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Hagan In Record Form In Sonoma

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 27 2013

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Funny Car point-leader Matt Hagan raced to the provisional class lead in dominating fashion Friday during the opening day of qualifications for the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

David Grubnic (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders in their respective categories during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at the facility just north of San Francisco.

Hagan’s track record 1,000-foot performance of 3.986-seconds at 320.51 mph in his Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger tied the second-quickest and sixth-fastest runs for a Funny Car in NHRA history, capping a day during which several track records were reset. Qualifying continues Saturday at 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.

The event is the second leg of the three-race Western Swing, which began last Sunday during the 34th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Morrison, Colo. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), reigning world champion Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Shawn Gann (Pro Stock Motorcycle) prevailed at Bandimere Speedway and will be looking to continue their winning ways this weekend.

Sonoma Raceway became the fifth series track to showcase four-second Funny Car runs. Jack Beckman drove his Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger to a performance of 3.994-seconds at 319.67 mph to join Don Schumacher Racing teammate Hagan in the three-second zone.

“The only word to describe it is awesome,” Hagan said. “Dickie (Venables, crew chief) went back and put a new (fuel) pump on it and said, ‘Hey, kid. Hold on.’ Dickie was swinging for the fence, and it stuck. I wish everyone could feel how it feels to go that fast. It’s one of the coolest things on earth. As soon as the clutch went 1:1, it put me back in the seat and just kept climbing.”

In Top Fuel, Grubnic powered his Optima Batteries dragster to the front of the order with a track record 1,000-foot time of 3.765-seconds at 324.28 mph. Native Australian Grubnic has yet to record a No. 1 position this season but has nine in his career.

“We’ve been No. 1 in the past, and it’s great to be No. 1 again,” Grubnic said. “It’s a great job by (owner/tuner) Connie Kalitta. I can’t thank him and the crew enough. For me to come here and represent Optima Batteries and longtime sponsor Red Line Oil at their home race is fantastic. I used that whole lane. We were getting every little bit of it that we could out there. I think it can hold up, but we’re not going to count our chickens before they hatch. It only takes a thousandth of a second to drop it.”

In Pro Stock, former world champion Edwards continued his qualifying mastery by powering his K&N Filters/I Am Second Chevy Camaro to the qualifying lead with a quarter-mile run of 6.526-seconds at 212.23 mph. Edwards, who never has won at Sonoma, has 10 No. 1 qualifying positions this season and 51 in his career.

“We made a lot better run the second time around,” Edwards said. “We had transmission problems there going into fourth gear and we need to look at that and see what’s going on. If not for that, I think I could have run a low 6.51. It does feel good to come here and run well. We’ve run good here before. We didn’t do so well in Denver (last weekend), but that’s over and done with. Hopefully we can move on.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana Sr. was quickest on his Lucas Oil Products Buell with a quarter-mile run of 6.894-seconds at 190.86 mph. His two sons, Adam and Hector Jr., were second and third in the qualifying order.

“It’s cool,” Arana Sr. said. “This is something I wanted to see happen. Now we just need to stay calm and collected tomorrow and keep the same pace. We want to stay No. 1, 2, and 3 that’s my dream. Before we ran, I walked over to Adam and told him to stay calm and don’t let anything bother you. Then I kept seeing the numbers dropping and thought that I needed to listen to myself. When Adam ran that 6.90 I was tickled to death. I didn’t think I ran better because I had been struggling. I was happy to see a 6.89.”

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel _ 1. David Grubnic, 3.765 seconds, 324.28 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.766, 323.27; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.780, 324.83; 4. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.789, 320.97; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.793, 314.17; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.797, 321.96; 7. Antron Brown, 3.803, 320.66; 8. T.J. Zizzo, 3.821, 319.37; 9. Morgan Lucas, 3.827, 319.37; 10. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 3.839, 316.75; 11. Clay Millican, 3.843, 318.84; 12. Tommy Johnson Jr., 3.875, 303.71.

Not Qualified _ 13. Brandon Bernstein, 3.887, 308.00; 14. Tony Schumacher, 3.892, 310.20; 15. Terry McMillen, 3.905, 317.79; 16. Troy Buff, 3.957, 298.34; 17. Brittany Force, 5.147, 129.49; 18. Steven Chrisman, 8.985, 88.66.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.986, 320.51; 2. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.994, 319.67; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.012, 312.50; 4. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.025, 316.60; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.026, 314.09; 6. Gary Densham, Charger, 4.055, 304.32; 7. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.057, 314.46; 8. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.058, 311.41; 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.080, 307.23; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.102, 302.89; 11. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.145, 298.27; 12. Todd Lesenko, Charger, 4.165, 304.87.

Not Qualified _ 13. Jon Capps, 4.301, 269.51; 14. Jeff Arend, 4.662, 178.07; 15. Del Worsham, 4.702, 176.17; 16. Johnny Gray, 5.078, 146.89; 17. Josh Crawford, 5.276, 152.50; 18. Alexis DeJoria, 8.762, 77.01.

Pro Stock _ 1. Mike Edwards, Chevy Camaro, 6.526, 212.23; 2. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.532, 211.20; 3. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.536, 210.21; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.545, 210.57; 5. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.551, 210.87; 6. Rickie Jones, Camaro, 6.554, 210.90; 7. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.558, 210.34; 8. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.568, 210.90; 9. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.571, 210.64; 10. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.583, 209.95; 11. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Avenger, 6.591, 210.64; 12. Chris McGaha, Avenger, 6.604, 209.39.

Not Qualified _13. Steve Kent, 6.612, 208.42; 14. Deric Kramer, 6.621, 208.17; 15. JR Carr, 6.695, 206.92.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.894, 192.28; 2. Adam Arana, Buell, 6.902, 192.19; 3. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.906, 191.62; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.927, 190.70; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.929, 191.35; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.941, 190.62; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.942, 189.52; 8. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.945, 191.62; 9. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.960, 189.84; 10. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 6.975, 189.26; 11. John Hall, Buell, 6.985, 186.77; 12. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.003, 188.44.

Not Qualified _13. Angie Smith, 7.005, 188.52; 14. Shawn Gann, 7.009, 190.14; 15. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.021, 186.38; 16. Karen Stoffer, 7.055, 186.30; 17. Jim Underdahl, 7.092, 186.72; 18. Freddie Camarena, 7.198, 184.72; 19. James Surber, 7.261, 179.02; 20. Daryl Meadows, 7.298, 178.14.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 27 2013
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