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Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:13PM

Langdon stays atop Saturday Top Fuel qualifying at zMax

By Pete McCole
CONCORD, NC - Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took the top qualifying positions in Saturday's final round of qualifying for Sunday's fourth-annual Four-Wide Nationals NHRA Mello Yello Drag racing Series event at zMax Dragway.

Qualifying in quadruple sets of four-wide action on the NHRA's only four-lane dragstrip, the top drivers in all four major divisions remained unchanged from Friday's afternoon session.

In Top Fuel, Langdon beat out J.R. Todd for the top qualifying spot with a low ET of 3.753 seconds at 321.81 mph in Friday's second session that held up through Saturday's two rounds, which saw the top 10 remaining unchanged.

The pole-winning run was the second of the season for the defending series champion, who has yet to advance past the second round of eliminations in four events so far this season.

"We've had a really good car this year in qualifying," said Langdon, who will take on Terry McMillen in the first round on Sunday. "The Al-Anabi team has done an excellent job qualifying, getting towards the top, and we were able to get a couple of No. 1 qualifiers.

"It's just a matter of getting the consistency back in the car, and that's something we've been striving to do. Since we've been kind of assessing everything from the beginning of the year, our problem has been smoking the tires on Sunday, so getting the consistency back in the car is a big thing for us right now."

Todd remained second with a pass of 3.781 seconds at 325.06 mph, while Khalid alBalooshi was third at 3.793, 324.98. Antron Brown was fourth at 3.794, 320.89 followed by Brittany Force in fifth with a 3.800, 325.61.

Ron Capps jumped to the top of the Funny Car ladder in Friday's second round of qualifying, moving from 16th to first with a run of 4059 31424 to notch his first top qualifier of the season and 16th of his career.

Taking the second qualifying spot was Robert Hight at4.074, 311.99. Tommy Johnson, Jr. (4.079, 308.57), Bob Tasca III (4.080, 311.70) and Tim Wilkerson (4.084, 312.06) made up the rest of the top five.

Chad Head and Dale Creasy, Sr. battled back and forth for the bump spot with Head rallying back in Saturday's opening round to make the field and a first-round matchup with Capps on Sunday.

Chris McGaha swept all four sessions of Pro Stock qualifying, powering his Chevrolet Camaro to a quick pass of 6.523 at 213.10 mph to record his second-career top qualifier spot.

McGaha, who acquired the equipment of two-time Four-Wide Nationals winner Mike Edwards in the offseason, will be trying to capitalize on the momentum from the last event at Las Vegas, where he advanced to his first semi-final round of the season.

"I absolutely hoped that we'd be able to do this when we bought Mike's operation," said McGaha, who takes on Larry Morgan in the opening round. "I know there were a lot of doubters who didn't think that we could have instant success but I don't think we'd have done this deal if we didn't think we'd be where we are now."

Erica Enders-Stevens was second with a low ET of 6.524 at 213.13 mph. Dave Connolly (6.531, 212.59), Shane Gray (6.534, 212.26) and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (6.538, 212.13) rounded out the top five.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Michael Ray picked up his second-straight no. 1 qualifier of the season after posting a 6.816 at 197.02 mph in Friday's late session that went touched on Saturday.

"We came out this morning with a tune-up that we'd use for eliminations and I had the best sixty-foot time of my career with a 1.045 and that's really hauling the mail," said Ray. "The way I look at it if I am on my game there not a bike out there that is going to beat me."

Hector Arana, Jr., (6.825, 196.24), Andrew Hines (6.842, 194.97), Scotty Pollacheck (6.843, 197.91) and John Hall (6.846, 196.07) finished out the top five. Katie Sullivan took the bump spot to face Ray in the first round on Sunday.

Last weeks event winner and series points leader Steve Johnson missed the field, joining Elvira Karlsson, Freddie Camarena, Justin Finley, Joe DeSantis and Junior Pippin on the DNQ list.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
zMax Dragway
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