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Dixon and Bernstein Headline
2003 NHRA Time Trials at Firebird

By NHRA Communications

CHANDLER - Defending Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon and rookie Brandon Bernstein highlighted the field of professional drivers that began testing Friday at Firebird International Raceway for the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon's Miller Lite dragster had the quickest time of the day as it covered the quarter-mile in 4.648 seconds at 265.75 mph despite shutting the engine off well before the finish line. 

Gary Scelzi recorded the best Funny Car numbers of the day as his Oakley Dodge Stratus had a .910 60-foot time en route to final numbers of 4.914 at 294.74. 

Top Fuel rookie Brandon Bernstein's first pass in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster started off well, recording a 60-foot time of .872, but the dragster then lost traction and rolled through the finish line lights in 6.098 at 139.36. His final pass of the day saw him record a .855 60-foot time as the dragster slowed to a complete pass of 5.048 at 208.42.

Craig Treble, who finished second in the 2002 final standings, was the lone Pro Stock Bike competitor to participate in the time trial. The Chandler, Ariz., resident best time of the day atop his Matco Tools Suzuki was a pass of 7.215 at 184.65.

The majority of t teams had planned early shutoffs as they try to gain valuable information with each pass down the track, no matter how much distanced the car travels. The 2003 NHRA POWERade season begins with the 43rd annual K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, at Pomona Raceway. The NHRA will then return to the Phoenix area for the 19th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 20-23, at Firebird Raceway.

Other notable complete passes: 

TOP FUEL 
Tony Schumacher, 4.707, 263.31 
Doug Herbert, 4.906, 225.67 
Larry Dixon, 4.945, 215.58 

FUNNY CAR 
John Force, 5.593, 200.29 
Tony Pedregon, 5.640, 184.47 

Notable 60-foot times after the first day of the 2003 NHRA National Time Trials: 

TOP FUEL 
Larry Dixon, .855, .855 
Brandon Bernstein, .872, .855 
Doug Herbert, .847, .854, .851 
Tony Schumacher, .869, .856, .869 
Paul Romine, .863, .850 
David Grubnic, .883 

FUNNY CAR 
John Force, .930 
Gary Densham, .904 
Tony Pedregon, .915 
Ron Capps, .900, .903 
Tommy Johnson Jr., .946, .916 
Gary Scelzi, .914; .910 
Scotty Cannon, .925 
Whit Bazemore, .928, .917, .909 
Dean Skuza, .963, .905 

NHRA Communications

 

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