Instead, surprise participant Scott Hintz, in only his third start of the year with the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, was the top qualifier in the Pro Stock class, joining Mike Pelrine (Nitro Harley), Ron Maroney (Nitro Altered), Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) and Dom Lagana (Top Fuel) as the top qualifiers Friday at the IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park.
Hintz, from Odessa, Texas, was the quickest car from Friday’s trio of qualifying passes for the Pro Stock teams, running an evening-best 6.259 seconds at 222.29 miles per hour on the quarter-mile in the Hintz Racing 2013 Ford Mustang. IHRA points leader Cary Goforth qualified second in the Dean’s Casing Service 2014 Chevrolet Camaro with a 6.294 at 222.31, followed by Todd Hoerner, John DeFlorian and Kevin Bealko.
In Nitro Harley, Canadian Mike Pelrine led the way in the nitro-powered motorcycle class with a 6.370 at 218.22, just ahead of Randal Andras who ran a 6.412 at 212.83. Class points leader Mike Scott was third, followed by Mark Cox and Lyle Newton.
Ron Maroney was fastest in the Nitro Altered category in the “Blind Faith” machine, running an evening-best 6.258 at 207.01. Shane Harter in “Nasty Benjamin” was second with a 6.342 at 190.54. Troy Martin, Don Blackshear and Kyle Hough rounded out the top five.
The Nitro Altered rounds were filled with the kind of excitement fans have come to expect from these wild machines as both Kyle Hough and Mike Hilsabeck slapped the left-side wall in almost identical spots, joining a number of exciting runs from the nostalgia class.
Dom Lagana (near) and Bobby Lagana Jr.
Rounding out IHRA’s regular classes was Jet Dragster as Floridian Marisha Falk put the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University jet-powered rail in the top spot with a 5.827-second pass at 274.74 mph. Elaine Larsen was second, followed by Kat Moller and Allison West.
Finally, IHRA welcomed Top Fuel back to its lineup on Friday as the Lagana brothers put on an incredible show for the Michigan fans. One year after making the fastest pass in IHRA history at this very same event, Dom Lagana went back to work with a tremendous 4.689-second pass at 314.88 mph, crossing the finish line in a bright ball of fire after suffering an engine issue. Brother Bobby Lagana Jr. had an evening-best 4.717-second pass at 320.94 mph.
The IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals will resume on Saturday with sportsman racing throughout the day followed by final eliminations in all Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series professional classes beginning at 6 p.m.
Martin, Mich. – Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park
Top Fuel Dragster – 1. Dom Lagana 4.689, 314.88; 2. Bobby Lagana Jr. 4.717, 320.94
Pro Stock – 1. Scott Hintz 6.259, 222.29; 2. Cary Goforth 6.294, 222.31; 3. Todd Hoerner 6.335, 222.52; 4. John DeFlorian 6.340, 221.42; 5. Kevin Bealko 6.374, 220.37; 6. Pete Berner 6.378, 218.98; 7. Matt Bertsch 6.379, 218.24; 8. Dean Goforth 10.450, 82.73; 9. Brad Waddle 15.707, 51.40
Nitro Harley – 1. Mike Pelrine 6.370, 218.22; 2. Randal Andras 6.412, 212.83; 3. Mike Scott 6.413, 216.14; 4. Mark Cox 6.565, 221.42; 5. Lyle Newton 6.725, 191.31; 6. Alvin Kobernusz 6.833, 193.02; 7. Jim Fagan 8.175, 132.20
Nitro Altered – 1. Ron Maroney 6.258, 207.01; 2. Shane Harter 6.342, 190.54; 3. Troy Martin 6.364, 197.17; 4. Don Blackshear 6.721, 202.44; 5. Kyle Hough 7.267, 130.29; 6. Mike Hilsabeck 7.377, 185.02; 7. Troy Ray 9.018, 122.53
Jet Dragster – 1. Marisha Falk 5.827, 274.74; 2. Elaine Larsen 5.845, 272.15; 3. Kat Moller 5.912, 270.40; 4. Allison West 6.068, 203.49