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Rolls On at “the Rock”

Hahn, Litton, Yeoman Get the Gold


IHRA racers renovated the record book Apr. 7-9 in the Holley Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. Cool temperatures and a sticky track led to eight new national records, with at least one falling in each of the six pro classes.

Clay Millican, who finished runner-up in Top Fuel to Bruce Litton (above), left “The Rock” with the ET record in hand after going 4.725 seconds to take the number-one qualifying spot. Millican backed it up within the required one percent with a 4.739-seconds pass to beat Paul Romine in the second round of eliminations.

In one of those quirks of drag racing, Doug Foxworth took the Top Fuel top speed record home to Lytle, Texas, despite Litton and Jim Head both going faster. Foxworth’s 307.02 mph in a losing effort to Head in round one stood up as the record because he backed it up with a 306.81 mph qualifying pass. Litton performed well all weekend, but couldn’t quite match his 308.21 mph qualifying speed, and Head never came close to duplicating the 307.93 he managed while beating Foxworth.

Pro Mod winner Fred Hahn (above) steered his Summit Racing ‘54 Corvette to a record 227.65 mph in his first-round win over Carl Moyer. He made it official in the next round, going 226.92 against Mike Castellana.

Part-time IHRA campaigner, Billy Gibson, made the trek south from Chaptico, MD, to steal the Alcohol Funny Car speed title from four-time class champion Mark Thomas. Thomas set the mark at 241.37 mph during Friday’s Night of Fire qualifying session, but on raceday, Gibson never dipped below 240 before being ousted in the semis by Von Smith. His 241.97-mph pass in a first round win over Bobby Baucom stood up officially as the fastest in IHRA Funny Car history.

Both halves of the Pro Stock records also fell in Rockingham. Event winner Jerry Yeoman opened up with a 6.608 ET record in the first-round, while John Montecalvo’s opening-round 210.77-mph pass, backed up by a 209.10 losing run to Steve Spiess in the quarter finals, established the new class speed mark.

Finally, event winners Laurie Cannister and Jay Turner, in Pro Outlaw and Top Fuel Harley, respectively, both went quicker than anyone before them. Cannister took just 6.038 seconds to cover the quarter mile with her Nicoderm dragster in a win over first-time finalist Mick Snyder. She qualified number one with a 6.189 on Friday night.

Turner, the 1999 Nitro Hog champion, rode to a record-setting 6.443 seconds win in the first round, backed up by his 6.493 in qualifying. He was the only Harley racer to dip below the 6.60’s all weekend.

Record setters: Clay Millican (above) and Jerry Yeoman (below)



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