The location may have changed, but the names remained familiar during the second stop of the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series tour.
Jason Rupert (Nitro Funny Car, above), Cary Goforth (Pro Stock) and Mike Scott (Nitro Harley)–all winners during the IHRA season opener in Tucson, Arizona one week ago–once again topped their respective classes during qualifying Mar. 28, at the IHRA San Antonio Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway. Jim Maroney (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen Jet Dragster) rounded out the top qualifiers from Texas.
Friday’s qualifying rounds were filled with strong runs and great races as many of the IHRA’s premier classes showed their stuff under the pristine Texas air. And nowhere was that more evident than in Nitro Funny Car, where a bump spot of 5.968 left little room for error.
Despite the parity, there was no question mark at the top as Jason Rupert led the way from start to finish in the Nitro Funny Car class, taking the “Black Plague” Camaro to the top of the charts with a blistering 5.780-second elapsed time at 249.03 miles per hour, the first driver to dip into the 5.70s this season. The pass came in the final pairing of the night.
Right behind Rupert entering Saturday eliminations is Mark Sanders, his final round opponent from one week ago. “Mr. Explosive” also saved his best for last, laying down a 5.816, 246.98 to slide in comfortably behind Rupert. John Smith, driving the famed “Jungle Jim” Vega, qualified third with a 5.820, followed by Mike McIntire Jr. (5.886) and Greg Jacobsmeyer (5.917). Tim Boychuk, John Hale and Ronnie Young rounded out the field.
After qualifying fourth and posting his first round win of the year last weekend, Bruce Litton in the “US Male” Funny Car failed to make the show in San Antonio.
Points leader Cary Goforth topped IHRA’s Mountain Motor Pro Stock class, posting an impressive 6.300-second lap at 222.88 mph in his final pass of the night. He was followed closely by John DeFlorian, who had a 6.314, 218.55. Rounding out the top five are Scott Hintz (6.342), Todd Hoerner (6.356) and Pete Berner (6.356).
In Nitro Harley, Mike Scott once again took the lead, blasting through the traps with a 6.402, 221.35 to lead the two-wheel class. Randal Andras was second with a 6.816, 158.06, followed by Steve Dorn, Rickey House and Mike Pelrine.
Jim Maroney, runner-up one week ago in Tucson, topped Friday qualifying in Nitro Altered in the “Family Legacy” ride, posting a 6.495, 191.00 pass. Mike Hilsabeck was second with a 6.837, 141.87, followed by Terry Haddock, Ron Maroney and Ron Hope.
Finally in the Jet Dragster class jet veteran Elaine Larsen led the way with a 5.768, 267.38 pass, followed by Dawn Perdue with a 5.920.
Racing will continue at the San Antonio Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports on Saturday with final eliminations and a full day of sportsman racing at San Antonio Raceway.
(Photos courtesy IHRA; Click to enlarge)
Marion, Texas – Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA San Antonio Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway.
Nitro Funny Car
1. Jason Rupert, 5.780, 249.03; 2. Mark Sanders, 5.816, 246.98; 3. John Smith, 5.820, 252.81; 4. Mike McIntire Jr., 5.886, 235.60; 5. Greg Jacobsmeyer, 5.917, 242.07; 6. Tim Boychuk, 5.931, 236.72; 7. John Hale, 5.953, 237.47; 8. Ronnie Young, 5.968, 234.01; 9. Mike Smith, 6.017, 237.22; 10. Bruce Litton, 6.028, 231.96; 11. Mike Halstead, 6.096, 217.39.
1. Cary Goforth, 6.300, 222.88; 2. John DeFlorian, 6.314, 218.55; 3. Scott Hintz, 6.342, 221.57; 4. Todd Hoerner, 6.356, 216.55; 5. Pete Berner, 6.356, 211.67; 6. Kevin Bealko, 6.665, 161.23; 7. John Konigshofer, 7.525, 130.10.
1. Mike Scott, 6.402, 221.35; 2. Randal Andras, 6.816, 158.06; 3. Steve Dorn, 6.830, 193.47; 4. Rickey House, 7.356, 140.85; 5. Mike Pelrine, 7.442, 138.72; 6. Alvin Kobernusz, 7.504, 141.78; 7. Ron Gledhill, 7.635, 199.73; 8. Jay Turner, 9.073, 103.73.
1. Jim Maroney, 6.495, 191.00; 2. Mike Hilsabeck, 6.837, 141.87; 3. Terry Haddock, 6.863, 183.00; 4. Ron Maroney, 7.025, 130.74; 5. Ron Hope, 7.577, 182.93.