TOPEKA, Kan. – Bob Rahaim raced to the qualifying lead for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Park Topeka.
His pass of 5.7460-seconds at 251.49 mph in the second qualifying session secured his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season.
He later failed to capitalize on his success in eliminations, which began Saturday afternoon.
Rahaim faced Larry Morgan in the first round and gave away the win at the start of the run when he red-lit. Morgan went on to run a pass of 5.868 at 250.55. Morgan will face Steve Jackson, who defeated Jonathan Gray, when racing resumes Sunday.
Kahlid Al Balooshi, the No. 2 qualifier, also suffered an early defeat to Steven Whiteley in the opening round. Al Balooshi lost on a holeshot as Whiteley posted a .028 reaction time and run of 5.819 at 244.83 to the losing run of 5.811 at 249.67 with a .057 reaction time. Whiteley will be pitted against Steve Matusek in the second round.
Shane Molinari moved into the second after defeating Michael Biehle II with a winning time of 5.795 at 244.03 after qualifying third initially. Molinari and his team will be challenged on Sunday due to issues suffered in the first round matchup.
“Hopefully we’ll make it on Sunday,” Molinari said. “We broke a motor, so we’ll see what happens.”
He will face points leader Mike Castellana who moves onto second round after defeating Shannon Jenkins.
In other racing action Sidnei Frigo will face Harry Hruska in the second round.