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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Bazemore, Dixon, Johnson, Brown Take Top Qualifying
Honors at Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals

By NHRA.com

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Whit Bazemore led a parade of track record performances Saturday with a top qualifying effort in Funny Car at the 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals.

Larry Dixon, Warren Johnson and Antron Brown also will lead their respective pro categories into tomorrow's 11 a.m. eliminations at the $1.9 million race, the 17th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Bazemore powered his Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird to an event-best 4.849-second time at 310.41 mph to lead the 16-car field at Brainerd International Raceway. Tony Pedregon was second in a Ford Mustang, posting a 4.881 at 312.28.

"That was an exciting session," Bazemore said. "Top Fuel is billed as the kings of the sport, but the Funny Car class has been very exciting this year. I'm glad to be a part of it. Fortunately we were the last to run in that final qualifying session and Lee (Beard, crew chief) kept adjusting on the car in the staging lanes as the other cars were putting down good runs. I think by the time we ran we had a whole new tune-up in the car."

Dixon moved to the top of the order in Top Fuel and scored his first No. 1 effort of the season, driving his Miller Lite dragster to a 4.594 at 314.90 to lead the 16-car field. Mike Dunn qualified second in the Yankees dragster, posting a 4.621-second run with a track record speed of 326.63.

"A lot of times to get the (No. 1 qualifying position) you've got to really fire a shot," said Dixon, who will face Tony Schumacher in the opening round. "Dick (LaHaie, crew chief) is not the gambling type. In the big scheme of things it only gives you a few points over the competition. The real deal is to win the race. That's where you gain ground for the Winston championship. That's what we want to do tomorrow."

Johnson claimed his third top qualifying effort of the year in Pro Stock, clocking a track record 6.932 at 198.96 in his GM Goodwrench Pontiac Grand Am. Local favorite Tom Hammonds, forward for the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, qualified ninth in a Chevy Cavalier with a season-best performance of 6.970 at 197.54.

Brown earned his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season in Pro Stock Motorcycle, riding his Team 23 Suzuki to a track record 7.262 at 183.54. With the top qualifying position, Brown earned the top seed for the Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel, a special event for bikes contested during the upcoming Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis. 

BRAINERD, Minn. -- First-round pairings for Sunday's eliminations for the 20th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the 17th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Larry Dixon, 4.594 seconds, 315.64 mph vs. 16. Tony Schumacher, 4.973, 273.44; 2. Mike Dunn, 4.621, 326.63 vs. 15. Andrew Cowin, 4.962, 280.19; 3. Gary Scelzi, 4.642, 315.12 vs. 14. John Smith, 4.958, 284.21; 4. Doug Kalitta, 4.642, 307.93 vs. 13. Chris Karamesines, 4.921, 258.81; 5. Kenny Bernstein, 4.663, 319.14 vs. 12. Luigi Novelli, 4.845, 301.40; 6. Darrell Russell, 4.686, 314.90 vs. 11. Joe Hartley, 4.746, 314.02; 7. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.687, 318.47 vs. 10. Bruce Litton, 4.733, 290.44; 8. Doug Herbert, 4.705, 314.75 vs. 9. David Grubnic, 4.725, 306.60. 

Funny Car -- 1. Whit Bazemore, Pontiac Firebird, 4.849, 310.41 vs. 16. Dean Skuza, Dodge R/T, 5.008, 299.93; 2. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.881, 312.28 vs. 15. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.007, 303.91; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 4.922, 310.63 vs. 14. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.982, 310.55; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 4.925, 309.13 vs. 13. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.977, 306.67; 5. John Force, Mustang, 4.928, 311.99 vs. 12. Bob Bode, Dodge Avenger, 4.971, 305.63; 6. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.928, 305.29 vs. 11. Jim Epler, Camaro, 4.968, 305.08; 7. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.936, 308.14 vs. 10. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 4.966, 304.12; 8. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.946, 315.12 vs. 9. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 4.949, 306.19. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.932, 198.96 vs. 16. Tom Martino, Grand Am, 7.000, 197.05; 2. Mike Edwards, Chevy Cavalier, 6.944, 197.94 vs. 15. Mark Osborne, Dodge Neon R/T, 7.000, 198.12; 3. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.945, 198.35 vs. 14. Kenny Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.996, 196.62; 4. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.952, 197.77 vs. 13. Mike Thomas, Grand Am, 6.992, 196.47; 5. George Marnell, Grand Am, 6.955, 197.71 vs. 12. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.979, 197.83; 6. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.959, 198.20 vs. 11. Darrell Alderman, Neon R/T, 6.974, 197.88; 7. Brad Jeter, Grand Am, 6.961, 197.28 vs. 10. Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.971, 197.22; 8. Jim Yates, Grand Am, 6.962, 197.19 vs. 9. Tom Hammonds, Cavalier, 6.970, 197.54. 

Pro Stock Bike -- 1. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.262, 183.54 vs. 16. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.520, 173.85; 2. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.264, 183.62 vs. 15. Sam Hurwitz, Suzuki, 7.454, 177.23; 3. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki, 7.271, 183.42 vs. 14. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.436, 178.73; 4. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.274, 185.05 vs. 13. Greg Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.415, 181.89; 5. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.281, 184.75 vs. 12. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.414, 177.16; 6. GT Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.292, 182.70 vs. 11. Geno Scali, Kawasaki, 7.379, 180.55; 7. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.318, 183.87 vs. 10. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 7.376, 178.90; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.331, 180.12 vs. 9. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.335, 186.33. 

-- NHRA.com

 

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