Ellis Leads Fast Saturday at Gateway

Chip Ellis raced to the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle order with his pass of 6.764 at 196.76 on the third Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson during the dramatic fourth qualifying session at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

This is his first No. 1 qualifier in only two races this season, and Chip will face off with Mark Paquette in the first round of eliminations.

“It is every Pro Stock Motorcycle racer dream to ride one of those Harley’s,” Ellis stated. “It is a real honor for me. I’ve wanted to be on a fast bike and they’ve certainly given me that today. To be able to come out here and do what we’ve done is pretty awesome.”

There’s more from Ellis in this video, including how nitro Harley legend Doug Vancil is helping him this weekend:

Teammate Andrew Hines is second on his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson after his pass of 6.782 at 197.74 and will race Ryan Oehler in the opening round of eliminations. LE Tonglet is third with his run of 6.812 at 195.76, while Eddie Krawiec dropped to fourth.

Ellis faces Mark Paquette, who had to bump his way back into the field in the final round
Joey Gladstone initiated Saturday’s bumping carousel, jumping all the way to 13th with an .89. “And   it was a shit run too,” said Gladstone. “We have so much more in it.”
Ryan Oehler also had to bump back in, making it in at 15th with a 6.930—.003 ahead of Paquette.
Kelly Clontz—along with Karen Stoffer—came out on the losing end of Q4’s carousel ride despite a seemingly solid 6.94 off the trailer. Still, Kelly and husband Chris were optimistic last night knowing that they’re on the right track with both rider and tune-up.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.764, 196.76 vs. 16. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.933, 191.02; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.782, 197.74 vs. 15. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.930, 194.10; 3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.812, 195.76 vs. 14. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.925, 193.35; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.820, 195.56 vs. 13. Joey Gladstone, Buell, 6.896, 193.82; 5. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.824, 199.61 vs. 12. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.893, 194.35; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.832, 196.10 vs. 11. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.877, 193.85; 7. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.866, 197.45 vs. 10. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.872, 195.76; 8. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.869, 198.99 vs. 9. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.871, 195.11.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Kelly Clontz, 6.943, 192.49; 18. Karen Stoffer, 6.982, 191.02.

Mike Castellana

Mike Castellana set the national elapsed time record Saturday afternoon to clinch the No. 1 qualifying position in a startlingly quick Pro Mod field.

Castellana drove his Frank Manzo-tuned, blown AAP ‘17 Camaro to a 5.676-second pass at 255.39 mph to set the record. This is his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 12th of his NHRA career as he chases his first victory of the season. He will face Shane Molinari in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

“Well I knew we ran good the run before,” Castellana stated. “It felt like it was on a better run and I had a good feeling it was going to be better and it was. Consistency will be needed for tomorrow. Whoever gets down the track with good runs I think will win this thing.”

Mike Janis moved to the second position with his run of 5.725 at 248.02 and will take on Brandon Snider Sunday morning. Steve Jackson is third following his pass of 5.727 at 252.05.

Pro Modified — 1. Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.676, 255.39 vs. 16. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.777, 255.58; 2. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.725, 248.02 vs. 15. Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.774, 247.34; 3. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.727, 252.05 vs. 14. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.764, 251.91; 4. Rick Hord, Corvette, 5.728, 255.48 vs. 13. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.764, 252.66; 5. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.729, 251.06 vs. 12. Chad Green, Corvette, 5.756, 248.80; 6. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 5.729, 250.55 vs. 11. Jason Scruggs, Camaro, 5.756, 248.98; 7. Marc Caruso, Camaro, 5.743, 244.43 vs. 10. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 5.754, 255.97; 8. Jeremy Ray, Corvette, 5.745, 249.67 vs. 9. Erica Enders, Camaro, 5.752, 254.38.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Steven Whiteley, 5.779, 252.19; 18. Todd Tutterow, 5.798, 247.75; 19. Pete Farber, 5.803, 248.29; 20. Dan Stevenson, 5.808, 255.63; 21. Steve Matusek, 5.824, 249.81; 22. Doug Winters, 5.861, 242.54; 23. Chip King, 5.885, 246.71; 24. Michael Bowman, 5.894, 255.24; 25. Clint Satterfield, 6.336, 244.52; 26. Keith Haney, 7.527, 126.01; 27. Harry Hruska, 7.573, 200.89; 28. Bob Rahaim, 8.134, 138.19.

Steve Torrence

Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence picked up his third No. 1 qualifier of the 2018 season and 19th of his career after his final qualifying run of 3.675-seconds at 327.19 mph in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster. Seeking back-to-back victories at St. Louis, Torrence will race Bill Litton to open eliminations.

“It was a good qualifying effort on our part,” Torrence state. “Today’s track conditions were the best of the season thus far. We were trying to run harder on Billy’s (Torrence) car but ended up being able to do it with my car taking the No.1 spot. We are feeling confident going into tomorrow.”

Clay Millican finished second in qualifying, courtesy of his 3.692 at 329.83 run in his Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster. Millican will meet Shawn Reed in the first round of eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.675 seconds, 327.19 mph vs. 16. Bill Litton, 3.925, 310.20; 2.

Clay Millican, 3.692, 329.83 vs. 15. Shawn Reed, 3.812, 326.24; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.717, 328.06 vs. 14. Pat Dakin, 3.796, 322.58; 4. Blake Alexander, 3.717, 326.87 vs. 13. Terry McMillen, 3.796, 326.32; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.718, 330.96 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.779, 323.74; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.731, 330.72 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.774, 320.05; 7. Antron Brown, 3.750, 320.58 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.769, 323.04; 8. Brittany Force, 3.755, 328.78 vs. 9. Mike Salinas, 3.760, 328.78.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Luigi Novelli, 3.930, 278.69; 18. Lex Joon, 4.244, 202.45; 19. Chris Karamesines, 5.717, 158.26.

Robert Hight

Robert Hight claimed his 60th career No. 1 qualifier of his career and third of the 2018 season after his run of 3.844 at 326.16 from the last round of qualifying in his Auto Club Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS. Seeking his second victory at Gateway Motorsports Park, Hight will face Dale Creasy in the first round.

“We were pushing it,” Hight said. “We don’t get to run a lot of big numbers like that since the tracks just haven’t been there. You could see the numbers dropping with every pair that went down. To be honest, the thing that impressed me the most was running a 3.90 in the heat earlier today because that’s what we’re going to be racing with tomorrow.”

Ron Capps remained in the No. 2 spot in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T with his run of 3.873 at 327.19. He’ll race Cruz Pedregon to start eliminations, while points leader J.R. Todd qualified seventh with a 3.928 at 323.66 in his DHL Toyota Camry, setting up a first-round match up with teammate Shawn Langdon.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.844, 326.16 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.060, 309.06; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.873, 327.19 vs. 15. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.013, 301.47; 3. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.881, 331.04 vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.012, 297.68; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.896, 327.11 vs. 13. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.001, 321.73; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 320.58 vs. 12. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.996, 315.71; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.924, 325.53 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.967, 320.13; 7. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.928, 323.66 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.943, 322.81; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.929, 326.00 vs. 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.934, 327.11.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 4.093, 287.90; 18. Jack Wyatt, 4.189, 296.18.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. at Gainesville

In Pro Stock Car, Coughlin Jr. grabbed his 26th career top qualifier and third in 2018 after his run of 6.496 at 211.76 in his JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro during the third round of qualifying. Coughlin Jr., who has three wins this season, will look for his first win at Gateway Motorsports Park since 2002 and matches up with Mark Hogan in the first round of eliminations.

“It was close to ‘Disneyland’ conditions for the Pro Stock cars today,” Coughlin Jr. said. “That .49 in Q3 was quite a shot and heard around the pits for sure. It felt great to run in the forties and to get the No. 1 spot feels great going into tomorrow.”

Erica Enders, two-time world champion, qualified second in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro with her run of 6.508 at 212.53 on Saturday. The two-time winner at the track meets Charlie Wescott in the opening round of eliminations. Points leader, Tanner Gray, is in the No. 7 position after his pass of 6.521 at 212.03.

Pro Stock — 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.496, 211.76 vs. 16. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.769, 204.60; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.508, 212.53 vs. 15. Charlie Westcott Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.733, 205.35; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.513, 212.79 vs. 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.624, 208.14; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.515, 212.39 vs. 13. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.587, 208.78; 5. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.515, 211.89 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.568, 210.90; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.516, 211.79 vs. 11. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.547, 211.53; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.521, 212.03 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.532, 211.99; 8. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.527, 212.06 vs. 9. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.529, 211.86.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Robert River, 6.794, 203.06.

story by NHRA and Tim Hailey, photos and video by Tim Hailey

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply