Story continues below this advertisement
Seventeen drivers attempted to qualify, and several "name" drivers missed the cut, including Chase Copeland, Dan Page, and 2011 Division 1 champion Karen Stalba, who broke behind the line on her final qualifying attempt.
In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Veney qualified No. 1 and set low e.t. and top speed with a 5.60 at 258.07 mph. "It’s great to win a race this early in the season," he said. "I really owe Jay, tuner Tommy Howell, and our whole team for having this car set up perfectly all weekend. We overcame some problems and won some close ones – especially the semi’s and the final. Eric Lourie and I always seem to have good races, and D.J. is someone I have a lot of respect for. He’s really a good driver – most people just don’t know about him yet."
Cox ran a strong 5.66 on his only qualifying run, which was his first run anywhere all year. He took out the automatic-transmission-equipped car of Wayne Morris in round one, 5.72 to 5.78, and recent Charlotte runner-up Dan Pomponio in the semifinals, 5.70 to 5.75, and left first in every round.
Former NHRA Lucas Oil Comp Champion Frank Aragona, Freehold, N.J., grabbed the win in Comp Eliminator defeating Steve Szupka, Willow Grove, Pa., as both drivers suffered mechanical problems in the final round while Lincoln Morehead held off the hard charging Byron Worner in Super Stock. Morehead, Marlboro, N.Y., drove his ’87 Camaro to a 10.136 second, 129.83 mph pass to Worner’s 9.915, 133.42 out of Duncannon, Pa.
A pair of home state racers made trips to the winners circle with Kevin Maupin, Stuarts Draft, Va., winning in Super Gas and Mark Payne, Waynesboro, Va., in the Division’s MXI/Magnaflux Top Sportsman class. Maupin beat second-generation driver Mike Sawyer in his ’93 Beretta with a perfect reaction time coupled with a 9.892 second, 149.71 mph lap. Payne clocked in at 192.22 mph in 7.026 seconds for the win over John Taylor, Naples, Fla.
Other winners in Petersburg were Donald Pires, Somerset, Mass., in Stock; Tom Cable, Hughesville, Md., in Super Comp; Brian Lee Baker, Asheboro, N.C., in Super Street and Bill Russell, Russell, Mass., in Top Dragster.
Running in conjunction with the Lucas Oil event this weekend was Pro Stock Snowmobile with Scott Marsh, Highland, N.Y., taking out the No. 1 qualifier Ed Armstrong in the final round. Marsh went 8.360, 152.02 mph to Armstrong’s 8.426, 154.05.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
2) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.406, 267.22 def. 7) Jackie Fricke, Flemington, N.J., 5.472, 263.51
4) Doug Foley, Statesville, N.C., 5.394, 241.32 def. 5) Aaron Tatum, Oklahoma City, 5.531, 261.88
3) Mike Kosky, Cuddy, Pa., 5.387, 260.86 def. 6) Dan Mercier, LaPrairie, Quebec, 5.392, 265.69
1) Rich McPhillips, Phoenixville, Pa., 5.377, 271.68 def. 8) John Finke, Selkirk, N.Y., 15.005, 68.67
Shields, 5.414, 268.28 def. Kosky, 5.619, 253.28
McPhillips, 5.345, 272.56 def. Foley, 5.396, 264.39
Shields, 5.380, 265.12 def. McPhillips, 6.982, 143.93
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
2) Dan Pomponio, Berlin, N.J., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.701, 254.71 def. 7) Fred Tigges, Holbrook, Mass., '01 Avenger, foul
5) Eric Lourie, Terryville, Conn., '02 Camaro, 5.991, 248.16 def. 4) John Anderika, Wyoming, Pa., '06 Monte Carlo, 11.816, 61.55
3) DJ Cox Jr., Whiteford, Md., '09 Monte Carlo, 5.720, 251.95 def. 6) Wayne Morris, Lincoln Univ., Pa., '09 Mustang, 5.780, 248.29
1) Todd Veney, Indianapolis, '10 Impala SS, 5.658, 256.02 def. 8) Melinda Green-King, Norfolk, Va., '09 Mustang, 5.804, 245.72
Cox Jr., 5.707, 252.66 def. Pomponio, 5.750, 252.80
Veney, 5.712, 253.28 def. Lourie, 5.749, 250.83
Veney, 5.667, 253.99 def. Cox Jr., 5.697, 253.66