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A consistent car has Brogdon optimistic about Sunday eliminations

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PHOENIX (Feb. 22) - A fast, consistent Chevrolet Camaro has Rodger Brogdon ready for V. Gaines in the first round of the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

"The question is, is he ready for me?" Brogdon asked with a chuckle. "No, we'll be ready. It'll be a good race. He went a little quicker than us in Q4, but we'll be all right. We'll be fine."

Brogdon made four qualifying passes within .012-second of each other and will start eliminations from the No. 9 position with a best lap of 6.573 seconds at 209.98 mph.

"We're pretty happy," Brogdon said. "Everything is going in the right direction. Any time you can get within two-hundredths of the fastest guy, the way our program is right now, you've got to be pleased."

Brogdon's Q4 run was 6.528 seconds at 210.80 mph, which was sixth-quickest in the Pro Stock field and within .022-second of session leader Jason Line. Plus, it wasn't a perfect run.

"I could feel the tires in fourth gear go whoop, whoop, whoop," Brogdon said. "I thought, 'That's not too good. It's definitely not fast.' "

But it was still a solid pass that ranked him with Pro Stock's best in Q4, and Brogdon has reason for optimism going into Sunday. His Q3 run of 6.578 seconds at 210.97 mph was fifth-fastest, and he outran Gaines in that session.

Gaines qualified No. 8 with a best run of 6.571 seconds at 210.70 mph.

"We're looking for a good day tomorrow," Brogdon said. "The car's consistent, and the crew has been solid this weekend. No major issues for us, so we've been good."

Brogdon and his crew have been battling a new track here, as parts of the concrete were resurfaced, but Brogdon said the track hasn't changed much.

"The track's about the same as it was before," Brogdon said. "It's been very consistent to what it's always been. There's been a bunch of cars wormy down the track."

Eliminations will kick off at 11 a.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will air eliminations action at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.