A Look Back -
Ronnie Humphrey Claims First Career Pole at Royal Purple Raceway
Humphrey Claims First Career Pole at Royal Purple Raceway
Although racers were back in their conventional two-wide format at this past weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, TX, the task of qualifying was far from easy. Over the course of two days, the "factory hot rods" had to deal with steadily rising temperatures and increasing humidity, conditions which robbed their naturally-aspirated engines of power, requiring teams to take advantage of Friday's cooler conditions to secure a top spot for Sunday's field.
Ronnie Humphrey and his Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac
In a testament to the highly competitive nature of the Pro Stock category, for the second time this season, qualifying ended with multiple racers posting the low elapsed time, with Ronnie Humphrey and Rodger Brogdon each recording a 6.571-second clocking on their opening attempts. In accordance with NHRA regulations, Humphrey was awarded the No. 1 position as his Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac's 211.16 top speed bested his opponent's 210.93 Mph mark. This was the first No. 1 qualifying position of Humphrey's career. Even so, with only four races left to qualify for the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge, the second-generation racer from Jacksonville, NC will need help from the fans in order to make the eight-car field.
"My Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac was awesome all weekend, and I have a lot of people to thank for helping me achieve this dream, starting with K&N for sponsoring the No. 1 qualifiers," said Humphrey. "K&N's participation means so much to the racers and this Troy Humphrey Motorsports team is proud to represent them as the No. 1 qualifiers for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston. Although we'd be thrilled to be a part of this year's K&N Horsepower Challenge in Norwalk, and certainly have a car capable of winning, the limited schedule we ran in 2010 means we will have to rely on the fans to get into the field. Who knows, maybe this performance will gain us a few votes."
A Look Ahead -
With the competition heating up, competitors look to lock in to the HPC in Atlanta
As the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series prepares to head to Atlanta for the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals, a look at the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge standings reveals close competition throughout the field, starting at the top where Jason Line and Allen Johnson are tied with 2380 points, with Mike Edwards trailing by a scant 80 markers. At the same time, defending HPC champion Greg Anderson is locked in a tight battle with Ron Krisher for the fourth spot, holding a slight 50-point edge over the veteran Ohio runner.
Naturally, the fight of greatest importance is the one for the seventh and final guaranteed position, with three racers separated by only 55 points. Veteran V. Gaines qualified on his fourth and final attempt in Houston to hold on to the seventh position, with sophomore racer Shane Gray gaining five points to trail Gaines by only 25. However, the biggest mover remains ninth-place Greg Stanfield, who has narrowed his deficit to the seventh spot by a whopping 115 points in the last two races, a trend he looks to continue at Atlanta Dragway.
With the number of races in which to score points towards this year's HPC dwindling, the field is starting to take shape, with three drivers potentially securing one of the seven guaranteed spots in Atlanta. While current co-points leaders Jason Line and Allen Johnson will simply need to maintain their current 550-point advantage over the eighth position to secure their spot, Mike Edwards will need to bolster his 470-point lead by 55 in order to lock in to his eighth HPC.
At the same time, numerous drivers are looking to the fans for their ticket into the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge, including Houston race winner Vincent Nobile, four-time HPC winner Kurt Johnson and his father, 2010 Fan Vote winner Warren Johnson, with several, including Erica Enders and rookie Buddy Perkinson, using social media outlets to stump for votes.
There's Still Time to Enter and Win!
The K&N Horsepower Challenge Sweepstakes returns with eight finalists winning a trip to this year's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where they will be randomly paired with one of the drivers in this year's contest. The lucky finalist whose driver wins the K&N Horsepower Challenge will be awarded the all new 2011 Explorer courtesy of Ford.
K&N Horsepower Challenge Standings
(After 16 of 20 races)
1. Allen Johnson - 2380
2. Jason Line - 2380
3. Mike Edwards - 2300
4. Greg Anderson - 2140
5. Ron Krisher - 2090
6. Rodger Brogdon - 1950
7. V. Gaines - 1855
8. Shane Gray - 1830
9. Greg Stanfield - 1800
10. Kurt Johnson - 1720
11. Warren Johnson - 1615
12. Larry Morgan - 1485
13. Jeg Coughlin - 1440
14. Ronnie Humphrey - 1365
15. Johnny Gray - 1275
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