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Brown Leads Clean Qualifying Sweep At HRP

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, March 28 2009

Photo Courtesy of the NHRA

Photo Courtesy of the NHRA

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

BAYTOWN, Texas – Antron Brown led a clean sweep of new No. 1 qualifiers  Saturday at Houston Raceway Park, where cooler temperatures and a dry racetrack reset the professional fields for the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals.

Brown drove his Matco Tools Dragster to a 3.819-second run at 316.75 mph to take the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel. The pole is Brown’s second of the season and 16th of his career. Meanwhile, Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) earned No. 1 positions in their respective classes for the fourth event on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m., CDT. Coverage begins with NHRA Raceday presented by Lucas Oil.

Sunday’s three-hour final eliminations show will air on ESPN2 from 3:30-6:30 p.m., CDT.

Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel), Ashley Force Hood (Funny Car), Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) held the provisional No. 1 spots following Friday’s single, rain-plagued qualifying session.

“The good deal is that we got our Matco Tools Dragster down the track every run and we did it with decent times,” Brown said. “I think we’re pretty geared up for tomorrow.”

In Funny Car, Pedregon drove his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara to a 4.075-second pass at 301.00 mph to take the top spot. Pedregon bagged his 36th career No. 1 qualifier and fifth at HRP.

“We were just trying to get into the field,” Pedregon said. “We weren’t looking at numbers or any particular way to run the car, we just knew we had to make a good run. I told Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) afterwards that a 4.07 is just a good, clean run.”

Line posted the quickest time in Pro Stock, driving his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.544-second pass at 211.49 mph. Line set the track record for speed en route to his 16th career No. 1 spot.

“All in all we made a couple decent runs today and we have a real good car for tomorrow,” Line said. “I think we’ll see a little bit slower times (Sunday) but I think you’re going to see some good racing and we feel like the condition tomorrow is a good condition for us to race in.”

Hines rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.889-second pass at 192.55 mph. Hines recorded his career 23rd No. 1 qualifier, second at HRP and set a new track record for elapsed time.

“You’re like a kid in a candy store when you come to a track and have mineshaft conditions like this,” Hines said. “You’re just waiting for the moment when you can get weather like this because the times just automatically come with the weather. And we took advantage of it in the first session.”

First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Antron Brown, 3.819 seconds, 316.75 mph  vs. 16. Todd Simpson, 4.311, 266.11; 2. Brandon Bernstein, 3.841, 316.23  vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 4.062, 291.57; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.868, 313.00  vs. 14. Del Cox Jr, 4.022, 300.06; 4. Clay Millican, 3.871, 313.80  vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.997, 288.52; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.877, 310.13  vs. 12. Joe Hartley, 3.972, 305.56; 6. Morgan Lucas, 3.881, 305.77  vs. 11. David Baca, 3.935, 310.55; 7. Larry Dixon, 3.882, 310.41 vs. 10. Urs Erbacher, 3.922, 307.16; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.886, 310.98  vs. 9. Cory McClenathan, 3.889, 313.00. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Doug Kalitta, 4.425, 215.86. 

Funny Car — 1. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.075, 301.00  vs. 16. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala SS, 4.204, 294.37; 2. Del Worsham, Solara, 4.082, 306.40  vs. 15. Jerry Toliver, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.198, 288.52; 3. Ashley Force Hood, Ford Mustang, 4.085, 308.78  vs. 14. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.194, 298.14; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.086, 307.16  vs. 13. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.190, 300.60; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.108, 299.53  vs. 12. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.174, 301.47; 6. John Force, Mustang, 4.111, 303.78  vs. 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.172, 298.27; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.127, 300.60  vs. 10. Gary Densham, Dodge Stratus, 4.162, 290.44; 8. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.138, 304.12  vs. 9. Tony Pedregon, Impala, 4.160, 302.01. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Brian Thiel, 4.258, 294.43. 

Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.544, 211.49  vs. 16. Tom Hammonds, Chevy Cobalt, 6.611, 209.14; 2. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.562, 210.44  vs. 15. Larry Morgan, Dodge Stratus, 6.605, 210.01; 3. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.563, 211.89  vs. 14. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.603, 208.97; 4. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.567, 210.87  vs. 13. Rickie Jones, Stratus, 6.603, 209.85; 5. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.567, 210.44  vs. 12. Justin Humphreys, GXP, 6.599, 208.88; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.574, 209.98 vs. 11. David Beckley, Stratus, 6.592, 209.75; 7. Jim Yates, GXP, 6.575, 209.59  vs. 10. Johnny Gray, Stratus, 6.592, 210.47; 8. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.576, 209.59  vs. 9. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.587, 210.18. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Greg Stanfield, 6.617, 209.04; 18. Rodger Brogdon, 6.642, 208.88; 19. V. Gaines, 6.658, 206.99; 20. Dave Connolly, 6.695, 207.85; 21. Joe Swindoll, 6.705, 205.60; 22. Erica Enders, 6.759, 203.28; 23. Mark Buehring, 6.774, 203.77; 24. Ronnie Humphrey, 9.340, 204.79. 

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.889, 192.55  vs. 16. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.200, 186.02; 2. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 6.925, 193.74  vs. 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.133, 182.08; 3. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.939, 192.96  vs. 14. Junior Pippin, Buell, 7.106, 187.34; 4. Hector Arana, 6.945, 193.63  vs. 13. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.089, 191.21; 5. Douglas Horne, 6.975, 191.02  vs. 12. David Hope, Buell, 7.088, 185.97; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.983, 191.24  vs. 11. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.044, 188.67; 7. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.996, 191.32  vs. 10. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.043, 185.56; 8. Wes Wells, Suzuki, 7.030, 189.82  vs. 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.031, 189.07. 

Did Not Qualify: 17. Freddie Camarena, 7.210, 184.77; 18. Joe DeSantis, 7.243, 186.79; 19. Redell Harris, 7.407, 180.45; 20. Ken Van Buren, 7.800, 175.84. 

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, March 28 2009
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