Qualifying for the second annual Garrett Turbo NHRA Sport Compact Nationals was held on Friday night during less-than-ideal conditions.  But the evening's uncharacteristic weather conditions ¿ high humidity punctuated by flashes of lightning and scattered showers everywhere except at the track ¿ did nothing to slow the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series competitors.  In fact, eight new track records were set during qualifying.  Track records are nice, but national records are what grab headlines.  As it turned out, Friday's qualifying session was merely a teaser for Saturday's straight-line speedfest. 

Under similar sticky conditions, Nelson Hoyos, of Hollywood, Fla., earned his second consecutive Pro FWD victory by defeating Lisa Kubo in the final. Hoyos, who also won last year's Las Vegas event, set a new NHRA national elapsed-time (E.T.) record with a pass of 7.658 sec.

"We're on fire, this engine is on fire," said Hoyos after his ninth career victory.  "We used the same engine in Denver and it now has 12 straight runs in the sevens. This GM Ecotec engine rules and all the folks at Garrett Turbos were a big part of this win. We're back in the hunt and know it will be great run down the stretch of the season."

Hoyos was asked if his Cavalier could have gone even faster under normal Las Vegas weather conditions.

"Oh, without a doubt," exclaimed Hoyos.

Stephan Papadakis of Redondo Beach, Calif., earned his first Pro RWD win of the 2004 season by defeating Ara Arslanian in the final round of eliminations.  Steph's win was sweetened by a new NHRA national elapsed time record of 6.755 sec., set during first-round eliminations.  Papadakis' Honda went even faster in the final against Arslanian, posting a blistering quarter-mile pass of 6.751 sec./202.85 mph.

Carlos Gonzalez Sr., from Ocala, Fla., collected his second win of the season in the Modified category on a single pass.  The elder Gonzalez was scheduled to face his son, obvious crowd favorite Carlos Gonzalez Jr., in the final but his car failed to start.  Ironically, Jr.'s crew was able to start the car as Sr. was staging his Mazda for the single, but it was too late.

Marty Ladwig, driving a GM Racing 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, scored his eighth career win and fourth of the season in the Turbo Magazine Hot Rod class by defeating Mike Crawford with a track record pass of 8.131 sec./174.01 mph.

"The last run of the day was the best we had this weekend. I like saving the best for last," Ladwig said. "The Ecotec (engine) was fantastic again and the crew did a great job to get it ready. There is no doubt that the GM Team is doing extremely well. Hopefully, it will continue for the rest of the season."

Scott Mohler won his second consecutive Honda Tuning Magazine All Motor final by defeating Leslie Durst.

Jason Siebels of Long Beach, Calif., claimed the Sport RWD victory and Utah's Cortney Green did likewise in the Sport FWD class.

The ET1 class was won by Tyrone Oliver of Phoenix.  Chris Dye of Colorado Springs claimed the ET2 title.

The weekend was not kind to local drivers, who were all but shut out of victory celebrations.  Dana Westover of Las Vegas seemed destined to repeat his 2003 Las Vegas Sport RWD victory after earning No. 1 Qualifier status on Friday (9.941 sec./144.30 mph) but he was unable to compete in the first round due to a bent valve.  The only Las Vegas-area winner was Corey Leclair, who won the Super Quick category over Henderson's Mike Reff.  The Super Quick category is part of The Strip's Jerry's Nugget Championship Drag Racing Series but not the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series.