For the third-straight race, Alex Hossler qualified number-one in Pro Extreme June 8, at the ADRL Simply Phones U.S. Drags VI in Petersburg, VA. Hossler was the only driver of 14 entered in the class to reach the 3.50s on the Virginia Motorsports Park eighth mile, covering it in 3.594 seconds at 209.56 mph in the opening qualifying session with his Al-Anabi Racing '69 Camaro.
"Yeah, our qualifying average is looking pretty good so far this year," Hossler said. "Now we have to get it together for eliminations; we haven't done nearly as well there."
Hossler made only the one pass in Saturday's action after a plugged fuel nozzle during the run created a leaned-out condition "that torched the head a little" at the top end, he said. "We probably could've fixed it had we known how much time we had, but we were taking our time, just making sure everything got done right."
Regardless, Hossler did well to run so strong after crew chief Frank Manzo was kept at home by an ear infection, though he remained in touch with acting crew chief Billy Stocklin throughout the day. "Frank's doctor told him he shouldn't get on an airplane," Hossler explained. "We miss him, but Billy's got a pretty good handle on things, so I think we'll be okay."
Former back-to-back Pro Extreme champion Jason Scruggs improved his second-place showing from 3.634 in the opening session to 3.605 at a class-leading 212.43 mph in the second and final qualifying round after a third round was eliminated from the schedule when heavy rains early in the day forced a lengthy delay for track drying.
"We lost a number (one hundredth) in the 60 foot, which is why, I think, that we didn't go faster," Scruggs said. "But you never know with these things; it's such a fine line we're on."
Rounding out the top half of the 14-car field were Tommy D'Aprile, defending class champ Mick Snyder, Von Smith, John Stanley and 2009 class champ Todd Tutterow. Eliminations were scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday (June 9), with the winner between Hossler and Bubba Stanton to receive a bye in round two.
"I heard some guys were complaining, but I think the track was okay today; I mean, we went .895 to the 60 foot and ran that .59, so it couldn't have been too bad," Hossler continued. "And you saw some good runs in the other classes, too, so I think they did a pretty good job considering all the rain we had. But I sure would've liked to have had a few more runs yesterday and today. If we had made that second pass, I think we could've gone a little quicker."
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