Friday at Explosive Gateway

So the very first thing I see when I first walk under the tower at Gateway is the old thug himself, Rudy Sanzottera. The Quicktime Motorsports boss is sitting in his Camaro, ready to race in the semis of whatever class it is he’s racing in.. Rudy lost, but my first snap of the day was a sweet one as the Camaro yanked the wheels.

The rest of the day at the seventh annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park was all about Pro Stock Motorcycle for me, and it was a strange one. A timing issue got Jimmy Underdahl and Hector Arana Sr’s times thrown out of Q1 through no fault of their own.

Then a 2 hour delay (according to Nitro Fish’s Carl Franklin…..I wasn’t minding the clock) to pull the Chevelle Pro Mod of Mike Bowman out of the nets, and then rebuild the nets, left the PSM field under the tower for an extended time. The temperature had dropped 15 to 20 degrees and the air was good, but a fairly strong headwind (and two hour old tune-ups for some) kept the session from busting out the way it could have. But Saturday will also be cooler, so expect some movement.

Eddie Krawiec

Vance & Hines’ Eddie Krawiec’s Q1 6.820 at 195.56 miles per hour lead a three–Harley pile-on at the top. The third Harley has been a point of contention for Vance & Hines customer Jerry Savoie, who seems to have struck a nerve with his comments in this article here.

In this video of the press conference, Krawiec portrays Savoie’s direct quote as “creative media writing.”

Savoie says he’s expressed his opinion to Krawiec personally.

For the record, my creative writing instructors were Sarah Brown (Jeffersonville High School) and Jim Bowden (Indiana University Southeast).

“This sets our tone for the weekend,” Krawiec said—talking about his provisional #1, I’m guessing, rather than his unhappy customer. “It lets us know that we’re in the field no matter what happens. More importantly it allows us to come out here and try things because now we have a good base line.”

Teammate Andrew Hines is second after going 6.835 at 195.34 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson and Chip Ellis follows in third with a run of 6.845 at 192.93.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.820, 195.56; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.835, 195.34; 3. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.845, 192.93; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.852, 196.19; 5. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.877, 195.59; 6. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.877, 193.85; 7. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.881, 193.99; 8. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.29; 9. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.908, 192.82; 10. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.943, 192.49; 11. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.956, 191.32; 12. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.968, 190.67; 13. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.976, 192.00; 14. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.979, 191.95; 15. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.980, 183.32; 16. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.982, 195.25.

Not Qualified: 17. Joey Gladstone, 7.001, 191.38; 18. Karen Stoffer, 7.046, 192.17.

Joey Gladstone’s bike made a move to the centerline in Q1 and was just plain slow in Q2. He’s currently unqualified
Kelly Clontz put it all together for an excellent Q1 lap that has her 10th with a 6.94
What’s Gateway without Charles Willis and Janie Palm?
Mike Janis (shown at Indy) is the Pro Mod qualifying leader at Gateway. I had heard that KH was tuning this car remotely from Qatar, so I asked a crewman if that was true. “Remotely….” he said without skipping a beat, then explained that the Sheikh makes incremental changes to the tune-up on occasion.

Mike Janis raced to the current No. 1 qualifying position in Pro Mod.Janis powered to the top spot in his ’69 Camaro when he posted a pass of 5.725-seconds at 248.02 mph.

“Tonight, we could’ve thrown a little bit more at it,” Janis stated. “We just wanted to make a nice clean run. I’m more worried about the guys behind us in third, fourth and fifth place because they’re coming for us.”

Rick Hord moved to the second position with his run of 5.729 at 256.16. Jim Whiteley is third at 5.729 at 250.55 and Steve Jackson is fourth following 5.733 at 250.88.

Pro Modified — 1. Mike Janis, Chevy Camaro, 5.725, 248.02; 2. Rick Hord, Chevy Corvette, 5.729, 256.16; 3. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 5.729, 250.55; 4. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.733, 250.88; 5. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 5.754, 255.97; 6. Jeremy Ray, Corvette, 5.755, 248.93; 7. Jason Scruggs, Camaro, 5.756, 248.98; 8. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.764, 252.66; 9. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.772, 250.37; 10. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.781, 250.60; 11. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.810, 254.38; 12. Brandon Snider, Corvette, 5.811, 245.09; 13. Erica Enders, Camaro, 5.819, 251.58; 14. Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.821, 245.23; 15. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.824, 249.81; 16. Chad Green, Corvette, 5.828, 247.57.

Not Qualified: 17. Michael Bowman, 5.894, 255.24; 18. Marc Caruso, 5.911, 194.30; 19. Dan Stevenson, 6.101, 197.86; 20. Khalid alBalooshi, 6.466, 152.31; 21. Steven Whiteley, 6.847, 147.92; 22. Chip King, 7.004, 155.58; 23. Keith Haney, 7.527, 126.01; 24. Bob Rahaim, 8.512, 138.19; 25. Clint Satterfield, 8.969, 107.66; 26. Doug Winters, 9.375, 96.61; 27. Harry Hruska, 9.714, 92.73; 28. Pete Farber, 12.607, 71.26.

Courtney Force at Norwalk

Courtney Force raced to the provisional qualifying lead in Funny Car. Force is aiming for her 12th No. 1 qualifier of the 2018 season after her second qualifying run of 3.881-seconds 331.04 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS.

“We didn’t have the greatest run during Q1 and dropped some holes,” Force stated. “Since we were one of the first cars out for Q2 we showed what the track was capable of. Laying down that number I wasn’t sure it was going to hold. I thought there were going to be other teams that got around us during Q2. Looking forward to tomorrow and hoping that we can hold onto it.”

Ron Capps is second after the first day of qualifying, going 3.909 at 323.89 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T, while Bob Tasca III’s run of 3.915 at 320.58 has him in third. Points leader J.R. Todd went 3.928 at 323.66 in his DHL Toyota Camry putting him seventh.

Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.881, 331.04; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.909, 323.89; 3. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 320.58; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.918, 326.40; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.924, 325.53; 6. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.925, 325.37; 7. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.928, 323.66; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.929, 326.00; 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.954, 327.82; 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.957, 322.96; 11. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.996, 315.71; 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.001, 321.73; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.028, 313.29; 14. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.103, 253.33; 15. Jack Wyatt, Charger, 4.192, 289.63; 16. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.192, 88.51.

Not Qualified: 17. Dale Creasy Jr., 10.715, 72.16; 18. Terry Haddock, 11.261, 77.57.

Clay Millican at Bristol

Top Fuel’s Clay Millican will look to secure his ninth No. 1 qualifier of 2018 following his pass of 3.692 at 329.83 in his Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster. It would also mark the 19th career No. 1 qualifier for Millican, who is tied for second in the points standings.

“What this team is doing right now is incredible,” Millican said. “We’ve got a really great race car and great group of guys putting everything together. The cool thing about being at the back of the line is that we’re able to tune the car according to what everyone else has done and be able to fight for those bonus points.”

Points leader Steve Torrence sits in the second spot after Friday’s two qualifying sessions with a run of 3.717 at 326.48 in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster and his father, Billy Torrence, is third after his pass of 3.735 at 328.06.

Top Fuel — 1. Clay Millican, 3.692 seconds, 329.83 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.717, 326.48; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.735, 328.06; 4. Blake Alexander, 3.760, 326.08; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.761, 325.69; 6.

Tony Schumacher, 3.762, 328.06; 7. Richie Crampton, 3.774, 320.05; 8. Mike Salinas, 3.787, 324.28; 9. Antron Brown, 3.794, 321.81; 10. Scott Palmer, 3.795, 322.96; 11. Pat Dakin, 3.796, 322.58; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.797, 320.51; 13. Doug Kalitta, 3.801, 320.81; 14. Brittany Force, 3.835, 317.72; 15. Shawn Reed, 3.842, 321.96; 16. Luigi Novelli, 4.010, 217.98.

Not Qualified: 17. Lex Joon, 4.244, 202.45.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. at Gainesville

In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. took the lead during the second qualifying session with his pass of 6.516 at 210.54 in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaros. It would mark his third No. 1 qualifier this season and 26th of his career, who is currently seeded No. 6 in the points.

“As the night came in and the track got cooler, the Pro Stock cars really thrived on that,” Coughlin Jr. said. “Ricky Jones (crew chief) was able to get really aggressive with it and he said that before we went up that this was probably the most aggressive he had been. The car felt amazing and was traveling extremely well.”

Pro Stock — 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.516, 210.54; 2. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.519, 211.49; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.521, 211.10; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.530, 211.59; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.534, 211.20; 6. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.536, 211.83; 7. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.536, 210.18; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.537, 211.39; 9. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.540, 211.63; 10. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.558, 210.83; 11. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.566, 211.10; 12. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.624, 208.14; 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.625, 208.62; 14. Charlie Westcott Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.743, 204.05; 15. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 7.466, 145.27; 16. Robert River, Chevy Cobalt, 8.246, 124.91.

Not Qualified: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 11.094, 80.14.

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