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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Bernstein, T. Pedregon and J. Coughlin
Qualifying Leaders after First Day of
Lucas Oil NHRA Northwest Nationals

By NHRA Communications

KENT, Wash. - Kenny Bernstein led all Top Fuel qualifiers Friday at the 15th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Tony Pedregon and Jeg Coughlin also were the leaders of their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the 14th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Bernstein blasted his Budweiser King dragster down the quarter-mile in 4.591 seconds at 319.37 mph in the only Top Fuel session of the day due to rain delays and curfew restrictions. Funny Car and Pro Stock both completed two rounds of qualifying.

"We don't like losing a run today but everybody (in Top Fuel) loses it so it makes us all equal," said Bernstein. "I think we could have run a little better (in the second session), but the other cars could've too. It's just one of those things.

"The track is really rough like it was last year. We have only run in the one lane so I can't make a determination on the other lane yet. I think if the sun was shining and it was hot, it would be a very rough race track."

Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon, who has seen Bernstein trim his lead from 257 points to 119 over the past two races, was in the No. 3 spot after the first session with a 4.626 run at 317.72.

Pedregon outran all Funny Car competitors with a 4.848 run at a track record speed of 315.19 in his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang.

"We are without (crew chief) John Medlen for this race due to some minor surgery he needed and I was a little nervous," said Pedregon. "It's been seven years since someone other than Medlen has pulled me up to the starting line, but (co-crew chief) Dick Venables made the right calls. We knew these were 4.70-second, 320-mph conditions, but we wondered if the track could hold it, and it proved it can. I think closing the day with running an 84 and an 85 (by No. 2 qualifier Whit Bazemore in the opposite lane), we put on a great show."

Coughlin used a run of 6.820 at 202.09 in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier to set the pace for the Pro Stock field.

"Contrary to everyone's belief the track was pretty good," said Coughlin. "On Saturday Pro Stock runs at 10 a.m. so it should be cool, but I think we'll improve on the 82."

Professional qualifying continues Saturday at 10 a.m.

KENT, Wash. - Friday's qualifying results for the 15th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, the 14th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

1. Kenny Bernstein, 4.591 seconds, 319.37 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 4.599, 321.19; 3. Larry Dixon, 4.626, 317.72; 4. Andrew Cowin, 4.670, 313.07; 5. Cory McClenathan, 4.677, 315.93; 6. Darrell Russell, 4.779, 305.84; 7. Ken Zeal, 4.846, 294.69; 8. David Grubnic, 4.860, 237.09; 9. Brady Kalivoda, 4.979, 290.19; 10. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.983, 266.21; 11. Scott Weis, 6.655, 127.65; 12. Tony Schumacher, 7.708, 127.78; 13. Doug Herbert, 8.972, 91.54; 14. John Smith, 10.805, 78.79; 15. Ron Smith, 15.550, 72.69; 16. Robert Hallock, 15.945, 59.08.

1. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.848, 315.19; 2. Whit Bazemore, Pontiac Firebird, 4.859, 314.39; 3. Bruce Sarver, Toyota Celica, 4.862, 306.40; 4. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.977, 304.25; 5. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 5.026, 298.60; 6. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 5.029, 305.70; 7. Gary Densham, Mustang, 5.047, 303.71; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 5.050, 280.78; 9. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.076, 303.37; 10. John Force, Mustang, 5.126, 247.93; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 5.129, 279.38; 12. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 5.262, 274.22; 13. Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.360, 216.10; 14. Todd Paton, Camaro, 6.234, 153.18; 15. Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T, 7.582, 107.58; 16. Terry Haddock, Dodge Avenger, 8.533, 95.20.

1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 6.820, 202.09; 2. Jim Yates, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.830, 200.86; 3. Greg Anderson, Cavalier, 6.837, 201.43; 4. Mark Whisnant, Cavalier, 6.844, 201.82; 5. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.855, 201.43; 6. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.855, 201.04; 7. Allen Johnson, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.856, 201.19; 8. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.856, 200.92; 9. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.860, 201.40; 10. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.863, 201.46; 11. Larry Nance, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.864, 200.59; 12. Larry Morgan, Neon R/T, 6.866, 200.83; 13. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am, 6.866, 200.80; 14. Darrell Alderman, Neon R/T, 6.871, 201.04; 15. Jamie Yates, Grand Am, 6.876, 200.68; 16. Tom Lee, Neon R/T, 6.879, 200.98.

NHRA Communications


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