Saturday, July 14, 2012

Riesterer Sets Track Record, Heads Top Qualifiers List At Summer Drags VIII

American Drag Racing League (ADRL) Pro Nitrous driver Doug Riesterer is trying for his third straight win in the class, and the talented Texan got off to a strong start on Friday at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.

On a rain-soaked day in Martin, Mich., Riesterer delivered the most impressive run of the day, going 3.80 at 195.22 mph on new Hoosier Tires to set a track record and take the top qualifying spot at the Summer Drags VIII. Riesterer is trying to become the first driver in Pro Nitrous to win three straight races since Rickie Smith did it in 2010.

“We put new tires on, it was a different day and a different track. You never know what to expect,” Riesterer said. “We put our best guess into it and I thought there was about a 20 percent chance it would go down the track. With new tires, you usually struggle but hopefully this is a good indicator.”

Two separate rain delays that totaled six hours wiped away one total round of qualifying and only three classes (Extreme Pro Stock, Summit Racing Top Sportsman and Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified) finished two qualifying sessions. With the inclement weather, the second qualifying session will resume on Saturday at 10 a.m., leading to the third qualifying session. Eliminations are scheduled to begin at their regularly scheduled time of 3:30 p.m.

Other No. 1 qualifiers after Friday included Bubba Stanton (Pro Extreme), Todd Moyer (Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5), Billy Vose (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Cary Goforth (Extreme Pro Stock), Mike Castellana (Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified) and Bob Gulitti (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman). Immediately after Riesterer finished his 3.80, a heavy and driving rain came at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.

When racing resumed, several competitors delivered strong runs including Bob Rahaim’s 3.846, and 3.85s from Jim Laurita and Robert Patrick. With his spot for eliminations secured, Riesterer will strive for continued consistency on Saturday.“If I knew it was going to rain, I probably would have calmed it way down,” Riesterer said. “I’m really happy with the 3.80. It was a nice run. We’ll probably keep the same approach for (Saturday).”

Pro Extreme grabbed the spotlight for only one session on Friday, but Bubba Stanton made the most of it with an incredible 3.669 at 207.04 mph. It was nearly a career best run for the 2006 PX world champion who seems to be rounding into form. 

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