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MADISON, Ill. – Steven Whiteley raced to the qualifying lead Friday at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, the ninth of 10 events on the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series schedule. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing at Gateway Motorsports Park just outside of St. Louis is presented by Precision Turbo and Engine.
Whiteley powered his 2014 Y-NOT Racing/J&A Service Cadillac CTS-V to a leading performance of 5.820 seconds at 246.35 mph. Whiteley is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and second of his career.
“It feels good but it hasn’t quite set in yet,” Whiteley said. “We’re just trying to stay consistent. The racetrack is hot, which is working in our favor a little bit. The car seems to be working well.”
Troy Coughlin Jr. was second in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette with a 5.878 at 253.61 while his father, Troy Coughlin, was third with a 5.882 at 254.57 in his JEGS Mail Order Corvette.
Danny Rowe, who won last weekend in Charlotte, N.C., was fourth, but his new Corvette received significant damage when he collided with the wall during the second qualifying session. Rowe plans to enter his ’68 Camaro in competition tomorrow and he will lose his fourth place position in the qualifying order and start fresh in the final session with the new entry.
“It definitely jarred me, but I feel okay,” Rowe said. “I don’t know which is hurting worse: my body or my pride. It is what it is. We have another car coming up, my old car, my Camaro. It’s a great car. So, we’re still in the points battle here and we want to go out and fight for everything we can get. We’re going to do everything we can to get back in it.”
Houston winner Don Walsh and Norwalk winner Mike Janis have not qualified through the first two sessions.
The final round of Pro Mod qualifying will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. before the first round of eliminations at 3:45 p.m.