By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Atco, NJ – In the first qualifying round for the Top Alcohol Dragster, Josh Hart, a Florida native, had the fastest run at 5.277 at 272.01 mph at Atco Dragway. Hart is in his first-year racing his car – and picked up the top spot when he was in the second-to-last pairing.
Daniel Page is second after he went 5.319 at 270.05 mph in his dragster and was the early leader before Hart came up. Jackie Fricke – whose racing without her teammate John Finke this weekend – is currently third in the 12-car field, as she went 5.324 at 280.37 mph.
Canadian Dan Mercier is fourth after going 5.360 at 271.24. Rich McPhillips – who won last year’s Atco event – is currently qualified fifth following his 5.392 at 277.50 mph.
Earl Nichols is sixth with his 5.464 at 263.00 run, while 23-year-old Ben Dier is seventh with his 5.817 at 242.98. Tom Fox Jr., whose from Shamong, N.J., is currently qualified eighth with his 6.104 at 248.52 in his father-and-son race team.
Frank Schuster, another local driver from Chesterfield, N.J., is ninth with his 6.248 at 25149 run. Karen Stalba, whose from Hammonton, N.J., is tenth with a 6.915 at 255.05 mph showing.
Duane Shields – last year’s Northeast Division Champion – is 11th at the moment with another session to run later. He had problems and shut it off with a 7.301 at 124.00. Rich Bourke is the final qualifier after going 11.781 at 95.48.
McPhillips is looking to sweep the competition once again as he won the past two-years at this facility. He’s looking to make it three-in-a-row.
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