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Litton, Boychuk lead qualifying entering championship Sunday at IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals

Sunday, 06 July 2014
Bruce Litton (near) leads Top Fuel qualifying Bruce Litton (near) leads Top Fuel qualifying

It has been nearly a year since Bruce Litton last sat in a Top Fuel Dragster.

Saturday evening at Castrol Raceway, he never looked so at home.

Litton, the only driver to have visited every IHRA event in Edmonton since its debut in 2003, returned to the seat of a Top Fuel Dragster this weekend and went to work as only he knows how, rocketing to the top of the charts of Top Fuel and leading the class into Sunday eliminations at the IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada at Castrol Raceway.

Saturday 3

   Joey Steckler in Pro 6.90

Tim Boychuk (Nitro Funny Car), Damian Cownden (Nitro Bike), Joey Steckler (Pro 6.90), Joe Delehay (Pro Mod) and Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) also will lead their categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series event in Edmonton, Alberta.

Litton, from Indianapolis, Ind., powered his 10,000-horsepower dragster to the No. 1 qualifying position on Saturday, putting down low elapsed time of the weekend with a 4.839-second pass at 291.52 miles per hour. Ike Maier, from Tottenham, Ontario, was second with a 5.037 at 251.06.

It was Litton's first time in a dragster since October. The multi-time world champion switched to Nitro Funny Car this season, but returned to Top Fuel for this weekend.

"When we came here in 2003, I never thought I would end up going to all of them. I love coming up here and am so glad to be back this year, back behind the wheel of a dragster," Litton said. "I have driven dragsters for 20 years, but during my first pass yesterday, I was shocked how quiet it was compared to the Funny Car. Tonight, I was on a really good lap, probably one of the better laps here in the last few years. It felt great to put up a solid number for these great Canadian fans and for our team."

Saturday 2

   Tim Boychuk in Nitro Funny Car

Another incredible battle took shape in IHRA’s Amsoil Nitro Funny Car class as three-time Rocky Mountain Nationals champion Tim Boychuk and defending event winner Tim Nemeth continued to trade the top spot in the class. While Nemeth held down the No. 1 qualifying position for most of the weekend, Boychuk got the best of him in the “Forever Forward” ’77 Firebird in his final pass of the night.

Boychuk, an Edmonton native, sits first entering Sunday eliminations with a 5.867 at 234.17, just ahead of Nemeth in the “Iceman” ’77 Firebird with a 5.941 at 241.58. Devery Howard, in the “Twig Zeigler” tribute ’74 Satellite, is third with a 5.982 at 241.32.

Another former Edmonton winner, Damian Cownden, will lead the Drag Specialties Nitro Bike category into Sunday with a chart-topping 6.596 at 216.27 pass. Nate Gagnon, IHRA’s most recent winner in Nitro Bike, is second with a 6.638 at 219.26.

Jet Dragster wrapped up IHRA’s traditional professional program as Marisha Falk, from Port Orange, Florida, qualified first with a 5.858 at 267.59 in the Embry-Riddle jet-powered dragster, just edging out team-leader Elaine Larsen in the Miller Welding jet dragster with a 5.897 at 265.59.

Saturday 1

   Marisha Falk in Jet Dragster

Special to the Rocky Mountain Nationals program, Pro 6.90 and Pro Modified finalized qualifying for their two 16-car fields and got underway on Saturday with first round eliminations.

Joey Steckler, from Edmonton, qualified first on Saturday and remained in competition entering championship Sunday after besting No. 16 qualifier Scott Bourdin during the evening session. No. 2 qualifier Norm Kolwich dropped his first round matchup to Landon Goudreau with a 7.007 to a 7.376 in the 6.90-index class. Troy Sitko and Ryan Hodgson, also qualifying in the top five, advanced on Saturday.

Four of the top five qualifiers in Pro Modified also advanced to Sunday’s final eliminations. Top qualifier Joe Delehay, another Edmonton native, received a competition bye in the 16-car field. Ryan Hodgson, Toni Moretto and Glen Kerunsky also advanced to Sunday.

The IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada will continue on Sunday with final eliminations for the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series and Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL.

Saturday 4

   Joe Delehay in Pro Mod


Edmonton, Alberta – Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada at Castrol Raceway

Top Fuel Dragster – 1. Bruce Litton 4.839, 291.52; 2. Ike Maier 5.037, 251.06; 3. Scott Palmer 5.356, 200.47; 4. Kyle Wurtzel 7.157, 108.08

Amsoil Nitro Funny Car – 1. Tim Boychuk 5.867, 234.17; 2. Tim Nemeth 5.941, 241.58; Devery Howard 5.982, 241.32; 4. Nathan Sitko 5.989, 240.17; 5. Jordan Pawlick 6.037, 234.98

Drag Specialties Nitro Bike – 1. Damian Cownden 6.596, 216.27; 2. Nate Gagnon 6.638, 219.26; 3. Mike Pelrine 6.686, 214.72; 4. Craig Pelrine 6.919, 203.92; 5. Kevin Boyer 11.691, 81.72

Pro 6.90 – 1. Joey Steckler 6.900, 205.04; 2. Norm Kolwich 6.901, 200.71; 3. Troy Sitko 6.918, 196.93; 4. Jim Fersch 6.924, 202.30; 5. Ryan Hodgson 6.927, 204.73; 6. Reg DeForest 6.931, 199.11; 7. Shane Reykdal 6.977, 199.61; 8. Allan Weich 6.983, 200.41; 9. Roddy McMillan 6.996, 189.98; 10. Cal Tebb 6.997, 200.41; 11. Cory Kincaid 7.040, 198.76; 12. Darrell Pelrine 7.046, 197.45; 13. Cody Anstead 7.151, 189.34; 14. Darrell Webb 7.218, 193.77; 15. Landon Goudreau 7.278, 155.88; 16. Scott Bourdin 7.352, 188.91; 17. David Brant 8.086, 160.82

Pro Mod – 1. Joe Delehay 6.001, 240.72; 2. Ross Hogenson 6.119, 234.78; 3. Mike Gondziola 6.126, 223.99; 4. Toni Moretto 6.133, 232.19; 5. Glen Kerunsky 6.288, 228.34; 6. Garry Weslosky 6.361, 215.93; 7. Dale Pedersen 6.366, 223.32; 8. Kerry Stone 6.514, 221.38; 9. Tom Reithmayer 6.570, 216.10; 10. Wade Sjostrom 6.572, 229.39; 11. Darryl Stone 6.758, 219.36; 12. Ray Leyten 6.949, 197.65; 13. Wayne Hofer 7.451, 211.89; 14. Dan Vogt 8.669, 113.66; 15. Paul Glandon 13.585, 66.01

Jet Dragster – 1. Marisha Falk 5.858, 267.59; 2. Elaine Larsen 5.897, 265.59; 3. Dawn Perdue 5.937, 261.98; 4. Kat Moller 6.211, 249.07

Last modified on Sunday, 06 July 2014
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