Rupert On Top Again In IHRA

Jason Rupert at San Antonio Raceway. (IHRA photo)
Jason Rupert at San Antonio Raceway. (IHRA photo)
Jason Rupert at San Antonio Raceway. (IHRA photo)

MARION, Texas — The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The location may have changed, but the names remained consistent during the second stop of the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series tour as Jason Rupert (Nitro Funny Car), Cary Goforth (Pro Stock) and Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), all winners during the IHRA season opener in Tucson, Ariz., one week ago, once again topped their respective classes during Friday qualifying at the IHRA San Antonio Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway.
Jim Maroney (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen Jet Dragster) rounded out the top qualifiers from Texas.

Friday’s qualifying rounds were filled with strong runs and great races as many of the IHRA’s premier classes showed their stuff under the pristine Texas air. And nowhere was that more evident than in Nitro Funny Car, where a bump spot of 5.968 left little room for error.

Despite the parity, there was no question mark at the top as Jason Rupert led the way from start to finish in the Nitro Funny Car class, taking the “Black Plague” Camaro to the top of the charts with a blistering 5.780-second elapsed time at 249.03 mph, the first driver to dip into the 5.70s this season. The pass came in the final pairing of the night.

Right behind Rupert entering Saturday eliminations is Mark Sanders, his final round opponent from one week ago. “Mr. Explosive” also saved his best for last, laying down a 5.816, 246.98 mph to slide in comfortably behind Rupert. John Smith, driving the famed “Jungle Jim” Vega, qualified third with a 5.820, followed by Mike McIntire Jr. (5.886) and Greg Jacobsmeyer (5.917). Tim Boychuk, John Hale and Ronnie Young rounded out the field.

After qualifying fourth and posting his first round win of the year last weekend, Bruce Litton in the “U.S. Male” Funny Car failed to make the show in San Antonio.

Point leader Cary Goforth topped IHRA’s Mountain Motor Pro Stock class, posting an impressive 6.300-second lap at 222.88 mph in his final pass of the night. He was followed closely by John DeFlorian, who had a 6.314, 218.55 mph. Rounding out the top five are Scott Hintz (6.342), Todd Hoerner (6.356) and Pete Berner (6.356).

In Nitro Harley, Mike Scott once again took the lead, blasting through the traps with a 6.402, 221.35 mph to lead the two-wheel class. Randal Andras was second with a 6.816, 158.06, followed by Steve Dorn, Rickey House and Mike Pelrine.

Jim Maroney, runner-up one week ago in Tucson, topped Friday qualifying in Nitro Altered in the “Family Legacy” ride, posting a 6.495, 191.00 mph pass. Mike Hilsabeck was second with a 6.837, 141.87 mph, followed by Terry Haddock, Ron Maroney and Ron Hope.

Finally in the Jet Dragster class jet veteran Elaine Larsen led the way with a 5.768, 267.38 mph pass, followed by Dawn Perdue with a 5.920.