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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dixon, Force, Krisher Lead Qualifying
at Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals

By NHRA Communications

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- John Force moved into position to claim his 100th career NHRA victory with a pair of impressive runs Friday to open qualifying for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.

Larry Dixon and Ron Krisher also were among qualifying leaders at the $1.8 million race, the second of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Force paced the Funny Car order by setting both ends of the track performance record with a run of 4.797 seconds at 318.17 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Many of his opponents were struggling to find the right setup to navigate the sun-worn quarter-mile surface. During the first session, he was the only competitor to get to the finish line under full power, posting a 4.831 second effort.

"We don't have no magic," said Force, who with a win Sunday could become the first driver in NHRA history to eclipse the century mark for victories. "We watched Tony (Pedregon) and (Gary) Densham run and Austin (Coil, crew chief) decided to pull it back a notch before we ran and it was the right call -- she just motored on down through there. The track was in good shape, it was just hot. The car was loose and bouncing around a little. That kind of run looks good on paper and it might make the competition think you've got some magic, but we don't. We just drove from A to B and got away with it. At least we know where we're at. We weren't trying to run low E.T. We were just trying to get down the track. You tweak a little here and there and hope for the best."

Dixon drove his special edition Miller Lite-Arizona Diamondbacks dragster to the front of the Top Fuel lineup with a 4.555 at 321.50. Kenny Bernstein was second with a 4.567 at 325.85 in the Budweiser King dragster.

"That was an awesome run, the front wheels lifted at the start and were off the ground for about a second," said Dixon, who was congratulated after the run by Diamondbacks infielder Tony Womack, on hand to lend his support to his new "teammate". "It's exciting to run this well for Tony and all of the folks from the Diamondbacks that were at the track today. When the car took off, I knew it was on a heck of a run. I think Dick (LaHaie, crew chief) was looking for a 4.53, but I'll take a 4.55 any day."

Krisher set the pace in Pro Stock with a track record performance of 6.875 seconds at 201.97 in his Eagle One Chevy Cavalier.

"We weren't trying to set any records today, but the engine we put in the car was really good," said Krisher. "We'll take it. I don't think that number will stand. We left a little bit out there. I think we can run quicker."

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Results Friday after qualifying for the 18th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, second of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Larry Dixon, 4.555 seconds, 321.50 mph; 2. Kenny Bernstein, 4.567, 325.85; 3. Doug Kalitta, 4.605, 324.44; 4. Tony Schumacher, 4.606, 329.26; 5. Don Lampus, 4.617, 315.64; 6. Andrew Cowin, 4.642, 294.63; 7. David Grubnic, 4.644, 309.70; 8. Cory McClenathan, 4.682, 315.93; 9. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.683, 269.24; 10. Clay Millican, 4.737, 304.94; 11. Yuichi Oyama, 4.743, 308.35; 12. Darrell Russell, 4.834, 294.43; 13. Ken Zeal, 4.848, 297.55; 14. Scott Weis, 4.923, 299.06; 15. Garth Widdison, 4.955, 237.38; 16. Rob Passey, 5.294, 204.20.

Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.797, 318.17; 2. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.885, 314.17; 3. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.887, 317.34; 4. Scotty Cannon, Pontiac Firebird, 4.892, 315.64; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 4.924, 306.53; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 4.962, 278.06; 7. John Lawson, Firebird, 4.985, 299.40; 8. Phil Burkart, Camaro, 5.136, 312.50; 9. Whit Bazemore, Firebird, 5.137, 309.84; 10. Terry Haddock, Firebird, 5.650, 216.62; 11. Del Worsham, Firebird, 6.523, 145.34; 12. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 6.671, 142.45; 13. Gary Scelzi, Toyota Celica, 6.747, 152.88; 14. Ron Capps, Camaro, 6.808, 121.29; 15. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 7.214, 119.12; 16. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 7.432, 113.68.

Pro Stock -- 1. Ron Krisher, Chevy Cavalier, 6.875, 201.97; 2. Jim Yates, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.882, 200.44; 3. Tom Hammonds, Cavalier, 6.889, 200.65; 4. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.890, 201.52; 5. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.899, 200.35; 6. George Marnell, Grand Am, 6.899, 199.70; 7. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.903, 200.71; 8. Larry Morgan, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.905, 200.83; 9. J.R. Carr, Pontiac Firebird, 6.914, 199.94; 10. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.919, 200.62; 11. Darrell Alderman, Neon R/T, 6.919, 200.02; 12. Mark Osborne, Neon R/T, 6.925, 199.88; 13. Mike Edwards, Cavalier, 6.928, 199.40; 14. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am, 6.930, 199.64; 15. Greg Anderson, Cavalier, 6.933, 200.26; 16. Tom Martino, Grand Am, 6.935, 199.76.

NHRA Communications


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