15 2011
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