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Brogdon enters Atlanta eliminations with season-best qualifying effort


ATLANTA (May 17) - Pro Stock driver Rodger Brogdon posted his best qualifying effort in nearly two years by grabbing the No. 5 position for eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Brogdon last qualified fifth in Chicago in 2012, and the last time he was higher than fifth was at the second Pomona race in 2011. The performance has the Pro Stock veteran feeling good heading into eliminations on Sunday.

"It's been a long time since I've felt this confident going into Sunday," Brogdon said. "I'm all about numbers. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. When you're down there in the 13th or 14th hole, it's tough, but being where we are I really feel like I can win the race tomorrow.

"I'm driving decent, the car's super fast, and if we get a break or two we can go a bunch of rounds."

Brogdon's best pass was 6.523 seconds at 212.06 mph, run Saturday in the third qualifying session. He'll square off against No. 12 qualifier Vieri Gaines in the first round Sunday. Gaines' best run was 6.547 seconds at 212.56 mph.

"We feel like we've got a chance to win some rounds and win the race," Brogdon said. "Crazier things have happened."

Brogdon, who has one Pro Stock victory to his credit, was hoping to make four solid passes in qualifying, but Q4 was aborted after gears in the transmission rammed into each other.

"It's called dead-heading," Brogdon said. "When you shift from one gear to another, instead of catching they slam into each other. It will happen one out of 1,000 times, but it's not all bad because that could've been first round. Things are looking up."

Brogdon credited engines supplied by Elite Motorsports as the reason for his uptick in performance. He hoped questions about his team would be answered this weekend by using Elite's proven horsepower.

"Yeah, the questions have been answered," Brogdon said. "We just need to figure out what we're going to do. It's a three-race deal. We'll be faster the next two races after this one, for sure."

Final eliminations in Atlanta begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry elimination action on tape delay at 9 p.m., Sunday.