Bowen, DeFlorian lead qualifying on soggy opening day at IHRA Summit World Finals

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals kicked off on Friday with one round of Nitro Jam professional qualifying and one round of eliminations for most sportsman classes until Mother Nature took over on a soggy evening at Memphis International Raceway.

Elaine Larsen rocketed to the top of the Jet Dragster charts on Friday

Before the rains, however, Michigan native Shawn Bowen, in the "Violator" '77 Firebird was able to get in a great lap to top IHRA's AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car class, joining fellow No. 1 qualifiers John DeFlorian (Pro Stock), Randal Andras (Nitro Harley), Don Blackshear (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster).

In sportsman competition, racers got in two rounds of qualifying and the first round of eliminations for most classes as the IHRA prepares to crown its world champions during the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL and the Summit SuperSeries presented by AMSOIL competitions. Both sportsman tournaments will continue on Saturday.

Bowen led Friday's action with a solid lap that placed him on top of the Funny Car charts by a narrow margin over Peter Gallen. Bowen put down a 5.822-second lap at 251.20 mph during the opening session of Nitro Jam qualifying, just beating out Gallen's 5.848 at 242.50 in the "Poverty Stricken" '77 Monza.

Cary Goforth (near) and John DeFlorian will battle for the Pro Stock championship this weekend at Memphis International Raceway

Mark Sanders, in the "Mr. Explosive" Mustang, was third with a 5.883 at 250.60, followed by Mike McIntire Jr. (5.886, 239.91) and Tim Boychuk (5.953, 234.25). Of the 11 drivers that made a hit on Friday, three drivers currently in the top five in points - Bruce Litton, John Hale and 2014 IHRA Funny Car World Champion Jason Rupert - currently sit outside of the field.

In Pro Stock John DeFlorian, driver of the AMSOIL-sponsored Black Diamond Motorsports 2012 Camaro, placed his machine in first on a tricky track with a 7.482-second lap at 142.42 mph. His teammate Kevin Bealko was second with an 8.295 at 118.16.

Cary Goforth, driver of the Goforth Racing entry, was Friday's other big storyline, flying from Richmond, Virginia - where he wrapped up the PDRA championship earlier in the day - to qualify for the IHRA Summit World Finals in his attempt to wrap up two separate championships in one weekend. Goforth currently has a 99-point lead over DeFlorian.

Shawn Bowen was top qualifier in Nitro Funny Car on Friday

In another class still to decide its champion, Randal Andras jumped to the top of the Nitro Harley qualifying charts on Friday with a solid 6.297 at 207.70. Jay Turner was second. Mike Scott, who currently trails Andras by just six points in the championship standings, qualified seventh while fellow championship contender Mark Cox qualified eighth.

Wrapping up the evening were Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster. Don Blackshear, driving the "Bullet Bob" '23 Roadster, was quickest in Nitro Altered with a 6.143 at 219.47, while Elaine Larsen, in the Miller Welding jet-powered dragster, topped the Jet Dragster category with a 5.840 at 273.00.

Racing will continue on Saturday with the continuation of sportsman eliminations beginning at 10 a.m. followed by one additional round of Nitro Jam qualifying at 3 p.m. Nitro Jam eliminations are set for 6 p.m.


Millington, Tenn. - Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway

Nitro Funny Car - 1. Shawn Bowen 5.822, 251.20; 2. Peter Gallen 5.848, 242.50; 3. Mark Sanders 5.883, 250.60; 4. Mike McIntire Jr. 5.886, 239.91; 5. Tim Boychuk 5.953, 234.25; 6. John Crimmins 6.034, 235.35; 7. Ronny Young 6.114, 237.63; 8. Greg Jacobsmeyer 6.307, 232.95; 9. Bruce Litton 8.043, 115.81; 10. Jason Rupert 9.870, 24.35; 11. John Hale 12.788, 62.31

Pro Stock - 1. John DeFlorian 7.482, 142.42; 2. Kevin Bealko 8.295, 118.16; 3. Cary Goforth 9.852, 91.30; 4. Brad Waddle 10.844, 81.20; 5. John Konigshofer 10.961, 101.17; 6. Scott Hintz 16.410, 59.83

Nitro Harley - 1. Randal Andras 6.297, 201.70; 2. Jay Turner 6.298, 251.16; 3. Larry Brancaccio 6.457, 220.26; 4. Mike Pelrine 6.543, 224.32; 5. Alvin Kobernusz 6.859, 180.69; 6. Julian Seaman 7.305, 173.01; 7. Mike Scott 8.585, 128.21; 8. Mark Cox 12.959, 69.55

Nitro Altered - 1. Don Blackshear 6.143, 219.47; 2. Ron Maroney 6.228, 221.92; 3. Mike Hilsabeck 6.564, 205.22; 4. Ron Hope 6.661, 209.43; 5. Kyle Hough 6.986, 186.92; 6. Shane Harter 8.378, 116.86

Jet Dragster - 1. Elaine Larsen 5.840, 273.00; 2. Kat Moller 5.868, 270.43; 3. Marisha Falk 5.927, 277.54; 4. Allison West 6.678, 197.62

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