DAY TWO INDY IN THE BOOKS; HEMI CHALLENGE FIELD SET
A familiar face resides atop the final qualifying order for the Dodge Hemi Challenge after Day Two qualifying at the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals outside of Indianapolis.
Three-time consecutive and reigning champion Jimmy Daniels used his second and final qualifying run Thursday afternoon to deliver his best run of the day. Daniels drove a Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to his first career No. 1 qualifier position.
“I didn’t really think getting that No. 1 position was really possible with the warmer weather today,” said the Yardley, Penn. native, who will vie for his record-setting fourth straight triumph Friday. “We really worked on it coming into today. For us to come back tomorrow and win another Dodge Hemi Challenge, it’s going to take a lot of consistency, a lot of fine tuning by Ray and Dave Barton and I have to do a good job on the tree.”
Daniels held the fifth position following Wednesday’s first qualifying session and admitted some minor adjustments were needed today in order to claim the top spot.
Gary Wolkwitz, last year’s runner-up and No. 2 qualifier, raced his Super Stock 1968 Dodge Dart to the No. 3 position ahead of Canadian runner Wendell Howes while inaugural 2001 HEMI Challenge winner Bucky Hess completed the top-five in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda.
Stock Eliminator, the headline category of the day, concluded its qualifying and class eliminations today. Still, no one could touch Gary Summers and his U/Stock '77 Mustang, and its -1.808 under the index 12.842. Bill Dyer remained second at -1.704 while Tyler Cassil jumped up to third with a -1.482.
Ernie Neal remained atop the Super Stock qualifying list with the most improbable entry in the class. Neal's four-door SS/P Automatic Caprice leads the pack with one session remaining thanks to a 10.888, -1.762 performance.
Comp Eliminator also got in two sessions. Brad Plourd's AA/AM roadster is tops with a 6.260, -0.780 under the index.
Top Dragster, making it's Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals debut, got in two sessions on Thursday. Bob Button leads provisionally recording a 6.108 elapsed time at 227.92 miles per hour.
Lester Johnson remains the pacesetter in Top Sportsman after pushing his 1955 Chevy entry to a 6.154, 230.53.
Sportsman racing resumes Friday morning at 8 AM, with Super Stock class eliminations.