PEPSI NIGHTFIRE NATIONALS: SATURDAY

Day three of the 41st annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals featured dramatic final qualifying in the professional categories, as well as the biggest single payout in Nightfire history in the Bracketeer ranks.

In AA/Funny Car, Will Martin ripped off two spectacular runs to take the number one qualifying spot. His 5.91, 246 mph run outdistanced championship contenders John Hale (5.95) and Jason Rupert (6.01).

Rick Williamson continues to be the class of a very good AA/Fuel Dragster field, as he improved to a 5.82, at more than 256 mph to keep the pole. Jim Murphy jumped up in the field on Saturday, running 5.90. His 256.84 mph effort is good for top speed of the event, so far.

Marc Meadors used a last-ditch effort in Pro Modified to steal the pole from Dan Myers. Meadors posted a 6.23-second, 234 mph effort during the final session on Saturday to claim the number one spot ahead of Myers' 6.34.

In an all-Washington Bracketeer final, Andy Morris of Olympia upended Dale Green of Covington to score the richest purse in event history, a whopping $7500.

The Pro final saw two Firebird regulars duel for the crown, and it was Troy Pecht who scored the win over Kent Wilson, thanks to a terrific .017 reaction time. The Heavy title went to Colorado racer Brandon Umberger, while in Sled/Bike it was young Richie Pedraza scoring his second win in three days.

Racing concludes on Sunday with more Bracketeer action along with Professional eliminations at 2 p.m.

AA/Funny Car
1. Will Martin, San Dimas, Calif., 5.91, 246.17.
2. John Hale, Addison, Texas, 5.95, 215.87.
3. Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda, Calif., 6.01, 235.84.
4. Dennis LaCharite, Torrance, Calif., 6.04, 230.88.
5. Jim Obalek, Mission, BC, 6.06, 226.35.
6. Kris Krabill, Anaheim, Calif., 6.08, 244.89.
7. Tim Boychuk, Edmonton, 6.16, 231.66.
8. Roger Garten, Fallbrook, Calif., 6.20, 224.21.
9. James Day, Mission Viejo, Calif., 7.00, 150.47.
10. Brad Faria, Rohnert Park, Calif., 7.01, 162.33.
11. Derek Snelson, Anchorage, 7.45, 131.59.
12. Mark Hentges, Federal Way, Wash., 8.14, 116.18.

AA/Fuel Dragster
1. Rick Williamson, Stockton, Calif., 5.82, 256.41.
2. Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa, Calif., 5.90, 256.84.
3. Adam Sorokin, La Crescenta, Calif., 5.94, 229.24.
4. Rick White, San Diego, 6.06, 245.16.
5. Jim Young, Salem, Wisc., 6.09, 239.17.
6. Mendy Fry, Aliso Viejo, Calif., 6.13, 247.52.

Pro Modified
1. Marc Meadors, Danville, Calif., 6.23, 234.68.
2. Dan Myers, Ramona, Calif., 6.34, 234.13.
3. Andy Neyer, Phoenix, Ariz., 6.85, 210.52.
4. Craig Cawte, Cranbrook, BC, 6.92, 199.20.
5. Robert Costa, Albuquerque, 7.55, 174.72.
6. Clint Satterfield, Albuquerque, 7.59, 150.15.
7. Rod Burbage, Anderson, Calif., 7.88, 121.86.

Bracketeer
Champion-Andy Morris, Olympia, Wash., .017, 7.79 (7.77 dial), 171.10.
Runner-up-Dale Green, Covington, Wash., .029, 7.46 (7.45 dial), 173.77.
Semi-Mike Goad, Anacortes, Wash.; Paul Nero, Eugene, Ore.
Quarter-Arron Spitzer, Arlington, Wash.; Mark Simmons, Medicine Hat, Alb.; Mark Kidd, Twin Falls; Chance Parker, Roy, Utah.
Eighth-Mike Osmus, Caldwell; Mike Eling, Rohnert Park, Calif.; Tom DeBartolo, Grantsville, Utah; Dustin Hentges, Olympia, Wash.; Dan Lafferty, Wendell; Jon Bradford, Tucson, Ariz.; Bud Preuss, Grand Junction, Colo.; Matt Schoenfeld, Magna, Utah.

Pro
Champion-Troy Pecht, Caldwell, .017, 10.15 (10.14 dial), 126.65.
Runner-up-Kent Wilson, Boise, .084, 9.89 (9.88 dial), 137.61.
Semi-Bill Baltzor, Boise.
Quarter-Nicholas Shepherd, Tigard, Ore.; Jeff LaSalle, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Les Migneault, Meridian.
Eighth-John Johnson Jr., Caldwell; Steve Kelly, Vancouver, Wash.; Randy Williamson, Boise; Andy Strunk, Emmett; Marc Pruett, Vancouver, Wash.

Heavy
Champion-Brandon Umberger, Grand Junction, Colo., .009, 11.71 (11.68 dial), 101.58.
Runner-up-Ryan Schaefer, Tigard, Ore., .034, 11.57 (11.61 dial), 112.82.
Semi-Shayne Schaefer, Boise.
Quarter-Lucas Hull, Middleton; Levi Burlile, Nampa; Tyler Rush, Boise.

Sled/Bike
Champion-Richie Pedraza, Boise, .059, 9.92 (9.85 dial), 125.01.
Runner-up-Jay Mendes, Caldwell, Foul.
Semi-Michael Watts, Boise.
Quarter-Roy Barrera, Boise; Craig Jensen, Chubbuck.

Bracketeer Consolation
Champion-Blu Hayball, Fort Hall, .001, 7.47 (7.43 dial), 172.34.
Runner-up-Greg Hicks, North Las Vegas, Nev., .013, 8.28 (8.24), 154.95.
Semi-Ken Nelson, Hayden; Jake Neibauer, Billings, Mont.

Pro Consolation
Champion-Bruce Compton, Boise, .056, 10.67 (10.65 dial), 126.88.
Runner-up-Jerry Forrey, Kuna, .014, 12.79 (12.81 dial), 101.85.
Semi-Ricky Johnson, Ontario, Ore.; Kelly Pruett, Eugene, Ore.

Pro Allstar Dash
Champion-John Johnson Jr., Caldwell, .064, 9.23 (9.21 dial), 137.53.
Runner-up-Ken Frickey, Nampa, .092, 11.35 (11.35 dial), 118.62.

Points Standings

Bracketeer
1. Paul Nero, 667
2. Mark Kidd, 666
3. Dale Green, 615
4. Dustin Hentges, 613
5. Andy Morris, 566

Pro
1. Mark Kidd, 616
2. Steve Kelly, 565
3. Craig Schell, 515
4. Jeff LaSalle, 513
5. Houston Head, 466

Heavy
1. Ryan Schaefer, 616
2. Brandon Umberger, 466
3. Greg Kielman, 465
4. Mike Ritz, 416
5. Margaret Smith, 415

Sled/Bike
1. Richie Pedraza, 619
2. Jay Mendes, 516
3. Michael Watts, 467
4. Zak Pedraza, 415
5. Dave Allen, 315