It's Saturday here at Royal Purple Raceway and the stands are overflowing with people watching some of the best drag racing in the world. Whether you are in to Nitro, Alcohol, Pro Mod, or even Stock, there is really something for everyone.
The Pro Mod field was set about two hours ago and again, like Gainesville, we had some excitement. Michael Biehle came into round three of qualifying and not in the field. He has some dramatic damages that caused them to miss Q2 and do some serious patch work on the driver quarter along with back glass. Mike was able to just bump into the field with a 5.893 at 253.09 which kept Kevin Fiscus out, even though Kevin had a 5.893 as well. Kevin's pass was at 249.95 and that was the difference between being in and looking in.
Mike Castellana ended up at #1 in Pro Mod, when he ran a 5.75 last night. He is followed up by Jonathan Gray, who is wheeling Rickie Smith's nitrous car while Rickie recovers from Back surgery. Another shock was to see Shane Molinari, in the jaw dropping Gold '68 Firebird run a crazy 257.24 mph on Friday.
Some of the biggest shock heard round the nitro world was that the 2X World Champ Cruz Pedregon in the Snap-on Tools backed Camry ran his first ever and career best 3.897. This put him in the best position he's been in over the last year. Coming in to Q4 Cruz was sitting at #4 just behind John Force, Ron Capps, and Courtney Force. Cruz also announced this weekend that the team has brought on another sponsor, none other than Gas Monkey Energy Drink. To see Cruz competitive is what we need in the Nitro ranks as well.
In Top Fuel, one of the hardest working and nicest guys you will ever meet, Clay millican from Drummonds, TN was sitting at #1 with a 3.722 at 325.69. He was sitting #1 by one thousandth of a second over Antron Brown who had a 3.723. The rest of the top 5 include Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, and Leah Pritchett.
What seems to be a theme now is that the Summit Racing teams can be outrun and that's exactly what the Jegs.com Elite Motorsports Camaro of Jeg Coughlin Jr. did. For the first time in three years, Jeg sits atop the Pro Stock qualifying field. He, along with teammate and 2x World Champion Erica Enders are both in the top 5 with Erica sitting at #4. Filling the top five in Pro Stock is Bo Butner at #2, Greg Anderson at #3, and Tanner Gray at #5. All 13 cars in the field are within a tenth of each other. Come Sunday, Erica will face off against her husband Richie, while Jeg has the bye into E2 where he will face the winner of Drew Skillman vs. Chris MaGaha.
Speaking of Gas Monkey Energy, Alex Laughlin is on the property this weekend running in both Alcohol Dragster and Pro Stock. In Pro Stock Alex landed at 10th and will face the previous Pro Stock event winner, and youngest pro category winner ever, Tanner Gray, who just celebrated his 18th Birthday. I know there is nothing more that Alex would like than to put Tanner on the trailer early in front of this Texas crowd.