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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Johnson, Kalitta, Allen Among Qualifying Leaders at AutoZone Winternationals

by www.nhra.com

POMONA, Calif. -- Tommy Johnson Jr. moved to the front of the Funny Car qualifying order Friday with a career-best performance at the 41st annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, NHRA's 50th anniversary season-opener. 

Doug Kalitta, Bruce Allen and Randy Daniels also were qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the first of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Johnson Jr. covered the distance in 4.838 seconds at 310.98 mph in his new Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Chevy Camaro.

"That's one of the smoothest rides I've ever had in a Funny Car," said Johnson, a veteran of both Top Fuel and Funny Car racing. "It's amazing to think that I signed on with this team on December fourth and we're running career-best numbers. It's quite a tribute to this team."

Kalitta drove his Mac Tools dragster to a top effort of 4.578 at 315.71 to lead the 16-car Top Fuel field. Larry Dixon jumped from third to second in the order, covering the distance in 4.600 at 316.82, recording the category's quickest run of the day.

Allen continued to lead Pro Stock in his Pontiac Grand Am, with his track record run of 6.828 at 201.16 from Thursday.

"We ran pretty good today but just couldn't improve on yesterday's run," said Allen. "Part of the learning curve with a new car is finding out how aggressive you can be given the conditions. Today we just got too aggressive."

Daniels set a track record in Pro Stock Truck, clocking a 7.461 at 180.16 in a Chevy S-10. No. two qualifier Panella set a national record speed in his S-10, recording a 181.42-mph effort.

POMONA, Calif. -- Friday's qualifying results for the 41st annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, first of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Qualifying continues Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 4.578 seconds, 315.71 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 4.600, 316.82; 3. Mike Dunn, 4.606, 315.49; 4. Doug Herbert, 4.608, 317.57; 5. Gary Scelzi, 4.634, 309.06; 6. David Grubnic, 4.638, 314.75; 7. Tim Gibson, 4.650, 313.37; 8. Andrew Cowin, 4.658, 315.49; 9. Kenny Bernstein, 4.670, 310.05; 10. Darrell Russell, 4.687, 307.65; 11. Tony Schumacher, 4.692, 305.91; 12. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.774, 303.09; 13. Bobby Baldwin, 4.853, 261.57; 14. Robert Reehl, 5.116, 282.36; 15. Howard Haight, 6.556, 140.56; 16. Rob Passey, 16.163, 62.61. 

Funny Car -- 1. Tommy Johnson Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 4.838, 310.98; 2. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 4.878, 314.09; 3. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.924, 304.94; 4. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.931, 266.06; 5. Chuck Etchells, Chevy Camaro, 4.952, 309.56; 6. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.957, 306.95; 7. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.958, 303.23; 8. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 4.974, 308.35; 9. John Lawson, Firebird, 4.985, 301.60; 10. Whit Bazemore, Firebird, 4.993, 299.13; 11. Gary Densham, Camaro, 5.012, 297.94; 12. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.059, 294.75; 13. Jim Epler, Camaro, 5.095, 304.46; 14. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.098, 300.93; 15. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 5.290, 228.85; 16. David Benjamin, Mustang, 5.350, 282.78. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Bruce Allen, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.828, 201.16; 2. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.836, 201.91; 3. Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird, 6.858, 201.31; 4. Mike Edwards, Firebird, 6.864, 199.79; 5. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cavalier, 6.866, 202.18; 6. Darrell Alderman, Dodge R/T, 6.873, 200.74; 7. Jim Yates, Grand Am, 6.874, 200.62; 8. Arturo Delgado, Chevy Camaro, 6.879, 199.85; 9. Richie Stevens, Grand Am, 6.882, 200.35; 10. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang, 6.883, 200.20; 11. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.886, 199.94; 12. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am, 6.891, 199.82; 13. Mark Osborne, R/T, 6.893, 200.83; 14. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 6.893, 200.83; 15. Tom Martino, Grand Am, 6.893, 200.29; 16. Brad Jeter, Grand Am, 6.904, 200.35. 

Pro Stock Truck -- 1. Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10, 7.461, 180.31; 2. Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.467, 181.42; 3. Scott Perin, S-10, 7.474, 179.95; 4. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 7.504, 179.14; 5. Brian Self, S-10, 7.515, 179.28; 6. Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.515, 179.80; 7. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 7.522, 179.06; 8. Don Smith, S-10, 7.525, 178.02; 9. Mike Coughlin, S-10, 7.530, 178.97; 10. Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.531, 180.28; 11. Joe Pigford, S-10, 7.533, 178.73; 12. Bart Price, S-10, 7.538, 179.04; 13. Mike Corvo Jr, GMC Sonoma, 7.538, 177.98; 14. Charles Greco, S-10, 7.543, 179.44; 15. John Lingenfelter, Sonoma, 7.544, 178.71; 16. Larry Kopp, S-10, 7.545, 178.40. 

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