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Hagan On Pole, In Countdown

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 20 2011

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Matt Hagan raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car – and clinched a spot in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship – at the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on Friday.

Additionally, LE Tonglet, the defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, clinched his spot in the Countdown with his first-round qualifying run at Brainerd International Raceway.

Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took provisional poles in their respective categories at the 15th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Hagan powered his DieHard Dodge Charger to the top of the field during the second session of qualifying. Hagan’s 4.101-second run at 303.57 mph moved him into the provisional top spot. Meanwhile, Hagan’s first-round run was strong enough to clinch a berth in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six-race playoff for the world championship.

“It’s great to get the DieHard Funny Car back in the provisional pole position,” said Hagan, of Don Schumacher Racing. “We came into this season expecting to set the world on fire, but it’s taken a while to get a handle on a combination that’s brand new from the (injector) hat on down. (Crew chief) Tommy DeLago has been working on it, and it’s coming along and showing a lot of promise.”

Seattle winner Tim Wilkerson currently sits fifth in the field, while Bob Tasca III – the 10th-place driver entering the race – is second. John Force, the 15-time/reigning world champion, was 13th and unqualified after two sessions.

In Top Fuel, Massey drove his Prestone/FRAM Dragster to a 3.835-second pass at 322.58 mph in the final qualifying session to take the provisional No. 1 spot. If it stands, it would be the Texan’s third pole of the season and fourth of his career.

“We got some cloud cover before the second session, so the track cooled off and we were able to apply more power,” said Massey, of Don Schumacher Racing. “I saw Del (Worsham) run a 3.83, so I called a 3.826. It was close. Phil (Shuler, co-crew chief) reached into the cockpit to adjust something before I staged the car. He obviously liked something he saw on the track and made the car more aggressive. I asked him what he did when we got back to the pits, and he said, ‘It worked, didn’t it?’^”

Three-time Brainerd winner Tony Schumacher of DSR currently sits second, while defending event winner and reigning world champion Larry Dixon of Al-Anabi Racing is sixth.

In Pro Stock, Edwards posted the quickest runs of both qualifying sessions and powered his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP to a 6.595-seconds pass at 208.65 mph. If it stands, it would be his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 38th of his career.

“This is a good start to the weekend,” Edwards said. “We didn’t make a great run the first time but the last one was really nice. It’s not going to hold (Saturday). There will be some faster runs. Tomorrow the air will be better and that track will be just as good or better. Still, I’m happy right now.”

Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson V-Rod to the top of the ladder in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a track-record run of 6.885-seconds at 194.463 mph. If it stands, it would be Krawiec’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season and eighth of his career.

“Obviously the conditions here in Brainerd are good,” Krawiec said. “We’re not really used to conditions this good here. Look around us, there are trees and green grass and lots of oxygen and that’s good for us (Pro Stock Bike) guys. We’ve put together a good package with our Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidsons. We were good off the starting line, and we got good, valuable data off of our first run and we used that to our advantage.”

Tonglet clinched his Countdown spot with a pass in 6.926-seconds at 192.52 mph on his Suzuki _ good for fourth on the provisional grid. Qualifying will continue Saturday morning.

Friday’s results after two of four rounds of qualifying for the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, 15th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel _ 1. Spencer Massey, 3.835 seconds, 322.58 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.836, 319.60; 3. Morgan Lucas, 3.857, 321.81; 4. Del Worsham, 3.857, 316.75; 5. Brandon Bernstein, 3.863, 316.67; 6. Larry Dixon, 3.867, 310.41; 7. David Grubnic, 3.870, 312.50; 8. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 3.875, 318.54; 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.876, 310.27; 10. Antron Brown, 3.951, 284.33; 11. Rod Fuller, 3.967, 291.19; 12. Bruce Litton, 4.003, 309.27.

Not Qualified _ 13. Dom Lagana, 4.016, 295.08; 14. Keith Murt, 4.018, 299.46; 15. Cory McClenathan, 4.035, 288.27; 16. Chris Karamesines, 4.045, 283.91; 17. Luigi Novelli, 4.063, 289.57; 18. Terry McMillen, 4.117, 220.04; 19. Doug Kalitta, 6.479, 104.05; 20. Scott Palmer, 8.695, 97.43.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.101, 303.57; 2. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.149, 299.00; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.150, 293.66; 4. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.152, 303.30; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.156, 300.80; 6. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.166, 301.07; 7. Melanie Troxel, Toyota Solara, 4.183, 300.73; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.186, 292.77; 9. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala SS, 4.236, 290.26; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 4.242, 272.67; 11. Paul Lee, Impala SS, 4.335, 272.56; 12. Tony Pedregon, Impala SS, 4.571, 273.33.

Not Qualified _ 13. John Force, 4.581, 231.79; 14. Mike Neff, 4.885, 167.20; 15. Jeff Arend, 5.122, 146.70; 16. Jim Head, 5.150, 150.41; 17. Bob Bode, 5.507, 131.01.

Pro Stock _ 1. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.595, 208.65; 2. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.597, 208.84; 3. Jason Line, GXP, 6.600, 209.23; 4. Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.612, 208.65; 5. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.617, 209.17; 6. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.624, 208.75; 7. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.625, 207.69; 8. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.628, 207.82; 9. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.628, 207.69; 10. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.628, 207.34; 11. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.629, 207.98; 12. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.630, 207.50.

Not Qualified _ 13. Ron Krisher, 6.631, 208.20; 14. Greg Stanfield, 6.631, 207.85; 15. Kurt Johnson, 6.655, 206.92; 16. Mark Martino, 6.700, 206.35; 17. Mark Hogan, 6.740, 205.04; 18. Paul Pittman, 6.820, 203.37.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.885, 194.94; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.898, 192.49; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.916, 192.96; 4. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.926, 192.52; 5. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.933, 192.14; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.974, 190.57; 7. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.988, 191.38; 8. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.988, 189.52; 9. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.992, 189.50; 10. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.995, 190.40; 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.999, 189.42; 12. Justin Finley, Suzuki, 7.002, 191.67.

Not Qualified _13. Michael Phillips, 7.003, 191.67; 14. Steve Johnson, 7.063, 188.86; 15. Hector Arana, 7.065, 190.67; 16. Joe DeSantis, 7.127, 187.21; 17. Bailey Whitaker, 7.131, 184.40; 18. Matt Guidera, 7.151, 186.18; 19. GT Tonglet, 7.162, 187.63; 20. Buddy Robinson, 7.529, 175.64.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 20 2011
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